Post-MBA Careers: Marketing / product / brand management

Sections in this article

Marketing is a broad term and includes all activities that enable an organization to analyze, influence and satisfy the needs of their existing or new customers, better than the competition. Marketing is thus an important business function as good marketing helps achieve organizational goals.

Marketing management ↑ Top ↑

The Marketing Management process basically consists of the following

Product management ↑ Top ↑

Product Management is a business function within the marketing function that deals with the planning and marketing of a product or products across all stages of the product life cycle. Product Managers thus work closely with marketing managers to maximize revenues, market share and profit. Thus while the focus of the latter is on the entire marketing process, the former concentrates on the development of new products.

There are various examples of product managers going to great lengths to understand their customers. For e.g. Sony has one team of product managers who develop new products, the second to maintain the products across the product life cycle and the third team that works towards making the existing products obsolete in order to make way for new products, he product managers at Toyota urged their engineers to use artificial nails to understand the difficulties that women face while driving cars with long nails,

Brand management ↑ Top ↑

Brand Management deals with the marketing of a specific product or product line in order to improve the product's value and brand equity. Consumers identify a product because of its brand. The brand is the determinant of the attributes that a consumer identifies the product with. For e.g. consumers identify the brand name McDonalds with hygiene, tasty and quick meals and affordable prices; the Toyota brand is synonymous with quality, strength and reliability; Rolls Royce stands for financial strength, status and luxury.

The role of a brand manager is thus to create, such an image of the product so as to ensure future purchases by the consumers. This involves understanding the needs of the consumers, deciding the most effective medium to communicate the brand’s value and working alongside the marketing managers to ensure that the brand strategy is in line with the marketing strategy.

Working in marketing ↑ Top ↑

While finance, HR and IT are considered the support functions in a business, marketing is considered the function 'where all the action is'. Working in Marketing can be exciting, challenging and dynamic. Career opportunities in marketing are also vast considering the range of activities involved in marketing. The typical designations in Marketing are

The above positions are further different depending on the marketing function that you are involved in. For e.g. if you are in sales after the position of a Manager, you may be appointed as a Regional Sales Head, thereafter a Zonal Sales Head and thereafter perhaps a Country Manager. Thus the job roles in Marketing are dynamic and may have an overlap of one or more of the marketing functions.

Note that sales function is different from the marketing function, however the boundaries blur in a post MBA career. In most companies, it is possible for an MBA graduate to shift from sales to marketing and vice versa. Such interchange is difficult between other functions such as marketing and finance or marketing and operations.

Key skills and requirements ↑ Top ↑