If you thrive on creativity, enjoy networking and working in a team environment, and have the ability and initiative to anticipate customer needs and solve problems, consider a career in business and marketing. This is an exciting area that is always changing, providing you opportunities for lifelong learning and advancement.
Marketing in the seed industry can be narrowly defined as advertising and promotion however it can also include customer service, public relations, agronomy, product management and technical services. Marketing managers have overall responsibility for the marketing function, supporting the growth of sales and market share, developing a positive company image and managing people and budgets. Advertising and promotion functions create and develop sales and technical materials to support sales efforts including print, radio, or TV advertising, brochures, websites and special events.
The field of public relations involves managing all types of proactive and reactive information flow that supports the growth and image of the company, products and services. The ultimate goal of anyone involved in sales is to add value to your customer’s operation. You need to understand your product, including its limitations and unique abilities.
As a sales manager or sales representative, customers will rely on your broad base of knowledge to make specific product recommendations to help them succeed. This includes guidance on planting and harvest techniques and timelines; fertility and weed control measures; and market opportunities for the resulting crop.
A role as a product manager or sales agronomist allows you to bridge the research and the sales/marketing function by providing strong technical and agronomic information to all types of customers. Many agronomists and technical representatives move between sales, marketing and more technical functions.
Other career opportunities in the business area include legal affairs, manager of intellectual property, technology licensing, finance, human resources and information technology. Legal affairs is an emerging career area as the seed industry becomes more focused on legal aspects of seed and agriculture in Canada and in growing global markets. Intellectual property rights on new seed technology are also key to the seed industry and offer additional career opportunities.
To enter a career in business and marketing, there are several educational streams that will support your direction at both college and university including:
- Plant Science, Biology and Agronomy – recommended courses include crop physiology, agronomy (soils, cropping systems, weed science, plant genetics), agriculture economics and environmental biology
- Business Education – recommended courses include basic business, agricultural business, business management, accounting, marketing, languages (French/English) and public speaking
- Marketing and Communications
Careers in Business and Marketing include:
- Sales Manager
- Sales Representative
- Marketing Communications
- Product Manager
- Public Relations
- Legal Affairs
- Manager of Intellectual Property
- Technology Licensing
- Human Resources
- Information Technology