How To Become A Marketing Manager

A marketing manager oversees the marketing activities of a company. Their role varies depending on the size of the company and industry that they are in. If you are thinking of going down this path, you may have some questions. How much does a marketing manager make? Is it a fun and rewarding job? How long does it take to become one? What education, skills, and experience does a marketing manager need? Do you need any certifications? We are here to answer all of your questions and walk you through the process of becoming a marketing manager.

Marketing Manager Job Description

Is this right for me?

So, what is a Marketing Manager? Marketing managers handle communication between a company and its customers and use media to promote their company’s products or services. They manage individuals, and identify, evaluate, and connect with markets. A market manager’s position varies depending on the company and industry. In larger companies, they often specialize in a particular field like product or growth. For smaller companies and startups, they tend to wear multiple hats. Here are five benefits to becoming a marketing manager:

  1. Abundance in available positions: Employment of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is estimated to increase by 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  2. Career Growth: Unlike some jobs where your career plateaus at a certain point, careers in the marketing industry allow individuals who work hard and excel at what they do, to continue climbing the ranks while increasing their salary.

  3. Diversity: Marketing managers have the opportunity to work in whatever industry interests them. These include but are not limited to, healthcare/pharmaceuticals, automotive, retail, technology, travel/transportation, education, and entertainment.

  4. Marketing Manager Salary: The average yearly salary for a marketing manager is $95,000. However, there is a considerable $99,000 gap between the top 10 percent earners and the bottom 10 percent earners. To learn more about the average marketing manager salary by company, location, and industry, and related job salaries, look here.

  5. Remote Work: There are a lot of freelance positions in the marketing field that allow marketing managers to work full or part-time from home or wherever they want. Working remotely grants individuals a more flexible lifestyle.

Best States for Marketing Managers

There are thousands of available jobs for marketing managers across the U.S. To help you narrow down your search, here are the best and worst states for marketing managers.

Source: Zippia Logo

What does a marketing manager do

The day to day of marketing managers varies greatly depending on the industry, company, and the marketing manager’s area of expertise. Here are a few responsibilities that marketing managers have.

  • Overview: Marketing managers focus on increasing a company’s users, traffic, or brand awareness and implement different marketing initiatives to help grow a business. They implement initiatives, analyze their results, troubleshoot campaigns that are not performing well, and report on them. They also manage employees and budgets, build relationships with media outlets, head social media, and improve SEO.

  • Communicate with leaders: Many marketing managers collaborate with the heads of other departments. Among many things, they work with other departments to create campaigns.

  • Company size: Duties in large and small-medium organizations vary. Market managers working for larger corporations are more likely to specialize in a specific area. Those working for a smaller company or startups tend to be more of a jack of all trades.

  • Interact with customers: An essential part of being a marketing manager is building a relationship with the company’s customers. As a marketing manager, you help increase and retain customers and get your company’s product or service in front of them.

There are approximately 167,000 individuals working as Marketing Managers in the U.S., according to

Marketing Manager Education

Most companies expect marketing managers to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Having the right educational background can help bolster your resume and make you a competitive candidate. Here are the levels of education that you can obtain.

  • High school: You can start exploring the world of marketing as early as high school. Some high schools offer courses in related fields. You can also intern in the marketing sector during your summers.

  • Bachelor’s degree: Eighty-nine percent of posted marketing jobs are looking for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, according to Burning Glass Technologies. You do not need a bachelor’s in marketing to enter the field. Among many things, you can major in administration, advertising, business, and communications. If your school does not offer these majors, you can major in a broader field like writing or economics and apply the material you learn to marketing.

  • Master’s degree: Receiving your Master’s can expedite your marketing career. A Master’s Degree makes you a more competitive applicant and also gives you access to the school’s network. While getting a master’s in marketing looks great, getting one in related fields like accounting and financing, business management, business administration, communications, and public relations also helps.

  • Experience: You do not need higher education to become a marketing manager. Relevant experience sometimes outweighs education. You may have received enough training through previous jobs or have worked your way up in a company throughout time.

Marketing Certifications

While they are not required, certificates can bolster your application. Here are four certificates that you can consider getting.

  1. Certified Product Marketing Manager (CPMM): Association of International Product Marketing & Management (AIPMM) offers the CPMM certification, which demonstrates your knowledge of product marketing functions. You can learn more about the certification here.

  2. Hubspot Certifications: HubSpot Academy offers free certifications in multiple areas including, social media, content marketing, growth-driven design, and email marketing. You can look through HubSpot’s certifications and decide if you want to take any.

  3. Professional Certified Marketer (PCM): The American Marketing Association (AMA) offers the PCM certificate to marketing managers. You have to take an online test with 150 multiple-choice questions to receive the certificate. To qualify for this exam, you need a bachelor’s degree and four years of marketing experience, a master’s and two years of experience, or seven years of experience. You can learn more about the certification here.

