The Best Firms For A Marketing Career


Which are the companies best suited for a fresh MBA graduate looking to make a good career in marketing? Which one would provide the training and development opportunities?

Kimberly A. Whitler, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business found that there was hardly any such data available. So she got in touch with Christine DeYoung, Partner at DHR International, an executive search, management assessment and succession planning company to conduct a survey.

The objective of the survey among executive recruiters was to identify top companies for MBA graduates specialising in the Marketing sector. The executive recruiters, having the experience of placing a significant number of C-level marketers, possessed the right perspective.

Whitler says she chose executive recruiters for identifying and ranking the best firms over other methods for the understanding they develop about how early career choices could provide a better or worse launching pad from which to establish a career. They also know what types of companies on a marketer’s resume are better or worse) brands.

The survey is based on executive recruiter responses who represent 19 different firms (including boutique, mid-sized, and large recruiting firms) and have placed over 2600 C-level marketing leaders.

The survey revealed that Procter & Gamble was the best firm to work for, followed by Pepsico, Unilever, Google, and AMEX.

DeYoung found companies that consistently groom top marketing talent have some common attributes like investing in their employees by way of training, exposure, and cross-functionally.

They invest heavily in strategic marketing because they believe in its power to drive results. The top marketing companies teach and expect their brand marketers to holistically drive the Profit & Loss Statement, which ultimately is what creates more capable, enterprise-wide leaders, she says.

According  to Robbert Rietbroek, Chief Executive and SVP of PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand, who has worked at three of the top firms across his career (PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever) says such exceptional companies are organized around brand management teams, with brand managers who operate as general managers of their brand franchises.

They work across functions to bring their strategy, innovation, and brand building programs to life. Brand teams receive a lot of training, as well as daily coaching.

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Given the competitiveness of the markets these teams operate in, they form excellent training grounds for strategy and plan development, as well as in-market execution. This provides the right set of experiences to develop leadership, strategic thinking, multifunctional collaboration, agility and personal accountability, he says.


Of the top firms, CPG firms (consumer packaged goods) figure prominent with 10 followed by retailers with 4. The firms range  from financial services (AMEX), healthcare (Johnson & Johnson), communications (Verizon), consulting (McKinsey), tech (Google and Facebook) to sporting goods (Nike)(Image Courtesy :

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