Marketing Manager

The Job and What's Involved

Marketing plays an important role in almost every industry sector. In its simplest form, it is about ensuring that customers' needs are met whilst maximising the profits of a company. A marketing manager's responsibilities can vary enormously, but will always have this as a central objective.

Marketing managers use a wide range of marketing techniques and concepts and think creatively, devising new ways of communicating with established and potential customers. Daily tasks and duties will depend on the company size, structure and industry sector but may include:

  • Monitoring and analysing market trends.
  • Studying competitors' products and services.
  • Exploring ways of improving existing products and services, and increasing profitability.
  • Identifying target markets and developing strategies to communicate with them.
  • Preparing and managing marketing plans and budgets.
  • Managing the production of promotional material.
  • Liaising with other internal departments such as sales and distribution.
  • Producing reports to monitor results.
  • Presenting findings and suggestions to company directors or other senior managers.
  • Travelling to trade shows, conferences and sales meetings.
  • Supporting and managing a marketing team.

Marketing is a multi-disciplined profession that is likely to include aspects of direct marketing, research, public relations, branding, communications and advertising. It involves working alongside a wide range of people, both staff in other departments and external agencies such as design teams and copywriters.

Most marketing managers work 37 hours a week, between the hours of 9am and 6pm. As with many jobs with tight deadlines, they may be expected to work additional hours at certain times to ensure that targets are met.

Most of the work is desk-based and offices tend to be modern and well-lit. Marketing managers may be expected to attend a lot of meetings and make regular presentations. Some positions may require a lot of travel, particularly when working for an international company. A driving licence is useful.

A high standard of personal presentation is expected.

Job specifications for this role can vary widely and so can the salaries available. Additional benefits may include car allowances, private healthcare insurance, company pension schemes and share options. Some companies may offer bonuses linked to performance.

The starting salary for a marketing manager is around £25,000 a year.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

All industry sectors employ marketing managers, including financial institutions, manufacturers, retailers, service providers, the public sector, charities and IT companies, so jobs are available nationwide. However, they are generally concentrated around major cities such as London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Liverpool. This is a popular area of work so competition can be intense.

There are some opportunities for marketing managers at specialist agencies that work as marketing consultants for businesses.

Jobs are advertised in the specialist marketing press and in local and national newspapers, eg The Guardian on Mondays. Individual industries advertise positions in their own sector magazines.

Education and Training

There are no set entry routes but marketing managers often progress into the role after gaining several years of marketing experience, possibly as an executive or assistant, or in a specialist role such as advertising or brand manager.

Individual employers set their own entry requirements. Typically, they look for graduates. There are relevant HNC's/HND's and degrees, but often the subject of the degree is less important than having the necessary creative flair and drive needed for the role. The marketing environment changes rapidly, so entry is less about specific qualifications and more about the individuals' approach to problem-solving and their enthusiasm to meet consumer needs.

Degree programmes typically last either three or four years. The four year courses may include a work placement, which can give a valuable insight into the skills needed for a commercial position. Postgraduate courses in marketing are also available.

Applicants for HNC/HND courses usually need one A level/two H grades, or equivalent. For degree courses, it is usually a minimum of two A levels/three H grades and five GCSE's/S grades (A-C/1-3), including maths and English or an HNC/HND in a business related subject. Candidates should check with individual colleges and universities for specific entry requirements.

Work experience and a professional qualification can improve chances of progression to the position of marketing manager. Candidates without a degree may be able to work up from a marketing executive role, particularly in small and medium-sized companies.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

On-the-job training is complemented by professional marketing qualifications. There are a number of options available through:

  • The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
  • The Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM).
  • The Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM).
  • The Communication Advertising and Marketing Education Foundation (CAM Foundation).

These range from introductory certificates to advanced level qualifications. Entry requirements for the different levels vary depending on business experience and academic ability.

Marketing managers may be encouraged to work towards the CIM Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing (DipM), which is recognised internationally. A list of all the CIM approved colleges and universities, including entry requirements, is published on the CIM website.

To become a CIM student, candidates need to become a CIM Affiliate Member. This provides a range of benefits and study support. Qualifications can be studied full time, part time, by distance learning or through online tutorials. There is also the option to undertake an intensive study programme.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A marketing manager should:

  • Have knowledge of a wide range of marketing techniques and concepts.
  • Be an excellent communicator.
  • Be able to respond well to pressure.
  • Think creatively.
  • Work well in a team and with a wide range of people.
  • Be organised and methodical.
  • Be proactive and able to take the initiative.
  • Be able to motivate and inspire a team.
  • Be well presented with a professional manner.
  • Be persuasive and diplomatic.
  • Have a good business awareness.
  • Be able to work within a budget.

Your Long Term Prospects

A successful marketing manager may be able to progress to more senior posts such as marketing director or even managing director.

Overseas projects or placement opportunities may be possible for those working within organisations that have a strong international presence.

Get Further Information

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM),
Moor Hall, Cookham, Maidenhead,
Berkshire SL6 9QH
Tel: 01628 427500
Website: www.cim.co.uk

The Communication Advertising and
Marketing Education Foundation (CAM Foundation),
Moor Hall, Cookham, Maidenhead,
Berkshire SL6 9QH
Tel: 01628 427120
Website: www.camfoundation.com

Creative & Cultural Skills, 4th Foor,
Lafone House,The Leathermarket,
Weston Street, London
Tel: 020 7015 1800
Website: www.ccskills.org.uk

The Institute of Direct Marketing,
1 Park Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 0AR
Tel: 020 8977 5705
Website: www.theidm.com

The Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM),
Harrier Court, Lower Woodside, Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 4DQ
Tel: 01582 840001
Website: www.ismm.co.uk

The Marketing Society,
1 Park Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 0AR
Tel: 020 8973 1700
Website: www.marketing-society.org.uk

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