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How to become a Marketing Manager

marketing manager careers

What does a Marketing Manager do?

Marketing managers launch products, develop and maintain a brand's image and formulate marketing and communication plans to generate, maintain and increase existing business. They may have to deal with many different projects at the same time.

To help identify and forecast customer demands, managers are responsible for planning and co-ordinating each stage of marketing plans, outlining budgets and timeframes. The work involves market research, product development, pricing, sales and distribution, and promotion of the product.

Export marketing managers work for companies selling their goods overseas. Products and services need to be promoted in different ways in different countries, and may require managers to spend time abroad. Managers will face many additional problems such as variations in currency exchange rates, import restrictions and local taxes.

All marketing managers spend time writing marketing and promotional briefs, giving presentations, briefing agencies and other departments, monitoring a campaign’s progress and writing marketing strategies.

The main areas of business a marketing manager may be involved in are consumer goods, services such as banks and airlines, industrial products, and the public sector.

Depending on the size of the company, a marketing manager might lead a marketing team.

What's the working environment like working as a Marketing Manager?

Working hours vary depending on the sector, but many roles are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, although as deadlines approach, evening and weekend work may be required.

Most of the time is spent in an office, often in meetings. Marketing managers also travel to see clients and agencies, and to attend conferences and exhibitions. Travel abroad may be required, particularly with export marketing. Some marketing managers work from home using a computer, but will spend part of the time in an office.

A driving licence is often required.

What does it take to become a Marketing Manager?

To be a marketing manager you need:

  • good spoken and written communication skills
  • a head for business with strong organisational and numerical skills
  • the ability to work in a team, delegating to and motivating others
  • the creativity, energy and enthusiasm to deal with campaigns
  • the ability to work to deadlines and cope with pressure
  • self-confidence when selling ideas and briefing agencies or the marketing team
  • fluency in a foreign language (for export marketing managers).

Marketing Manager Career Opportunities

The major employers of marketing managers are companies selling products or services to the public or to other businesses and public sector organisations such as charities and councils.

Opportunities exist within marketing consultancies, often specialising in areas such as communications, advertising or market research. The Internet and the growth of e-commerce also provide an area of opportunity in marketing.

Vacancies are advertised in the press and in specialist publications.

It is possible for experienced marketing managers to become self-employed and set up their own consultancies.

People working within marketing often change jobs to gain experience. Promotion is linked to performance and would be to marketing director or a general management position. Gaining additional professional qualifications can help career progression.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Marketing Manager that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
Moor Hall
Tel: 01628 427500

Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM)
1 Park Road
TW11 0AR
Tel: 020 8614 0277

Institute of Export
Export House
Minerva Business Park
Lynch Wood
Tel: 01733 404400

CAM Foundation
Moor Hall
Tel: 01628 427120

Arts Marketing Association
Tel: 01223 578078

Facts and Stats:

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  • By 2004, it has been predicted that over £13 billion a year will be spent on on-line advertising in the US alone, compared with £3.4 billion in Europe.
  • Between a fifth and a quarter of holiday bookings originate from Teletext.