A look into your career as a marketing manager

Marketing managers play a vital role in helping organizations generate and maintain revenue. With a combination of business acumen and understanding of human behavior, they keep potential and current customers engaged with an organization’s products and services.

“Marketing is far more than advertising and sales. Those are two of the things people most often associate with marketing,” says Doug Olsen, associate chair of the Marketing Department for the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “And yet marketing is so relevant to just about any area of life. Robert Louis Stevenson once said that we all make a living selling something. It’s just a question of what.”

Marketing manager roles and job responsibilities vary depending on the industry and organization. Some marketing managers work to promote specific products and services, while others might lead a marketing team, providing creative direction and leadership for team members.

Marketing managers use data from market research studies to estimate and anticipate demand for existing and future products or services. They must be able to identify prospective new markets, retain existing customer bases, organize promotions and help set competitive prices while maximizing profits for improved company revenues.

An online Bachelor of Science in Marketing can provide students with communication skills, management capabilities, market research comprehension and basic social and psychological expertise to aid them in pursuit of this versatile career. Graduates of this program can seek opportunities in almost any sector, ranging from consumer goods to hospitality to entertainment and more, at small, medium-sized or enterprise organizations. 

What does a marketing manager do?

A typical marketing manager job description can include a deadline-driven work environment that focuses on strategy. These professionals often develop and oversee marketing initiatives, using market research to craft campaigns that engage current and potential customers. They also evaluate strategies through A/B testing and other methods to determine which approach best resonates with their target audiences. 
Additional tasks can include collaboration with other departments to form a cohesive brand image. Marketing managers may work closely with the finance team to determine budgets or sales staff to coordinate campaigns and promotion dates. They may also participate in meetings with research and development teams or weigh in on topics such as product packaging design. 

These experts help drive sales because they influence the marketing funnel. At the top, their campaigns generate awareness in the lead generation stage. Potential customers may search for an article to solve a problem they have, and that search organically leads them to a blog a marketing manager created. Further down the funnel, readers return for more informative content, gaining interest in the organization that generated it. During this lead nurture phase, marketing materials aim to educate consumers about the company and the solutions it offers. Finally, towards the bottom of the funnel, consumers begin to evaluate a purchase decision.

An illustration of the marketing funnel.

In this example, the marketer helps potential customers move toward the sales phase. Without a marketing manager developing and coordinating the campaigns that create awareness at the top of the funnel, it would be more difficult for companies to capture that revenue.

To achieve these and other goals, a marketing manager may complete any or all of the following tasks on any given day:   

  • Evaluate marketing strategies based on current market research analysis, key performance indicators and past campaigns 
  • Determine target audiences, segmenting by demographic information and developing buyer personas
  • Incorporate sales forecasting and strategic planning into workflows to monitor market trends and identify when shifts in product or service offerings may be needed to meet buyer expectations
  • Coordinate with advertising or promotion managers to create policies and brand initiatives designed to increase consumer trust and improve the customer experience
  • Report campaign performance to inform decision-making, including pricing models and suggestions for product research and development teams

    
Success in each of these tasks requires marketing managers to monitor patterns of consumer behavior in their industries and be ready to pivot their strategies, when needed, to meet customer preferences. The ability to adapt is a foundational skill that allows these professionals to help turn prospects into brand advocates for their businesses.

“Marketers aren’t looking to sell a product — they’re looking to sell a solution,” Olsen says. “The idea is that over the long term, customers build trust with the organization, so when marketers do propose a solution, consumers know that it is what they truly do need.”

Highlighting his experience with psychology in his earlier education and career, Olsen notes that understanding human behavior and why customers take certain actions extends beyond product purchases. Consumptive nature applies to political beliefs and human biological needs, too. Marketing managers who apply such knowledge of human behavior are likely to better generate interest, trust and action among target audiences to support their organizations’ goals.

A closer look at the professional landscape of a marketing manager

Marketing managers are in demand across almost every sector. They can use their skills to produce desired results for all types of organizations from retailers to universities to sports teams and more. Hiring managers for these positions usually require candidates to hold a bachelor’s in marketing, so applicants who have relevant education and work experience may have an advantage in the job market.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected marketing manager employment will grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the national average for all occupations. The median salary for a marketing manager ranged from $68,490 among the lowest 10 percent of earners to more than $208,000 among the highest 10 percent in 2017, and the number of new related job openings between 2016 and 2026 could total as many as 22,100.

A marketing manager leads a strategy meeting.

How to become a marketing manager

Students interested in a marketing manager career should pursue a degree with a curriculum that provides a grounding in marketing methods and strategies as well as a foundation in market research and consumer behavior. Strong candidates for managerial roles will exhibit the following traits: 

  • Persuasive writing and verbal communications skills to describe their vision and convince executives to approve campaign concepts
  • Analytical ability to draw insights from market research studies and extract information to use when developing new initiatives
  • Understanding of consumer behavior to predict consumptive trends and drive new sales
  • Interpersonal acuity to coordinate with other departments

    
Learn more about your potential career as a marketing manager

The ASU Online Bachelor of Science in Marketing is designed to help students develop expertise in how businesses achieve marketing goals through proper allocation of resources, organization and strategy. With the degree’s focus on consumer behavior, market analysis and other vital areas, graduates can leave the program equipped to excel in careers as marketing managers.  

Companies and brands need marketers who understand the quantitative and qualitative aspects of consumer behavior to support productive campaign development. Marketing managers can utilize the skills and knowledge gained from an online bachelor’s in marketing to earn one of the many positions forecast to appear in the market and create strategies that increase revenue and customer engagement for their organizations.

Sources:

ASU Online – Online Bachelor of Science in Marketing Program 
Occupational Overview Handbook for Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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