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Marketing Director vs. Marketing Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in marketing can be both exciting and rewarding. If you’re interested in this field, you may be wondering what the difference is between a marketing director and a marketing manager. Both of these positions are responsible for planning and executing marketing campaigns, but there are key distinctions between the two. In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between marketing directors and marketing managers, and we provide tips for pursuing a career in marketing.

What is a Marketing Director?

A Marketing Director is responsible for developing and overseeing marketing campaigns to promote a company’s products or services. They work with other members of the marketing team to create ad campaigns, develop marketing strategies and track results. Marketing Directors also often manage budgets and have a hand in developing pricing strategies. They work with sales teams to ensure that they are meeting quotas and may give presentations to potential clients. Marketing Directors typically have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business or a related field and several years of experience in the marketing field.

What is a Marketing Manager?

Marketing Managers develop and oversee marketing campaigns to promote products or services. They work with sales, public relations, and advertising managers to create a unified marketing strategy. They also develop pricing strategies to help increase sales and profits. Marketing Managers conduct market research to determine what products or services people want or need. They also develop promotional materials, such as brochures, catalogs, and coupons. Marketing Managers also develop and oversee advertising campaigns, such as television, radio, and print ads.

Marketing Director vs. Marketing Manager

Here are the main differences between a marketing director and a marketing manager.

Job Duties

Marketing directors oversee the entire marketing department, so their job duties depend on the size of their department and the needs of their company. Some typical job duties for a marketing director include creating a marketing strategy, managing budgets, overseeing campaign creation and management, hiring and training employees and maintaining relationships with clients.

Marketing managers have more daily responsibilities because they work closely with the teams creating specific marketing materials, like advertisements, brochures and website content. They may manage campaigns from start to finish, including creating briefs, assigning tasks to team members, reviewing completed work and approving final versions.

Job Requirements

Marketing directors and marketing managers typically need a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing or another related field. Some employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well, but it is not required for entry-level positions. Additionally, many marketing directors and marketing managers pursue certifications through the American Marketing Association (AMA) or the Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM). These organizations offer training programs that teach professionals how to use marketing software and other tools they might need on the job.

Work Environment

Marketing directors typically work in an office setting, but they may also travel to meet with clients and attend conferences. They spend most of their time working on projects that can take a lot of time to complete. Marketing managers usually work in an office environment as well, but they may also visit clients or attend trade shows. Their daily tasks are often more routine than those of marketing directors, so they have more predictable schedules.


The skills required for a marketing director and marketing manager are quite similar, as both roles involve overseeing marketing campaigns and initiatives. However, there are some key differences in the skills that each role requires.

A marketing director typically needs to have excellent strategic planning skills to develop long-term marketing plans that achieve business goals. They also need to be able to think creatively to develop new marketing ideas and concepts. Communication skills are also important for a marketing director, as they often need to present their plans to upper management or clients.

A marketing manager does not necessarily need to have the same level of strategic planning skills as a marketing director, as their focus is more on executing marketing plans rather than developing them. However, they still need to be able to think creatively to come up with new ideas for marketing campaigns. They also need to have strong project management skills to ensure that marketing initiatives are completed on time and within budget. Excellent communication skills are also essential for a marketing manager, as they often need to coordinate with different teams within an organization to implement marketing plans.


Marketing directors can earn an average salary of $102,564 per year, while marketing managers can earn an average salary of $79,797 per year. Both of these average salaries may vary depending on the size of the company at which you work, location of your job and the level of experience you have prior to pursuing either position.


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