  4. Sales & Marketing Executives International (SMEI): SMEI offers two certifications for marketing: SMEI Certified Professional Marketer (SCPM) and SMEI Certified Marketing Executive(CME). You can apply for both tests here.

Marketing Manager Skills

The marketing field has shifted dramatically over the past few years, with an increase in digital marketing. The skillset that marketing managers have has evolved as well. Find out if you are a T-shaped marketer and read through the following hard and soft skills to see which you have.

T-Shaped Skills

T-shaped skills mean that you know broad general information about marketing while specializing in one targeted area. The horizontal bar of the T is general knowledge, and the vertical bar is expert knowledge. Having T-shaped skills gives you a competitive edge from other candidates. Here are three categories of individuals to look through.

  1. Generalists: Generalists are knowledgeable in several areas. If you want to become a marketing manager, you should know general information about the world of marketing like A/B testing, user experience (UX), branding, research, data and analytics, and story-telling.

  2. Specialists: Being a specialist in marketing means that you are extremely good at one thing. With new technology regularly being updated and reintroduced, becoming one is not easy. You can specialize in things like content marketing, social media, partnerships, viral marketing, and product marketing.

  3. T-shaped marketer: T-shaped marketers are candidates with broad knowledge and a specialization. They tend to be more competitive. Generalists are often easier to find than specialists, which means that they add less value to a company than a specialist with the same general knowledge can.

Hard Skills

Becoming a marketing manager requires you to have many skills. Hard skills can be taught and measured. Below are some hard skills that you may need if you choose to pursue this career path.

  • Analytical Skills: Marketing managers understand data and use it to develop new marketing strategies. They can analyze data, investigate problems that come from that data, and create solutions.

  • Budgeting: Marketing managers are often in charge of managing budgets for marketing campaigns and have to meet budget constraints.

  • Digital advertising: Digital advertising is becoming increasingly important. It is often needed to deliver promotional advertisements to consumers effectively. These advertisements and messages can be delivered to consumers via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Adwords, and email.

  • Execution: Execution is a critical skill. Being able to come up with a marketing strategy is only part of the job. Marketing managers also need to be able to execute that strategy well.

  • Knowledge of tools: There are numerous tools that marketing managers use. They use search platforms like Google AdWords to help them with promotion. They also use automation software to help with repetitive things, like sending emails. There are also SEO tools that marketing managers use to help them with link building, keyword searching, ranking, and backlink analysis.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO helps marketing managers optimize web pages and allows users to find their content easily by searching for terms that are relevant to the page or site. Since Google controls a large percent of search engine traffic, it is important to know about Google’s algorithm. Marketing managers also know how to identify keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, and URL structures.

  • Social Media: Marketing managers are aware of social media trends and the numerous platforms that exist. They also know how to form relationships with media outlets and how to test and direct multiple social media strategies.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are personal attributes that an individual possesses that allows them to succeed at a job. Below are some soft skills that will help make you a great marketing manager.

  • Adaptability: Digital marketing is continually changing, and new tools, strategies, and trends are constantly being introduced. Marketing managers adapt their approach as things change and are willing to try new things when they fail.

  • Communication: arketing managers can communicate effectively with members of their team and customers that they are trying to reach. Communicating the right thing to the right audience is extremely important and leads to success. Marketing managers are often tasked with writing press releases, articles, blog posts, and advertisements. They also communicate with outside vendors, blog editors, site owners, and others.

  • Creativity: Marketing is a creative industry. Marketing managers are constantly thinking of new and innovative ways to promote a product or service.

  • Does well under pressure: Being a marketing manager is a high-stress job. They are often on a strict timeline and have to meet deadlines on time.

  • Management: Marketing managers have to be able to lead a team and work well with others. They are also teachers who guide and motivate their team.

  • Reflective: Marketing managers can step back and evaluate how marketing campaigns are performing and reevaluate, change, and improve things that are performing poorly.

  • Story Telling: Great marketing managers can tell a story to their customers. Stories can tap into people’s emotions, which is a powerful tool. Storytelling also allows marketing managers to make claims and appeal to the user’s shared values.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the employment growth for marketing managers will be faster than the average for all occupations between 2016 to 2026.

Marketing Manager Resume

If you are interested in the world of marketing, you know that advertising is important if you want to sell a product. In this case, you are the product trying to make companies want to hire you. Here are six tips for creating a great marketing manager resume that will make hiring managers notice you.

  1. Action words: Use action words in your resume. Start your sentences with phrases like I implemented, increased, analyzed, developed, spearheaded, promoted, lead, or increased.

  2. Design: Many marketing managers choose to design their resume to showcase their skills to the company. This is often a good idea if you are applying to smaller-mid sized companies or startups. However, be mindful when applying to larger companies. Almost all Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter out applicants, and untraditionally designed/formatted resumes can lead to problems when an ATS is importing your resume.

  3. Keywords: 99% of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS), according to Jobscan. Go through a company’s job description and highlight the top skills and attributes that they are looking for and make sure to include those words in your resume. If you are still having trouble, Jobscan has an ATS Tip feature where you can enter the company you are applying to and the job application URL and receive advice on how to tailor your resume to the job posting.

