Marketing managers are skilled professionals responsible for formulating the marketing strategies of an organization. Their duties and job description depends on the various organizations and their scope and influence in the market place. According to O*Net Online, marketing managers had an expected annual job growth of up to 14% and drew a median annual wage of $123,220 in 2013. Whereas according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS
), the median salary for marketing managers is $115,750 for 2012.
It is essential for marketing managers to know about the budget, product lines, traditional and potential markets and the media related aspects of the business they’re working for. They need to be aware of their target market and how resources at their disposal can help in acquiring more customers. They need to come up with focused marketing strategies on the product, the customer base, product design and packaging as well as advertisements.
Today, marketing managers are required to come up with new and innovative marketing strategies to stay ahead of the curve and effectively market their product. They now need to focus on even the most miniscule of details; from the color of the brand to the choice of media used for advertisements, to the price of the product.
What are the Skills Required from a Marketing Manager?
Every potential marketing manager needs a certain set of skills to be successful at what they do. These skills help in day to day problems that a marketing manager might face and equip them with the ability to deal with, and solve these problems in the best possible way. Not only are these professionals expected to always think on their feet, they are also required to be excellent public speakers and effective writers so as to be able to get their vision for the future and idea across. Along with these skills, there are some other essential skills that are crucial to a marketer.
Marketers face numerous challenges every day. These problems can vary in severity but most often than not, these problems need a quick and efficient solution. The only way to do this is if the marketer has the ability to critically analyze situations, observe trends, make judgments and come up with a workable solution to the problem.
Marketers need to be updated with the latest developments in different areas of product development including conceptualization, design and testing. They need to be aware of all the different aspects of the product so as to come up with a detailed and effective marketing strategy.
This is perhaps the most important skill, for not only marketing managers, but managers in general. Leadership is a skill that may come naturally and may also be developed over time. The way managers treat and supervise their subordinates can be crucial to the development of the final product. An indispensible trait of a manager is gaining the trust and confidence of your subordinates which streamlines processes and helps run things more efficiently.
How to Become a Marketing Manager?
To be a marketing manager one must follow certain steps. Becoming a marketing manager is not easy and it takes years of hard work and dedication as well as experience in the field of marketing.
Education is the first step. Without a proper education, it can be very hard to get into a competitive field such as marketing. Almost all companies insist that applicants must at least have a high school diploma.
After a high school diploma, quite a few options are open to budding marketers. One option is that of an associate’s degree in marketing. This is a degree that can be taken before an undergrad program and is designed for individuals who want to join the job market as soon as after completing their high school.
Another option is of a bachelor’s degree. Many universities offer a bachelors degree in marketing and these can be a great way to kick start a marketing career. Many firms prefer an undergrad degree over an associate’s degree as a bachelor’s program in marketing is designed to give you a wide range of options in the courses you study as well as the topics you cover. A bachelor’s degree will give you great insight in to the marketing industry and also prepare you for the career ahead.
After the bachelor’s program, many students choose to enroll in a master’s in marketing program. This will provide an even more detailed look into the marketing field and also give students an edge over competitors who only have a bachelor’s degree.
Education is a very important step towards becoming a marketing manager but another step that might be equally important is work experience in the field of marketing management. Many firms put emphasis on work experience almost as much as education and require that applicants have a record of either internships and/or part-time and full time jobs. Work experience is important because it gives you an insight in to the day to day activities. It teaches you the fundamentals of practical work and how to effectively communicate and interact with others within the industry.
After completing your education and gaining experience in the business, you can apply for entry level positions in firms as you can’t expect to become a marketing manager straight out of college! Your entry level job will introduce you to the field of marketing and at this level you get the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge you learned during your education and work experience, to further your career.
It is not easy to start a career in any industry and almost always takes hard work and dedication to learn a specific skill set. The same is the case for the marketing industry as well and with a high projected job growth rate, it is perhaps more competitive than other industries. However, if you get a good education, sufficient work experience and acquire the skills that are essential for all marketing managers then you will have as good a chance as any to succeed in your chosen field.