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Navigating the Evolving Landscape of Strategic Marketing Careers with an M.B.A.

Marketing Professional PresentsMarketing careers have changed dramatically over the last several decades. With new technologies and new strategies changing the way that people work, and more creative products and organizations than ever before, the pace of that change will not be slowing down any time soon. To succeed, marketing professionals need to obtain in-demand skills and remain adaptable to new developments as the field grows.

The best way for professionals to prepare themselves is with an M.B.A. that offers specialized knowledge in strategic marketing. Choosing an M.B.A. degree with a marketing concentration equips current and aspiring marketing professionals with both the targeted expertise needed to create compelling campaigns and the comprehensive business acumen essential for preparing organizations for the future.

What Is Strategic Marketing?

While people have been trading or selling goods and services in the marketplace for many centuries, the term marketing is actually fairly new.

Philip Kotler, who is credited as the founder of modern-day marketing, authored the first edition influential textbook Marketing Management several decades ago. His main argument is that company actions must always be driven by the need to create value for the customer. That principle is still true today, but Kotler himself recognizes that the scope of marketing has changed.

In the past, marketing departments were limited to advertising and communications, asked only to help position and price the company’s products. Modern day strategic marketing, at its core, is about creating enduring competitive advantages for companies through holistic goal-setting and planning.

The rising prominence of data analytics and social media have allowed marketing teams to efficiently and effectively identify consumer needs, contribute to product design, and positively affect company revenue. This success has allowed many marketing departments to expand significantly.

What Careers in Marketing Can I Pursue?

Increasing responsibilities and opportunities have brought an age of evolution to marketing department roles. Sophisticated approaches to public relations, social media, brand identity, business development, data analysis, and market research require specialized skills and visionary leaders to manage those teams. There are more options than ever for management-level and executive-level careers.

Master’s Degree Impact on Salary
Role Responsibilities Average Salary with Any Degree Average Salary with a Master’s Degree
Digital Marketing Strategists and Managers Maintain a brand’s multimedia digital footprint $75,100/year $116,600/year
Business Development Specialists and Managers Work with marketing and sales departments to identify competitive advantage and new opportunities, and devise strategies to reach profitability. $87,500/year $127,900/year
Communications and Public Relations Managers Maintain an organization’s image, increasingly vital as company values become a key component of brand identity. $90,000/year $111,500/year
Chief Marketing Officers Lead modern marketing departments and represent the consumer in significant product decisions. $175,000/year $192,000/year

Source: Lightcast, 2024

The demand for all marketing managers nationally is expected to grow by 12% over the next decade. However, Tennessee in particular is expected to see a 21% growth in demand.

Why Is an M.B.A. Important for My Career?

In this highly competitive field, effectively marketing yourself to potential employers is of utmost importance, and an M.B.A. is an excellent way to stand out from other marketers. Employers understand that an M.B.A. gives you a solid understanding of contemporary business operations, and practical opportunities to enhance your interpersonal skills, like problem solving, collaboration, and negotiation.

Which M.B.A. Is Right for Me?

Getting your M.B.A. is a worthwhile commitment that takes time and hard work, so you should ensure that the program you select will be a perfect fit for you.

  • Choose an established, accredited program with an extensive network of active alumni and caring faculty who will help you make contacts in the industries you are targeting.
  • Decide whether you want to take courses online, on-campus, or have the option to combine for a hybrid program.
  • Think about whether your schedule and your preferences fit with synchronous coursework (classes that meet at a set time and are usually live) or asynchronous coursework (classes that are accessible at any time and are recorded instead of live)
  • Business has developed specialized areas of expertise over time, so your M.B.A. should be more specialized, as well. With most M.B.A. programs offering multiple concentrations, aspiring marketing leaders should choose a program with a marketing concentration that incorporates coursework on data analytics, social media marketing, and digital strategies into the curriculum.

The Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University offers a valuable Flex M.B.A. with a Strategic Marketing Analytics concentration that allows students to solve real-world problems and prepare for real career opportunities. The Flex M.B.A. program’s curriculum culminates in a project-based capstone course that allows you to apply what you’ve learned to make strategic marketing decisions.

About MTSU and Jones College of Business

Located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University delivers a unique blend of world-class education, personal attention, and value to over 20,000 students. MTSU is the top choice for Tennessee transfer students, the biggest provider of graduates to the Greater Nashville-area economy, and the home of the state’s largest adult degree program. Princeton Review ranks MTSU among the 388 Best Colleges and one of the Best Regional Colleges in 2023. As the home of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center and the state’s first VetSuccess On-Campus program, the University has a reputation for welcoming current and former service members.

MTSU’s Jennings A. Jones College of Business is among the top 1.5% business schools in the world with Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation in both accounting and business.

Our faculty of award-winning educators, researchers, and entrepreneurs provide students with cutting-edge education in management, finance, big-data tools, and business communication.

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