How to Become a Marketing Specialist
How to Become a Marketing Specialist

When it’s time to launch a marketing campaign, marketing specialists spring into action.

As junior members of marketing teams, these specialists execute tactics in a variety of communication channels to bring integrated marketing plans to life.

“Marketing specialists are all about communication,” said Stewart Meyer, head of marketing for Amazon Kids and an instructor for UW Professional & Continuing Education’s Certificate in Strategic Marketing. “Anytime there’s a place where consumers are spending time — in person or online — then there’s a way to connect with them and engage with them as a brand and as a business.”

WHAT MARKETING SPECIALISTs DO

Some marketing specialists are experts in specific channels, such as social media, email marketing, events or public relations. Meyer said others focus on market segments, such as business-to-business marketing, product development or sales lead generation.

Marketing specialists often use marketing-automation software, such as Constant Contact or Salesforce Marketing Cloud, to manage regular tasks and maximize leads, Meyer said. They may also be tasked to research target markets, analyze trends, or track campaign performance data using tools such as Excel or Power BI. Skills like these can be learned on the job, he said.

Marketing specialists may also work with other departments within companies or agencies. For example, Meyer said they might work with a graphic designer to produce print materials or web pages, or team up with a business analyst to understand campaign budgets and ROI (return on investment).

MARKETINGS JOBS ARE ON THE RISE

Good news for aspiring marketers in the state of Washington: the O*NET career website projects that jobs for marketing specialists will increase 28% here by 2028, and 18% nationally. Once on the job, marketing specialists in Washington earn a median salary of over $83,000 per year.

Meyer said successful marketing is a key factor in the economic growth of the Puget Sound area’s unique business ecosystem, including tech enterprises, startups, health care and higher education.

    projected job growth

Nationally: 18%
Washington state: 28%

    Median Salary

Nationally: $65,810
Washington state: $83,880

Source: O*NET OnLine

“This region is growing, so that means more customers, and more new businesses,” Meyer said. “And anytime you need to understand what customers are doing and how to connect with them, you’re hopefully investing in marketing.”

He said companies are hiring marketers to harness the potential of new technologies and data platforms. In the Seattle area, marketing efforts are in constant motion at flagship businesses, including Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks and Zillow. There’s also demand for marketers from Bay Area businesses with satellite offices here, such as Facebook and Google, he said.

WHAT MARKETING SPECIALISTS NEED TO KNOW

Marketing specialists must be strong communicators who can understand consumer insights, Meyer said. Any undergraduate degree can be helpful to get started in marketing. He said experience in fields like business, psychology and behavioral science or working in retail can also be a plus.

“So much of marketing is connecting with people, and thinking about consumers and what drives their purchase decisions,” Meyer said.

If you’re considering where to take your career in marketing, you can gain a broad view of the business as you learn theory and fundamentals through the Certificate in Strategic Marketing, Meyer said. The certificate can also help junior marketers sharpen an area of expertise, he said.

Students create campaigns for real-world clients, which Meyer said have recently included the nonprofit Pacific Science Center, as well as startups such as Ridwell, The Riveter and Deako Smart Lighting. He said many certificate graduates are prepared to go on to an MBA program, or to advance to more senior roles, such as marketing manager or director.

“This certificate is a great step for someone who wants to take away real frameworks and experience,” Meyer said. “If you’ve never built an integrated campaign, it’ll help you  understand how all the pieces fit together.”

HOW TO GET STARTED IN MARKETING

Interested in starting or advancing your career in marketing? Check out our marketing and marketing-related programs.


For more career tips and industry trends, visit the News & Features section of our website, and subscribe to our email list. To learn more about UW Professional & Continuing Education certificates, degrees and courses, explore your options or contact us.


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