Marketing responsibilities within an entertainment media company are usually divided between a local representative who serves one large city or metro area and a regional representative who oversees a larger area, such as the northeast United States. In either case, the function is essentially the same: to craft an effective marketing campaign that will drive product sales.
One task of a marketing representative is to deliver visual materials such as posters and product displays to record, DVD, and game stores. Another is to work with media outlets to set up contests and giveaways: The marketing rep will negotiate the terms, supply the prize materials (free CDs, DVDs, games, or other artist-related merchandise), and collaborate with the media company’s promotion department. This person will also coordinate with local businesses in their area to set up personal appearances by the band, film stars, or game creators, and work with the publicity department to arrange for interviews or on-air performances. Similarly, the marketing representative will work with his or her company’s advertising and new media departments to identify websites on which to promote contests.
The marketing representative will regularly visit stores to track sales, maintain visual displays, and ensure there’s enough product to meet demand. If sales are low, he or she will attempt to identify factors stalling sales, prepare a sales analysis for the marketing director, and develop a sales-boosting strategy. With those figures, the rep will contact radio stations, television networks, trade publications, and tip sheets that run ranking charts. The marketing department is also responsible for coordinating focus groups, surveys, and post-release analysis reports.
Skills & Education
A small record label, film studio, or game publisher may favor experience over a college degree, but it is typical for large companies to require a bachelor’s degree in marketing, advertising, or communications. Many schools also offer specific programs in entertainment business and merchandising. Strong salesmanship, communication, and creative problem-solving are necessary in this position. Courses in statistical analysis are also helpful. Internships and entry-level positions are a good start to pursuing a job in the marketing department.
What to Expect
Marketing reps do not keep regular hours, and extensive travel across the assigned territory is typical. You will constantly be visiting the same stores or radio stations to deploy a marketing strategy, then doubling back to follow up and maintain relationships and track sales. To succeed as a marketing representative, you must be goal-oriented and driven by the desire to generate high returns for your company. High sales are the best way to build a reputation. From this position, you can work your way up from a local role to regional representative and marketing director.
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