Marketing managers are ubiquitous in the professional world; they can be found across nearly every industry and in every size and type of company. Though their job descriptions and years of professional experience may differ, marketing managers serve as the bridge between a company and their audience. If a company has a product or service to sell, they need marketing managers to do it.
The job of a marketing manager is to plan and execute marketing strategies. This might include identifying a target audience for their company’s products or services and figuring out how to reach them. They may also develop plans to maximize the company’s profits or market share, monitor trends in the industry, and engage with consumers to figure out how to best build a brand voice and loyal following.
Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a marketing manager and what it takes to become one yourself.
Marketing Manager Job Duties
Marketing managers are responsible for a wide range of duties, including:
- Developing and executing marketing strategies and plans to promote products or services within an organization
- Creating an online presence for their business by developing and maintaining a website, designing social media accounts, and creating marketing materials such as brochures, ads, banners, and video content
- Designing sales promotions such as contests or sweepstakes to encourage shoppers to purchase a company’s products or services
- Developing strategies to generate new business through SEO (search engine optimization) or SEM (search engine marketing) techniques
- Meeting with clients to discuss product development and design changes in order to improve sales of existing products or introduce new products to the market
- Monitoring competitor activity in order to identify trends in the industry that may require changes in business strategy
- Motivating employees by holding meetings on new products or services being offered by competitors, so that everyone is aware of changes within the industry
- Monitoring employee performance through regular evaluations of work quality
- Recommending policies for employee hiring, training, discipline, termination, and compensation based on company culture guidelines
Marketing Manager Salary & Outlook
Marketing managers have a lot of responsibility, and it shows in their average salaries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, as of May 2020, the median annual wage for marketing managers is $133,460. The lowest 10% earn less than $68,940 per year, while the highest 10% earn more than $208,000 per year.
That job growth for marketing managers is projected to be 10% between 2020-2030. People are constantly looking for new ways to reach customers, and with the rise of digital media, they’re looking to the experts in the field to help them find it.
Marketing Manager Job Requirements
The requirements for marketing managers are as follows:
Education: Marketing managers must have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, economics or another related field. Many employers prefer an MBA or MS in marketing with experience in the field.
Training: Most marketing managers receive on-the-job training when they begin working with an organization. The organization will provide them with specific guidelines and processes to follow when developing their marketing strategies. This training allows the manager to become familiar with their company’s products and services, as well as learn how to develop effective strategies that will improve brand awareness and generate revenue.
Certifications & Licenses: Marketing managers are not required to hold any certifications or licenses, but some may choose to pursue them for additional knowledge of the field. Some of these certifications include Professional Certified Marketer (PCM), Project Management Professional (PMP) and PCM Marketing Management.
Marketing Manager Skills
To be a successful marketing manager, the following skills are needed:
Creativity skills: Marketing managers must be able to think outside the box to devise new ideas and concepts for product promotion and advertising campaigns. They must also be able to visualize the outcome of ideas before they are executed.
Leadership and management skills: Marketing managers need leadership skills including the ability to manage others, delegate tasks, resolve conflicts, and inspire trust in a team setting.
Communication skills: Marketing managers must possess excellent verbal and written communication skills as well as good interpersonal skills, so they can communicate effectively with clients, vendors, employees, and management.
Organizational skills: Strong organizational skills are necessary for marketing managers who must plan, coordinate, and manage multiple projects at once.
Time management skills: Marketing managers need good time management skills in order to realistically plan campaign milestones, and to ensure deadlines are met.
Market research skills: Marketing managers must have strong research abilities to identify customer needs and wants as well as new opportunities for growth.
Marketing Manager Work Environment
Marketing managers can work in different types of organizations including corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits. This job requires excellent interpersonal skills as marketing managers generally work with various departments, clients, executives, and a marketing team of staff. Social interaction at marketing events and promotions is generally also expected.
Although the job is usually office-based, marketing managers must be willing to travel to attend conferences or other business-related events when required. Some businesses will require more regular travel than others, depending on the nature of business. Marketing managers must be able to work under pressure, consistently meet timelines, and multi-task. They must be self-motivated, so they can work without supervision.
Marketing Manager Career Advancement
Once marketing managers have several years of proven experience under their belt, they could advance into a role as a director of marketing. This person is in charge of all marketing activities and reports directly to the CEO or CMO. The director is responsible for strategic planning, marketing analytics, and campaign development and execution.
One way to work towards advancing to a top-level marketing position is through continuing education. You can get an MBA or a Master’s Degree in Marketing. Most companies expect their candidates for the VP or CMO positions to have an advanced degree.
