Marketing and Communications Specialist

Marketing and communications or specialists or strategists, develop marketing and communication strategies and implementation plans and advise executives on the implications of their policies, programmes and practices.

They act as a link between any company and its stakeholders e.g. customers. A marketing and communications specialist deals with all promotional aspects of the company for which they work and liaise with media and communication agencies and companies to portray the correct image. They are responsible for adhering to budgets and enhancing and promoting the company’s image, products and services effectively.

They need to collaborate with clients and partners .to develop successful communication strategies and plans, follow industry and financial trends in assessing the impact of communication plans, and make sure that projects follow guidelines and are delivered on time and within budget.

Marketing and communications specialists manage and coordinate creative departments to develop creative ideas, tools and campaigns. They also assist with the development of presentations and company information for print and electronic media and the generation of new ways of ensuring that their stakeholders are aware of their brand and use their products and services.

They draft promotional content for employees in organisations, radio, newspapers, magazines websites etc and ensure that communication campaigns are in line with the company’s or their client’s brand.

Other tasks are to produce statistics write and present regular, supervise and assess the success of marketing and communication campaigns and report back on these to management regularly.

Marketing and communications specialists work from their own offices within marketing, advertising and communication agencies, companies and some run their own consultancies. They are involved in a great deal of management and teamwork, often in boardrooms but will also need to travel extensively, maintaining contact between clients and suppliers, e.g. media houses, advertising agencies and print companies.

Personal Requirements

  • good communicator, with excellent written, presentation and oral communication skills
  • strong leadership skills
  • be able to motivate and influence others
  • be able to think creatively and strategically
  • be able to work in a changing environment
  • have a high level of integrity and honesty
  • have excellent judgement
  • good interpersonal skills
  • high degree of responsibility and capability
  • able to command respect from colleagues and subordinates
  • able to plan to effectively manage time and budgets

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

Degree: any Marketing or Communication degree - UCT, Monash, UJ, UNISA, NMMU, NWU, UP, IMM. Business Economics or BA Communication Science, BA Human and Social Studies degree - most universities. A course in Market Research is offered at UNISA.

Postgraduate: Most universities e.g. UNISA, Wits, UP, UFS, UJ, NMMU, IMM offer postgraduate courses in Management

Diploma: N.Dip or BTech Marketing / Sales Management – all universities of technology plus many universities, e.g. UNISA

Most TVET colleges offer courses in marketing, e.g. Port Elizabeth, Northlink, Vuselela, Flavius Mareka, Boland, Umgungundlovu.

The Institute of Marketing Management (IMM) offers a three-year diploma course in Marketing.

The SA Institute of Management offers 1-, 2- and 3-year diploma courses which can be followed full-time, part-time or through correspondence study. These courses are offered by accredited private colleges nation-wide. After the first basic course, students can follow specialised training in Management (for example Financial Management or Human Resources Management). Prospective students have to register at the Institute.

Possible Career Paths

Marketing and Communication specialists have the possibility of progressing into senior management and executive roles within companies, heading up departments, or moving into a specialist role that you are passionate about e.g. brand management, internal communication or market research, forming part of a diverse team responsible for either the internal or external image management of a company. Other possible career paths include mentoring, lecturing and developing short courses for students at a college, university or business school. Marketing and Communication Specialists can also grow a start-up consultancy as an entrepreneur into a multi-client business. As a support function it is important to understand the business and sector you operate in and most marketing and communication specialists tend to develop this knowledge in one or two sectors and grow their careers from a junior role such as a Communications Officer into management.


  • advertising agencies
  • corporate companies
  • firms marketing consumer goods
  • manufacturing companies
  • government departments
  • specialist communication agencies
  • entrepreneurs or self-employed consultants, with the necessary experience, can operate on a freelance or contractual basis

Further Information

Institute of Marketing Management (IMM)
Atlas Studio
33 Frost Avenue
Braamfontein Werf,2193
Tel: (011) 628-2000

Programmes by Study Institutions

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