CareerExplorer’s step-by-step guide on how to become a marketing manager.

Step 1

Is becoming a marketing manager right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

Overview
What do marketing managers do?
Career Satisfaction
Are marketing managers happy with their careers?
Personality
What are marketing managers like?

Still unsure if becoming a marketing manager is the right career path? to find out if this career is in your top matches. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a marketing manager or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

Step 2

High School

Relevant high school courses for aspiring marketing managers include economics, finance, statistics, and computer science.

Step 3

Bachelor’s Degree

Most marketing managers have a Bachelor’s Degree in marketing, advertising, business administration, or a related field. Common courses include marketing research, public relations, consumer behavior, business law, management, economics, finance, computer science, mathematics, and statistics. For example, computer science classes are helpful in developing an approach to maximize traffic through online search results, which is critical for digital advertisements and promotions.

Among the most popular Bachelor’s Degree majors are:

 Consumer Merchandising / Retailing Management
 Apparel and Textile Marketing Management
 Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management
 General Marketing / Marketing Management
 Marketing Research

Some college marketing management departments form alliances with companies and firms to offer internships, which provide students with hands-on business experience. The most sought-after internships focus on marketing, sales, or public relations.

Step 4

Employment

Employment options for marketing managers are particularly diverse. They work in any and all industries that sell products, services, or ideas. They find jobs with specialized firms that provide marketing services to numerous clients, or they work in a marketing department for an organization that sells its own goods. Healthcare, technology, hospitality, entertainment, food and beverage, and apparel are just a few of a wide variety of industries that use the services of marketing managers.

Marketing managers often have previous job-related training, which means than it is common for qualified job candidates to originate from other degree fields, such as journalism or graphic design. They also receive on-the-job training to introduce them to specific vendors and software tools for campaign development, promotion, and evaluation.

It is estimated that only twelve percent of marketing managers have less than five years of industry experience, and only four percent have less than two years in the field. This data indicates that inexperienced job candidates typically have greater success in lower-level positions, such as a marketing coordinator or specialist role, before advancing to the managerial level. Smaller and younger companies may be more flexible when it comes to experience and promotion requirements.

There are many career paths available for someone with a marketing management degree. Personal interests and talents, as well as ultimate career goals, determine an individual’s choice. Some career paths in the field are:

 Brand Management
 Sales
 Market Research/Analysis
 Advertising
 Pharmaceutical Marketing
 Retail Marketing
 High-tech Marketing (management, marketing, and sales of tech products like computers, software, system services, and other aspects of the high-tech industry)
 Marketing Consulting
 Consumer Analysis
 Business-to-Business Marketing

Step 5

Trade Associations and Networking

Joining trade associations allows marketing managers to network with other managers and stay informed on professional opportunities and the latest industry developments, protocols, and technologies.

Association of International Product Marketing & Management (AIPMM) www.aipmm.com

American Marketing Association (AMA)
www.ama.org

Sales & Marketing Executives International (SMEI)
www.smei.org

Step 7

Master’s Degree

A Master’s Degree in Marketing or a Master’s of Business Administration is particularly valued in marketing management circles. Hiring managers for higher-level positions in the field often seek the training in management, leadership, business strategies, finance, product development, and corporate communications that these degree programs provide.

How to become a Marketing Manager

Marketing managers come from a wide range of educational backgrounds. Depending on the level of position, most employers tend to seek job candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business or a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), with a marketing emphasis. Degrees in marketing, communications, public relations, accounting and finance, and business management are among the most common in the field.

Marketing managers working in highly technical sectors like engineering or life sciences typically hold an undergraduate degree specific to their industry in addition to an MBA or graduate degree in marketing.

It is not unusual for marketing managers to be promoted from positions such as sales representative, advertising specialist, or brand specialist. This is likely due to the fact that the role of marketing manager has something in common with each of these positions: at its core, it is a communications and messaging role. It is about successfully communicating intended messages to target audiences to get them to take desired actions.

The contemporary business environment, in which communication takes many forms, calls for marketing managers to develop skills in delivering messages via a wide variety of media formats, from print to audio to video to web-based platforms and software. This diverse set of messaging vehicles means that marketing managers must hone an equally diverse skill set. In addition to having a finger on the pulse of the marketplace and recognizing consumer purchasing habits, they must be able to quickly identify and formulate appropriate, effective, and financially sound marketing strategies. In short, they must be part business analyst, part consumer analyst, part psychologist, part creative director, and part accountant.