Job Profile: Marketing Executive

3 min read

Share this Article

Intensifying competition in the medical and pharmaceutical industry has made it more important than ever for healthcare organizations to build effective marketing campaigns. Healthcare providers must promote their products or services in a meaningful way that attracts consumers and generates a growing revenue stream. That's where marketing executives come in. As upper-level administrators, marketing executives collaborate with department heads to establish aggressive advertising plans that develop more loyal patient relationships. Healthcare marketing executives analyze market trends to estimate service demands and target the right consumer audience. Marketing campaigns can be delivered on television, radio, billboards, newspaper print, or magazines, but social media has a growing presence. It's the marketing executive's job to make consumers more aware of how the organization can help improve their health.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 184,490 marketing executives in the United States earn a mean annual wage of $137,400, or $66.06 per hour. In particular, marketing executives working in private, state, and local hospitals make an average $116,680 per year. Marketing executives employed by health insurance carriers earn significantly more annually at $136,340 on average.

Beginning Salary

When just being promoted to marketing executive, you'll likely land in the bottom 10th percentile with a yearly income around $65,980. However, experienced healthcare marketing executives in large medical facilities can eventually bring home over $171,390 yearly. Those rising to the title of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) attain a mean annual salary of $180,700.

Key Responsibilities

Marketing executives in healthcare have the primary responsibility of planning, directing, coordinating, and evaluating an organization's marketing strategies. Top executives oversee the internal marketing staff to ensure advertising initiatives are meeting targeted goals. Healthcare marketing executives will plan promotional campaigns and negotiate advertising contracts with various media outlets to build brand awareness. With help from market research, executives identify appropriate consumer markets and devise effective plans to reach them. Marketing executives foster relationships with physicians to improve their organization's referrals and contracts. Some marketing executives in healthcare will develop pricing tactics that maximize profitably while ensuring patients are still reimbursed and satisfied.

Necessary Skills

Being a healthcare marketing executive requires having exceptional leadership skills to supervise marketing, advertising, and PR staff in their assigned duties. Marketing executives must be skilled communicators with the interpersonal skills to discuss the promotional process with other executives. Decision-making skills are important for marketing executives to select the right campaign design that catches consumers' eyes. Having creative problem-solving skills is essential for healthcare marketing executives to generate innovative marketing ideas when sales slow. Marketing executives must possess the organizational skills to meet campaign deadlines and maximize budget funding. It's also important for marketing executives to be tech-savvy with good computer skills for today's digital marketing trends.

Degree and Education Requirements

Working your way up to marketing executive will require holding at least a bachelor's degree from a four-year, accredited business school. Most aspiring marketing executives declare a major in marketing, advertising, management, business, economics, or public relations. If possible, add a certificate in healthcare marketing for specialization. Take electives in market research, consumer behavior, sales, communications, business law, and technology for the best preparation. Many employers will prefer hiring executives with a master's degree. Marketing executives working in the medical industry benefit from a Master of Health Administration (MHA) or MBA in Healthcare. Attaining a Master of Science in Marketing would also qualify.

Pros and Cons of the Position

Like other healthcare jobs, becoming a marketing executive will have both upsides and downsides. On the positive side, marketing executives climb the proverbial ladder to lucrative, six-figure annual salaries. Marketing executives can select from diverse work settings, ranging from hospitals and nursing homes to pharmaceutical companies and health insurance carriers. The career is ideal for extroverted leaders who enjoy motivating, educating, and disciplining marketing staff under their supervision. Healthcare marketing executives are able to draw in patients and form loyal consumer relationships without spending time at the bedside. However, marketing executives often report high stress levels. Dealing with tight budgets, personnel changes, and legal regulations is a challenge. Pressure to improve sales can overshadow the lucrative perks of the job. Marketing executives must invest heavily in their education and gain years of experience. Competition for new job openings is fierce among marketing managers. Most healthcare marketing executives also spend a substantial amount of time traveling.

Getting Started

Developing an impressive resume with the right kinds of experience is key because becoming a marketing executive won't happen overnight. During your schooling, gain experience with an internship, co-operative, or administrative residency. Most marketing executives begin their careers as marketing assistants, sales representatives, purchasing agents, market research analysts, or PR specialists. Healthcare marketing executives typically must have at least five to eight years of experience for promotion. Earning an MHA or MBA can substitute a few years, but quality experience is still required. Acquiring professional certification could also help. The American Marketing Association (AMA) allows you to become a Professional Certified Marketer (PCM). Doing so requires having a bachelor's degree, two years of experience, and a passing score on the 150 multiple-choice PCM exam. You could also become a Certified Marketing Management Professional (CMMP) through the IIMP.

Future Outlook

New reimbursement methods under the Affordable Care Act have placed a greater emphasis on marketing healthcare products and services ahead of competitors. Marketing executives are in demand for helping medical delivery systems carry out effective media campaigns, especially digitally. There's a growing pressure for healthcare organizations to successfully market themselves to specific patients to increase their profits. According to the BLS, the employment of marketing executives will grow faster-than-average by 9 percent through 2024, thus creating around 18,200 jobs nationally. Competition will still be strong for coveted senior executive positions though. Marketing executives can find jobs in insurance carriers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical device sales, hospitals, clinics, outpatient care centers, public health agencies, and more. Overall, marketing executives play a crucial role in profit-pinched healthcare providers find cost-effective ways to draw in more business. Whether in the public or private sector, healthcare marketing executives make the important decisions that develop advertisements for positively shaping consumer behavior. The U.S. News and World Report ranked marketing executive as the #13 best paying job in America. If you work towards becoming a healthcare marketing executive, you'll have the reward of creating innovative campaigns that lead to organizational growth. Another excellent resource: 50 Most Innovative University Healthcare Administration Departments is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare Your School Options

View the most relevant schools for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to finding your college home.