  4. Key things at the top: Most hiring managers spend six seconds looking over your resume, so make sure that you are catching their eye quickly. Some individuals choose to have a summary at the top of their resume that includes things like their years of experience, skills, area of specialization, and successes. If this is your first marketing manager position, you can talk about the skills you have and how you will use them to succeed at the job you are applying to.

  5. Metrics sell: Use numbers to quantify what you did. Instead of writing, I started a new campaign that increased the company’s revenue, write I launched a new social media campaign that increased the company’s total annual revenue by $3 million.

  6. Personalization: You should personalize every resume you send to companies. Go through job descriptions and tailor your resume to each specific position.


Networking is important in any profession that you choose. There are several associations and networks where you can network with others in the marketing industry. These groups also help you stay up to date on new developments and technologies in the industry. Here are eight groups that you can look through.

  1. American Marketing Association (AMA): This marketing community allows marketers and academics to connect with the individuals and resources that they need to succeed. You can learn more about becoming a member here.

  2. Association of International Product Marketing & Management (AIPMM): AIPMM is the world’s largest professional association of product managers, brand managers, product marketing managers, and other professions in marketing fields. They offer professional networking opportunities, product manager tools, and information. To learn about becoming a member, look here.

  3. Association of Network Marketing Professionals: This association unites Network Marketing professionals. You can read about the benefits of becoming a member and decide if you want to join.

  4. International Institute of Marketing Professionals: This international association develops and advocates international standards in the marketing field and allows marketing professionals to connect on a global network. You can read through the benefits of becoming a member here.

  5. LinkedIn Groups: There are several LinkedIn groups for marketing managers. Here you can connect with other marketing professionals and join conversations about marketing topics like increasing visitor time on your site. Online Marketing Manager/Digital Marketing Manager is one of many groups that you can take a look at.

  6. Promax: Promax is a global association for the entertainment marketing industry. It hosts ten conferences in six continents. If you are in the entertainment marketing industry, look through their conferences and events, and read about the benefits of becoming a member.

  7. Sales & Marketing Executives International (SMEI): SMEI is the world’s only global sales and marketing professional association. It provides sales and marketing professionals with networking opportunities. You can learn more about membership options here.

  8. Society For Marketing Professional Services (SMPS): SMPS is a community with a network of over 7,000 marketing and business development professionals. When you become a member, you get access to professional development, leadership opportunities, and marketing resources.

A marketing manager’s average length of employment is three years.

Marketing Experience

The journey to becoming a marketing manager often starts with an entry-level job. These jobs will give you relevant experience and teach you the skills that you will need to succeed. There are dozens of paths that you can take to become a marketing manager. Below is a career map where you can see different paths that you can take to become a marketing manager.

  1. Internships: Internships are a great way to start getting experience. You can intern while in school or if you are struggling to find your first marketing job. Interning for a company is a great way to get your foot in the door and can often lead to employment. Internships are also a good way to start developing a professional network. It also gives you a chance to test the waters and see if a career in marketing is something you want to pursue.

  2. Shadowing: Job shadowing allows you to follow and learn from individuals during their daily work routine. Go into your network and see if there are any marketing managers that you could potentially shadow. Doing so will give you the chance to see if being a marketing manager is a career you want to pursue. The day to day of marketing managers varies greatly, so just because you do not like what one marketing manager’s day looked like does not mean that you will not like another’s. Finally, shadowing someone is a chance to make a professional connection with someone who can help you get a job.

  3. Volunteer: While working for free is not always appealing, volunteering for a company is a great way to gain hands-on experience in marketing. Non-profits will often take volunteers. When you work for one, you are often on a small team of individuals in charge of marketing, which means close mentorship, or sometimes getting to lead the organization’s marketing effort personally.

  4. Work Experience: Your first job in marketing is probably not going to be a marketing manager. Starting with an entry-level marketing job is a great way to develop transferable skills that you will need in the future. If you excel at what you do, some companies will continue to promote you until you become a marketing manager.

Entry Level Marketing Jobs

Jobs That Filter into Marketing Managers

The journey to becoming a marketing manager often starts with an entry-level job. These jobs will give you relevant experience and teach you the skills that you will need to succeed. There are dozens of paths that you can take to become a marketing manager. Below is a career map where you can see different paths that you can take to become a marketing manager.

Source: Zippia Logo

Marketing Manager Jobs

Marketing managers can work in dozens of industries and for countless companies. Zippia has thousands of marketing manager jobs that you can look through. To help narrow down your search, we have several filters that you can use.

  • Date Posted: You can filter through jobs based on when the employer posted the opening.

  • Distance to your home: You can narrow down your search by selecting how far from your home you are willing to travel.

  • Highest level of education: You can select your highest level of education, and Zippia will filter out jobs that require a degree that you do not have.

  • Job type: You can look through internships, full-time, part-time, or temporary work.

Devon Feuer