At the highest level, Brand Managers supervise the
marketing function for a specific brand of a consumer product. Brand
managers are often compared to small business owners because they assume
responsibility for a brand or a brand family. They always focus on the big
picture. It is a job of a Brand Manager to distill the brand's essence, map
out competitors in their brand category, identify marketing opportunities,
and be able to effectively communicate the unique benefits of that product
There are several entry positions within Brand
3-5 years, fully responsible for a brand’s business
results, majority of time spent on planning, coaching, subordinates, and
managing larger projects. Relies on assistants and associates for
Associate Brand Manager
2-3 years, more emphasis on managing projects and
generating results. Reports to a brand manager.
1-2 years, emphasis on analyzing, reporting,
executing plans, and learning the business. Reports to a brand manager.
Personality Traits of a Brand Manager:
highly motivated, able to handle broad responsibilities easily and with
little supervision, thrives on constant change, and has good communication
and persuasion skills.
Business Development professionals are usually
responsible for proactively coordinating and implementing business
development plans for an organization or a particular division within that
organization. More specifically they determine
business objectives and identify appropriate business opportunities for a
company or a certain division based on market analysis and research
recommendations; they execute approved business plans and lead
implementation at all phases. Usually Business Development professionals
have an objective of increasing size of the company’s market share, and with
these goals they develop and execute comprehensive marketing and business
plans to support new platforms and products, and also continuously look for
new business opportunities.
Personality Traits of a Business Development
Professional: strong leadership and teamwork skills, ability to perform
work with little or no supervision, strong decision-making and critical
thinking skills, knowledge of company’s industry, proven negotiation skills,
and strong capability to handle multiple tasks and priorities.
Marketing Research Managers are responsible for the
marketing intelligence function of an organization. To support major
marketing decisions, they coordinate activities such as collecting,
analyzing, and interpreting data on marketplace trends and consumer
preferences; they direct activities concerned with development of new
concepts and ideas for organization’s products, services, or ideologies.
Marketing Research Managers plan and formulate aspects of research and
development proposals, such as the objective of the projects, applications
that can be utilized from findings, project costs, and equipment and human
resource requirements. It is their responsibility to analyze proposals and
determine if possible applications and benefits derived justify
Personality Traits of a Market Research Manager:
being detail oriented, creative, flexible, personable/ collaborative, but at
times able to work independently, and have solid analytical skills and the
ability to lead and direct others.
Careers in Marketing require quite a wide array of
qualitative skills as well quantitative abilities. Ideal candidates for a
marketing position would be initiative and enthusiastic in both generating
new ideas and acting upon implementation, would be strong leaders and able
to effectively work with little or no supervision, and have well-developed
communication and teamwork skills. In addition, it is very important for
marketers to have solid project management skills that are critical for
handling complex multitasking and to be creative and tenacious in overcoming
Being detail-oriented and a strong analytical and
critical thinker is a must especially for people pursuing career in
marketing research. As marketers often need to convince others in the
viability of their ideas, they need to develop negotiation and persuasion
skills. All employers seek people knowledgeable in the industry and the
company, and prefer candidates with highly developed decision-making skills.
Currently, one of the most desirable combinations is that of marketing and
finance, therefore, knowledge of the“finance world” and quantitative skills
such as the ability to evaluate financial statements and to identify
problematic points, and the understanding of how to interpret forecasts are
These postings below were taken from
actual job posting with various companies, but they serve only as a sample.
Assistant Brand Manager, Full-Time
Individual responsibilities will include
developing and executing activities in consumer marketing, forecasting/
planning, in-store, national promotions, product and packaging development
input, communications development, budgeting and business management for
certain product lines.
This position will involve a combination of
support for the Senior Brand Manager on some initiatives and taking complete
ownership over other initiatives.
The ideal candidate will possess specific
experience related to marketing (preferably with consumer goods) and
demonstrate a strong interest in a career in consumer packaged goods
marketing. Previous experience in marketing and consumer product management
desirable, though not a requirement. A willingness to travel is essential.
An MBA background is desirable, Bachelor’s
Degree required. Necessary skills include: strong project management,
organizational skills, creative problem solving, strategic thinking, an
ability to analyze complex data, excellent interpersonal skills, ability to
interact at all levels of management, collaborative, team orientation,
strong written and oral communication skills (including presentation
experience), proficiency in basic computer software (Excel, Power Point,
Word) and ability to learn additional systems quickly.
Note: from careerbuilder.com
Reynolds & Reynolds
MBA Marketing/Business Development
Reynolds and Reynolds is the leading
provider of integrated solutions that help automotive retailers manage
change and improve their profitability. Serving the automotive retailing
industry since 1927, Reynolds enables OEMs and retailers to work together to
build the lifetime value of their customers. The company's award-winning
product, service and training solutions include a full range of retail and
enterprise management systems, Web and Customer Relationship Management
solutions, learning and consulting services, documents, data management and
integration, networking and support and leasing services.
