Build Your Marketing Career and Connections
What is Marketing?
There are many facets of marketing that range from social media influencing to data gathering/analysis. It’s a wide and diverse field that often gets boiled down to sales and advertising. The goals of marketing are more correctly defined as producing, communicating, and offering value to businesses and their customers. As a marketer, you would learn how to conduct research and form strategies that provide that value.
Which Area Of Marketing Is Right For You?
Are you interested in marketing?
Take this short quiz to figure out which areas of marketing might be best for you!
Marketing Skills Students Can Learn
1. Analytics tools
Marketing professionals, particularly those focused on digital marketing efforts, need to be able to gauge how effective these efforts are. Knowledge of how to use tools like Google Analytics® helps make that possible.
2. Social media
Whether you love it or hate it, social media plays an important role in modern marketing efforts. Marketers need to understand the differences between platforms and what tactics may be effective for the medium.
3. Digital marketing
Digital marketing encompasses a wide range of tactics and strategies enabled by the internet and electronic devices. This runs the gamut from paid search engine advertising to website optimization efforts and much more.
Marketing strategies and tactics require careful management of an allotted budget. This means marketing professionals need to be comfortable making plans for when, where and how to spend their budgets—and how to adjust them when needed.
5. Copywriting and design ability
This skill group will depend heavily on the role, but many marketing professionals take a hands-on approach when developing the creative elements used in their campaigns. Having a solid grasp of copywriting, layout and design principles—as well as the tools used for creating these materials—is still beneficial for marketers whose role is more focused on informing and reviewing creative materials.
6. Project management
Not every organization has a dedicated project management team available to shepherd new strategies and initiatives to completion. Knowing how to map out what needs to be done by when in a project and how those steps connect is a valuable skill—particularly when leading a collaborative effort.
7. Email marketing
Another widely used strategy you’ll find in a marketer’s toolkit, email marketing involves creating (often automated) campaigns with targeted messaging designed to drive sales. This is widely used in retail—for example, when you leave items in your online cart without completing a purchase and then a week later, you receive an email with a five percent discount code to help push you across the purchasing finish line.
8. Market research
Effective marketing is built on information. Whether that’s tracking consumer preferences, understanding purchasing trends or an analysis of the competition, market research skills are key to finding this critical information and making good use of it.
9. Content development
Content development covers a broad range of potential formats ranging from graphics for social media and long-form blog articles to informative web pages and video series built for YouTube®. This skill requires understanding what your audience would like to know more about and how to provide that information in a compelling manner.
The internet, and the accompanying rise of E-commerce, has fundamentally changed the way most retailers operate. Marketing professionals need to understand online consumer behavior, the tactical opportunities available in an online retail space and what can be done to encourage customers to complete a purchase.
Marketing Jobs and Hierarchy
If going into the marketing industry is a career you are considering, it is important to understand the job title hierarchy within the marketing industry to better understand the responsibilities and salaries that come with each title. Marketers generally begin their careers as specialists studying a field of interest within marketing and then work their way up to manager, director, and then executive level.
Specialist & Coordinator Job Titles
Entry-level titles in the marketing industry are usually considered specialists or a coordinator. Specialists/coordinators are people who have specialized knowledge within a particular subject area. People in these roles are in charge of carrying out the everyday tasks of a marketing plan.
Content Marketing Specialist
Responsible for creating, editing, and strategizing content such as blogs, videos, social media, emails, and more. They make sure content is relevant, easy to find, and interesting to the target audience.
- Salary: ~$60k/year
Marketing Communications Specialists
Responsible for communicating and promoting a consistent company strategic plan at all events and published media.
- Salary: ~$60k/year
Digital Marketing Specialist
Design and execute branding strategies in online mediums. Handles search engine optimization, digital research, and creation, distribution, and analysis of paid ads.
Manager Level Jobs Titles
Oversee the overall production of a good. From purchasing raw materials to optimizing supply chain workflow, the operations manager is responsible for ensuring efficient and reliable production.
- Salary: ~$75k/year
Brand Marketing Manager
Creates and maintains a brand image to create a brand that the target market will resonate with and connect to. This involves conducting research, overseeing lower-level marketing positions, and studying competitors.
- Salary: ~$80k/year
While a brand manager focuses on the overall brand, a product manager focuses on how a specific product will perform in the market. By gathering and analyzing data, they will position their product to best fit the target market’s needs. They also coordinate all areas of product development such as product engineering, marketing, and designing.
- Salary: ~$100k/year
Director Level Jobs Titles
Director of Advertising
Responsible for directing a team through the whole creation process of advertisements that align with the company's long-term marketing strategy. They also must monitor existing advertisements, manage a budget, and supervises staff.
- Salary: ~$200k/year
Director of Public Relations
Oversee all public communications such as press releases, speaking events, and media while maintaining a positive brand image. The position is most popular in the government/nonprofit sector.
- Salary: ~$140k/year
Director of Sales
Responsible for managing all aspects of sale management. Creates sales forecasts, targets, and strategies to improve sales. Assesses all changes in the competitive environment and marketplace to see how they will impact the product, and what changes can be made to improve sales.
