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MBA in Marketing: Where to study and what to expect?

To many organisations, success means driving results through operational and marketing excellence. Get to know more about the responsibilities of marketing managers.

Antony Chacko
Marketing Manager

A lot of Universities and colleges in the US, the UK and Australia prefer applicants, who are interested in postgraduate courses in marketing or MBA, to have some relevant work experience.

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To many organisations, success means driving results through operational and marketing excellence. The people responsible for marketing excellence are the marketing managers.

The primary role of a marketing manager is to manage the marketing processes and resources of a product or business. As a marketing manager, you could be in charge of a single product or brand, or could be responsible for a broad array of products and services. The need for a marketing manager mostly arises in mid-size or large companies where even multiple managers might be hired within the marketing department to oversee the operations in different regions where a company is located.

Planning an organization’s marketing strategy, directing marketing research activities, and overseeing the team’s performance are just some of the things a marketing manager does. Given today’s volatile markets, its important for marketing professionals to be in tune with changing trends and be able to forecast issues.

Why study marketing?

If you are keen on improving your marketing skills but aren’t sure what type of industry you want to work in after graduation, an MBA in marketing is a good option for you. 

Work Environment

Marketing managers usually report directly to the top management.  Though it’s an office-bound job, you will find yourself traveling often to meet with customers or other managers working on a project, and to attend industry events and product launches. Long work hours and erratic schedules are usually common.

Key responsibilities include:

Depending on the industry you operate in, develop innovative marketing strategies and lead the development and execution of integrated marketing        programs that attracts new customers, inspire loyalty, and drive profitable market share growth.

Critically evaluate key marketing campaigns and drive best practice

Work with the GM Marketing or other senior management in the department in maintaining external agency partnerships and review their performance.

Career Opportunities

For jobs at management level, employers are more likely to be interested in your skills, previous work experience, and industry knowledge than your formal qualifications.

Opportunities are usually available in marketing agencies or consultancies, the in-house marketing departments in all kinds of businesses or public sector organisations.

With experience, you could be promoted to brand or account director, and then marketing director. You could also choose to become a freelance marketing consultant.

What to study?

Most employers hiring marketing managers look for a master’s degree, as with just a bachelor’s degree, you will have to work your way up the ladder which might take a couple of years. There are different study options to become a marketing manager.

  •  You could do a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in marketing.
  •  An MBA with a concentration in marketing or advertising.
  •  A bachelor’s degree in any discipline followed by a postgraduate diploma in marketing
  •  Some colleges abroad also offer an MSc in Marketing management or MA in Marketing Communications.

Entry requirements

For a bachelors’ degree in business or marketing, you need to have completed year 12 of high school, where as to pursue a master’s degree, you will need a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, finance or any other related subject.

Most universities and colleges in the US, the UK and Australia taking in students for their postgraduate courses in marketing or MBA prefer applicants with some relevant work experience.

Why study marketing in the US?

The United States is a popular study destination among many Indian students looking to do an MBA. Equally popular is a specialisation in marketing. Many leading business schools in the US offer MBA degrees with a specific focus on marketing.

The American educational system gives more importance to synthesizing information than to memorizing it. In this context, you will be expected to combine information from many sources, develop your own viewpoints and ideas, and share these with your colleagues and professors. The dynamic learning atmosphere is highly dependent upon qualitative participation from all students; which means you need to possess excellent English skills for effective contribution.

What does the programme cover?

A typical MBA programme with a specialisation in marketing offered by one of the leading US universities equips students with the skill sets required to create, promote, distribute, price and manage products, services and ideas to customers in the most effective and efficient way. Many business schools offer broad based curriculums which strike a balance between technical training and practical problem-solving founded on current management theories and approaches. Theory is complemented by case study analysis, business games and experiential learning methodologies – this is what sets an MBA in the US apart!

The first year of study will introduce you to core competencies in each functional area including marketing, finance, strategy, organizational management, technology management, operations management, communication, and negotiation and conflict management skills. In the second year, you get to focus more on your area of interest, i.e. marketing.

Thinking beyond sales

Students are prepared for careers in marketing departments across a variety of industries (both private and public), and can also pursue careers in public relations, advertising, supply chain and distribution management, product development, international marketing, sales management, e- commerce, brand management, retail management, and customer relationship management.

Course pre-requisites

To be eligible for an MBA in the US, you need to have completed a bachelor’s degree in a related subject, and should be able to furnish valid GMAT and IELTS/TOEFL scores. Most business schools in the US prefer to recruit applicants with prior work experience.

Where to study?

Business schools in the U.S. are ranked by independent agencies like U.S. News and BusinessWeek, so it’s worth checking the rankings before you start applying. According to U.S. News Business School Compass, the top 10 business schools in the US which offer reputed MBA courses in marketing are:

  1. Northwestern University (Kellogg)
  2. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
  3. Duke University (Fuqua)
  4. Stanford University
  5. Harvard University
  6. Columbia University
  7. University of Chicago (Booth)
  8. University of California--Berkeley (Haas)
  9. University of Michigan--Ann Arbor (Ross)
  10. New York University (Stern)

Worried about choosing the right course?

Jyoti Sharma Jyoti Sharma,
Study abroad expert.
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