The components of any marketing department are inherently at odds with each other, because the purpose and role of marketing is so complex. A successful and effective marketing department is like a machine, dependent on a system of unique parts working together harmoniously. The marketing machine is built on a variety of skill sets:
- Research science – developing and implementing consumer and product testing
- Creative/Artistic – crafting the visual aesthetic of the product and marketing strategy
- Statistics/Analysis – converting research data into meaningful information to direct strategy
- Financial/Budgetary – planning, allocating, tracking, and maximizing the marketing budget
With so many potentially incompatible pieces all needing to function seamlessly together, effective management is crucial in the marketing department.
Who Is the Marketing Manager?
Ideally, the individual leading the marketing manager has extensive knowledge of, and experience in, the field. Many departments prefer to promote up from within, to provide candidates with as much exposure to as many skill areas as possible on the ascent to management. The most promising candidates possess strong interpersonal skills, exhibit effective leadership, are highly motivated and energetic, have strong oral and written communication skills, and are eager to take on new and challenging assignments.
What Does the Marketing Manager Do?
The most important responsibility of the marketing manager is to guide, direct, and lead the marketing (or marketing and sales) team to increase company revenue and value through effective promotion. To achieve this, the marketing manager must:
- Manage the Team – A successful marketing team must be staffed with talented and capable employees. The marketing manager must identify the best people for the job(s), and train them so that they can perform at their best. The manager must continually monitor and oversee team members, assess and review job performance, and mentor staff as needed.
- Manage the Process – The manager is the primary liaison between the marketing department and other departments (product development, customer service, etc.). It is the job of the marketing manager to work with team members, other departments, clients, and anyone else involved to help plan, direct, implement, and monitor the marketing strategy from inception to final assessment.
- Manage the Strategy – While every team member has a specific and important job in the marketing department, it is the manager’s responsibility to ensure that all efforts, tasks, and output are in line with the objective of increasing revenue and value.
- Manage the Budget – The manager must carefully monitor the marketing budget and strive for the greatest return on investment of every dollar spent, whether it’s spent on talent, promotional costs, materials, operating expenses, or outside consulting.
A marketing management career takes dedication and hard work. It often takes years of experience and working up the ladder to get into marketing management. The job involves long hours and tight deadlines. But the rewards are significant; watching an idea develop into a successful product and guiding the process along makes all your hard work worthwhile.
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