Career Information for a Degree in Merchandising Marketing, Sales and Distribution
Merchandising marketing, sales and distribution represent key steps in the process of moving products into the hands of customers. Degree programs are available to prepare candidates for jobs in these fields, which include marketing manager, sales manager and supply chain manager.
Degrees in Merchandising Marketing, Sales and Distribution
An aspiring merchandising marketing and sales professional may pursue a bachelor's degree in sales and marketing. Such a degree program could include courses in advertising, international marketing, sales management, buyer behavior and salesmanship. For management positions, some employers prefer an advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in marketing. MBA marketing degree programs may include such courses as marketing research, supply chain management and e-commerce marketing.
Marketing and sales management positions in technical markets, such as electronics or pharmaceuticals, may require a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as engineering or biochemistry, in addition to an MBA in marketing.
A career in distribution, also known as supply chain management, commonly requires a bachelor's degree in supply chain management or a related field. Coursework in such programs may include transportation and logistics, quality management and inventory management. Some positions require an advanced degree, for example, an MBA with a supply chain management concentration.
Marketing managers promote their company's products to prospective markets and customers. They do this by assessing demand for their products and by developing pricing strategies. They also search for new markets for their products and keep abreast of emerging trends that may signal the need for a new product offering. They commonly work closely with other professionals, such as advertising managers, market research managers and product development managers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for marketing manaers was expected to increase by 12% from 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also stated that, as of May 2010, the median annual salary for marketing managers was $112,800.
Sales managers coordinate the sale of products to customers. They typically are responsible for an assigned geographic region. Some sales managers direct the activities of junior sales representatives in their region. They may establish sales goals and quotas, develop training programs and provide coaching on sales techniques and strategies. They can monitor sales trends to ensure supply of product can meet projected demand. They may also monitor trends that may be useful in the development of new products. In May 2010, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for sales managers was $98,530. Job growth for sales managers was expected to increase by 15% through the 2008-2018 decade.
Supply Chain Manager
Supply chain managers coordinate the various steps involved in sourcing, procurement and transportation of raw material, work in progress (WIP) and finished product in a timely and cost-effective manner. This effort involves many duties, including analyzing inventories, negotiating with raw material suppliers and freight carriers, balancing flow of raw material to match demand for finished product, continuously monitoring supply chain performance and implementing improvements as needed. They work closely with managers of other functional areas, including marketing, finance, production and quality assurance. In 2011, supply chain managers from the 10th-90th salary percentile earned from $50,051-$115,277 annually before bonuses and profit sharing, according to PayScale.com.
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