How to Become a Marketing Manager

marketing manager

Table of Contents

1. Overview: Job Responsibilities, Salary, and Common Requirements

2. A Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Marketing Manager

3. What Does a Marketing Manager Do?

4. Signs You Should Consider Becoming a Marketing Manager

5. How Do You Become a Marketing Manager?

6. What are the Knowledge and Skills Needed to be a Marketing Manager?

7. Popular Schools and Colleges in the U.S. for Aspiring Marketing Managers

8. How to Get a Job as a Marketing Manager

9. Learn About Geographic and Location Pay Differentials

10. Make Your Resume Stand Out

11. Ace Your Marketing Manager Interview

12. Top Online Courses for Aspiring Marketing Managers


Job Responsibilities

  • Identify target audience, develop pricing strategies, and manage distribution
  • Identify competitors and potential markets
  • Monitor, create, and implement marketing strategies across different channels
  • Measure and analyze key performance metrics and create reports
  • Manage the department budget and ensure cost to benefit ratio
  • Build relationships with vendors and agencies
  • Work hand in hand with other departments like public relations and finance
  • Oversee the whole department and staff

How Much Does a Marketing Manager Make?

Marketing managers made a median salary of $136,850 in 2019. The best-paid 10 percent made $208,000 that year, while the lowest paid 10 percent made $71,010.


Common Requirements

  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree in any business-related field or any field related to marketing such as communications, public relations, and economics.
  • Undergo a marketing internship and gain hands-on experience.
  • Build 3-5 years of relevant work experience such as a marketing analyst, marketing associate, marketing assistant, or marketing specialist, or any related position.
  • Earn a master’s degree such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Similar Careers

Project Managers

Advertising Managers

Management Analysts

Public Relations Specialists

Market Research Analysts

Sales Managers

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Advertising Salespeople

Purchasing Managers

Financial Managers

Common Skills

Social Media

Content Creation


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Data Analytics

Project Management

Financial Management


$136,850 per year
$65.34 per hour





A Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Marketing Manager

The marketing manager plays a big part in gearing a company towards success. His or her main role is to generate audience interest in the company’s products or services by implementing marketing initiatives such as promotional campaigns and strategies. Marketing managers also take care of a brand’s image, ensuring that it is aligned with the company’s mission and vision and customers are always satisfied. They work closely with sales, public relations, and even the financial department.

Marketing managers have a median salary of $136,850 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics last 2019. There is also a projected increase of employment by 6% from 2019-2029, which is faster than the average rate for most occupations.

Marketing managers have a variety of responsibilities, all of which require the utmost focus and attention to detail to maximize the company’s profits.

What Does a Marketing Manager Do?

Marketing managers analyze consumer demand and identify potential markets for the company’s products or services. They are in charge of the overall research and assessment and they overlook each stage of the marketing efforts, from branding and design to pricing strategies and advertising campaigns. Aside from this, they are also responsible for monitoring everything related to brand awareness such as endorsements, product placement in media, email campaigns or newsletters, and more.

Although the responsibilities of a marketing manager may depend on the size, structure, and goals of the company, his or her duties may include:

  • Identifying the target audience being sold to, along with developing the pricing strategies and managing distribution channels to attend to the target audience’s particularities
  • Identifying competitors and potential markets such as retailers, wholesalers, and the general public
  • Monitoring trends to improve current products or services, or even develop new ones
  • Creating and implementing both short-term and long-term marketing strategies and advertising campaigns across multiple channels
  • Managing the department budget and optimizing the cost-benefit ratio
  • Building relationships with other agencies and vendors, as well as negotiating advertising contracts and supervising all related activities involved
  • Measuring and assessing key performance metrics, alongside reporting the return of investment, sales volume, and even customer experience from the customer service department; then reporting findings to the upper management
  • Leading the company’s social media strategy and evaluating the performance of each campaign
  • Seeking to increase sales volume and determining more strategies to market the company’s product or services
  • Coordinating with other departments such as public relations to align the company’s point of view, including reviewing or writing press releases when necessary
  • Overseeing the whole marketing department and staff

Signs You Should Consider Becoming a Marketing Manager

Do you think you’re suited to become a marketing manager? Here are the key qualities present across successful marketing managers:

You are a natural-born leader. 

Leadership abilities are critical in this position because as a manager, you should be able to direct and guide your team toward a common goal. Marketing managers should also be able to push themselves and others to achieve desired results and even go above what is expected by taking initiative and being resourceful.

