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The Breakdown

How does Sony get people to buy flat screen televisions? Why do people get so excited when Steve Jobs announces a press conference? How come you associate ducks with Aflac insurance? The answer, of course, is marketing.

A strong marketing strategy is essential to the success of any company. As a marketing major, you will learn how to asses market behavior in order to meet the needs of your clients and customers. You’ll study how firms decide which new products to introduce and how items should be priced and distributed. Moreover, you will learn how to promote both new and existing goods and ideas. And, perhaps most importantly, you’ll come to understand the social, economic, cultural and environmental factors that affect consumer decision making.

Marketing majors require (and heavily rely on) sharp analytical skills. Indeed, you’ll come to find that they will be the most important tools in your metaphorical marketing tool belt. Additionally, the strongest candidates not only understand how to satisfy customers but also how to anticipate their needs. Finally, marketing involves a good amount of group work and teamwork. Those who enjoy collaborating with others are likely to excel.

Nuts and Bolts

As a marketing major, you’ll learn how to tackle any type of market with classes such as: Consumer Behavior, Retailing, Professional Selling and Sales Management, Business Marketing, Sports Marketing, Electronic Commerce, Integrated Marketing Communications, Brand Management, Managing Global Supply Chains, International Marketing and Principles of Selling.

Decisions, Decisions

Marketing majors enjoy applying their creativity to business practices and principles. They frequently also consider studying communications, journalism, English, economics, finance, public relations, human resources management, film, advertising, psychology, business administration, creative writing, digital media and entrepreneurship.

What's Next

While marketing might sound like a specific career track in its own right, there are actually a myriad of paths recent graduates can pursue. Certainly, a number of marketing majors move on to successful careers within advertising. They often work in media selection, client coordination and planning or assisting with the development and execution the actual advertisements. Others land positions within public relations, helping clients refine their image, dealing with problems or complaints and handling any media requests or interactions. Brand management is another terrific option for marketing majors. Students who pursue this avenue work on marketing a particular brand or product. They focus on all aspects including product development, sales promotion, advertising and distribution. Of course, plenty of students also find employment conducting market research for a variety of companies. This job typically entails conducting consumer research, sales analysis and forecasting. Lastly, marketing majors sometimes decide on careers in retailing or sales management. This can involve anything from buying and/or selling to wholesalers or manufacturers to managing a single store. Whatever you ultimately decide to do, there’s one guarantee – you won’t be boxed in by a marketing major.


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Don Munce