Special Products Marketing and Sales
Learn how you can pursue a career in special products marketing and sales. Find information about degree requirements and useful course topics here, as well as what to expect in terms of job growth and salary potential.
Is Special Products Marketing and Sales for Me?
Special products marketers and sales professionals develop specialty goods, set prices and determine target markets. They may also develop promotional campaigns and strategies. Potential employers could include marketing firms, retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers. You might also find opportunities in the e-commerce industry.
Career Options and Job Duties
As a professional in the special products industry, you may be employed as a sales manager or sales representative. You might also work as a marketing specialist or research manager, product developer, retail operations manager or sales consultant.
As a market researcher, marketing manager or product development specialist, you might promote your company's specialty goods or estimate the potential demand for new products. In your position as a sales manager, you may establish sales goals, track sales data and supervise the training and performance of sales representatives.
Employment and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2013, sales representatives earned median salaries of $54,410. Marketing managers earned a median yearly salary of $123,220, while sales managers made $108,540. Employment opportunities for marketing managers were expected to grow by 13% between 2012 and 2022, with an 8% increase in jobs expected for sales managers (www.bls.gov). The number of employed sales representatives was expected to increase 9%, which is about average compared to all occupations.
How Can I Work in Special Products Marketing and Sales?
Although some firms offer training programs for new sales representatives, a postsecondary education is usually required to obtain a position. However, you may also qualify with a high school diploma or GED and prior sales experience. You might need a bachelor's degree to sell technical and scientific products. Many employers favor marketing and sales managers who hold a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing or a master's degree in the same field of study. Managers also need prior work experience.
Educational options for aspiring special products professionals include a diploma, an associate degree or a bachelor's degree in sales and marketing; certificates in marketing are also available. Undergraduate coursework may include topics in brand management, consumer behavior and market research. You may also study global marketing, pricing, product development and sales. Some programs include the opportunity for an internship, which may boost your employment opportunities after graduation.
Individual schools may offer specialized programs specific to automobiles, food, wine and fragrances. In addition to acquiring business skills, you'll learn how to create targeted marketing campaigns. Depending on your course of study, you may also find out how to evaluate wines or finance cars at dealerships.