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How Do I Become a Market Development Manager?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson

Marketing development managers are professionals responsible for increasing an organization's profitability by developing relationships with clients, retailers, and distributors. Professionals in this field tend to be highly knowledgeable about products or services they sell and usually have a deep understanding of markets with which they work, such as certain geographic areas or target demographics based on factors such as income bracket and age group. Individuals who act as market development managers commonly are responsible for developing new relationships with parties and for meeting the needs of priority clients an organization already has acquired.

To become a market development manager, it is normally essential to have an undergraduate degree in a field such as marketing or sales. In some instances market development managers also have graduate degrees. It is also common for a person who would like to become a market development manager to have years of experience in a related industry developing a network of contacts that enables him or her to learn about new trends and concerns.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

To become a market development manager, it is essential to have a good understanding of products you sell or services you provide. For some people, this is knowledge that must be learned through experience. A good market development manager in the clothing industry, for instance, might learn most about his or her products by getting field experience as a salesperson. An individual who would like to become a market development manager in a field such as medical equipment, software, or pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, can benefit greatly from taking courses in related disciplines.

In most cases, a person who wants to become a market development manager begins in a sales position. He or she might begin with only a few accounts, though as this individual develops a stronger sales record, he or she can apply for promotions. A sales professional can earn higher level positions in which he or she is responsible for greater portfolios, which eventually might include high profile clients on which an organization bases much of its planning. A high level sales professional in the financial software industry, for instance, might work with clients, such as major investment firms and banks, that spend a lot of money each year on these products.

As a person who would like to become a market development manager makes more contacts and earns the trust of his or her colleagues, it is common for him or her also to gain a better perspective on the activities of competitor organizations. This is important since many organizations base their marketing techniques on competitor behaviors. A market development manager should learn which aspects about competitors are attractive to clients and potential clients and use strategic thinking and problem solving skills to determine how his or her organization can overcome competition.

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