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What Does a Marketing Manager Do?

Written by: North Carolina Central University   •  Jun 20, 2024

A marketing manager leads a meeting around a conference table.

What Does a Marketing Manager Do?

Marketing has always been a multifaceted field. To sell the right products and services to the right consumers, businesses borrow from different disciplines, from psychology and sociology to visual arts and data analysis. However, in the 21st century, marketing is perhaps more complex than ever before.

According to the 2023 edition of The CMO Survey of over 300 marketing executives, about 61% of companies were exploring new marketing channels. Whether a company is expanding its social media presence or leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) in its marketing campaigns, it needs creative marketing managers at the helm.

What does a marketing manager do though? What might the job market look like for future professionals? What expertise and education are needed to enter this ever-changing field?

What Does a Marketing Manager Do?

Marketing managers oversee efforts to sell their companies’ products and services to consumers or other businesses. This can include television and print ads, digital campaigns, product packaging, and brand partnerships.

However, marketing managers are also administrators who lead other members of their team by:

  • Managing the team’s budget

  • Analyzing data about competitors, consumers, and potential new markets

  • Making sales projections and evaluating the cost-benefit ratio of marketing initiatives

  • Delegating tasks to other team members, as well as coordinating between them and offering guidance

  • Presenting data to executives

  • Collaborating between departments such as product development, sales, and customer service

  • Researching new marketing strategies, trends, and technologies

While marketing managers might have a specialty, such as print media or design, they must typically know enough about other aspects of marketing to construct effective campaigns. For example, in a 2023 Forbes survey, 46% of business owners said they used AI to deliver personalized ads. This indicates that many marketing managers may need to become familiar with AI technology in the very near future.

Marketing managers made a median annual salary of $157,620 in 2023, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top 10% of professionals made upwards of $239,200.

The BLS predicts that marketing manager positions will increase by 7% between 2022 and 2032, twice the projected growth for the labor market as a whole.

How to Become a Marketing Manager: Skills and Education

Most of what a marketing manager does requires creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. While many marketing professionals already have these skills, it often takes the right education and experience to learn how to apply them to management roles.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree is required to hold most management positions. Those looking to become marketing managers often pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Bachelor’s business administration programs teach students the hard and soft skills needed to supervise staff and complete administrative tasks. Coursework typically covers topics such as:

  • Accounting and finance

  • Statistics

  • Operations management

  • Legal issues

  • Organizational leadership and theory

  • Human resource management

  • IT and computer skills

  • Consumer data analysis and other marketing principles

Business administration students can add to their marketing skill set by taking electives in advertising, graphic design, and related topics.

Step 2: Gain Experience in Entry-Level Marketing Positions

While experience requirements vary, marketing manager positions often require at least three years of industry experience. Many recent graduates begin their careers in entry-level positions (social media specialist, marketing researcher) and other roles focused on a specific aspect of marketing.

Some business administration programs include internships, mentorships, and professional development events. Through these hands-on learning opportunities, students can gain experience before graduation and may even find future employers. Just as important, they can be excellent opportunities to network.

Step 3: Pursue Promotions and Management Opportunities

After honing their skills and learning how marketing teams operate, entry-level professionals can seek management opportunities in their own organizations and with other employers. However, marketing manager is only one of several potential titles to consider.

Roles similar to marketing manager include the following:

  • Content Marketing Manager: Content marketing managers oversee online marketing campaigns involving blogs, websites, videos, and other media.

  • Social Media Manager: Social media managers oversee social media content, oversee online customer interactions, and help their organizations reach new consumers on different platforms.

  • Account Manager: Account managers answer questions from clients, connect them to the right goods and services, and generally foster long-term client relationships. This role can be especially important in the business-to-businesses (B2B) arena, where goods and services are provided to other companies.

  • Brand Manager: Brand managers ensure that all marketing efforts fit their organization’s image and resonate with their consumer base.

In many small organizations, a marketing manager does some or all of the duties associated with these roles. Larger organizations often distribute these duties among different teams and individuals.

Become a Marketing Manager on Your Own Timeline

To run a successful marketing campaign, managers must understand their customers’ needs and help their organizations meet them. North Carolina Central University takes the same needs-based approach to business education.

Through NCCU’s online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree completion program, working and nontraditional students can take classes when and where it’s most convenient. In addition to taking classes on leadership, communication, and the technical skills needed to lead a marketing team, students can take their education out of the classroom through NCCU’s corporate partnerships and professional development services department.

To find out how NCCU’s online BBA program can help you become a marketing leader, explore our curriculum, transfer credit policies, and financial aid opportunities.

Recommended Readings

HR Manager Career Overview

Supply Chain Manager Salary and Job Description

What Is a BBA Degree?


Forbes, “How Businesses Are Using Artificial Intelligence in 2024”

Indeed, “How To Become a Marketing Manager (Plus Duties and Skills)

ONet OnLine, Marketing Managers

The CMO Survey, The CMO Survey: Managing Brand, Growth, and Metrics

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

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