Intern will be responsible for
creating and executing marketing/business development strategies, including
developing marketing plan, coordinating with sales plans, competitive
assessment and product/market requirements. Summer project will revolve
around channel management, business development and/or product development.
MBA concentration in
Marketing, Strategy, or Finance
Candidate should have
2-5 years experience in business development or marketing
and services) business operations experience and/or automotive
manufacturing or aftermarket product experience are a plus.
Strong project management skills and
attention to detail
Strong written and
analytical, and organizational skills
flexible and high-energy
Note: from e-Recruiting ()
Market Research Analyst, Full-Time
Support decision making by working with executive management and internal
teams (product development, sales, marketing etc.) to identify need and
scope for primary and secondary market research, as well as providing
analysis and synthesis on a wide variety of market analysis and planning
Function as an analyst to teams to identify
need and scope of secondary market research that will lead to superior
decision making on business issues;
Provide analysis or information based on
secondary research or other available data (i.e. internal reporting) from
varied topics to support special project or planning activities;
Assist Manager with primary research
Determine appropriate research
design/methodology with clearly defined "measures of success";
Identify, negotiate and manage with outside
vendors to conduct research as needed and ensure quality/cost/timing targets
Work with team to analyze and synthesize
the results and then link to business decisions and issues; and
Understand and keep up-to-date on marketing
research techniques, technology and current methodologies.
2+ years experience in sales/marketing
Education: BA in business, MBA preferred;
College background marketing, market
research, or in behavioral sciences;
Flexible, willing and able to work in
dynamic team environment;
Experience in a consumer research supplier,
durable goods firm, or similar consumer oriented marketing group a plus;
Brand Portfolio Group – Internship Opportunities
Challenging Internship assignments in key
Brand Portfolio functions: Brand Management, Merchandising, and Customer
Training on Whirlpool's core competencies
(e.g., innovation, operational excellence, customer excellence)
Immersion into Whirlpool's culture
Develop and demonstrate leadership
capability in managing high caliber projects
Interns who join Whirlpool will have the opportunity to
work with business leaders in the quest to turn our product positioning into
solid business decisions that re-enforce Whirlpool's global vision of "Every
Home, Everywhere…with Pride, Passion and Performance."
In the past, interns have had the opportunity to:
Conduct competitive analysis
Develop an understanding of key consumer
drivers, through consumer research activities, and help translate the
findings into strategic plans that fulfill the brand promise
Assist in crafting the brand message and
positioning support for execution in advertising, POS, catalogs, brochures
and the Internet
Learn and utilize innovation tools in the
development of innovation projects, whether product or service oriented
Working to complete MBA with an outstanding
record of academic and professional achievement
Solid understanding of marketing methods
Exceptional communication and strong
Impeccable presentation skills
Ability to manage multiple projects
Whirlpool leader attributes and qualifications:
Whirlpool prides itself on hiring top-notch
leaders with the necessary attributes and qualifications to achieve
greatness. In this position, we are looking for a leader that possesses
strong character and integrity, as well as confidence in their actions and
decisions that will ultimately drive vital business decisions. The leader
must have the ability to communicate strategies and solutions to colleagues
and customers to achieve financial goals. With these attributes and
practices, we believe that the leader will successfully provide
extraordinary results and consistently drive change that will be key factors
in Whirlpool's future successes.
Note: from e-Recruiting ()
Resume Key Words: examples
Spearheaded account development programs throughout emerging markets
Profitably directed account management
programs for key customers nationwide including Pepsi, Rolex, and Time
Created innovative account retention programs to protect key
customers against competition.
Instituted a formal brand management process to accelerate revenue
growth within the company's core product line.
Launched new business development initiatives throughout emerging
Latin American markets.
Directed copywriting, graphics, and multimedia
production personnel to create an integrated
Managed 6-person cross-functional marketing
team responsible for
and trend modeling within the mature hardlines market.
Favorably positioned negotiations to win
competitive contract award
against three major automotive manufacturers.
Competitive Market Intelligence:
Compiled historical data, forecasts, and projections for a comprehensive
competitive market intelligence study.
Competitive Product Positioning:
Realigned sales and distribution channels to enhance competitive product
positioning and accelerate revenue performance.
Deployed IBM's first-ever
and account management programs
focusing on customer needs assessment, technology delivery, and
long-term customer training/support.
Initiated pioneering programs in customer loyalty to halt
analyses to develop
a comprehensive customer needs
and retention program.
Improved customer retention ratings by 26%
through the introduction of sales
incentives, premiums, and targeted promotions.
