As marketers, we all want to climb the corporate ladder as quickly as possible. However, if you want to become a marketing manager someday, you must first learn what the role requires.
Moving up in ranks means getting more involved in the marketing process and eventually becoming the main implementer.
As a marketing manager you are responsible for a team. Employees will look up to you just as you once looked up to your manager.
However, accepting this position comes with an increased responsibility. It can feel rewarding to see your strategies come to life, but understanding what the role entails is important.
The following explains what a marketing manager is, what a marketing manager does, what the management process is like, and the skills and training you need to become one.
What is a Marketing Manager?
A marketing manager is responsible for directing the marketing efforts for a company, service, or product. You will value market demand and lead a marketing team to develop and implement creative and unique strategies to drive customer interest across multiple media channels.
What does a Marketing Manager do?
Marketing managers have a variety of responsibilities. There are industry-specific standards, but all marketing managers take on common tasks:
- Conduct market research to understand public interest and determine the marketability of products and services.
- Design creative and unique marketing strategies across multiple channels such as social media, TV, billboards, and newspaper articles.
- Create marketing plans with detailed results and goals.
- Prepare comprehensive budgets and estimates.
- Negotiate with potential customers and partners to prepare sales and advertising contracts.
- Handle public relations and resolve internal and external issues as they arise.
Marketing managers are also responsible for training their team members on campaign-specific marketing plans. They hire new employees to their team and select those who they believe will achieve the intended goals for executing the branding strategy. You work with all team members, motivate them to achieve goals, give instructions and delegate tasks.
Marketing Management Process
Marketing managers follow a similar process to meet their responsibilities. Each step in this process requires a unique approach depending on the product, service, or business.
Generation of ideas
Marketing managers are approaching the idea generation phase with an intended product or an idea for a product or service that a company is trying to create.
You will conduct market research to understand current trends and customer interests. Are there competitors when a new product hits the market? How successful are you? What do consumers say about available products and how can they be improved?
Understanding the interests and behaviors of consumers is key to beginning this process.
After market managers have identified the markets and understood the trends, they develop a marketing plan that they use to implement their strategy. This plan identifies the target audiences, campaign-specific tactics, budget and goals.
You will work with different teams such as UX product design, finance departments, and sales engineers to develop a strategy for the product to achieve its intended goals. While a marketing manager is the main decision maker, there may be financial issues that they are not aware of. The collaboration of all teams ensures that the marketing plan is as comprehensive as possible.
The marketing manager will likely run tests with the target audiences to ensure that the final marketing plan is generating the most revenue before implementation. This can take the form of focus groups, personal modeling, or consumer interviews.
Implementation and results
At this point, the marketing manager will work with his team to implement the final marketing plan. Schedules are established for tracking campaign metrics, using data to adjust strategy as needed.
Regardless of the campaign results, all research results and data will influence future marketing processes.
Skills to become a Marketing Manager
Most companies require their marketing professionals to have a bachelor’s degree. Because the marketing industry adapts quickly, companies don’t necessarily need their marketers or marketing managers to have specialized degrees in specific areas. Some companies may require professional degrees or membership in professional associations.
However, there is one universal requirement to becoming a marketing manager – a three to five year success story in which you consistently realize your potential and achieve your goals. If you want to become a marketing manager someday, your performance as an individual matters more than anything.
For example, if the primary goal is to lead a company’s blog team, it needs to be demonstrated that they have written quality content that meets the expectations of their manager.
There are basic soft skills a marketing manager should possess, such as creativity, critical thinking, and leadership. However, combining these skills with well-developed tough skills is critical to professional success. There are six essential skills that a trainee marketing manager should work to develop.
The job of a marketing manager is to communicate with different audiences by developing creative content for ads, videos and articles. This content must also match the tone, branding, and voice specified in the marketing plan.
The marketing manager will also speak to their own managers, team members, and external stakeholders.
For this role it is important to understand how to communicate confidently with different audiences.
Marketing managers manage all kinds of resources from campaign budgets to pay-per-click ads to influencer marketing. All of these actions require budgeting skills.
A marketing manager also manages internal budgets for their team, making sure everyone has the resources they need.
After creating the marketing plan, the marketing manager needs to convince internal stakeholders of its value. You need to identify the right teams and convince them of the benefits to the company and the intended customers. Without internal buy-in, the campaign can lead to internal confusion if not all teams are on the same page.
The marketing manager may need to negotiate with other teams if he thinks changes need to be made. They may agree to some proposed changes, but they also need to know when to negotiate and endorse certain elements of their plan if they are questioned.
Externally, the marketing manager can be involved in financial negotiations with outside stakeholders to ensure budgets are not overstretched.
4. Planning and execution
Long-term planning and goal setting are two important skills in becoming a marketing manager. You need to understand the intended outcomes, plan the intended outcomes, and execute the strategy to achieve those outcomes. For example, is the ultimate goal to get 1,000 Instagram followers? How is that going to happen? What steps have to be taken on the way to the goal?
When managing multiple marketing channels and entire teams of people, it is important to understand how much time is spent on all aspects of a campaign.
Can you make comprehensive plans to manage your tasks? Can you keep appointments? Can you do quality work within these deadlines? These are questions that can be asked when interviewing for a marketing management position.
5. Cooperation and delegation
Marketing managers lead an entire marketing team. The size can vary, but there are several people working under their direction.
You need to work well with others and have fun building relationships with internal teams and external stakeholders. However, it’s still important to be a leader who can take on tasks when needed. For example, the marketing manager would ensure that his team members are assigned the right tasks for their skills and that individual performance matches task expectations.
Customer behavior and markets can be volatile, so adapting to changing industry standards is a must. For example, a strategy may need to be adjusted after the expected results are not achieved. Rather than giving up, the marketing manager should work with his team to come up with a plan to find alternative options.
To understand the markets, you need to understand consumers’ needs and predict what they want and how they will respond to your service. This requires a significant amount of emotional intelligence.
In their teams, marketing managers are responsible for balancing role expectations with the skills of team members. For example, if someone on their team is stressed about not meeting deadlines, it is up to the marketing manager to approach the problem with empathy. An effective marketing manager could recognize their stress levels and work with them to find effective ways to achieve their goals.
Ultimately, marketing managers develop unique, ambitious marketing strategies for products.
Companies and services. They create comprehensive marketing plans and work with their teams to successfully implement them.
A marketing manager ensures that products, services, and companies have the best chance of succeeding in their intended markets and keeping both businesses and consumers happy.
Anyone who works to develop the skills described in this article will find success in their role as a marketing manager.