Marketing is a fast-moving field, and in the past several years, the industry has faced economic challenges and technological advances that required marketing managers to shift their approaches to promoting products and services. Successfully leading a business' marketing functions to drive sales, create customer loyalty and expand market share requires both technical skills and broad-based knowledge.
Segments of the marketing industry are ramping up to keep pace with new technology and consumer preferences. The up-and-coming specialties, some of which did not exist just a few years ago, include search engine optimization (SEO), interactive marketing and community development. Learning the best use of new tools, channels and resources, understanding the ever-shifting needs of consumers and meeting stakeholder demands for return on investment (ROI) are daily challenges for marketing managers.
Job Outlook for Marketing Managers
Employment for marketing managers is projected to grow 14% nationwide through 2020, keeping pace with the growth rate across all occupations, according to data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2012.
Job seekers should conduct independent research in order to determine the employment outlook based on their particular skills and geographic location.
Typical Job Duties
Marketing professionals wear a number of hats to support an organization's sales and profitability goals. Translating business objectives into marketing strategies requires a strong educational background, as well as real-world business skills, including:
Marketing managers are generally responsible for planning and supervising programs that increase awareness of a company's products and services, with the goal of increasing market share and boosting the bottom line. Daily job duties may include planning advertising campaigns, choosing media outlets and negotiating contracts. Marketing managers may collaborate with the executive team to establish goals and then develop marketing strategies to support them.
Integrating marketing communications, establishing and protecting the organizational brand, and executing marketing initiatives are also common duties of marketing managers. Additionally, they may be involved in identifying and establishing relationships with collaborative partners, tracking and analyzing promotional activities, and supervising online content and social media networks.
Marketing managers often hire and supervise marketing staff, such as SEO specialists, data analysts, graphic designers and social media managers. In a typical workday, they might direct public relations announcements, issue press releases, oversee collateral production, develop budgets or launch new consumer engagement programs.
Preparing for Marketing Management: Education and Training
The ability to influence what drives consumer behavior helps make marketing an exciting and rewarding career choice. Obtaining the appropriate education and training is essential to breaking into this field.
Most mid- to upper-level marketing positions require a bachelor's degree, and some require experience in sales, promotions, advertising or marketing, according to the BLS. Many employers prefer candidates with a degree in marketing or advertising, but general business degrees may also be acceptable. Coursework in market research, communications, analytics or consumer behavior can be beneficial. Some employers prefer candidates with master's degrees, advanced training or professional certificates.
An understanding of business fundamentals and expertise in proven marketing strategies are considered essentials for success. Individuals seeking educational programs that offer a combination of functional knowledge and specialized skills can consider the University of Florida's Executive Certificate in Business Essentials with an emphasis in Marketing Management, which is offered 100% online.
Corporate-based tuition reimbursement programs may be available to help aspiring marketing leaders attain an advanced degree or professional certificate.
Salary Potential for a Marketing Career
According to data published by the BLS, marketing managers earned a median annual wage of more than $116,000 in 2011, an increase of almost $4,000 over the previous year. Salaries vary across the country and according to education, experience, specific job titles and employers.
It is recommended that job seekers conduct independent research to gauge local market conditions and other factors that can influence earning potential.
Planning a Marketing Management Career
For individuals inspired by the prospect of working in a fast-paced environment on the leading edge of business and technology, a career in marketing management may be a great fit. Establishing a clear career path involves obtaining the education and specialized skills that today's businesses need to engage customers and increase market share. Combining bottom-line business fundamentals with the principals of marketing can lead to professional opportunities in this ever-changing field.