Exploring this Job
Learn more about the marketing industry and keep up with what's trending by reading the news sections of professional associations' Web sites. For example, the American Marketing Association has a Trending section on its site, which features information about marketing strategies, academic research, and data and insights.
Another good way to explore the marketing management profession is by developing your managerial skills in general. Whether you're involved in drama, sports, school publications, or a summer or part-time job, there are managerial duties associated with any organized activity. These can involve planning, scheduling, managing other workers or volunteers, fund-raising, or budgeting.
Conduct informational interviews with marketing managers about their careers. Ask your school's career services office for help with setting these interviews up. Prepare a list of questions that will help you to better understand what the job entails and how to prepare for this career.
Marketing managers formulate policies and administer their company's operations. Managers may oversee the operations of an entire company, a geographical territory of a company's operations, or a specific department. Marketing managers direct a company's or a department's daily marketing activities within the context of the organization's overall plan. They implement organizational policies and goals. This may involve developing sales or promotional materials, analyzing the department's budgetary requirements, and hiring, training, and supervising marketing department staff. Marketing managers are often responsible for long-range planning for their company or department. This involves setting marketing goals for the organization and developing a workable plan for meeting those goals.
Marketing managers work to coordinate their department's activities with other departments. If the firm is privately owned, the owner may be the manager. In a large corporation, however, there will be a management structure above the marketing manager.
In companies that have several different locations, marketing managers may be assigned to oversee specific geographic areas. For example, a large marketing firm with facilities all across the nation is likely to have a number of managers, known as regional managers, in charge of various territories. Some marketing firms break their management territories up into even smaller sections, such as a single state or a part of a state. Managers overseeing these smaller segments are often called district managers and typically report directly to an area or regional manager.
Marketing managers work with their staff and other promotions and advertising professionals to determine how promotional materials and ads should look, where they should be placed, and when the promotions and advertising should begin. Managers must keep staff focused on a target audience when working on the promotion of a particular product or service. Marketing managers must also carefully time the release of promotional materials. For example, launching a marketing campaign too early may create interest well before the product or service is available. In such cases, by the time the product is released, the public may no longer be interested.
The marketing manager must also oversee his or her department in developing a distribution plan for products. If a product is expected to sell well to a certain group, for example, then marketing professionals must decide how to deliver to members of that group based on when and where they shop.
Once markets are evaluated and merchandise is designed, the actual production begins. The job of the marketing manager is not yet done, however. Along with the public relations department, marketing managers contact members of the press with the aim of getting product information out to the public.
Because research studies show how a product looks on the shelf can often affect sales, managers work with designers to explore new color combinations, more appealing shapes, interesting patterns, and new materials.
Marketing managers use a scientific and statistical approach in answering a client's questions about selling a product to the public. The advertising aspect of a marketing campaign must get attention, arouse interest, secure belief, create desire, and stir action. Beauty, comfort, convenience, and quality are the promises that sell all kinds of products, from consumables to cars. Marketing managers use analytical software in their work to evaluate and develop marketing strategies.