Explore your career as a marketing director

November 27, 2017 · 5 min read · By ASU Online
Are you interested in finding an area within a business where you can think creatively? If so, then you might have already found a career in marketing.

Marketing combines many more skills than being a good writer and creative thinker. You also need to be a strategic planner, highly organized and confident working with data. Developing a varied repertoire of skills requires a strong educational and professional background, especially if you’re ready to pursue an upper-management career such as marketing director.

“I love marketing because of the creative side, but marketing doesn’t go without having data to back it up, so my specific goal while earning my MBA was really to become more comfortable with this thing that I’ve always felt handicapped within my life,” says current Arizona State University Online MBA student Evelyn Sabino. “I really ran away from math, so this was how I got more comfortable with it.”

It’s important to have holistic business skills because marketing directors work with art directors, sales agents, financial staff and other professionals to plan, manage and direct programs that generate interest in products or services. Overseeing marketing staff, creating concepts and budgets for successful marketing campaigns and serving as the communication hub between clients, vendors and co-workers takes a vast array of skills as well as a deeper understanding of business that can be enhanced with an MBA. Additionally, moving into higher-level roles and acting as the subject matter expert in your field typically requires you to have a solid professional and educational background both in marketing and general business strategy.

Marketing director reviews research with team.
Marketing director reviews research with the team.

The fully online MBA program from ASU can provide you with the right education to learn about the fundamentals of business and the beneficial skills you might need to become a marketing director. Current ASU student Nick Motwani notes, “At the beginning of the MBA program you get a well-rounded education in the field of business/business management.” Such an education can be ideal for a high-level marketing position that must integrate promotions within a business’ overall strategies and objectives.

With the ASU Online MBA program, you have access to curriculum and resources that can help build your leadership skills through courses taught by experienced faculty. The customizable program also offers students the option to take classes that pertain to helping advance their careers in such marketing-related fields as advertising and business strategy.


A typical day in the life of a marketing director

A marketing director’s day can usually be separated into management and strategy. You manage both people and processes as you work cooperatively to develop pricing strategies, promotional plans and advertising campaigns. A typical day has you interacting beyond your own team of marketing professionals to collaborate with departments such as sales, public relations and development, among others.

Specific tasks in a given day might include:

  • Conducting a market research study or evaluating data to inform your strategy.
  • Collaborating with other executives on broader issues, such as pricing, to create an effective strategy that will maximize profits and market share while maintaining customer satisfaction.
  • Reviewing, evaluating and providing feedback on the look and feel of marketing assets, including websites, print promotions and emails.

Ultimately, the marketing team is responsible for developing the message an organization wants to share to help build brand identity and interest in its products or services. As the marketing director, your thought leadership and careful management ensures the accuracy of the message as well as its successful communication to the public.

A closer look at the professional landscape for a marketing director

The median salary for a marketing manager, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $131,000, which is applicable for marketing directors since the two titles can be interchangeable. While a bachelor’s degree in marketing is usually required, having your MBA can demonstrate that you have the business knowledge, leadership qualifications and strategic mindset necessary for director-level roles. Furthermore, MBA degrees, along with previous professional experience, can potentially increase your starting salary.

The projected job growth for marketing managers from 2014 to 2024 is estimated at 9 percent by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is above the average for all professions. This faster-than-average increase in opportunity is most likely a result of how essential advertising, promotions and marketing campaigns are viewed by organizations to maintain and expand their market share.

The most common next step for a marketing director is a vice president of marketing position. This usually leads to a strong increase in salary. Further opportunities for promotion include positions as executive director of marketing or chief marketing officer.


Becoming a marketing director

Becoming a successful marketing director requires both marketing knowledge and management skills. Having a solid foundation in business principles and the ability to work well with others, multi-task, solve problems and effectively communicate can come together to help make an effective marketing director.

To handle these well-rounded activities, many employers prefer that you have taken general business courses — business law, management, economics, finance, computer science, mathematics and even statistics. Earning your MBA covers many of these subject areas that can help prepare you for the array of responsibilities a marketing director must carry out.

“The project management class I took helped me learn how to manage multiple projects for different clients at the same time and prioritize my work based on deadlines,” claims Sabino. Furthermore, Motwani adds, “What I learned was how to work with people and to really work as a team to achieve goals despite the various obstacles we were faced with.” These fundamental lessons experienced through a Master’s of Business Administration can help qualify students to take on similar scenarios in the workplace.

Learn more about your potential career as a marketing director

Marketing is an important piece for any organization, and to be successful, you should have the right combination of education, skills and experience. A role as a marketing director may require you to use each of these to oversee the creation of materials that can help improve your business and connect you with customers.

Learn how an online MBA degree from ASU allows you to create a challenging yet advantageous experience in preparation for a rewarding career in marketing.


Marketing director reviews documents in office.
A marketing director reviews documents in an office.
Marketing director leads creative team meeting.
A marketing director leads a creative team meeting.


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