Favor for a Friend: moving from Web to MarCom jobs/roles?

I call on my fellow Dopers for help!

I have a close friend who works in California for a big tech company (call 'em BigCo; not sure if he wants me to share) – he has spent most of his time there in various Web Development areas, but doing a lot of activities that feel more like MarCom (Marketing Communications): e.g., design layouts, text creation, storyboarding for websites and other things, etc.

His current position is being phased out, but BigCo really likes him and is encouraging him to look for another internal job. In his searches on their internal postings, he keeps coming to the conclusion that he would prefer to embrace more of the MarCom role and move further away from web stuff.

The issue: he didn’t grow up in MarCom and doesn’t feel like he has a handle on the “language” and “landscape” of MarCom and design. In other words, within the MarCom world:

  • How do the roles typically break out and what are the names of those roles?
  • For each role, what are the typical responsibilities and skills required for those roles?

By getting more comfortable with the language, he feels he will be able to better recognize attractive roles from their postings and present himself more effectively during interviews. Obviously I am recommending that he network within BigCo to get the insider take on these questions, but do any of you Dopers have recommendations for him? Stuff like:

  • Websites or message boards for MarCom professionals?
  • General job sites where he can learn about MarCom type roles?
  • Books - anything from “MarCom for the Complete Idiot” to more detailed books?
  • Networking - best ways to? He is searching LinkedIn already and planning to set up some informational phone calls.

I think that is it for now - any help would be much appreciated!!


Well, I only know the design part of the MarCom things, but I’ll quote from AIGA since their definitions seem accurate to me:

Creative/design director
A creative director or design director is the creative head of a design firm, advertising agency or an in-house corporate design department. In all of these areas, key responsibilities can include the development of graphic design, advertising, communications and industrial design publications.

Art director
The art director establishes the conceptual and stylistic direction for design staff and orchestrates their work, as well as the work of production artists, photographers, illustrators, prepress technicians, printers and anyone else who is involved in the development of a project. The art director generally selects vendors and, if there isn’t a creative director on staff, has final creative authority.

Senior designer
The senior designer is responsible for conceptualization and design of solutions from concept to completion. In some firms, a senior designer directs the work of one or more junior designers who generate comps and create layouts and final art. In some cases, senior designers do not manage staff but are designated “senior” because of their authority in design decision-making.

A designer is responsible for conceptualization and design of graphic applications such as collateral material, environmental graphics, books and magazines, corporate identity, film titling and multimedia interfaces, from concept to completion.

Entry-level designer
An entry-level designer is one-to-two years out of school and requires mentoring in all aspects of design conception and implementation.

Web designer
A web designer determines and develops the look and feel for sites, and is responsible for site navigation design and visual execution.

A copywriter is able to write, edit and proof promotional or publicity copy for print or electronic publications. At higher levels, copywriters are often responsible for strategic and conceptual development of messages and stories.

Print production manager
The print production manager is responsible for managing the process (bids, scheduling, production and delivery) of producing publications, from concept through production, including photography, separations, 4-color press work and digital production. Print production managers are strong project managers, managing multiple jobs simultaneously. In some cases, proficiency in InDesign, QuarkXPress, Illustrator and Photoshop is desirable in this role.

Marketing manager, new business manager, director
A marketing or new business professional is responsible for seeking business opportunities, developing proposals and marketing the firm’s practices.

He can also use the salary calculator to get a range of salaries, though they tend to skew a bit high: http://www.designsalaries.org/calculator.asp

Cool - thanks! I will share this with him.