How to Become A Marketing Manager

Effective marketing is one of the most valuable assets a business can have, regardless of industry. And while many people think marketing is just a series of taglines and commercials, high quality marketing actually comes from knowledgeable, experienced, and forward-thinking marketers who have trained these skills. The professionals who possess these qualifications are the highly sought after marketing managers.

How does one learn the ins and outs of marketing and become a marketing manager? The good news is there is no one path, and people come to the marketing industry from  a wide range of backgrounds. Regardless of your experience level or past education, here is a quick guide to help you become a marketing manager.

What Does a Marketing Manager Do?

According to boilerplate marketing manager job descriptions, people in this role are responsible for “managing the promotion and positioning of a brand or the products and services that a company sells.” In the most basic sense, marketing managers are tasked with finding ways to increase brand awareness to attract more customers/leads/sales and drive more revenue. 

In terms of the day to day, marketing managers can have a wide variety of responsibilities. Some of the most common include:

  • Conceptualizing and develop short and long term marketing plans
  • Working with creatives to develop collateral that supports initiatives outlined in the marketing plan 
  • Developing diverse marketing campaigns to target different audiences and buyer lifecycles 
  • Managing content and updates for customer and internal touch points
  • Conducting market research to support marketing strategy
  • Assessing effectiveness and impact of current marketing initiatives with tracking and analysis, and optimize accordingly
  • Managing and updating digital assets (content, website, social, etc.) as necessary to support marketing efforts

What Skills Does a Marketing Manager Need?

There are a number of hard and soft skills that effective marketing managers must possess. From leadership skills to an analytical mind, marketing managers really have to be a jack (or jill) of all trades. Some of the must-have skills include:

  • Ability to think creatively
  • High level of attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience in developing marketing plans and campaigns
  • Strong project management, multitasking and decision-making skills
  • Ability to use digital marketing platforms and CRM tools
  • Understanding of how to interpret data and make decisions based on data analysis

6 Steps to Become a Marketing Manager

One of the most appealing aspects of a marketing management career is that you can be successful regardless of your background. In fact, many believe that the more diverse your experience is, the more effective you will be in marketing. No matter where you come from, there is a rough framework to follow to improve your odds of earning a job in marketing and eventually becoming a marketing leader.

1. Prepare your resume

To get your foot in the door in any marketing role, the first step should be polishing your resume. Be sure to include the obvious things like education, skills and job background, but try to organize these things in a way that will help hiring managers see how your skills align with their job opening. Try using each job description to update your skills and tasks to match their requirements.

2. Get experience

You obviously won’t jump right into a managerial role, so the most important thing to do as an aspiring marketer is to gain experience. That experience can come in the form of an internship, but you’re more likely to want to pursue an entry-level marketing job that will give you exposure to all the different aspects of the field. Look for titles like marketing coordinator or marketing specialist, as those will typically be for new marketing professionals.

3. Continue to learn

This step is especially important if you don’t have an educational background or work experience in marketing. If you can find time to dive into all things marketing by learning from a wide variety of resources — podcasts, blogs, webinars, etc. — you will build a solid foundation for your career in marketing.

4. Earn a certificate

For a more formal demonstration of your commitment to improving your marketing skills, consider earning some sort of certificate in marketing. A certificate allows you to get a high-level education (usually from a college or university) without the monetary and time commitment required for a formal degree. Many marketing certificates will equip you with the necessary skills to excel as a marketing manager.

5. Join a marketing association

Joining a marketing association is a great way to A) Demonstrate your passion for the field and B) Grow your professional network. There are a number of marketing associations to choose from, and some memberships include access to conferences and seminars to further your marketing education. Even if there are no additional benefits, the opportunity to meet people in the industry is well worth it. 

6. Apply, apply, apply

When you feel you have the experience and skills necessary to work as a marketing manager, take the leap and start applying. Marketing is a competitive field, but with the right resume and demonstrable qualifications, any job is within your reach. Use that professional network, continue your education and trust that you can excel in a leadership role as a marketing manager.

Marketing Manager Salaries and Job Outlook

The job market and potential earnings for marketing managers are both promising, so now is a great time to pursue this career. According to the job report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for marketing managers is $142,170, as of May 2020. In terms of job outlook, things are equally positive. Employment in this field is expected to grow 10% by 2030, which translates to approximately 31,000 new job openings annually during the same period.

Resources for Marketing Managers

Online resources:

Podcasts: 

What Education Do You Need to Become a Marketing Manager?

Most marketing managers have some formal education, but it is most certainly not a requirement. Other demonstrable education options include professional certificates or continuing education courses in a relevant field. For example, the University of San Diego Division of Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) offers a Strategic Online Marketing certificate for those interested in becoming a marketing manager. These courses offer the flexibility working professionals need while delivering the same high quality education you would earn in a degree program.

FAQs

What does a marketing manager do?

According to boilerplate marketing manager job descriptions, people in this role are responsible for “managing the promotion and positioning of a brand or the products and services that a company sells.” In the most basic sense, marketing managers are tasked with finding ways to increase brand awareness to attract more customers/leads/sales and drive more revenue. 

What are the required skills for a marketing manager?

The top skills a marketing manager must have include:

  • Ability to think creatively
  • High level of attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience developing marketing plans and campaigns
  • Strong project management, multitasking and decision-making skills
  • Ability to use digital marketing platforms and CRM tools
  • Understanding of how to interpret data and make decisions based on data analysis

Are there other positions similar to being a marketing manager?

Some job titles that are related to marketing manager include:

  • Project Managers 
  • Advertising Managers
  • Management Analysts
  • Marketing Analysts
  • Marketing Strategist
  • Public Relations Specialists