Marketers try to identify gaps in the marketplace that represent consumers' unfulfilled needs and wants. Then, marketers develop products to satisfy those needs and wants and make those products available when, where, how, and at a price consumers are willing to pay. Marketing activities create value. Value is defined by consumers and is the worth added to products through marketing activities designed to satisfy, and thus build, customer loyalty so they will make many repeat purchases.

Almost a third of all Americans are employed in marketing-related positions. Thus, the number of possible marketing careers is enormous. Because of the knowledge of products and consumers gained in these jobs, marketing provides excellent training for the highest levels in the organization. A recent study by a recruiting firm found that more top executives have come out of marketing than of any other area.

Marketing salaries vary by company and position. Beginning salaries usually rank only slightly below those for engineering and chemistry, but equal or exceed those for economics, finance, accounting, general business, and the liberal arts. If you succeed in an entry-level marketing position, you will quickly be promoted to higher levels of responsibility and salary.

Marketing has become an attractive career for some people who have not traditionally considered this field. One trend is the growing number of women entering marketing. Women have historically been employed in the retailing and advertising areas of marketing. But they now have moved into all types of sales and marketing positions. Women now pursue successful sales careers in pharmaceutical companies, publishing companies, banks, consumer products companies, and in an increasing number of industrial selling jobs. Their ranks are also growing in product and brand manager positions.

Another trend is the growing acceptance of marketing by nonprofit organizations. Colleges, arts organization, libraries, and hospitals are increasingly applying marketing to their programs. They are beginning to hire marketing directors and marketing vice-presidents to manage their varied marketing activities.