Career Options after Marketing

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lostinjersey
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:29 pm

Career Options after Marketing

Post by lostinjersey » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:36 pm

DH left a well paying job as a product manager in tech about 10 years ago to get an MBA, and then went into CPG brand management. He was under the impression that CPG was where the 'true, pure marketing' took place, and that he could put in 5-10 years, learn all he could, and then go to another industry that pays more. The reality is turning out to be much different, however. He has had several CPG brand management jobs, and although he likes the function of marketing, and the general management role, he finds CPG itself to be a terrible fit. DH is quick, thinks on his feet, hates to sit still, reads people and data well. He finds CPG to be slow, red-tape heavy, and hates sitting in a cubicle day after day staring at spreadsheets and decks. He's always in a declining category selling something that has no personal meaning, and he's desperately unhappy. He's also 43 and needs to decide what to do 'with the rest of his life'.

So, what to do? Does he suck it up and spend another 10-15 years as a CPG brand manager? And where do the old CPGers go? The funnel is very tight and he's worried about what happens after 55. You don't see many older folks in these companies. Or, does he transition to another industry/function? (this is what I think he should do) If so, what? I'd like him to find a job that uses his quick wit and people skills, something ancillary to marketing but not starting a whole 'nother career. He says Sales isn't for him and I don't know what else might be, so thought I'd ask the wise minds of the Bogleheads for suggestions.

TwoLeftFeet
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:28 am

Re: Career Options after Marketing

Post by TwoLeftFeet » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:47 pm

I've worked in marketing my whole career, including a stint in the CPG world. CPG experience is great because it gives you training in how marketing is classically done, and CPG sort of perfected the methods. That said, at least in my view, it is deadly boring after awhile because it is hard to get excited about what you are actually selling all day long.

If he stays in CPG, try to move to a new product/innovation area. That is a fun spot to be in and usually the only interesting area in these companies.

But, CPG marketing experience is great on a resume. I know people with it who have gone on to be marketers for colleges, non-profits, auto companies, really any place that markets to consumers. Ex CPG-ers go everywhere - find something he is passionate about and then get a marketing job in that space.

PartIrish
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Re: Career Options after Marketing

Post by PartIrish » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:58 pm

Has he thought about development work for universities? Colleges are always looking for people who can connect with alumni and their greater local communities to bring money back into the educational system. It requires a lot of contact with people, and an ability to convey the exciting things happening within the educational institution. In the alternative, non-profit development outside educational institutions may be another possibility. Both can be very satisfying careers if you believe in the educational institution or non-profit mission.

Isabelle77
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Re: Career Options after Marketing

Post by Isabelle77 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:54 pm

All the men I love are or have been in marketing. My husband is VP of marketing for a midsize athletic company. He primarily focuses on direct (TV) and digital marketing these days, its less traditional than old school brand marketing, faster, he has a few ex cpg people that work for him. My dad was a CPG brand manager with an Ivy League MBA, he went into general management and eventually became president of a large corporation.

My grandfather was an advertising executive. Has your husband thought about advertising? It's more volutile than traditional brand management but faster moving and different accounts mean you aren't buried in one product (usually).

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gunn_show
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Re: Career Options after Marketing

Post by gunn_show » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:16 pm

lostinjersey wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:36 pm
DH left a well paying job as a product manager in tech about 10 years ago to get an MBA...
Why.. doesn't he go back into tech? Plenty of marketing, PM, product guy, tech marketing, etc. roles in high tech industry. Guess it depends on where you live, but there are plenty of megacorps with hundreds of these roles around the US. Has he tried to apply to various roles and industries or has he sat in his cube and moped about it without looking?
"I love competition. And I want to win." R. Murdoch

lostinjersey
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:29 pm

Re: Career Options after Marketing

Post by lostinjersey » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:20 pm

gunn_show wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:16 pm
lostinjersey wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:36 pm
DH left a well paying job as a product manager in tech about 10 years ago to get an MBA...
Why.. doesn't he go back into tech? Plenty of marketing, PM, product guy, tech marketing, etc. roles in high tech industry. Guess it depends on where you live, but there are plenty of megacorps with hundreds of these roles around the US. Has he tried to apply to various roles and industries or has he sat in his cube and moped about it without looking?
Going back to tech was the original plan. We left the Bay Area a couple years ago and live in MN now. His brother is well connected in the tech world and doesn’t seem to think he can come back easily. But yes, it has been mostly moping and little real testing of the market.

lynneny
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Re: Career Options after Marketing

Post by lynneny » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:49 pm

I'd second the suggestion to either return to a tech company--Facebook and Google alone hire hundreds of people in marketing (although there's often a sales element to those jobs)--or look at an advertising agency. Ad agencies frequently hire from the client side, and it's a much faster-paced industry. But, age discrimination is probably worse than client side. You rarely see anyone over 50 at an ad agency unless he (and it's usually a he) is the CEO.

Are you willing to relocate? That might help too.

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