You are able to communicate easily with others, both verbally and in writing.

Having exceptional interpersonal skills are imperative in this profession. Marketing managers work with a big team within the company so they must ensure that the whole process of advertising, promotion, and marketing go smoothly without miscommunication. Aside from that, marketing managers are basically in control of all communication between a company and its customers. They must be able to convey their ideas and deliver these promotional messages properly through different forms of media and other platforms. This also builds and strengthens relationships with partners, clients, customers, and other companies or individuals you’re in connection with.

You are creative.

Since promotions and advertisements are consistently happening, marketing managers must be able to come up with new, innovative, and exciting ideas. They should always be ready to generate and build new campaigns with unique and captivating hooks. Moreover, a marketing manager’s creative thinking is tested when there is a need to adapt to customers’ needs in a strategic manner.

You have an eye for analyzing industry trends and you are confident in making decisions out of good judgment.

As a marketing manager, you are constantly reading and interpreting information, reports, and other vital information needed in measuring success. Having said this, you should also be comfortable in dealing with numbers because you’ll be looking at different types of data such as engagement, conversions, website traffic, and more.

Marketing managers should also be able to resolve problems when they arise and make decisions based on their analysis and overall judgment. Being up-to-date on social media platforms and trends will help determine the best strategies and campaigns to be implemented or changed.

You have strong organizational and time management skills.

The marketing department is a fast-paced environment that demands flexibility and versatility. Priorities add up and is constantly changing so marketing managers must be able to multitask effectively. For example, several campaigns may be executed at the same time so they must oversee the schedule, budget, and everything else needed to successfully run the campaign– all of that on top of their everyday responsibilities.

You are onboard the digital bandwagon.

With the emergence of new software and programs, technology will continue to advance and influence marketing accomplishments. Online client engagement is increasing and a marketing manager should be able to move forward alongside technical advancements, such as social media networks, to avoid getting left behind.

You have a high tolerance for stress.

Since marketing is a fast-paced and ever-changing environment, the marketing manager should be able to deal with high levels of stress that may come from situations that don’t work out as planned, team members who are not properly executing their tasks, or even receiving criticism from customers and clients. As a leader, you should be able to remain calm and still work effectively even under immense pressure.


How Do You Become a Marketing Manager?

While you can dive into a marketing career as early as high school (with an exceptional amount of experience), there are expectations when aspiring for a marketing manager position. Qualifications vary according to each company. While most require a bachelor’s degree, some prefer candidates with a master’s degree. However, there are also companies that will consider an undergraduate, but with relevant and extensive experience in the field.

So what’s your best chance of landing a marketing manager position and becoming successful?

1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree.  

This is the standard minimum requirement in order to be qualified in any marketing profession. Most companies prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in any business-related field. The following undergraduate programs usually takes four years to complete, and these have the highest likelihood of being considered for the position:

    • Marketing
    • Communications
    • Public relations
    • Accounting
    • Business management

Other programs such as economics, finance, and computer science are also great stepping stones to this career.

2. Undergo a marketing internship.

Employers usually look for candidates with more hands-on experience and an internship is a great way to immerse in real-world marketing. Aside from gaining valuable experience and lessons, you will also have the chance to establish a network of professional connections, which may come in handy in the future. You may even find your prospective employers in the duration of your internship. This internship can be taken post-graduate or during your bachelor’s program.

3. Build your work experience.

This is crucial for an advanced marketing position such as a marketing manager. An internship is great, but it is no match for entry-level jobs such as a marketing analyst, marketing associate, marketing assistant, or marketing specialist. Companies usually consider those who have at least three to five years of work experience with a strong record of successful campaigns and numbers. Other useful practice includes journalism, advertising, or media.

4. Earn a master’s degree.

Some companies prefer a master’s degree such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA), which is known to be the best choice if you’re going for a leadership position as a marketing manager. Taking courses such as social media, public affairs, branding and consumer, digital and/or product marketing will strengthen your application. Marketing is also offered as a concentration within some MBA programs.

As you can see, there aren’t required licenses or exams in order to become a professional marketing manager. For most companies, the number of years you’ve been in the field is the most important factor, so an aspiring marketing manager should really focus on gaining relevant work experience.

