DECCAN HERALD Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Hit the market

In an era of globalisation, opportunities in the field of marketing are vast. So also the perks
and growth options... Murli Menon gives tips on marketing as a career

In the sixties, a young man went door to door, selling washing powder in Ahmedabad. He used to give free gloves alongwith his powder, re-questing the housewife to wear it while washing the clothes, for pro-tection.

He had to face many doors being closed on his face, before he finally succeeded. Today, the brand is a household name and is also one of India's most admired marketing companies.

Today, only one career offers equal if not better opportunities, than IT and that is marketing. It has been estimated by internet re-searchers that nine out of ten dotcom companies will fail. And the company which succeeds will be the company which will have the cutting edge in marketing.

But before you look at Sales and Marketing as a career, it is important to know the difference between selling and marketing. In simple words, marketing starts with the customer and ends with the product, while selling starts with the product and ends with the customer.

What is a career in marketing like? The answer is illustrated in a real life example from Mumbai's fish-market. In the crowded fish-market, all the fisher-women were shouting at the top of their voices to sell their fish and the resultant cacophony drowned all shouts. An intelligent but old fisher-woman, whose vocal chords had deterio-rated due to her age, began clanging a bell in the crowded fish-market. As soon as the bell started clanging in the noisy market, all the customers rushed to the fisher-woman who clanged the bell, and within no time, she sold all her fish. Thus, the qual-ities needed in marketing are per-sistence, innovativeness, dedi-cation perseverance and the ability to make a different kind of noise in the overcrowded market.

Let us examine the options open to young graduates wanting to make a career in the mar-keting.

Fresh graduates can join a company as Marketing Executive.

Candidates for this position should possess a bachelor's degree and have a yen for meeting people, possess good communi-cation skills and should love trav-elling.

A Marketing Executive's job is a field job and entails pro-moting his company's products to stockists in his territory. Sales achievements are measured against pre-set targets. Average emoluments range in the area of Rs 60,000 to Rs. 90,000 per annum.

Growth prospects include promo-tions to Area Sales Managers (ASM's) to Regional Sales Managers, to National Sales Managers and some exceptionally good candidates can reach the level of Marketing Director.

Similarly,Management Trainee is also a position at the entry level and could be in various functional areas like market research, mar-keting planning, product man-agement, advertising or sales. A Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) is pre-ferred, though PGDM's are equally qualified for this position.

Average emoluments for MT's range from Rs 90,000 per annum to Rs. 1,20,000 per annum. Growth prospects include promotions to Product Executives to Product Managers to Marketing Managers.

In case of advertising agencies, one can join as Account Executive. It involves a close co-ordination with the client for their advertising campaigns. For this position, a management degree is preferable, though grad-uates with two or three years of experience in advertising or mar-keting can also be considered for this position. Average emolu-ments for AE's range from Rs 90,000 per annum to Rs. 1,20,000 per annum.

Fresh graduates can also join as Direct Marketing Executive.

This is a position in Direct Marketing companies and in-volves formulation and execution of direct mail campaigns. A BBM or MBA/PGDM are ideal qualifi-cations for this position. Most of the advertising agencies have di-rectmarketing divisions.Average emoluments for D.M.E's range from Rs. 60,000 per annum to Rs.

72,000 per annum. Growth prospects include promotions to Marketing Managers to General Managers.

For the post of Territory Sales In-charge one can join in Fast Moving Consumer Goods com-panies like Hindustan Lever and is based in the field. BA/BSc/ B.Com is the minimum qualifica-tions for this position. Average emoluments for L. A's range from Rs. 72,000 per annum to Rs. 90,000 per annum.Growth prospects in-clude promotions to Zonal Managers.

There is also a tremendous scope in related fields like event management, hotels, multi-level marketing (MLM), relationship marketing and pharma mar-keting.

Thus a career in mar-keting offers a great opportunity for the youth. In an era of globali-sation for a person in marketing, the sky is the limit.

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