Increased customer satisfaction ratings with the implementation of
account management and retention strategies.
Managed a fully integrated customer service function
comprised of personnel from Sales, Marketing, Order Fulfillment,
Distribution, and Customer Training/Support.
Direct Mail Marketing:
Orchestrated copywriting, design, and print production of a 20,000-piece
direct mail marketing campaign to support new product launch.
Direct Response Marketing:
Deployed multimedia advertising and promotions to create a high-impact
direct response campaign with better than 72% customer response.
Managed a 65-person
direct sales organization throughout
Recruited, trained, and directed worldwide distributor management
programs to augment direct sales team.
Pioneered Lionel's entry into
e-commerce, and e-trade, and delivered
first year sales of more than $2.5 million.
Researched global sales trends and identified the top performing emerging
markets worldwide as the first step
in new product placement and positioning.
Field Sales Management:
Promoted to field sales management
position responsible for 22 direct sales associates and a 65-person North
American distribution network.
Reengineered core business processes to enhance the order
fulfillment and distribution process.
Introduced new product technology to launch Zenith
into key global markets.
Built and managed American Airlines's most profitable global sales
Headquarters Account Management:
Assigned full P&L responsibility for headquarters account management
of the Marriott business relationship.
Created multimedia, high-impact presentations to win a $5 million,
5-year customer contract.
Devised unique incentive planning program that drove individual sales
performance by better than 10% in 1996.
Created indirect sales channels throughout the Mid-Atlantic,
integrating the talents and resources of VARs, resellers, and other
Exploded international sales revenues with launch throughout Eastern
Led AMAX's international trade, barter, and import/export programs.
Innovated a unique
key account management
program targeted to the company's 10 largest multinational clients
within North America.
Facilitated core product
in response to changing consumer market demands.
Streamlined field sales programs and consolidated
functions, resulting in a 16%
on all major product lines.
market launch of six new products in 1996, delivering total revenues of more
than $2.8 million (125% of quota).
Evaluated competitive activity and defined new corporate strategy for
market positioning and revenue growth.
Formalized Hill Brothers' market research function with the
introduction of real-time data access to competitive trends, products,
technologies, and markets.
Market Share Ratings:
Created a unique customer premium program and improved market share
ratings by 16% in FY96.
Developed a portfolio of market surveys, customer
questionnaires, and consumer buying
observational tools to define long-term product positioning.
Conceived the marketing strategy that drove
Procter & Gamble to its most profitable
year within the consumer goods and HBA industries.
Challenged to identify and capitalize upon sales opportunities
within emerging mass merchants market.
Expanded sales penetration through
development of multi-channel
distribution programs in
South Africa, and the Pacific Rim.
Led a multi-channel sales organization integrating direct,
distributor, and VAR sales teams.
Launched Discovery's multimedia advertising
program (e.g., print,
broadcast, cable, Internet) in cooperation with one of New York's
most prestigious advertising agencies.
Multimedia Marketing Communications:
Integrated print, broadcast, cable, and
Internet technologies to create high-impact, high-yield,
marketing communications targeted to customers
Integrated the resources, products, and
technologies of all of Microsoft's
customer sales divisions to create a fully integrated national
account management organization.
for the successful award
of a $6.2 million federal contract.
Hand-selected by CEO to spearhead Marriott's new market development
program as the first step in a 10-year global expansion plan.
Led the development and market launch of
all new product introduction programs for Mazda, exceeding revenue
goals by 22% and
strengthening the company's long-term market position.
Spearheaded new product development
programs, from concept
through design, prototyping, and testing, to final
Led six new product launch campaigns within the
emerging Eastern European
markets, with one product generating $2.6
million in first year revenues (167% of quota).
Directed "cradle-to-grave" product lifecycle management
programs in cooperation with Engineering, Marketing, Sales, and
Revitalized Sperry's product line rationalization
program, divested two non-performing lines, and redeployed assets to focus
on long-term growth markets.
competitive market trends and implemented product positioning
strategies to ensure long-term and sustainable growth.
Profit & Loss (P&L)
Held full P&L management
responsibility for the
company's core product line and all line extensions.
Reengineered field sales and distribution organizations
downsizing and delivered a 16% gain in
developed, and launched multimedia
that dominated the regional market.
Created Martin Marietta's corporate
produced an average of 10 press releases per month for the
Wall Street Journal
Traveled worldwide to lead public speaking engagements on behalf of
the corporation during its transition from private to public ownership.
Exploded market penetration and drove a 46% gain in revenue growth
within first six months.
Created new revenue stream with the introduction of products
throughout the Far Eastern market.
negotiations and favorably positioned
sales dosing against competition.
