How to become a marketing manager

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January 29, 2021
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min read

The job of marketing manager may seem vague, but it's far more than your typical desk job. In a nutshell, marketing is the promotion of products and services using advertising and market research. Marketing managers are an essential part of nearly every business, responsible for assembling and overseeing talented marketing teams, organizing campaigns, and driving brand awareness.

The list doesn't end there though. The role of marketing manager is changing and expanding all the time along with exciting advances in technology.

Now that social media and online business are part of our everyday lives, marketing managers are some of the most in-demand professionals. For those hoping to become a marketing manager, you'll also be glad to hear that marketing manager jobs are among the highest paying jobs out there.

So how can you know if this exciting career is really for you? And most importantly, how can you begin a marketing manager career? This article will discuss the how and why of becoming a marketing manager and outline the steps you should take to make this your career.

Why become a marketing manager?

As we mentioned above, there are plenty of great reasons to consider becoming a marketing manager. There's the potential to earn a high salary of course — a salary range of $90k to $130k in fact — but choosing this career for the money alone won't get you anywhere. Luckily, there are far more upsides to consider when it comes to a career in marketing.

Diverse opportunities

Marketing is a truly diverse field. Because it is such an essential part of any good business strategy, there are many different types of companies and organizations you'll be qualified to work for. What's more, most marketing professionals will tell you that no two workdays are the same. The role of a marketing manager can encompass a varied range of tasks and responsibilities depending on the size of the company and the industry you work in.

Transferable skills

Marketing managers need a specific skill set. That includes soft skills such as communication, organization and planning, creativity, and attention to detail, to name a few.

As you can see, these are skills that are highly sought after in most professional fields. So by becoming a marketing manager, you're giving yourself the tools to work almost anywhere and the opportunity to pursue a whole range of career avenues.


As the term 'manager' would suggest, this job involves managing, overseeing, and leading a marketing team or department within a company. As such, leadership skills are important to emphasize as well. If you enjoy taking charge of a situation and thrive on responsibility, then marketing manager could be a rewarding career path.

What degree do you need to become a marketing manager?

So what are the education requirements?

While there is no one path to become a marketing manager, most start with obtaining a bachelor's degree in marketing or a relevant field, possibly followed by a Master's degree. While the majority of entry-level positions require you to earn a Bachelor's degree, the world of marketing has changed so rapidly with social media and the internet that these degrees are often less relevant in the real world.

This means it may be worthwhile to earn additional certifications in order to broaden your skill set and gain a competitive advantage in the job market. You might also consider pursuing a Master's degree, as it's a requirement for some marketing positions — particularly that of a marketing manager.

Relevant Bachelor's degrees include marketing, business administration, advertising, communications, or digital marketing. When it comes to marketing programs and additional certifications, you can find ones that cover different skills and qualifications from places like Google, Facebook, HubSpot, CXL Institute, and many more.

All that said, having real-world experience of working in marketing can be more valuable to employers than a degree, so getting your foot in the door with an internship or similar entry-level position will give you a competitive edge.

What does a marketing manager do?

As we said, marketing encompasses a vast range of tasks and responsibilities. Look at any marketing manager job description and you'll likely see some of the following buzz words and phrases:

  • Conceptualizing and implementing marketing campaigns
  • Designing marketing plans
  • Conducting market research
  • Problem-solving
  • Product marketing
  • Managing public relations
  • Designing pricing strategies
  • Increasing brand awareness

You might also see similar job titles such as:

  • Marketing coordinator
  • Promotions managers
  • Marketing specialists
  • Chief marketing officer
  • Marketing directors
  • Product marketing manager
  • Social media marketing director

That all might sound overwhelming, but as you gain educational and practical experience you'll know just what to expect from each job. Marketing managers may take on different responsibilities depending on the companies they work for.

Other areas of marketing that have emerged in recent years include digital marketing, SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, analytics, and PPC. So there's no doubt as to why marketing managers and professionals are in demand right now.

What skills does a marketing manager need?

We've already mentioned the obvious marketing skills such as attention to detail, creativity, and organization, and communication skills. But what about skills and attributes which are specific to marketing managers?

Marketing managers must have relevant technical and hard skills to complement their soft skills. The following list of skills and experience won't necessarily apply to every marketing manager job, but they are useful skills that often appear on job descriptions.

  • Sales skills
  • Presentation
  • Design software proficiency (E.g. Adobe illustrator)
  • Microsoft Office proficiency (E.g. Excel)
  • Digital advertising knowledge (E.g. Google, Facebook)
  • Understanding of PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising
  • Financial/budgeting skills
  • Analytics software knowledge (E.g. Google Analytics, HubSpot)

Work experience is another key factor for many employers, and some high-level jobs within the marketing department require years of experience. Getting as much work experience as possible, be it through an internship, entry-level position, or through your education, will pay dividends.

Marketing management is all about reaching customers and driving engagement. So marketing managers must stay on top of current marketing trends. If you work in social media or content marketing then the current trends will inform your strategy, which is why staying up to date is essential.

Hopefully, you now know more about how to become a marketing manager, how marketing managers work, the daily tasks and decisions marketing managers make, and the practical steps you can take to make this your career.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key skills necessary to become a successful marketing manager?

To become a successful marketing manager, you need a blend of creativity, analytical ability, and communication skills. You should be adept at understanding market research, developing marketing strategies, and leading a team to execute campaigns. Strong digital literacy, especially in social media, SEO, and content marketing, is also essential in today's market landscape.

How important is formal education in pursuing a career as a marketing manager?

While formal education, such as a bachelor's degree in marketing, business, or a related field, is often a prerequisite for a marketing manager position, hands-on experience and a track record of successful marketing campaigns can be equally important. Continuous learning through professional certifications and workshops can also enhance your qualifications and keep you updated with the latest marketing trends.

Can you transition to a marketing manager role from a different career path?

Yes, it is possible to transition to a marketing manager role from a different career path, especially if you have transferable skills such as project management, strategic planning, and communication. Gaining experience through entry-level marketing roles, internships, or by taking on marketing responsibilities in your current job can pave the way for a career shift into marketing management.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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