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How to Become a Marketing Manager

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How to Become a Marketing Manager

What marketing managers do

Marketing managers find ways to build public interest in a business service or product, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov, 2012). These professionals plan marketing campaigns, collaborating with advertising and promotions managers as well as art directors. Marketing managers conduct research and analyze the demand for the company's products or services while studying the marketing and sales activity of competitors.

These managers search for new markets for their organizations' products and they may uncover the needs for a new product. Marketing management could design pricing strategies and also monitor customer satisfaction, working with other departments such as sales, public relations and product development. Managers may also oversee the hiring of marketing staff and supervise daily operations, the BLS reports.

Marketing managers work in a variety of industries, including professional services firms and manufacturing organizations. These managers usually work in company offices in proximity to top executives, but they also travel to meet with clients or media representatives. Marketing managers tend to hold full-time positions with extensive responsibilities, which can lead to stressful conditions and the need to work overtime (BLS).

How to become a marketing manager

Aspiring marketing managers need a broad range of skills, including creativity, interpersonal communication and managerial abilities. Strengths should include leadership, efficient use of resources, and decision-making and analysis, according to the BLS.

Most marketing management positions require a bachelor's degree, and the BLS recommends gaining real-world practice with an internship while studying. Beyond sales and marketing coursework, the curriculum could include business law, management, economics, accounting, finance, mathematics, statistics and other relevant subjects. In addition to educational qualifications, marketing managers generally need experience in marketing or related fields, such as advertising, promotions, public relations, purchasing or sales, the BLS notes.

While the process could vary, a typical method for becoming a marketing manager may include some or all of the following steps, the BLS reports:

  • Earn a high school diploma or GED
  • Gain a bachelor's degree in advertising, marketing or a related field
  • Accumulate relevant on-the-job experience in advertising, marketing, sales or a related field
  • Apply for a marketing management position

No employment is guaranteed by taking the steps mentioned above as additional training, education, qualifications or certifications may be required for employment.

Career outlook for marketing managers

The BLS projects employment of advertising, promotions and marketing managers should show average growth of up to 14 percent nationally  from 2010 to 2020, and job prospects may be the most favorable for those with an understanding of digital and Internet marketing. The industries that employed the most marketing managers in 2011 included management of companies and enterprises; management, scientific and technical consulting services; computer systems design and related services; software publishers; and insurance carriers (BLS.gov).

Among the states with the highest employment level of marketing managers in 2011 were California, Texas, New York, Illinois and New Jersey (BLS). In May 2011, the BLS reported national annual earnings of $116,010 median for marketing managers, while the lowest-paid 10 percent earned up to $60,230 nationally and the highest-paid 10 percent earned up to $187,199 nationally.

Quick Facts: Marketing Managers
*All facts from BLS.gov*

2011 National Median Pay

$116,010 per year; $55.78 per hour

Entry Level Education

Bachelor' degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

1-5 years

On-the-job Training


Number of Jobs, 2011


Job Outlook, 2010-2020

14% nationally

Employment Change, 2010-2020




Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2011, 11-2021 Marketing Managers, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes112021.htm


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