Thousands of companies design and manufacture clothing. Establishing a strong brand in the fashion industry can mean the difference between selling a handful of pieces or selling thousands. Marketing managers in the fashion industry work to raise awareness of their companies’ clothes and create demand for them while also making retailers knowledgeable about their lines to help spur sales.
Because of the importance of marketing strategies in any corporation, marketing managers typically receive large salaries, and the apparel industry is no exception. Marketing managers earn a median annual salary of $92,520 annually as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Half of all members of marketing staff employed in the apparel manufacturing industry earn salaries between $66,390 and $132,950. The top-earning 10 percent in the industry receive salaries higher than those tracked by the BLS, and are at least $166,400 or more.
Comparison to All Marketing Managers
While marketing personnel who work for the apparel industry earn high salaries, they’re lower than those in similar roles in other industries. Nationwide, marketing managers earn a median annual salary of $110,310 as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That salary is 19 percent higher than wages typical for a marketer employed in the apparel manufacturing industry. Marketing agents who work for financial firms, the industry with the highest salary, earn median wages of $153,150, or 166 percent higher than the salaries in the apparel manufacturing industry.
Many colleges offer fashion marketing programs to prepare students for entry into the apparel marketing world. These bachelor’s degrees introduce students to marketing concepts such as brand management, market research, advertising buying and development cycles, coupling them with industry-specific skills such as industry-based marketing, recognizing fashion trends and visual marketing, according to Education Portal.
Competition for marketing manager jobs in the apparel industry is fierce. Nationwide, only 280 people are employed in the industry as marketing managers as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Standards. Because of this, many graduates from fashion marketing programs find employment in different segments of the industry, becoming a merchandiser for a company, a store manager or a personal stylist. Additionally, many graduates may work with boutique marketing firms that specialize in apparel manufacturing and work on a contract basis for several clients.