6 May, 2020
By Mike Simpson
If there’s one job that’s touched the lives of practically every person, it’s the marketing manager. Think about it; how many ads do you think you see in a day? 100? 1,000? Sorry to tell you, those guesses aren’t even close.
Today, people see upward of 5,000 ads every single day. They are nestled in social media feeds, sitting in the sidebars or websites, and punctuating tense moments in television shows. And who’s one of the minds behind those advertisements?
The marketing manager, of course.
But marketing managers are also more than the people behind ads. They help companies achieve their strategic vision, guiding marketing initiatives to help businesses reach new heights. If the idea of having the result of your efforts end up in front of the eyes of the masses is appealing, come with us on a journey, a journey into the life of the marketing manager.
What Is a Marketing Manager?
Alright, get ready for a shock. A marketing manager oversees strategic marketing initiatives. They ensure that all marketing efforts align with the broader vision and sales-oriented objectives. Surprising, right?
Okay, so that isn’t something that you either didn’t know or couldn’t guess. But the job is actually more complex than it may seem on the surface. If you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of what it’s like to be a marketing manager, let’s take a look at the primary duties and responsibilities.
What Are Marketing Manager’s Duties/Responsibilities?
The roles duties and responsibilities are the best answer to the question, “What does a marketing manager do?” It lets you get a glimpse into the daily lives of these professionals, and that typically paints a clearer picture.
If you stepped into the role of marketing manager, you’d spend your days developing marketing strategies, coordinating marketing projects, and overseeing a team made of marketers, creative staff members, and more. Evaluating the success or failure of past campaigns would also be one of your core responsibilities, as well as spearheading consumer research efforts.
Marketing managers also have extensive knowledge about multiple marketing channels, an expertise they put to the test each day. It’s common for them to coordinate initiatives across a range of platforms, such as television, social media, online, and even radio.
While it’s true that every marketing manager position is going to differ from the next, most of them have certain core duties in common, including:
- Developing marketing strategy
- Defining campaign objectives
- Coordinating multi-channel marketing efforts
- Conducting consumer and market research
- Developing business cases
- Evaluating prior marketing programs
- Leading project teams
- Coordinating with stakeholders
- Working with vendors
In most cases, marketing managers are involved in campaigns from beginning to end, so their responsibilities can include nearly anything that is needed to help the project move forward. In that regard, the possibilities are almost endless.
What Skills Do Marketing Managers Need?
Being a leading marketing manager means bringing the right skills and traits to the table. Exactly what that entails can vary from one job to the next. On a good note, if you’re applying to an opening, precisely what that company wants is usually spelled out in the post’s marketing manager job description. But, sometimes, those details are lacking.
If you need to figure out what a hiring manager is trying to find, reading between the lines isn’t too complicated. When it comes to technical capabilities, most of the roles have a ton in common, giving you a set of defaults to discuss in your resume (or to acquire if you are working your way toward this position). Here are some of the main hard skills:
- Market and consumer research
- Trend analysis
- Marketing strategy
- Project management
- Marketing communications
- Digital media
- Marketing initiative development
- Budget management
- Risk management
But technical prowess isn’t enough if you want a thriving marketing management career. No sirree. If that’s your goal, you’re also going to need standout soft skills.
Soft skills are ultimately critical for success. But, the tricky thing is, they can be a bit ambiguous. They aren’t always easy to define in concrete terms. Additionally, employers commonly overlook spelling out these requirements in their job ads, even though they have a clear idea of what they want.
Luckily, by discussing the right soft skills (with or without prompting), you can shine. Here are the soft skills that are smart to include in your marketing manager resume or to discuss during an interview:
- Time management
- Strategic thinking
- Analytical mindset
What Education, Training, Or Certification is Required?
If you’ve decided that being a marketing manager sounds pretty sweet, then you might be wondering how you can take your career in that direction. In most cases, the first step you’ll need to take is to get a relevant degree.
The majority of marketing manager jobs require candidates to have at least a Bachelor’s degree. But you can choose from a few majors, including:
If you go further and get a Master’s degree, you’re in even better shape. You’ll increase your odds of standing out in the crowd, so the extra effort could work in your favor.
When it comes to other credentials, there are a few that can help. For example, getting certified as a Project Management Professional doesn’t hurt. You could also consider earning the Certificate in Marketing Merit if you want to distinguish yourself from other candidates.
Just keep in mind that certifications aren’t required. Plus, they won’t make up for lacking a degree in many cases. So, snag at least a Bachelor’s first and start building up your experience. To reach the management level, you might need 10+ years under your belt, so that should really be a priority.
Marketing Manager Salary Range
Now, for the moment you’ve been waiting for: the marketing manager salary. We’re sure you’re thinking, since marketing managers do so much to drive profitability, they probably make bank. Well, you’re not wrong.
The median annual wage for marketing managers comes in at an impressive $136,850. Not too shabby, right? Want to hear something more impressive? The top 10 percent can bring in an amazing $208,000 a year or more. Yowza!
But, before you go blowing all of that theoretical money, it’s important to understand that you may not start out there. If you’re new to the leadership ranks or working for a smaller company, you might end up closer to the $71,000 mark. Still good, but not run-off-and-buy-a-town (a la Kim Basinger) good.
Plus, with time, you’re earning potential rises. Maybe, if you focus on enhancing your career and making smart financial choices, owning a town isn’t as crazy a dream as it may seem? Only time will tell.
What You Need to Know for Your Job Interview
Alright, let’s take stock for a minute. You know what you have to bring to the table to land a job as a marketing manager, and that’s a great start.
But what about the marketing manager interview?
Securing a position without having to spend some time in front of a hiring manager is practically impossible. Luckily, with a little preparation, you can nail your interview.
Begin by going through the marketing manager job description with a fine-toothed comb. When you do, you learn a ton about what the company needs, including key qualities and skills that define their perfect candidate.
The company’s website is also a powerful resource. You can review the organization’s mission and values statements. There, you find out about the company’s operational priorities and culture. Between that and the job description, you can discover enough to position yourself as the optimal candidate.
But it’s also wise to develop an interview answer strategy. When you face off against behavioral interview questions, turn to STAR Method and the Tailoring Method. Those approaches make turning an everyday answer into a compelling and relevant story possible. As a result, you’re ridiculously more engaging, and that helps.
Putting It All Together
Marketing managers really do reach the masses through their work, and that’s kind of amazing. If you think the marketing manager job description sounds enticing, then use the information above to get your career moving in that direction. It can make charting the course so much easier, increasing the odds that your professional goal will ultimately become a reality.
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Check out our other “job description articles” if you’re exploring career options: