What are the duties of a marketing manager? What skills do you need to become one?
We asked experts to give us a closer look at how to successfully become a marketing manager.
Head of Digital Marketing, Commusoft
30%: A marketing manager deals with marketing and growth strategy
Identifying new markets where we could expand and opportunities to grow our brand and business is a big part of my day-to-day activities.
I always have to keep an eye out, read all the news, connect with experts, etc. to make sure that my finger is on the pulse and I can anticipate an opportunity before the competition catches on. But I always try to keep my stakeholders in mind – I’ll need their backing if I want to start a big initiative.
Finding an efficient way to collaborate with the sales team was one of the biggest challenges because we all believe that our work is the most important when, in fact, this is the best example of “the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts”.
Ever heard of SMarketing? That’s the most productive way I’ve found, together with our Sales Manager, to increase our conversion rate.
40%: A marketing manager deals with team management
As a manager, this one is not surprising. I tried to be fluent in budgeting and KPI-setting but have my team’s best interests in mind as well. We work on a total of 5 online platforms so micro-managing has never been an option – not that I’d ever want it to be.
I believe in a good mix of freedom to create and numbers-backed decisions so I’ll happily approve and help with any innovative idea if it’s followed by strong research.
This is why I schedule weekly 1:1 meeting with each team member where we just have a casual conversation about the previous week and what’s the game-plan for the coming one.
30%: A marketing manager prioritizes growth
I’m naturally numbers-oriented so I find developing data-driven approaches to prioritizing, testing, evaluating, and optimizing experiments on lead acquisitions to be essential for success.
Constantly tweaking our marketing funnel content and strategies, analyzing and comparing, then selecting the best approach is one of my favorite things about being a marketing manager.
Related: How to Become a Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager, MARION Marketing
As a marketing manager, I have two main responsibilities: to continually improve our marketing processes and to maximize the output of our employees over the long term.
A marketing manager improves marketing processes
Being that MARION is a marketing agency, improving “our” marketing processes means both internally and for our clients. In fact, many times we test new campaigns ideas and marketing strategies internally before rolling them out to clients.
Because my team is relatively small, I’m what you would call a working manager. I take on project management within our production team while still executing some facets of our marketing.
My background is in Search Engine Optimization, so whenever SEO tasks need to be completed, I am typically the one to execute. As the team expands and the company grows, this pattern will need to evolve. I will need to focus even more on project and campaign management (we use a PM system), and less on tactical execution.
To ensure that our team is actively pursuing the best strategies internally and for our clients, I keep up with industry changes on a daily basis and encourage my team to shed light on new ideas and trends they’ve discovered.
Marketing, especially in the digital sphere, is changing at an accelerated rate. For this reason, it’s all hands on deck when it comes to building a future-proof strategy.
A marketing manager maximizes employee output over the long term
The key phrase here is “over the long term.” Pushing employee output to the limit without any regard for their well-being would lead to burnout and be detrimental to our company and clients.
Maximizing output over the long term means finding a sustainable balance for each team member, and holding them to it.
Maximizing output means different things for different people. When a new objective comes along that our team is inexperienced with, it’s my job to decide which team member is best suited to develop a process to reach that objective.
When one of our team members has reached a hurdle, it’s my job to use the relationships I’ve built within the company to make the right introductions and connect people who can help each other grow and accomplish the task at hand.
We have an internal policy that every employee should invest at least two hours into relevant training monthly. It’s my job to meet with my direct reports, and establish goals around their monthly training.
At the end of the day, maximizing employee output means giving each of my team members the tools they need to continuously do the best work they’re capable of.
Founder, Conversion Hut
Successful marketing managers really differentiate themselves when it comes to possessing the ability to not only delegate the execution of various marketing strategies, but also ensuring those strategies are completed to a standard that provides real value for the company. This is what sets a successful marketing manager apart from an average one.
A marketing manager will also have a huge influence on how a brand campaign is presented, which applies to a whole array of different types of marketing:
- Display Advertising
- Social Media Advertising
- Social Media Management
- Print Advertising
- TV Advertising
- Public Relations
- Radio Advertising
- Website Banners
- Website Management
Based on these tasks alone, the amount of work involved for larger brands is impossible for one person to complete and stay on top of. Therefore their ability to delegate tasks in a way which clearly communicates the requirements and objectives is of paramount importance.
Once any work is completed, the marketing manager must ensure that any work which represents a company, completely matches their brand guidelines. If it doesn’t, it good potentially be damaging to the company and therefore the marketing managers future in that role.
Client Partner & Marketing Manager, Portent, Inc.
It may be easier to summarize the things a Marketing Manager doesn’t do than to list all the roles and responsibilities we do cover. Therefore, I made a few adjustments to your title.
A marketing manager is an expert across different sales fields
By definition, we manage the marketing for a company or a client’s company. However, with marketing spanning across print, television, and digital (the latter of which compounds with each new channel), Marketing Managers must be experts across fields and maintain that expertise in an ever-evolving industry.
One minute you’re providing creative and UX direction on a landing page and the next you’re digging into the data looking for insights to capitalize on or attribution errors skewing performance.
A marketing manager also plays the role of product managers
This is in addition to being experts in earned, owned, and paid channels. We communicate progress (both successes and setbacks) to internal or external stakeholders, interpret those stakeholder’s needs and wants into tangible goals and create, manage and execute the marketing strategy.
Sandwiched between channel expert and Product Manager is another role, Project Manager, which requires the Marketing Manager to determine project priority by impact, difficulty and stakeholder’s interests.
A marketing manager will take on the role of the client
I often step into my client’s shoes to consider what questions they might have and to poke holes in my or my team’s strategy.
Marketing Manager, dio, LLC
A marketing manager is a juggler, a peace-keeper, a branding wizard and of course, a leader
We juggle content writing, lead generation, sales alignment, email, social, traditional ad placements, cross-channel promotions, account-based marketing, CRM, video/photography, PR efforts, events, and website development.
We must bring together, seamlessly, sales and marketing teams. We must decipher the detailed product specifications and interpret them into simple creative promotion. We must bring together multiple audiences using well-planned core messages, then listen to feedback and adjust accordingly.
We’re a central component keeping customers, sales, operations, and research teams all happy and running smoothly. We’re constantly reinforcing the brand voice and enforcing the brand standards company-wide. And of course, we’re leading not only the marketing team and our own marketing campaigns, but steering strategic business decisions to help grow the company overall.
A marketing manager has a unique position in a company, where she sees what’s happening now and forecasts what needs to be done to reach specific growth goals.
Inbound Marketing Manager, InTouch Marketing
They are in charge of meeting the client’s marketing goals and overseeing that marketing efforts are being done.
A marketing manager develops brand awareness
To make sure that these goals are being met, marketing managers will be doing different things in order to get their clients’ name out there.
Marketing managers will be in charge of making sure that every page on a website is search engine optimized, making sure that there is content produced every month that is helpful and educational to potential prospects, and creating offers to move prospects along the buyer’s journey.
Some of these offers may be an ebook, webinar, checklist, whitepapers, and many more. These will be offers that people can download for free and the only thing you ask of them is their name and email address. You give these offers away in exchange for their information because now you have their email and you will be able to nurture that lead and hopefully turn them into a customer.
A marketing manager improves social media popularity
Marketing managers are also in charge of making sure that there are social media posts posted on all social media networks for that client, as well as creating emails and workflows to send out to all leads, and existing customers.
A marketing manager deals with search engine trends and optimization
They should be keeping up to date with search engine trends and whether there was an algorithm change. When there are algorithm changes it could ultimately affect the success of a website and that’s why it is very important to watch out for all of these changes.
Checking to see what keywords are ranking on search engines and also checking to see what keyword opportunities there are and putting a plan into action in order to get that keyword ranked.
A marketing manager creates campaigns
One of the most important things a marketing manager is in charge of is campaigns. Creating campaigns, setting goals and then putting that campaign into action and seeing how successful that campaign was.
Campaigns can be something as simple as trying to get 50 more page followers on Facebook or they can be gaining 2 customers off of the download of an ebook.
Overall marketing managers that make sure that lead generation efforts are being done correctly and that the client’s financial goals are being met.
Vice President of Marketing | Business Consultant
The Marketing Manager is key to keeping the company grounded in reality. There are five main areas where she can add a lot of value: Market research and Segmentation, Channels and Pricing, Market Communication, Product Management, and Sales Support.
This is the individual that can spend all day doing market and competitor research to find good product markets and segments for the company offerings. She decides what strategies to employ, and sets tactical plans, milestones, and KPIs to keep efforts on track.
A marketing manager determine the marketing channels
This takes some investigation of product flows and some thinking around which channel partners perform what tasks and add what value. This has to be well researched when deciding who gets the rewards, in other words: how pricing is done. This pricing strategy needs to cover both list pricing, and what levels of discounts distributors or resellers enjoy.
To maximize profitability, pricing should reflect the customers’ value in using the product. This ties back into market research and understanding customer pain points.
A marketing manager thinks of marketing communication
When people think of marketing, they often think of market communication. This is an important activity, but it quickly becomes useless if the marketing manager is not crystal clear about who the target segments are, and what communication channels are good for reaching the target audience.
Different things that need to be communicated include branding of company and products, campaigns, product information, and company news. There are many tools to use, like trade shows, web sites, video, social media, interviews in-trade press, and blogs, blogs, blogs.
A marketing manager also is responsible for product and service policies
This involves setting objectives for the product range, decide to make or buy products, and how products are packaged and distributed. She often gets involved in product development, especially as the voice of the customer in the early conceptualization stage, and when it comes to launching the new products.
A marketing manager should be joined at the hip with sales
She supports the Sales reps with competitor information, product information, price support, sales collateral, and sales training. Lead generation is very important to Sales.
Marketing collects suspects from web sites, e-mail campaigns, landing pages et cetera, and nurture them over time until they have become leads and are ready to be handed over to Sales through the CRM system.
Marketing management is a generalist job, good marketers must have a broad skill set, from research and analysis to number crunching, pricing algorithms, computers, communication, and teamwork.
They must organize events and stay on budget, listen to customers and the CEO, and make it all work. Marketing managers are the ones that never have time to binge new shows… but we have the most fun!
VP of Marketing, Azuga
The responsibilities and description of marketing managers are dependent on the company and industry they’re in; however, they often share responsibilities that direct the company’s marketing strategy.
This includes monitoring the online digital presence, educating employees with new marketing trends, analyzing campaign results and managing budgets.
A marketing manager balances the budgets for marketing campaigns
One task that typically designed for marketing managers is having the responsibility to manage budgets. Marketing managers are often given the responsibility to decide how budgets should be divided.
Based on their marketing strategy, they will decide what will be allocated to each campaign with the strategy they’ve developed.
A marketing manager is in charge of evaluating campaign performance
Marketing managers are responsible for evaluating the performance of the campaigns the team has put on. If they find results aren’t going as predicted, they make the decision to pivot in order to change the outcome of the campaign or evaluate the strengths of weaknesses of the campaign in order to improve for the next one.
Marketing Manager, Bowler Hat
The main responsibility is to determine the strategy and support the team in achieving the goals that are set. I currently manage a team of five marketing executives who all have their own specialty, from SEO, PPC and Social Media.
A marketing manager discover areas of weakness and opportunity for the company
Once we have an idea of the work we would like to go after, I then have to analyze the customer personas, industry trends and demands for the services we want to focus on.
A marketing manager implement a strategy for marketing executives to work on
During this stage, my responsibility shifts towards the measurement and analysis part of the job, to ensure that the strategy is working as expected. I, then report back to the sales team and directors with the results and welcome any feedback that may help in adjusting the strategy to further benefit the results.
Digital Marketing Strategist, Bowler Hat
A marketing manager combines managing, optimization, analysis into one
This may come across as glib, but a marketing manager should manage marketing. We just flipped the words around there but it is actually pretty accurate if we provide some additional context.
The modern marketing environment is complicated. Search engines and social media combined with more traditional media and offline advertising make for a complicated marketing landscape for many businesses.
You may have several ad campaigns running across several platforms – before we know it there are 100’s of streams of inbound traffic and keeping this running smoothly, up-to-date and evaluating what works requires management.