Spearheaded the entire sales cycle management process, from initial
client consultation and needs assessment
demonstration, price and service negotiations, and final
Introduced real-time data exchange between global sales offices to expedite
Devised winning sales presentations utilizing multimedia
demonstration techniques to consistently outperform competition.
Created a 6-month intensive
basic selling skills,
competitive negotiations, and customer development/retention.
solutions selling strategies to enhance revenue performance of
field sales organization.
Facilitated annual strategic market planning
sessions in cooperation with top-level executives, sales and marketing
managers, product line managers, manufacturing director, and other
key management staff.
Translated marketing strategy into tactical market plans to
accelerate growth throughout North America.
programs as the platform for merging the competencies of several
distinct product lines and business units.
Devised innovative research and statistical methods to
strengthen trend analysis, market analysis, and competitive analysis
Contact alumni. Working with alumni is the
key for MBAs trying to get in a company. Alumni can provide advice, help
you learn more about the career path, and perhaps provide contacts for you.
Alumni can also give you in-depth insight into the types of projects
performed in the company during internships or when you start full-time, so
you can make your cover letter, pitch, and other interview answers more
relevant. You can use Alumni Connection resources through MBA CSC.
Always apply Online to any company where
you want to work. At the very least when they meet you in some other venue
(career fair, campus presentation, referral from an alumnus) they will be
able to find you in their system and begin to process you as an applicant.
At times, however, being registered online may spark an interview,
especially if MSU is one of their target schools or they recruit mainly
through their website.
Check eRecruiting for notes on specific
employers. There you may find insights we have collected from past
candidates. If companies have a limited window to apply, that may be noted
Be VERY passionate about MARKETING! Know
why you want to work in marketing and what you want to do.
Research, Research, Research! Research
industry in which you are interested, company where you would like to work,
and position to which you are applying. Many candidates have lost out
because they didn’t understand how the company and company’s marketing was
Technical Interview Questions
Technical interviews test your knowledge of marketing.
Below is a list of questions MSU MBA candidates have been asked in recent
years. Some of these questions are about your professional experience in
marketing. Others are more like miniature situations or cases that happen
in the marketing world.
New product launch
1. The head of Marketing at XYZ company stops by
your office on Monday and says that his kids were really excited about the
beets at a weekend picnic. He wants to know if XYZ company should enter the
beets market. How would you approach answering this question?
2. R&D comes up with a new formula to revitalize
your product. What questions would you ask to evaluate this improvement?
What are the pros and cons of licensing another brand’s trademark vs.
launching a new product independently?
If it's your first day on the job, and you have a list of new product
launches, what questions would you ask?
You are the brand manager for a product whose sales have been flat
for the last five years. However, the brand’s market share has been growing
by 5% every year for the last five years. What is happening to the brand?
What would you do about this trend?
You are currently the brand manager on A.1. Steak Sauce and a
competitor recently added a taste superiority claim on their label. What do
you do in response?
How do you determine how many gas stations there are in the USA?
(this type of question is very similar to questions asked by the consulting
You are charged with marketing a cookie in the USA that has been very
successful in the United Kingdom. What things should you consider in brining
the product to the market in the US?
You are assigned to a brand that declined by 50 percent last year.
Your manager gives you two weeks to analyze the problem. What type of
information would you collect?
If you were brand manager on PING-PONG balls and the US government
suddenly banned the game of PING-PONG, what five alternative uses for
PING-PONG balls could you come up with?
Tell me one of your greatest ideas for a new product and why I should
How would you lure a customer away from a brand they are totally
Give me an example of an advertisement you thought was really
effective and why?
Tell me a brand that you think needs to be repositioned and why?
If you were a brand, what brand would you be?
If you were to design a print ad, what would it look like?
What are the two most creative ideas that you have generated in the
last two years?
Tell me about a brand that you think is an example of good marketing.
Others do not always react positively to our efforts. Describe a
situation in which you spend a lot of time developing something to meet a
customer’s needs, and your efforts received an unfavorable response. What
did you do with the feedback? What would you have done differently?
1. What if you had an opportunity to run the
concession stands at the next Super Bowl. What would you do (without any
limits) to maximize your sales/profits?
A brand is very powerful in a specific product category of the
supermarket. How do you determine whether to leverage the brand in another
category? (for example, Should Snackwell’s enter the pudding market?)
If you are the #2 brand of dog food, and the #1 brand increases
prices 8% what would you do?
What is your favorite CPG company/brand? Tell me why? What would you
do to double its sales?
Tell me about a time you had to be particularly persuasive in
presenting an idea and used your skill to influence others to accept it.
What are some of the best ideas you have presented, and were accepted
by your team or manager? What was your approach?
What steps do you take in preparing for a meeting where you are
attempting to persuade someone on a specific course of action?