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The Path to Marketing Management

Content marketing management

Marketing is an exciting field. And it is widely varied in terms of the types of positions and career path options. In many ways, marketing pros have a big impact on how we “see” almost everything – from political candidates to toothbrushes. It’s also a rapidly changing field, as each new innovation in technology changes the strategies and campaigns that marketers must develop.

New marketers, fresh out of college, usually join marketing teams, and if they are creative and driven, along with a willingness to put in long hours, there are often rewards – promotions into management positions. So exactly what area those positions and how do you get there? This information and tips should give you some insight.

Steps to Become a Marketing Manager

  1. Begin with education. The standard educational requirement is a Bachelor’s degree in – you guessed it – marketing. This degree will get you an entry level position, usually with a smaller company or a big enterprise that has a huge marketing department.
  2. Becoming a marketing manager, however, will take more than just being good at what you do. Managers have additional skills – more than just putting together great campaigns and creative strategies. If you are asking yourself, “How do I become a marketing manager,” your first answer should be to do a bit of research. You will discover that most career pros, in giving advice about how to become a marketing manager, will tell you that you’d better get thee back to school and get a Master’s degree.
  3. That Master’s degree should be in the school of business – preferably an MBA with a specialization in marketing. This degree will give you the skills and knowledge you need about how to be a marketing manager, with emphasis on the word, “manager.”
  4. Gradually, you should lobby for yourself to assume more of the management side of the marketing operation – budget, project leadership, etc. – the chance to show that you are “management” material.
  5. If you are in an organization that does not offer lots of room for advancement, then how do you become a marketing manager? You may have to put yourself out there, perhaps to a small company looking for a “one-person-do-it-all” type. That would certainly be you.

The Paths a Marketing Manager Has – Many Options

In the field of management, there are several areas of specialization. And if you are wondering how to become a marketing director, you may want to focus on one of these, becoming more valuable and getting that director’s offer or promotion. Here are a few of the positions that can lead to a director or executive positions:

  • Advertising Manager: Work with sales pros to design advertising campaigns for your company’s products or services or for clients, if you are part of a marketing/advertising consulting firm.
  • Public Relations Manager: This involves maintaining a good public image for people (e.g., politicians, celebrities) or for companies and brands. For example, given its recent troubles, United Airlines will need to have strong public relations managers and executives to repair the damage.
  • Marketing Research Managers: this position involves conducting research that will determine the demand for an existing or anticipated product, including price points.

Much of marketing career growth is really on the job training. There is only so much you can learn from coursework. Get yourself into an entry level position, put in the hours, find a mentor, and go back to school as necessary.

Here are some common types of top marketing managers:

  • Advertising managers create interest for products and services and work with sales staff to design advertising campaigns for clients. They also prepare the budgets for these campaigns. There are two types of specialized advertising managers: media directors, who oversee how a campaign will reach customers through the use of various types of media; and account executives, who manage accounts but do not participate in the creative and media output angles of a campaign.
  • Public relations managers are responsible for maintaining a positive public image for their client base and generate press releases and programs to promote that image.
  • Marketing managers estimate the demand for a product and identify markets in which the product will best thrive and prosper, as well as develop pricing strategies to help maximize market share.
  • Promotions managers direct and plan programs by using direct mail, Internet advertising, store displays, special events, sweepstakes and contests, social media and endorsements to increase sales and profits.
  • Brand managers are responsible for creating and instituting brand assets for a company or product.
  • Sales managers direct sales force and set goals and enforce profit projections for the team and for the organization.
  • Market research analysts study market conditions to explore the potential sales of a product or service and estimate its profitability; gather data about who will buy a product and at what price.

Learn about Pay & Job Projections for marketing, advertising, and public relations managers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook states that employment of marketing, advertising, and promotions managers should grow by 9 percent through 2024, a little faster than average for all occupations. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Are you interested in marketing but unsure whether the role is for you? Similar careers where you might merge your creativity and business acumen include product demonstrators, graphic designers, editors, technical writers and cost estimators

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