This can all scale exponentially – 10 products, marketed on 5 platforms, to 5 different audiences. 10x5x5 = 250 marketing campaigns. All of which could need optimization, updates, analysis.
In my experience, the modern marketing manager has to be pretty hands-on.
They may not be an expert and may well be managing several external agencies that bring expertise in areas like search engine optimization, Google Ads and Facebook ads but they most certainly should be assessing what is working and looking to optimize the budget allocation towards the areas that deliver the best results.
And of course, some marketing managers end up being content writers, website optimizers and managing the content pushed to social platforms. This can involve being the person who is chasing teams within the business to deliver the next case study or blog post.
Lots of moving parts and this is just scratching the surface. The modern marketing manager typically has its work cut out.
CMO, Lasting Trend
Broadly speaking, daily tasks and duties of a marketing manager fall into the following categories:
A marketing manager generates new business opportunities
Marketing managers analyze the behavior of potential clients, past leads, competitors, and the industry as a whole. Based on that, they forecast what is or is going to be in demand and whether a company’s products or services have unfulfilled potential.
A marketing manager handles marketing strategy development
After they identify a new trend or a market to get into, they outline a strategy to promote the product or the service. The goal is to boost the sales volume and gain competitive advantage.
A marketing manager monitors the marketing department
They oversee the daily activities of the department. They also are in charge of training and periodic performance evaluations of the marketing and sales teams.
A marketing manager evaluates customer satisfaction
In the aftermath of promotional activities, managers conduct economic and commercial surveys. This gives important insights into the campaign’s performance and dictates future actions.
Marketing Manager, Ohlson Lavoie Corporation
As a Marketing Manager for an Architectural, Interior Design, and Aquatic Design firm, I am responsible for a wide range of tasks associated with marketing, business development and communications.
A marketing manager does research
Every day I get to do research. I research projects, opportunities, municipalities, organizations and potential clients. All the data that I collect throughout the year helps me to develop a budget and a strategic plan for marketing and communications for the following year.
A marketing manager focuses on proposal development
Architecture, Engineering and Construction firms must present qualifications or a proposal to win a project. Qualifications include information about the firm pursuing the work, resumes, project examples and references. Proposals require fees in addition to the qualifications.
I respond to Requests for Information (RFIs) from other teaming partners when we’re not leading the pursuit and I am responsible for all proposal development in response to Requests for Proposals/Qualifications (RFPs/RFQs). In the past three years, I’ve submitted over 250 proposals and qualification packages.
If our proposal is accepted and we are invited to interview, I prepare interview materials, including PowerPoint presentations and graphic leave-behinds reiterating what is to be discussed in the interview.
In addition to these responsibilities, I prepare award submittals, enter Design Competitions, plan educational and recreational events, select and purchase promotional items, coordinate trade shows and identify speaking engagements.
A marketing manager is responsible for communications
I’m also responsible for communications, whether it be to announce a new employee or tell everyone about a new project we just completed. Other tasks include social media postings, website updates, email marketing, and quarterly newsletter development.
All of these require some graphic design abilities and the use of Adobe programs including Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and occasionally PowerPoint.
If you’re doing your job as Marketing Manager, you have your finger on the pulse of the markets you’re involved in; you belong to a related organizations such as the Society for Marketing Professional Services; you have intermediate graphic design skills; and you know the history of your firm so that you’re able to tell the story from start to finish.
Marketing Director and Co-Founder, Ever Increasing Circles
A marketing manager creates the workflow between clients, account managers, designers, SEO’s and web developers
Marketing managers are the jam in the marketing jam sandwich.
They need to manage projects to budget and on time, coordinating all the different elements of an ad campaign from planning to execution, analysis, adaptation, and optimization.
They need to have in-depth knowledge of industry trends, tools, strategies, and marketing techniques. And, most crucially, manage people through the process to get the most out of their teams!
That for me is the most important element. For you can have all the technical knowledge in the world, but if you are a bad people person you’re not going to get the most out of all the stakeholders in an ad campaign project.
