What Does a Marketing Manager Do?

Kelly Hernandez
A marketing manager preparing a flipchart with notes and figures to brief her team on a project.
Reading Time: 5 minutes

A marketing manager develops and executes marketing plans. In this career, your goals are to retain existing customers and clients while also reaching out and attracting new ones.

In the marketing field, you often measure your success in terms of market share, so as a marketing manager, you seek to increase your employer’s market share.

A marketing manager oversees all aspects of the marketing department. Your duties vary depending on the industry in which you work and the size of the company or organization.

Marketing managers are among the highest-paid marketing professionals. The career path of a marketing manager includes a college degree and, in some cases, graduate school and extensive professional experience.

Here is what you need to know if you are considering pursuing this lucrative but challenging job.

Marketing Manager Responsibilities

Marketing managers focus on overseeing marketing department operations and creating both short and long-term marketing plans.

  • Marketing managers analyze market research information and data to understand things such as consumer demand and predict sales growth.
  • In this position, you oversee marketing operations. Your duties can include managing team members, delegating tasks, hiring and training employees, and approving marketing materials produced by your team.
  • Marketing managers develop strategies and design the overall plan for each marketing campaign. Once a marketing campaign begins, you collect data and assess the performance of your plan. You are ultimately responsible for making adjustments to campaigns as needed.
  • You report to company executives and decision-makers. As a marketing manager, you report on the success of current marketing campaigns, share plans for the future, and provide executives with data and analysis that they can use to make decisions about marketing strategies.
  • You create reports that the company can use to guide future marketing efforts.
  • In many cases, a marketing manager sets benchmarks and goals for marketing campaigns and activities.
  • You either create or sign off on a budget for the marketing department. In addition to the overall budget, you work on budgets for each campaign that you oversee.
  • In many companies, a marketing manager acts as an advisor for senior executives. You make suggestions about marketing strategies and offer insights that can help these decision-makers with an overall plan for their company.
  • In a larger corporation, marketing managers may focus on a specific area, such as social media marketing. In this position, you oversee all social media marketing activities. However, you would not be responsible for other marketing efforts outside of your specialized area.

Apart from these general duties, marketing managers can have specific responsibilities depending on the industry in which they work.

  • Product marketing managers plan marketing campaigns related to product lines. They often design the overall product strategy of a company, define the customer base, and work with both internal and external partners to market products in a way that is consistent with the overall strategy.
  • Consumer marketing managers focus on ensuring that the business maintains a positive relationship with its customers and clients. They are often in charge of addressing customer complaints and measuring and increasing customer satisfaction.
  • Brand marketing managers are in charge of ensuring the company maintains a positive brand perception with existing customers and in its industry in general. They create strategies and marketing campaigns that enhance the company’s image, both online and offline.

Marketing Manager Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

, the median annual salary for marketing managers in May 2018 was $134,290. The highest-earning 10% of all marketing managers made more than $208,000. However, the lowest-earning 10% earned less than $69,840.

In this position, salary depends on the level of experience and industry in which the marketing manager works.

The most lucrative industry is the professional, scientific, and technical services industry. In these sectors, marketing managers earn an average salary of $143,100. On the other end of the earnings spectrum is the wholesale trade industry, where marketing managers earn a median salary of $126,000.

Marketing Manager Job Requirements

Marketing managers need a degree in a relevant subject and previous experience as a marketing professional.

You start on this career path by getting a job as an entry-level marketing professional. In most cases, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, advertising, communications, or a related field.

In a corporate setting or larger organizations, marketing management positions may require an advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on marketing. Some MBA programs may offer a specialization in marketing management.

Employers usually expect you to have relevant work experience, both as an entry-level marketing professional and as a lower-level manager. You can work as a marketing account manager, market research specialist, or in a similar position while you learn the skills needed for career advancement.

You can also gain experience through internships and summer jobs while at school. Internships aren’t required to get an entry-level job, but they can help you add practical experience to your resume before you actually get your first professional job.

In some cases, you can apply for a marketing manager position without a college degree, but you would need to have a significant amount of experience in marketing and leadership positions to be considered without a degree.

Marketing Manager Soft Skills

In addition to experience and education, marketing managers need soft skills to succeed in their job.

  • You need analytical skills to assess data and market research to inform your marketing plans.
  • Communication skills are vital for managing marketing employees and advising and reporting to executives.
  • You also have to have organizational skills to manage all aspects of marketing campaigns. In some cases, you manage multiple campaigns at the same time.
  • Decision-making skills are essential because you make the final decisions about marketing strategies
  • In many marketing manager jobs, you need creativity to create unique strategies and attention-getting marketing campaigns.
  • Your job will require problem-solving skills. You likely need to make adjustments to strategies during marketing campaigns. If issues arise at any time in the marketing department, it is ultimately your responsibility to address the problem and find a solution.

Marketing Manager Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for marketing managers will grow by 8% by 2028. This projected growth is higher than the national average of 5% growth for all professions.  

The demand for advertising, marketing, and promotional managers should continue to grow because these professionals are instrumental in helping companies maintain or grow their market share.

On the other hand, marketing professionals in sectors such as print media can expect a decline in demand. However, marketing professionals in social media and internet-related fields can expect above-average growth in the coming years.

Should I Become a Marketing Manager?

You should become a marketing manager if you have analytical skills, creativity, and management abilities.

In this career, you also need communication skills because you need to manage employees and interact confidently with executives and other decision-makers.

As with most management-level jobs, you need to be willing to commit to develop your skills and work in lower-level positions while you gain experience. In addition to getting academic qualifications, this career path will include working in entry-level marketing jobs and lower-level management positions.

As with most management-level positions, you need to be comfortable making decisions under stressful conditions. If you enjoy this level of responsibility, you may find a marketing manager career to be very rewarding.

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