5. Complete marketing certifications.

The marketing sector is filled with highly-skilled professionals all looking for ways to develop and strengthen their skills and to get the attention of prospective employers. One way to do that is by completing marketing certifications. Not only will this sharpen your skills, but it will make you even more credible especially when submitting your resume. Some of the most in-demand marketing certifications are:

6. Join an organization.

The marketing community in the U.S. is constantly growing and several organizations have already been established to bring this group of professionals together. Aside from potentially finding your next employer, you will also have an opportunity to expand your network, collaborate with others, and grow professionally– plus it will make your resume stand out all the more. Here is a list of some of the most well-known marketing professional organizations in the U.S.:

What are the Knowledge and Skills Needed to be a Marketing Manager?

A marketing manager should be well-versed in a lot of aspects, especially technology. Honing the following skills will give you the best chance of landing the marketing manager position:

Social Media

Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and the like have become the most popular channels for marketing products and services. Different networks require different strategies, so having an extensive knowledge in each channel will help define and build the foundation that companies need to strengthen personal branding and image. Defining the purpose for each network can drive marketing efforts dramatically in the right direction.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Proficiency in Search Engine Optimization or SEO is one of the most sought after skills in a marketing manager. Companies are always trying to boost their rankings on search engines such as Google because the increasing visibility drives more traffic to their website. This is done through effective content creation, another key skill needed in a marketing manager.

Content Creation/Writing

Well-written content can optimize websites to perform well on search engines. Thus, possessing creative writing skills is desirable when considering a marketing manager position. Effective content allows even more interaction with the audience and being able to generate and retain traffic through different content strategies such as blogging, for example, really sets you apart from the competition.

Data Analytics

As a marketing manager, it’s crucial that you understand whether your strategies and campaigns are bringing results or not. Tracking meaningful metrics and having the ability to measure and analyze that data is essential to become a successful marketing manager. In addition, you must also be able to create reports that will enable you to optimize your strategies more effectively.

Project Management

Marketing managers and project managers are similar in nature, both demanding qualities such as strong leadership, positive influence, and effective communication. Proper execution of campaigns, whether long or short-term, requires sharp project management skills in order to accomplish marketing objectives.

Financial Management

A successful campaign not only requires extensive planning, but a significant monetary budget as well. All areas of each marketing effort demand funding, however marketing managers should also ensure that these investments are beneficial for the company and the return on investment is maximized. Marketing managers need to be able to develop proper budgeting, from determining what and where to put the money on, up to the execution itself.

Below is a list of the Best Undergraduate Business Marketing Programs according to U.S. News & World Report. These colleges are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and were ranked based on peer assessment surveys.

  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (Ross)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
  • New York University (Stern)
  • University of California – Berkeley (Haas)
  • University of Texas – Austin (McCombs)
  • Indiana University – Bloomington (Kelley)
  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison (Wisconsin)
  • University of Florida (Warrington)
  • Arizona State University – Tempe (W. P. Carey)
  • St. Joseph’s University (Haub)
  • University of Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Moreover, here is a list of the top business schools with the Best MBA Marketing Programs in the U.S. according to U.S. News & World Report:

  • Northwestern University (Kellogg)
  • Duke University (Fuqua)
  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (Ross)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
  • Columbia University
  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • New York University (Stern)
  • University of California – Berkeley (Haas)
  • University of Chicago (Booth)
  • University of California – Los Angeles (Anderson)
  • Indiana University – Bloomington (Kelley)

How to Get a Job as a Marketing Manager

If you’re ready to take the plunge in starting your career as a marketing manager, you need to find a company that’s right for you. There are so many options in front of you and it could get overwhelming when you don’t know where to start. If you’ve already got a company in mind, do your research and see if they’re looking for a marketing manager. If not, we’ve provided some tips to help you get started.

There are many ways to find a job today. You can try either or all of the following, whatever you prefer.

Search for job openings online

Finding an open marketing manager position is so much more convenient today since job listings are just a click away. There are various job portals available on the web, but here are a few credible sites you can check out:

You can also Google ‘Marketing Manager Job Openings’ and add your location or preferred location to find hiring companies in a specific area.

Attend career fairs

It’s good to stay posted on local career fairs. This a good avenue to get to know prospective employers, build a network, and even hand out your resume, business card, or electronic business card to the companies you’re eyeing. You are able to make a good first impression beyond your resume, so make sure to come prepared; do your research on participating companies and look your best on the day of the fair.

Use your organization as a resource

If you’re a part of an organization such as the American Marketing Association (AMA), take advantage of it. Stay up to date on seminars, meet-ups, and other kinds of events because it’s during these times that you will have the chance to mingle and get to know others, or even meet big-time marketing professionals. If you’re lucky, you can get referrals or even talk to your potential employer.

