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Become a Database Marketing Specialist: Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a database marketing specialist. Learn about the job duties, and read the step-by-step process to start a career in database marketing. View article »

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Database Marketing Specialist

Database marketing specialists create and manage marketing campaigns. They analyze the success of previous marketing campaigns and develop new ones in hopes of improving their effectiveness. This can involve designing surveys, tracking campaign performance, and evaluating info taken from databases in order to develop and implement marketing strategies.

Market research analysts, the categorization under which database marketing specialists fall, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), usually work full-time schedules during normal business hours. Some overtime may be required to meet deadlines. Employment may be found within larger corporations or with marketing consulting firms that hire analysts out to companies on a contract basis. Much of analysts' time is spent on computers, deciphering and compiling data.

Career Requirements

High school graduates typically need a bachelor's degree in marketing research or a related field, business administration or communications to become a database marketing specialist. While certification isn't required, it is available through the Marketing Research Association. Key skills for database marketing specialists are analytical- and critical-thinking skills, strong attention to detail, communication skills, database and analytical software, consumer relationship management software, project management software, query and information retrieval software.

Now let's take a look at salary. In 2015, the median annual salary for market research analysts and marketing specialists was $62,150, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Steps to Getting Into This Career

What steps do you need to take to become a database marketing specialist?

Step 1: Earn an Undergraduate Degree

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), aspiring database marketing specialists, or market research analysts, usually need to earn at least a bachelor's degree. While many professionals in the marketing industry hold degrees in marketing or market research, a more appropriate degree might be a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing with a specialty track in database marketing. Additionally, some marketing degree programs offer minors in database marketing. Such programs may include coursework in marketing research and communications, sales analytics, media strategy and business-to-business marketing.

To get the most out of your degree, obtain computer skills. Database marketing specialists must be proficient in programming languages. In fact, job postings reveal that employers look for applicants skilled in specific languages, like SQL, HTML and Microsoft CRM. As such, aspiring database marketing specialists may want to take coursework in such topics.

Additionally, take advantage of internship opportunities. Some degree programs offer internship opportunities that provide valuable contacts and skills needed to succeed in a database marketing specialist career. The BLS reports that most marketing specialists gain hands-on experience serving as marketing research interns.

Step 2: Consider a Master's Degree

Some employers prefer database marketing specialists who hold master's degrees, and the BLS reports that master's degree holders may expect better chances of employment. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a marketing management specialization is ideal. The classes in these programs emphasize subjects like operations management, economics, accounting, financial data analysis and marketing management. Many MBA programs require students to complete a capstone project before graduating.

Step 3: Pursue Professional Certification

Voluntary certification for database marketing specialists and other marketing professionals is available through the Marketing Research Association. Individuals can pursue the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) by meeting experiential requirements of three or more years, having completed at least 12 industry-specific education hours in the past two years and passing an exam. Certification can display both professionalism and level of competence to prospective employers. Continuing education is required every two years for renewal. Additionally, some software vendors, such as Microsoft, offer certification programs for professionals interested in displaying knowledge in their products.

To recap, with an advanced education, voluntary certification and strong communication skills, database marketing specialists can earn $62,150 a year to create and manage marketing campaigns.

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