What Does a Marketing Manager Do?

Market researchers working on a project with their marketing manager
Hinterhaus Productions / Getty Images

A marketing manager leads an organization's entire marketing or sales team. He or she estimates demand for products and services, using data from marketing research studies. One must identify prospective markets and set prices with an eye toward maximizing profits, increasing market share and keeping customers satisfied.

As a manager, his or her responsibilities also include hiring and training new members of the marketing team. He or she will have to motivate people, evaluate their performance, and fire underperforming employees when necessary. 

Collaborating with colleagues outside the marketing team is also a big part of the job. Marketing managers have input into research and development, and product and packaging design, for example. They also have to work closely with the financial department in developing a budget.

Quick Facts

  • Marketing managers earn a median annual salary of $132,230 (2017).
  • Approximately 218,300 people work in this occupation (2016).
  • Most jobs are with professional, scientific, and technical services firms; manufacturers; insurance and financial companies.
  • Marketing managers usually work full-time with additional hours around deadlines.
  • The job outlook for this occupation is excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth that is faster than the average for all occupations between 2016 to 2026.

Roles and Responsibilities

What are some typical job duties for marketing managers? Employers listed the following ones on Indeed.com:

  • "Maintain client databases"
  • "Develop, orchestrate and execute comprehensive global marketing plans for assigned products"
  • "Oversee the company’s marketing budget"
  • "Lead market research"
  • "Write and edit all creative copy for segmented e-mail marketing, seasonal catalogs, postcards, print ads, display signage"
  • "Develop and drive marketing programs reflective of brand strategy"

How to Become a Marketing Manager

The educational requirements include at least a bachelor's degree in marketing. Consider doing an internship while you are in college. You will then need work experience in advertising, public relations, and sales, in jobs including, for example, public relations specialist and sales representative. In addition you must have strong computer skills so consider taking classes if necessary.

What Soft Skills Do You Need?

In addition to a college degree and professional experience in a related job, marketing managers also need specific soft skills. These are personal qualities you were either born with or developed through your life experience.

  • Communication: It is imperative that marketing managers have superior, as well, as persuasive writing and verbal communication skills. They must also be excellent listeners.
  • Creativity: The ability to constantly come up with new ideas is essential to your success in this field.
  • Decision-Making: As a marketing manager, you will have to choose strategies to sell your company's products. This often includes using critical thinking skills to select what you have decided is the best option from among several.
  • Analytical Skills: A significant part of your job will involve using marketing research data to develop strategies.
  • Leadership: As a manager, you will need the ability to guide your team toward a common goal.

What Will Employers Expect From You?

Here are some of the qualifications employers who listed openings on Indeed.com included in their job announcements:

  • "Results oriented, self-motivated"
  • "Proficient in PowerPoint, Excel and Word"
  • "Cross-functional team player and manager/leader"
  • "Capable of juggling multiple projects simultaneously with the ability to prioritize and manage time effectively"
  • "Strong project management skills"
  • "Skilled in dealing with data and able to easily analyze and extract conclusions"

Is This Occupation a Good Fit for You?

A career must match one's interests, personality type, and work-related values for it to be a good fit. Do a self assessment to learn if you have the traits that make a career as a marketing manager suitable for you.

  • Interests (Holland Code): ECA (Enterprising, Conventional, Artistic)
  • Personality Type (MBTI Personality Types): ENFJ, ENTP, ENTJ
  • Work-Related Values: Working Conditions, Achievement, Independence

Take This Quiz: Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Marketing Manager?

Occupations With Related Activities and Tasks

  Description Annual Salary (2017) Educational Requirements
Logistician Manages a company's supply chain, which moves a product from supplier to customer $74,590 Associate Degree or Bachelor's Degree (preferred) in Business, Systems Engineering, or Supply Chain Management
Sales Manager Coordinates an organizations sales team $121,060 Bachelor's Degree in Business
Advertising Manager Creates programs to generate interest in a product or service $106,130 Bachelor's Degree in Advertising or Marketing
Construction Project Manager Oversees all aspects of construction projects $91,370 Bachelor's Degree in a Construction Related Field + Construction Experience
Chief Executive (CEO) Directs all the activities of an organization $183,270 Bachelor's or Master's Degree in Business (MBA)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,  Occupational Outlook Handbook; Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor,  O*NET Online (visited July 12, 2018).