Learn About Geographic and Location Pay Differentials

The marketing manager position generally offers a competitive salary. However, it’s important to realize that there will always be a significant difference in pay depending on where you’re located. Below is a list of a marketing manager’s average annual wage in 2019 according to each state. If you’re willing to relocate, this could be helpful in pointing you towards the right direction.

Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Make Your Resume Stand Out

Recruiters and hiring managers don’t have all day to read through hundreds of applications, which is why you should know exactly what to include in yours. Make it a habit to go through job posts thoroughly since each company differs in requirements. After going through a job post and keeping the qualifications in mind, it’s time to produce a well-crafted resume that will be remembered by your prospective employer. 

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when creating your resume:

1. Create an enticing objective to explain why you’re perfect for the marketing manager position.

Do you have relevant managerial experience or are you switching careers and going for your first marketing manager position? If you are the former, give an overview of your career and showcase your most important accomplishments. If you fall under the latter, emphasize related job experience and skills you’ve mastered so far and discuss how you belong in the field. 

Focus on the benefits you can bring to your potential employer, and then prove your value by quantifying your wins– which brings us to the next point.

2. Flaunt your most notable achievements through statistics.

You can never go wrong with showing off successful figures and even monetary details. This shows that you have brought measurable results for previous employers, strengthening your resume’s credibility and increasing your chances of impressing the recruiter or hiring manager.

3. List down the relevant certifications you’ve obtained.

Since you already have an idea of what the company is looking for in a desirable marketing manager, it is important to present all the relevant certifications you’ve completed in reverse chronological order. Remember, not all certifications will be valuable for each company, so it’s important to emphasize only the ones that are in line with the company’s preferences.

4. Include soft skills that are necessary for a marketing manager.

Soft skills are just as important as technical skills, thus an aspiring marketing manager should display strong creativity, communication, time management, organizational and leadership skills. These set of skills are needed to execute successful marketing objectives.

Remember to keep these tips in mind because this is a crucial step in advancing to the interview.

Ace Your Marketing Manager Interview

If you’ve been invited for an initial interview, you’re already one step closer to owning the title of marketing manager. The next hurdle is getting through the interview and making sure that you answer the questions spot on. 

Below are some of the most common interview questions for an aspiring marketing manager:

1. What do you know about our (the company’s) recent marketing efforts? 

This question usually follows with, “What do you like and what would you change?” Hiring managers ask this question to see how interested you are in the company. This is why it’s always important to do thorough research before walking into an interview. 

2. How do you ensure that the department runs smoothly and all tasks are completed on time? 

This is the time to outline your management style and how it is successful. Discuss how you delegate tasks effectively, define roles and responsibilities, and monitor the team consistently. Showcase your management skills and let the interviewer know that you are able to handle a large number of team members.

3. How do you effectively use digital marketing tools? 

This is where the technical skills come in. Talk about your proficiency in social media platforms, and different types of software and programs you are familiar with. Discuss how you are able to effectively optimize content (SEO), use keywords, and track and analyze metrics. You can also share your content writing skills and how it contributes in digital marketing.

4. Was there a campaign that did not work out as planned? How did you handle it?

Being able to recognize how a campaign went wrong shows the hiring manager that you are able to learn from your mistakes. This also shows that you can be held accountable for these failures, and that you’re well aware of how to avoid a repeat experience. 

5. Was there a campaign that you were able to execute on time and under budget?

This question explores your organizational, research, and analytical skills. Being able to execute a campaign on time and under budget implies that you are able to develop, support, and execute realistic objectives. Highlight how you planned the campaign and called the shots.

6. Was there a situation when you had to take an innovative course of action?

A successful marketing manager should always be ready to innovate. This tests his or her ability to evaluate a situation and determine the best course of action. At this time, you should describe how you were able to gain perspective, maximize resources, and capitalize on the situation.

These are just some of the most common questions you may hear during an interview so you must always be prepared for whatever may come up. Focus on your strongest skills and speak confidently; show the hiring manager that you know the ropes and you’re ready for the job.

Now that you’ve got a good grasp on what it’s like to become a marketing manager, it’s up to you to work towards it. You’re already one step ahead of other candidates when you know what employers are looking for.

Top Online Courses for Aspiring Marketing Managers

Sharpen your skills in marketing by taking these top online courses

There are many aspects of marketing– from finding your niche to pricing your products, then creating advertisements and sending campaign emails– and everything in between. Taking online courses that focus on different areas of marketing will help develop the skills you need to become the next successful marketing manager of your chosen company.

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