The objective of any business firm is to market and sell its products or services profitably. In small firms, the owner or chief executive officer might assume all advertising, promotions, marketing, sales and public relations responsibilities. In large firms, which may offer numerous products and services nationally or even worldwide, an executive vice president directs overall marketing, sales and public relations policies. Advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations and sales managers coordinate the market research, marketing strategy, sales, advertising, promotion, pricing, product development and public relations activities. Managers oversee advertising and promotion staffs, which are usually small, except in the largest firms.
In a small firm, managers may serve as a liaison between the firm and the advertising or promotion agencies to which many advertising or promotional functions are contracted. In larger firms, advertising managers oversee in-house account, creative and media services departments. The account executive manages the account services department, assesses the need for advertising, and maintains client accounts through advertising agencies. The creative services department develops the subject matter and presentation of advertising. The creative director oversees the copy chief, art director and their respective staffs. The media director oversees planning groups that select the communication media -- for example, radio, television, newspapers, magazines, Internet or outdoor signs to disseminate the advertising. Promotion managers supervise staffs of promotion specialists. They direct promotion programs, combining advertising with purchase incentives to increase sales.
In an effort to establish closer contact with purchasers, dealers, distributors, or consumers, promotion programs may involve direct mail, telemarketing, television or radio advertising, catalogs, exhibits, inserts in newspapers, Internet advertisements, store displays, product endorsements and special events. Purchase incentives may include discounts, samples, gifts, rebates, coupons, sweepstakes and contests. Marketing managers develop the firm''s detailed marketing strategy. With the help of subordinates, including product development managers and market research managers, they determine the demand for products and services offered by the firm and its competitors.
In addition, they identify potential markets -- for example, business firms, wholesalers, retailers, the government or the general public. Marketing managers develop pricing strategy with an eye towards maximizing the firm''s share of the market and its profits while ensuring that the firm''s customers are satisfied. In collaboration with sales, product development and other managers, they monitor trends that indicate the need for new products and services and oversee product development. Marketing managers work with advertising and promotion managers to promote the firm''s products and services and to attract potential users.