- Salary: $190k/year
Director of Marketing
Responsible for creating and updating long-term strategic growth plans for all areas of the business. Analyzes the market environment to position the brand to most effectively connect with the target market. Oversees all marketing activities and provides a strategic plan for them to follow.
- Salary: ~$200k/year
Executive Level Marketing Jobs Titles
Chief Marketing Officer
The CMO is the most senior marketing position. It is responsible for the long-term return on investment (ROI) of the whole marketing department. From creating the highest level of marketing strategies to giving reports to the shareholders, to overseeing the marketing directors, there is little the CMO doesn’t do regarding marketing.
- Salary: $425k/year
Marketing Alumni Spotlights
Operations Manager at Meta
Growing up in small town USA and having lived most of her life in the PNW, Reema spent the last eight years in the creative advertising and sports marketing industries, having the opportunity to work at organizations such as Wieden+Kennedy, Microsoft, and the Washington professional women's sports team OL Reign.
Her specialty is engaging, listening, and collaborating with internal departments/teams to align early on overall strategy and goals, seeing the cross-functional collaboration through launch. Additionally, in her experience, she has focused on developing best-in-class creative concepts with the agencies and leading communication during the product lifecycle to ensure that external agencies and internal stakeholders from creative, media, and production for creative award submissions are aligned. During her sports marketing phase, she focused on brand management, emphasizing go-to-market strategy, brand loyalty, audience behavior, fan experience while working closely with the athletes, executive board leadership, sales, content development, and client services team.
In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors with her fiance, Jeff, and two-year-old Bernese mountain dog, Loowit, and continuing to train for a 1/2 marathon that she told herself she'd do three years ago (oops). When time allows, you'll find her working on renovating their mid-century modern home (all tips welcome).
Brand Marketing Associate, Funko
Lia has spent the last year and a half working in the toys and collectibles industry at Funko. Starting on the E-commerce, Direct to Consumer team as a Marketing Assistant, she learned the in’s and out’s of email marketing and how it fits into the greater, overarching digital marketing strategy. She then moved on to the Marketing Team, to work in product marketing and brand marketing for the company.
Her passion lies in brand and integrated marketing, to ensure campaigns from point A-Z are cohesive, the customer’s journey is uninterrupted and retention among consumers remains high.
In her spare time Lia loves going on walks, hikes and finding new ways to spend time outside. She encourages everyone to find a way to spend time outdoors.
Product Manager at PACCAR Parts
Born in Mexicali, Baja California Mexico, Antonio moved away several times to some of the larger cities in Mexico like Guadalajara and Monterrey. Antonio graduated from WWU with a B.A. in Marketing and a minor in Economics. After graduation, he was hired by PACCAR Parts and invested the last 5 years in the automotive / trucking industry where he started in the Sales Development department after 2 years was accepted into the Leadership Development Program as a high potential individual, where he had the opportunity to fast track his career by rotating through different areas of the business and gaining a holistic view of how the Aftermarket Parts Division works. Once Antonio’s program ended, he was promoted to Product Manager. As a Product Manager, he works with over 300 suppliers to make sure that PACCAR’s products are of the highest quality, that they are priced competitively against the market, and that they are available to meet demand, among other tasks. Internally, Antonio works with every department in the building in a cross-functional capacity. His core hours are invested in meetings with Engineering, Purchasing, Materials, Logistics, and Sales to make sure our products are the best out in the market!
In Antonio’s spare time he likes to play pickup basketball, go hiking, and put in some hours on his PS5! He also loves spending time with my beautiful wife and exploring all the different adventures the PNW has to offer, which he never runs out of!
Marketing Alumni Make a Difference At Your Alma Mater!
WWU Marketing Alumni Online
Get involved in our alumni podcast!
Marketing By The Minute is a student led podcast by the Western Washington University Marketing Program Media Lab. Each episode features outstanding WWU Marketing graduates sharing stories about their real life experiences in the marketing industry.
Learn more about the podcast here.
Be Featured on our Linkedin
WWU Marketing Alumni Thursday Tip
The WWU Marketing Program’s LinkedIn is student run by our Social Media Assistant Rebecca Andrews. On Thursday she highlights Marketing Alumni by asking them to share a tip with current marketing students. To be featured or spotlighted in a different way please reach out to us on LinkedIn.
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WWU Marketing Alumni Speaker Opportunities
Student Marketing Association
Share your life experiences with the Student Marketing Association!
It is the purpose of the Student Marketing Association to promote understanding of marketing to members, its ramifications & current trends, and to build a relationship with professionals through networking.
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Digital Marketing with Mark Staton
Share you career experiences in Digital Marketing with Mark Staton & his students
Every quarter in Mark Staton’s Digital Marketing class, he brings in marketers in different specialties to talk to his students about their jobs and career path. For example, marketing alumni Brain Haug talked to students about Lead Data Visualization, Lizzie Rice talked about UX Design, and Katrina Shereko who talked about inbound and content marketing.
Connect with Mark on LinkedIn