Marketing executive

The all important middleman in the marketing industry,  a marketing executive manages and controls the relationship between the product and the target audience.

Perfectly matching the client's business with the customer needs, marketing executives are also expected to promote products and services to interested customers.  


So, what will I actually be doing?

Developing new marketing strategies is an important part of the role. To succeed in this, your day will vary and include a lot of research and market analysis.

A marketing executive you will tend to work for a marketing manager and cover various day to day activities. Often one of the first points of contact for clients, it's a social job that involves establishing contacts, socialising with customers and networking with other business people.

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The finer details...

9 to 5 is a typical trend in most marketing roles, and for you it would be no different.

It's not a job where you'll be stuck in the office though. You'll be travelling to meet clients, attend conferences and other events.

With experience, a marketing executive working for a marketing consultancy specialising in communications, advertising or market research can go on to set up their own company.

Promotion goes hand in hand with performance and involves taking on more responsibility and managing a larger and larger team. Marketing executives can become marketing managers and then, perhaps, marketing directors.

Graduates tend to enter the UK market initially until they have enough experience and then may move into international or export marketing.

Money, money, money

Salaries tend to depend on location, sector and size of employer, but usually a starting salary for people new to the job is between £15,000 and £25,000.

Once experienced, marketing executives can start to earn between £25,000 and £50,000.

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The good points...

Opportunities are widely available, ranging from the consumer sector with both manufacturers and retail chains or within the service and public sectors.

...and the bad

In the lead up to a major campaign, longer hours might be necessary to get through the heavy workload.

Is there study involved?

Although no set qualifications are needed to become a marketing executive, most entrants have a degree or Higher National Diploma. The role is open to all graduates, but degrees in marketing, business, economics, mathematics and computing are more likely to be noticed.

To make your application stronger it would be very useful to build up a level of experience in customer service or a commercial business beforehand.

For a degree course, the minimum entry requirements are five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) and two A levels/three H grades. For a HND the, requirement is four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3), plus one A level/two H grades, or equivalent.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

  • Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • Scottish Qualifications Authority

Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

There is a chance for school leavers and graduates with non-marketing degrees to enter the job through the Chartered Institute in Marketing, which offers a number of qualifications. School leavers can study for a Certificate in Marketing if they have 5 GCSEs or equivalent. Non-marketing graduates may be able to study for the Advanced Certificate in Marketing. For further details see the Chartered Institute of Marketing website.

Without qualifications it is still possible to become a marketing executive, if you can show personal qualities that would suit the role, or have experience in a similar area, eg: sales or junior marketing assistant.

Marketing executives will be trained in a number of ways depending on how the company chooses to work. This could be on-the-job training, in-house training or a series of short external courses.

As a marketing executive you could study for a Certificate, Advanced Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

The Communication, Advertising & Marketing Foundation (CAM) offers a qualification made up of six modules. It covers:

  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Public relations
  • Media 
  • Research and behavioral studies
  • Sales promotion and direct marketing

Successful candidates can achieve an Advanced Diploma in Communication Studies.

It is also possible to study for the Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM) Diploma, which also focuses on written or internet communication. Check with IDM for entry requirements and course centres.

OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?

To be a good marketing executive, you need to have:

  • Drive and determination
  • Good communication skills, both written and verbal
  • A creative approach to new campaigns
  • Good negotiating and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organisational skills
  • Commercial awareness, for pricing and analysing data
  • Good numeracy skills and a knowledge of statistics
  • A high standard of computer literacy


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