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

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

A marketing specialist and marketing manager are both important roles within a company’s marketing department. Though these positions share some similarities, there are several key differences between them. In this article, we discuss the differences between a marketing specialist and marketing manager, and we provide additional marketing professions you may be interested in pursuing.

What is a Marketing Specialist?

Marketing Specialists are responsible for planning, executing and monitoring marketing campaigns for their company or client. They often work with a team of marketing professionals to develop strategies and create content that will generate interest and drive sales. Marketing Specialists use market research to identify trends and target audiences. They also track metrics to gauge the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and make necessary adjustments. In some cases, Marketing Specialists may also be responsible for managing budgets and overseeing vendors.

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 and implement marketing plans that align with the company’s goals and objectives. Marketing Managers also track industry trends and analyze customer behavior to identify new marketing opportunities. They develop budgets and track progress to ensure that marketing campaigns are on track and within budget. Marketing Managers also often write and edit marketing materials, such as press releases, website content, and brochures.

Marketing Specialist vs. Marketing Manager

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

Job Duties

Marketing specialists carry out the day-to-day marketing activities for a company. They may create advertisements, plan campaigns and events, research consumer behavior and demographics and develop marketing strategies. Marketing managers oversee all aspects of the marketing department, providing direction and guidance while marketing specialists execute their plans.

Marketing specialists often have more specific duties related to creating marketing materials. For example, a marketing specialist who works in advertising might be responsible for designing brochures, posters or other promotional materials. A marketing specialist who manages social media might oversee the creation and maintenance of an organization’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts. Marketing managers typically have broader responsibilities, such as overseeing campaign budgets, scheduling campaign launch dates or approving marketing collateral before it goes to print.

Job Requirements

The job requirements for marketing specialists and marketing managers vary depending on the company they work for and the products or services they are marketing. However, most marketing specialists need at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing, advertising, business administration or a related field. Additionally, many companies prefer candidates who have experience working in marketing or a related field. Marketing managers often need a master’s degree in business administration or a related field, as well as several years of experience working in marketing. Some companies also require marketing managers to have a certification from the American Marketing Association (AMA).

Work Environment

Marketing specialists and marketing managers typically work in different environments. Marketing specialists usually work in an office setting, where they can collaborate with other professionals to develop strategies for their clients. They may also travel to visit clients or attend conferences related to their industry.

Marketing managers often work in a similar environment as marketing specialists, but they may spend more time in the field than their counterparts. This means that marketing managers may spend more time traveling to meet with clients or attending events.


There are several similarities in the skills used by marketing specialists and marketing managers. Both roles require excellent communication skills, as they need to be able to explain their ideas clearly to colleagues, clients and customers. They also both need strong organizational skills to keep track of deadlines, campaigns and projects. Additionally, both roles benefit from having creative problem-solving skills to develop innovative solutions to challenges that arise in their work.

Marketing specialists tend to use more specific skills related to their area of focus, whether that is digital marketing, public relations or advertising. For example, a digital marketing specialist may need to have web design skills to create landing pages or email campaigns, while a public relations specialist may need to be skilled in media relations to pitch stories to reporters.

Marketing managers generally need to have a broad understanding of all aspects of marketing, as they are responsible for overseeing marketing campaigns and initiatives. They may also need to provide guidance and support to marketing specialists on various projects. As such, marketing managers typically benefit from having strong leadership skills.


Marketing specialists earn an average salary of $64,195 per year, while marketing managers earn an average salary of $79,797 per year. The average salary for both positions may vary depending on the size of the company, the location of the job and the level of experience the employee has prior to taking the job.


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