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Marketing Specialist Career Guide

Even the best marketing strategists still need to know their target audience. And the best sales departments still need to have the best forms of communication for customer outreach. Companies need experts that can dig into data and provide more precise information on where to allocate resources.

Marketing specialists are responsible for the coordination and information gathering of target audiences, management of media channels, and creation of reports for marketing purposes. They conduct market research to determine trends, competitors, and demographics. They take this information and create reports or liaise with other departments to further make use of this information.

As a marketing specialist, you’ll be expected to have excellent analytical skills in combination with strong attention to detail. The campaigns are often under tight deadlines, so the ability to work under pressure is prized. Further, having strong communication skills, both written and verbal, alongside presentation skills are great pluses.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is looking for an experienced marketing specialist to help drive sales and organic traffic to our site. The marketing specialist is expected to orchestrate with the rest of our marketing and sales teams to create progressive campaigns for trademarking and the launch of our future products. Your duties will include researching target audiences, recording data from campaign results to add to future reports, and overseeing our company’s social media channels to ensure brand uniformity. Applicable obligations include investigating targeted viewers, transcribing campaign data results for later reporting, and managing our social media platforms to ensure brand uniformity across the board. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Perform market research on things like competitor prices, sales and strategies, competitors, and more
  • Collaborate with colleagues to brainstorm marketing, graphic design, and advertisement campaigns 
  • Identify and utilize efficient marketing and promotional avenues, specifically those used to convey company positions to consumers and potential consumers 
  • Use evaluating key performance metrics to evaluate and assess the performance of a company’s marketing campaigns and strategies 
  • Produce original marketing campaigns based on vigorous data and submit suggestions based on findings to leadership
  • Create and nurture healthy and productive connections with new and existing clientele through communication, marketing, and networking 
  • Brainstorm to come up with goals and decide upon the execution of those goals in order to reach potential consumers

Education and experience

  • BS degree in journalism, marketing, communications, or another related field
  • At least one year experience working in marketing

Required skills and qualifications

  • Outstanding analytical skills
  • Self-starter who can also work in a team setting
  • Favorable communication and interpersonal skills
  • Attention to detail for exact analysis of data
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • High capacity to work under pressure and drive to thrive in a competitive environment
  • Exceptional leadership and managerial skills
  • Time management skills with the ability to prioritize tasks
  • Multitasking skills
  • Well versed in Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Suite, content management software, and CRM software
  • Extensive knowledge of all social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok
  • Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS

Preferred qualifications

  • 2+ years experience in marketing (digital or traditional) sales
  • American Marketing Association certification
  • Experience as a marketing assistant or prior experience working as a marketing specialist
  • Experience operating data analytics software and web analysis tools

Typical work environment

While most marketing specialists work in an office setting and have their own offices, a good portion of their time will probably be spent in conference rooms or communal workspaces. There is a lot of planning with the marketing team to ensure campaigns are done on time. Most specialists will work during the week, and some may also work remotely depending on the size of the company. 

Typical hours

Marketing specialists typically work 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday. Most will keep regular job hours of 8 AM to 5 PM, though if they’re working remotely, these hours may vary.

Available certifications

The most valuable certification for marketing specialists will depend on where the individual is working. However, here are some of the most common certifications that can aid a marketing specialist’s job performance: 

  • The Digital Marketing Institute’s Digital Marketing Certification. There are four digital marketing courses offered by the Digital Marketing Institute, ranging in length from 30 hours to 2 years. When passing either the Pro or Expert course, the student will then be certified by not only the Digital Marketing Institute but also the American Marketing Association. Recertification is required every 3 years. 
  • OMCP Digital Marketing Certification. The OMCP requires passing the OMCP exams, which consist of two specialty exams and one broad-spectrum digital marketing exam. Additional requirements are 5,000 hours of marketing experience, a post-secondary degree plus 2,000 hours of marketing experience, or completion of an approved digital marketing course plus 1,000 hours of marketing experience. While there is no official OMCP sponsored course to prepare for the exams, there are a number of OMCP approved digital marketing courses which require at least 64 didactic hours spent. 
  • Google Garage’s Fundamentals of Digital Marketing. This is a free course accredited by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and The Open University. The course can be completed in fourteen hours and requires recertification after 12 months. 
  • Content Marketing Institute’s Master Class Course. This is a self-paced, 30-hour course that you have 12 months to complete. 

Career path

Most companies looking to hire a marketing specialist will require a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business communications, or social science field. Some may have a background in business administration or social science. While certifications in courses covering statistics, research methods, and marketing are a priority when pursuing this field, courses in economics and consumer behavior can also be beneficial in this line of work. 

Some marketing specialist positions may require a master’s degree, which some choose to complete in related departments like business administration. This better equips them for jobs in leadership or positions that perform more technical research. While certification in this field is optional, you may choose to display further competence by completing any of the certifications available. 

One such certification is the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) offered by The Marketing Research Association. Students must pass an exam, have a minimum of three years experience in opinion and marketing research, and complete 12 course hours. Certification renewal is required every two years by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 13-1161.00

2020 Employment740,900
Projected Employment in 2030904,500
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 22% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift163,600 increase

With an expected employment percentage shift of 22% by 2030, it is extremely important that both existing and aspiring marketing specialists stay up to date on the latest and greatest technology. The percentage of marketing done via social media has grown exponentially in the last five years and is expected to continue doing so over the years. With technology rising, so will the effectiveness of marketing through methods like social media platforms. Marketing specialists need to stay up to date on the latest social trends in order to better understand how to apply them in the marketing world.