How to Become a Marketing Manager in 5 Steps

Research what it takes to become a marketing manager. Learn about degree and certification options as well as career advancement and salary information to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Marketing Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Marketing Manager Do?

As a marketing manager, you would supervise the promotion and sales of products, services, or ideas offered by a business. It would be your job to increase the profits of your business by analyzing marketing data and using your findings to decide on optimal prices for your product. Working with sales, public relations, and product development staff, you would strive to create the most appealing campaigns possible for your product or service based on trends in the marketplace.

Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree, master's degree for advancement
Education Field of Study Marketing, advertising, business administration
Key Responsibilities Supervise promotional activities, determine consumers' needs, create demand for products and services, maintain customer base
Certification Certification is voluntary (for advancement purposes)
Job Growth (2014-2024) 9%*
Median Salary (2015) $128,750*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is a Marketing Manager?

A marketing manager is a professional who supervises the activities used to enhance the promotion and sales of products, services, or ideas. These professionals must determine consumer needs and preferences, create a demand for specific products and then work to maintain their customer base. As a marketing manager, you'll be involved in the functions that facilitate these activities, such as product development, packaging, advertising, pricing, and distribution.

Step 1: Earn Your Bachelor's Degree

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers prefer hiring marketing managers who have completed at least a bachelor's degree program (www.bls.gov). Majors that are consistent with your occupation include marketing, advertising, business administration, and other related fields. During your program, you'll take coursework that provides training in targeted subject matter, such as marketing research, public relations, consumer behavior, business finance, and advertising.

Step 2: Consider Certification

Certification is not required, but the BLS reported that a growing number of marketing managers receive certification to boost their chances of employment in a tough economy. Certification is available through trade associations like the Sales & Marketing Executives International (SMEI) and requires you to successfully take an exam (www.smei.org).

Step 3: Acquire Work Experience

As a marketing manager, you could work for any industry that sells products, services, or ideas. You might find employment with a specialized firm that provides marketing services to numerous clients, or you could work at a marketing department for an organization that sells its own goods. Apparel, entertainment, food and beverage, healthcare, hospitality, and technology are just a few of the many industries that use the services of marketing managers. The BLS reported that as of May 2015, the annual median salary of a marketing manager was $128,750.

Step 4: Join a Trade Association

By joining a trade association, you could stay informed on the latest industry developments, protocols, and new technologies. You'll also gain access to professional networking opportunities. Membership is available through various organizations, including the Association of International Product Marketing and Management, the American Marketing Association, and SMEI.

Step 5: Start Your Graduate Education

Earning a master's degree can put you at an advantage when applying for higher-level marketing management jobs, according to the BLS. You might earn a Master of Science (M.S.) in Marketing or a Master of Business Administration (MBA). If you pursue graduate studies, you'll typically receive advanced training in management, leadership, business strategies, finance, product development, and corporate communications.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Advertising managers head advertising campaigns to draw interest in a product or service. Promotions managers are in charge of advertising different promotions, such as rebates and coupons, offered by companies to incentivize sales. Sales managers oversee and train companies' sales teams in interpreting sales data and creating sales goals. All of these positions tend to work closely with each other within a company and require bachelor's degrees in similar fields.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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