Marketing Manager


Job Overview

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in a product or service. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.

Aptitudes & Necessary Skills

Analytical skills. Because the advertising industry changes with the rise of digital media, advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must be able to analyze industry trends to determine the most promising strategies for their organization.

Communication skills. Managers must be able to communicate effectively with a broad-based team made up of other managers or staff members during the advertising, promotions, and marketing process. They must also be able to communicate persuasively to the public.

Creativity. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must be able to generate new and imaginative ideas.

Decision-making skills. Managers often must choose between competing advertising and marketing strategies put forward by staff.

Interpersonal skills. These managers must deal with a range of people in different roles, both inside and outside the organization.

Organizational skills. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must manage their time and budget efficiently while directing and motivating staff members.

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A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. For advertising management positions, some employers prefer a bachelor's degree in advertising or journalism. A relevant course of study might include classes in marketing, consumer behavior, market research, sales, communication methods and technology, visual arts, art history, and photography.

Most marketing managers have a bachelor’s degree. Courses in business law, management, economics, finance, computer science, mathematics, and statistics are advantageous. For example, courses in computer science are helpful in developing an approach to maximize traffic through online search results, which is critical for digital advertisements and promotions. In addition, completing an internship while in school is highly recommended.


The median annual wage for advertising and promotions managers was $88,590 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $43,270, and the top 10 percent earned more than $187,200.

The median annual wage for marketing managers was $119,480 in May 2012. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $62,650, and the top 10 percent earned more than $187,200.

Most advertising, promotions, and marketing managers work full time. In 2012, about 2 in 5 advertising and promotions managers worked more than 40 hours per week in 2012.

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Job Settings

Because the work of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers directly affects a firm’s revenue, they typically work closely with top executives. The jobs of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers are usually stressful, particularly near deadlines. They may travel to meet with clients or representatives of communications media.

Personalities Suited for this Job

Optimism—Are you the type of person who lets him- or herself become overwhelmed by pessimism? Do you forever see the glass as “half empty” as opposed to “half full”? If so, sales marketing management may not be a great choice. Sales and marketing gurus are characterised by their ability to remain positive, even in the toughest of times. This positivity enables them to keep up a great attitude, an asset to any sales or marketing leader and his or her team.

Creativity—On a regular basis, sales and marketing executives need to be able to creatively solve problems. Unfortunately, someone who does not have the gift of innovation may have difficulty conjuring interesting, new solutions. Never fear, though; creativity is one area that can be honed. If you’re not naturally creative, you can become so by proactively finding ways to use your imagination. Start with crossword puzzles which can help you focus on uncovering answers.

“People” Skills—A sales marketing manager has to work with many different kinds of individuals, so “people” skills are essential. This means being able to connect with colleagues, subordinates and clients in a way that’s real. Generally speaking, you probably know if you have “people” skills because those around you will tend to follow your lead, even when it’s not expected.

Desire for and Commitment to Lifelong Learning—The sales marketing leader needs to be educating him- or herself all the time. Industries change rapidly, and sales and marketing professionals need to move with their markets. If you don’t love attending conferences, reading books or collecting credentials, you may have difficulty snagging an executive position in the field of sales marketing.

Job Outlook

The median annual wage for marketing managers was $119,480 in May 2012. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $62,650, and the top 10 percent earned more than $187,200. Employment of marketing managers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The need to hire marketing managers is geographically broad as companies need to support the local communities they serve. There are international opportunities in marketing across Europe, Asia and South America. Internships supporting marketing managers and executives are popular across major cities in the U.S.