Marketing Manager: Career Info & Requirements

Learn about the job activities of a marketing manager. Explore education and skills needed in addition to salary and employment outlook to determine if this is the right career for you.

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Career Definition

Marketing managers create strategies that help companies meet their sales objectives. They conduct research, evaluate product demand, establish pricing strategies, identify a target audience and determine the best way to reach that audience. They may also participate in package design, develop advertising campaigns and choose media outlets, such as television, radio, Internet, billboards or newspapers to promote their company's products. Marketing managers also build brand awareness through e-mail campaigns, newsletters, contests, celebrity endorsements and product placement in television shows and movies. They are employed in various industries throughout the United States.

How to Become a Marketing Manager

Education Requirements

Marketing managers typically have a bachelor's degree in marketing or business administration; however, some employers may prefer a master's degree, in addition to extensive experience in marketing, advertising, brand management or sales. Membership in a professional organization, such as the American Marketing Association (AMA), may also enhance job prospects through networking opportunities, job boards and seminars (www.marketingpower.com).

Necessary Skills

Marketing managers must have strong communication, sales and presentation skills. They must be goal oriented, flexible and creative under pressure, often while juggling several projects at once. Expert knowledge of current marketing trends and multimedia platforms is essential. They must have strong leadership skills and the ability to hire, train and motivate team members. Marketing managers should also have strong budgeting, Internet and computer skills.

Career Outlook and Economic Forecast

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted average job growth of 13% for marketing managers from 2012-2022. Competition was expected to be stiff in this field; however, candidates with a strong understanding of current marketing trends and Internet marketing in particular should fare the best. In May 2012, the BLS reported a mean annual wage for marketing managers of $129,870.

Alternative Careers

Market Research Analyst

For those with an interest in researching sales trends and consumer behavior, a career in market research analysis could be the right fit. These analysts gather information about sales, demographics, buying activities and product demand through the use of surveys, polls, focus groups and other methods. They compile the collected data and create reports for companies to refer to when developing marketing strategies.

To enter the profession, a bachelor's degree is necessary, and majors can include statistics, business, market research, communications and social science fields. Optional certification is also available to gain a competitive advantage when looking for a job. Based on figures from the BLS, 32% employment growth is projected for market research analysts during the 2012-2022 decade. In May of 2012, the BLS determined that research analysts received an average salary of $67,380 per year.

Public Relations (PR) Manager

PR managers perform some similar duties as a marketing manager, but they focus their activities on marketing a personal or organizational image to the public. PR managers gain a thorough understanding of the message or public image and design a campaign to reach the targeted audience. They create press releases, schedule public appearances and speeches, supervise PR specialists, appoint spokespeople and communicate with the media and general public.

A bachelor's degree in public relations or a related field is required in order to get a foot in the door, and some employers prefer applicants with a master's degree and years of experience in the profession. Public relations managers earned an average wage of $108,260 in 2012, according to the BLS. The BLS also predicted a 13% increase in job opportunities for public relations and fundraising managers between 2012 and 2022.

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