Wallflowers need not apply. Most marketing managers have an outgoing, gregarious, and spontaneous nature. In concert with these traits, marketing managers are highly focused, detail-oriented, and very conscientious of meeting budgetary and time deadlines.
These creative individuals are responsible for the planned and unplanned images of their employer. Planned images may include print or video advertisements, public speaking engagements, endorsements, and printed literature. Unplanned images can occur when one of the company’s representatives misspeaks in public, thus requiring immediate damage control, or when the company is attacked by an outside force such when someone tampers with the company’s products after they leave production, or a fault in the product that isn’t recognized until well after the product has been in circulation.
Skilled marketing managers deflect the unauthorized comments and reassure the public that the company is doing all that it can to investigate and correct the product line. Through carefully worded statements and advertisements, marketing managers soothe the publics fear and outrage, ensuring that the company’s reputation survives such mishaps.
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Marketing managers work with other team members to create both simple and complex advertising campaigns. They may also negotiate the contracts for the various forms of advertising after forming a marketing budget. They will work with team members to determine the best and most creative ways to advertise the company’s products or services. They may be required to present these ideas to the company and to the final client in order to gain approval for implementation.
Marketing managers also determine the marketability of a new product or service. They test out the level of public interest for a new product or service. They also determine, in concert with other team members, pricing and product placement. They look for new markets that may require the company’s products or services. Marketing managers perform the complex product research, including a thorough knowledge of the product’s strengths and weaknesses, prior to introducing the product to non-traditional marketplaces.
Most marketing managers possess a bachelor’s degree. Some areas of concentration include business administration, journalism, English, and advertising. Students pursuing a degree in marketing will learn how to apply marketing theory to real-world business situations. Coursework includes the study of the fundamentals of both business and advertising. Intensive coursework includes the principles of management, business law, mathematics for business and finance, marketing research, business statistics, and advertising principles. A bachelor’s degree qualifies one for most entry-level positions in the field of marketing management.
Individuals who choose to pursue a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing will find a broader range of career opportunities. In order to achieve a master’s degree, individuals will successfully complete coursework in buyer motivation and behavior, international marketing, marketing research, advertising management, and sales management.
At any level, successful marketing managers must be able to interact with team members and clients, appreciating the needs of the client within the budgetary constraints and formulating the best possible marketing approach with team members.
A thorough knowledge of computers, electronics, and various media allows marketing managers to achieve the biggest bang for the buck when it comes to spending the advertising budget wisely. He or she should be socially adept and persuasive in order to engender the client’s support for what may well be a radically different marketing approach than had previously been employed. He or she must be creative and possess the ability to think on the run while keeping a close eye on budgetary constraints. He or she must have a finger on the pulse of the marketplace, consumer purchasing habits, and the attractive repackaging of current products or services for introduction into new markets.
Much of the work in this field can be accomplished in an office setting. Product research, consumer purchasing trends, and new market analysis require both highly developed computer skills and strong interpersonal skills in order to determine a product’s viability.
Many marketing managers travel to meet with clients, work with production teams to fine-tune products, and take informal man-on-the-street polls regarding the clients product or service. Additionally, marketing managers travel to meet with prospective media outlets such as video production companies, print production companies, and public speaking venues, as appropriate.
Because marketing is a cutthroat field, marketing managers who take continuing education courses, read current white papers, and enhance their digital skills will find themselves head and shoulders above their competition.
The Department of Labor notes that North American Marketing Managers can expect a median wage of $112,800 per year, with the lowest 10 percent earning approximately $41,000 per year and the highest 10 percent earning approximately $166,000 per year. Of course, in order to earn this higher salary, top marketing managers worked more than 50 hours per week.
The Department of Labor predicts that the demand for marketing managers will grow at approximately 14 percent, about the same rate as other occupations, between 2010 and 2020. Marketing managers are essential to established companies seeking to break into new markets and to the burgeoning start-up businesses seeking to establish a foothold in consumer purchasing. Marketing managers are especially vital in this digital age. Those individuals who possess strong social marketing skills, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, will easily find and retain employment within their field of study.