3 answers

How hard is it to get a career in marketing that isn't sales?

Asked Southampton, Pennsylvania

I'm considering a career in marketing because I'm fascinated by the relationship between consumers and the market. However, I'm not keen on working a commission based sales job, which is what a lot of people tell me what a marketing degree leads to.


3 answers

Nina’s Answer

Hi Jared!

This is a great question - there has always been a huge divide between marketing and sales, and building strong marketing and sales alignment is key to any company.

There are some marketing roles that are more sales facing, in which it could be beneficial to have seen the sales side of things (think Product Marketing). But, there are so many marketing jobs that don't require sales experience. Jobs such as Marketing Communications, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing. There are a lot of companies that offer internships in these areas, so I think it would be helpful to look for internships in those areas, if you are looking to stay away from sales!

Kim’s Answer

Updated Nipomo, California

Hi Jared

That is a really important distinction that you make between marketing and sales. While they are often linked closely to one another there remains a very important separation of functions that is imperative to a marketer's ability to remain neutral and open to market expansion and innovation. In my experience, the best way to maintain a marketing-centered focus is to specialize in certain marketing functions that enhance the sales process, but remain distinctively marketing. But, you must always remain diligent in how it enhances the sales process. A few examples would be market research, strategic marketing, product or service management, and innovation.

Kim recommends the following next steps:

  • Evaluate marketing specialties that you like.
  • Develop an understanding of how each specialty supports the sales process
  • Create your own strategy on how to effectively work with sales people and support the process.
  • Turn all of the above into your elevator speec on why marketing is essential to the sales process.

Sarah’s Answer

Updated Boston, Massachusetts

Hi there! I began my career in a marketing department and have never really seen my role as a sales job! I have had the opportunity to present creative ideas, write communications, help design programs. I would suggest looking for an internship with a retailer (gap, whole foods, etc) or a brand (nike, kelloggs, etc) that would give you more traditional marketing experience.

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