CMO, Maple Holistics
A marketing manager keeps track of trends and the needs of the public when it comes to specific products or services
This knowledge then informs the strategy that they use in order to market the goods or services in question. Part of the job entails creating budgets and cost estimates for marketing plans, collaborating with advertising agencies and also overseeing any marketing before it goes out to the public.
It’s also important for a marketing manager to assess the success of marketing strategies to see what’s working and when it’s time for some course correction.
Marketing Manager, Reviewbox
As a Marketing Manager for a SaaS startup, I have built my department from day one. I knew when I accepted the role, that my role was to generate leads for our sales funnel. What I have discovered is that are many facets of being a marketing manager.
Here is just a small list of what I do:
- Research and implement marketing technology
- Build and maintain budgets
- Research and determine which events will generate the most conversions for our business
- Develop content for the website
- Research and produce opportunities for our CEO to be shown as a thought leader in the industry
- Monitor our SEO and campaigns
- Manage a team (a marketing associate and an intern)
I’m sure this role may be different in a larger organization but I really do love what I do now as Marketing Manager for Reviewbox.
Wearing multiple hats and developing cohesive strategies across SEO, ad campaigns, content, and events keep me on my toes and helps me hone my marketing skills.
VP, Marketing and Admin, Go-Forth Pest Control
A marketing manager is charged with seeing that the company’s marketing strategy aligns with the company’s mission
A marketing manager is someone that would work directly with company leadership in developing the company’s mission as it relates to its customers. This person will help identify the consistent message or values that should be present in all the company’s marketing.
For example, if the company’s mission is to provide the most professional service, the marketing manager would be in charge of ensuring that all marketing communications – social media posts, TV ads, radio ads, website – show the customer through pictures and words that their team is the most professional looking and sounding one out there.
With every marketing project managed by the marketing manager, they would ask themselves, does this align with our marketing strategy?
A marketing manager is responsible for specific marketing goals
To meet these goals, the marketing manager and her team will work to think of marketing activities to meet these goals – such as a TV ad campaign, events, direct mail campaign, etc.
The marketing manager person will manage the people in charge of the execution of the activities, ensuring they honor things like budget and marketing calendar. Finally, a marketing manager will be expected to analyze and prove that the marketing tools and products achieved the company mission.
Owner, David Kranker Creative
A marketing manager is in charge of setting the marketing strategy and executing it
You either have goals and KPIs set for you or you’re setting your own and you have to figure out what you’re going to do to achieve those goals. Components of the strategy include what marketing channels will be focused on and what kind of content and messaging will be used for those channels among other things.
Once you come up with a strategy, you then have to figure out how to execute it within a given scope. So, you allocate specific resources including marketing budget and employee hours to executing the strategy.
You layout the timelines for deliverables and monitor budget and progress, as well as campaign performance to ensure you don’t go over budget and your campaign is progressing with results coming in.
Once a campaign is done, you then reflect on the data and adjust strategies accordingly based on the results.
Marketing Group Manager, Environmental Management Solutions
A marketing manager focuses their energy into supporting, developing, and nurturing their team of marketing associates
This means evaluating project risks ahead of time and working to proactively remove obstacles before your team gets stuck, and making sure that they have the resources/tools before they begin.
As a manager, it becomes your role to coordinate the efforts of your specialized team members to make sure they are working in parallel and towards the same strategic goals – encourage autonomy and communication by acting as the central knowledge hub.
CMO, With Clarity
A marketing manager identifies the best ways to capture customers all throughout the sales cycle
They bring people into the funnel and help them convert on-site. It’s a full visualization of the customer journey and understanding the customer needs and pain points across it.
Once that is understood, it’s important to assess costs, manpower, and strategy behind executing on the best implementation of brand strategy. A marketing manager must successfully do all of the above while maintaining a call and steady leadership approach.
Digital Marketing Manager, GlobalX UK
A marketing manager highlights the benefits of their company/products to potential customers
How they do this can vary greatly from branding to social media to events but the essence of the role is always the same. What most people think a marketing manager does is the output they create like adverts and website.
The majority of marketing managers time though is actually spent on understanding the customer, their needs, demands, and problems. They then use the insights they’ve discovered to build a marketing strategy and make informed decisions.