Marketing Manager Trends
Here are three trends influencing how marketing managers work. Marketing Managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.
Increased Value of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing has become increasingly important for business success, with digital advertising leading the way in terms of popularity.
Marketers are now looking to create customer loyalty through digital channels, which means that it is becoming more important than ever for managers to have strong skill sets in areas such as SEO and social media management.
Increased Importance of Data
In recent years, the amount of data that marketing professionals need to monitor has exploded as new forms of media and online networks have emerged.
This has led to a demand for marketing professionals who can effectively interpret and analyze large amounts of data in order to create actionable insights for their companies.
Furthermore, many businesses are moving towards an “evidence-based” approach to decision making, which means that it is increasingly important for marketers to provide tangible evidence for their recommendations and decisions—such as numbers about customer conversion rates or page views—to senior leadership within their organizations.
Transparency in Marketing
This trend has developed as a result of a lack of trust among consumers and customers, particularly as it relates to the advertising industry.
In recent years, customers have been hit with adblockers on their browsers and social media feeds filled with sponsored content from companies trying to sway public opinion.
In order to combat this trend, marketing professionals will need to develop new strategies that put an emphasis on transparency and honesty when it comes to advertising.
How to Become a Marketing Manager
1. Planning Your Career Path
If you’re interested in a career as a marketing manager, it’s important to think about the type of work environment that will suit you best. For example, if you prefer a relaxed atmosphere where your creativity is appreciated, consider working for a small company or startup.
If you thrive on being around people and interacting with them regularly, a large corporation may be a better fit for you. Regardless of the size of the organization, the core responsibilities of a marketing manager are similar: create strategies for marketing products or services to increase sales and revenue. Aspiring managers should tailor their education and experience accordingly.
A bachelor’s degree in business administration is common among marketing managers; however, those who have earned an advanced degree such as an MBA will likely have an easier time securing a job in this field. Internships and entry-level positions can also help develop relevant skills and gain valuable experience.
2. Writing a Resume
Job seekers looking to land a Marketing Manager position should focus on four key areas: education, work experience, skills and accomplishments, and the personal brand statement.
Education: If you’re applying for a management-level position, list your college degree and any relevant training programs or workshops you’ve completed. If you’re listing degrees, you should also list graduation dates so potential employers can see when you received your credentials.
Work Experience: Highlight both paid and unpaid work experience in this section. List the company name and the city and state where the business is located, as well as your title and responsibilities. Don’t just describe what you did — explain how it related to the overall success of the company and why you’re proud of what you accomplished there. If possible, try to quantify results wherever possible (i.e., increased sales by 20 percent in six months). Keep your work experience section to one page at most — longer resumes will be hard to read and might make potential employers lose interest.
Skills: In this section, include any certifications or licenses that directly relate to the job description. Also note relevant software packages that you’re familiar with, such as SAP or WordPress. The more specific you can be about your skills, the better — it shows that you know what a marketing manager does and that you have a solid understanding of how to use marketing software packages in particular ways.
Accomplishments: Don’t just list your duties here — detail how much value you brought to each position in terms of increasing sales or cutting costs by X amount over a specific period of time. Mention any achievements related to public relations campaigns or promotional events in this section.
Personal Brand Statement: This should be a short paragraph that details why potential employers should hire you for this job specifically. You want to show that hiring you will improve their bottom line by making their business more successful through whatever qualifications or skills that they listed in their job description. Explain why they need to hire someone like you for this position rather than someone else; let them know how specifically your background makes you uniquely qualified for this role.
3. Applying for Jobs
If you want to be a marketing manager, make sure you have a strong portfolio. Marketing managers often use social media to market their company, so make sure you have a strong social media presence and a blog. You can also check out career fairs and networking events in your area; there are often job openings for marketing managers at these events.
In addition to applying for jobs online, job seekers should get in touch with recruiters or staffing agencies in their area. Some recruiters have access to a wide range of jobs, so job seekers should take advantage of this opportunity. Also, consider reaching out to the Human Resources department at companies you’re interested in working for; they may be able to connect you with someone who can help you find a job.
4. Ace the Interview
For an interview as a marketing manager candidate, you will want to be prepared with specific examples of your experience in the field. Make sure you understand the company’s mission and goals, and how your work fits into that vision. It is also important to demonstrate that you are familiar with marketing trends, especially if they are related to the industry you will be working in.
During the interview, it is important to stay positive and enthusiastic about the job. Show that you are committed to making this position successful, and think about what your strengths are when answering questions. You should also be able to answer questions about how you would run certain marketing campaigns or initiatives. Be prepared to give details about how you would market products, reach out to customers, and engage with the community.