Last Updated: December 9, 2020
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The process of becoming a leading expert doesn’t happen overnight. Cementing yourself as a pioneering research leader in the marketing field takes years of education, hard work, and participation in groundbreaking research.
Earning a doctorate in marketing is the first step to becoming a top professional in a fast-paced and ever-changing field. Even if you’ve honed your skills through years of professional practice, a Ph.D program exposes you to a greater range of data analysis and interpretation techniques.
These research skills, coupled with teaching techniques imparted by the best academia has to offer, helps you reach your full potential as a private researcher or professor.
What will I learn in a PhD marketing program?
Because the field of marketing is so broad, Ph.D students have countless options when choosing between specializations. Some students may choose to focus on behavioral science and customer choices in their courses, while others will center on mathematical modeling and data analysis.
No matter your specialization, your Ph.D program will expand your understanding of marketing techniques and theories, research abilities, and skills as an instructor. Doctoral-level courses in marketing will introduce you to advanced concepts in research methodology, statistics, and the psychology of marketing. Some typical classes include:
Behavioral Marketing Seminar
This seminar covers the increasingly important field of behavioral marketing. Students will learn how to compile data with several different technologies, allowing them to tackle statistical problems that arise when tracking consumer behavior.
Salaries for Marketing PhD Grads
- Top 10 percent of Market Research Analysts average $111,440
- New hires with a marketing doctorate were paid on average $114,100
- Associate marketing professor salaries averaged $114,500
- Professors in marketing earned an average of $146,500
Source: 2010-2011 AACSB Salary Survey Report, BLS
This course provides an overview of the marketing field and focuses on in-depth modeling. Students will study quantitative models in marketing literature, and develop the skills needed to analyze and evaluate current models.
Ph.D students heavily focus on issues that relate to research design, measurement and scaling, and data collection. Students will learn a variety of research approaches that allow them to develop their own personalized methods and techniques.
As technology has progressed, marketers have gained new and more advanced methods of tracking consumer data. This course emphasizes computer approaches to multivariate statistical analysis, providing students with statistical techniques including data reduction, classification, and hypothesis testing.
As you complete courses, you will also assist professors with their research. In your program, you’ll be assigned a different professor every semester, ensuring that you’ll gain a wide range of research experience. Toward the end of the program, you will lead collaborative research efforts with faculty members or other doctoral students you’ve met in your studies.
Because a large portion of your career will center on research, participating in projects with these faculty members will ensure you have the experience you need to tackle your own projects in the future. Through rigorous training and practice, you’ll expertly navigate the scientific process as you define concrete research questions and develop plans to answer those questions.
As you build relationships with your professors through research collaboration, you’ll also assist them in the classroom as part of your student teaching requirement. Most programs require students to become teaching assistants for one or two semesters, before ultimately co-teaching a college-level course in their final year.
Student teaching exposes you to the classroom environment from a leader’s point of view. Through first-hand experiences, you will learn how to organize courses, develop your own teaching style, and effectively assist students.
What can I do with a PhD in marketing?
Whether you’re motivated by love or money, a doctoral degree in marketing will open up a world of career possibilities. Although Ph.D programs represent a huge investment in time and money, your dedication will pay off as you choose between several different career paths.
Organizations Hiring PhD Grads
- Teaching Universities – Faculty members typically teach four courses per semester. Your performance is evaluated as a professor based on your teaching methods, your ability to serve students, and how you design courses.
- Research Universities – Faculty members are devoted to research activities. Your performance is evaluated as an academic researcher based on your quality of research, your productivity, and the quality of research articles you publish.
- Private Research Institutions – Professionals are required to monitor, research, and analyze market trends. Your performance is evaluated by the policies you formulate, the research you produce, and the measures you take to improve profitability.
Many Ph.D holders remain in academia, choosing to become marketing professors. As such, you will be responsible for preparing the next generation of marketers; those who will have careers in marketing or partake in the doctoral process themselves. It’s a rewarding opportunity for those who feel passionate about marketing and sharing their mastery with others.
If you’d rather focus on highly-advanced market research and survey analysis, a Ph.D also prepares you for a research career in nonprofit businesses, government agencies, and the private sector. Positions in these industries have less flexibility in what your research entails, but generally pay higher wages than an academic job.
As a top-level marketing researcher, you’ll satisfy your natural curiosity of any marketing topic, including target demographics, social influence, and consumer behavior. As you perform and publish research, you’ll influence the actions of other researchers, marketers, consumers, and policy makers, advancing the field of marketing as a whole.
For example, if you’ve always felt curious about technology and society, you might explore technology’s effect on customer service satisfaction. Then, you might spend the next year researching the subject and publishing your results in an academic journal.
Practicing as a professor or private researcher also allows you to present your published work at conferences and exhibits, and receive awards. Special awards are given to extraordinary leaders who provide influential work, and contribute significantly to the marketing field.