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Become A Merchandising Director

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Working As A Merchandising Director

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $94,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Merchandising Director Do

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.

Duties

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers typically do the following:

  • Work with department heads or staff to discuss topics such as budgets and contracts, marketing plans, and the selection of advertising media
  • Plan promotional campaigns such as contests, coupons, or giveaways
  • Plan advertising campaigns, including which media to advertise in, such as radio, television, print, online media, and billboards
  • Negotiate advertising contracts
  • Evaluate the look and feel of websites used in campaigns or layouts, which are sketches or plans for an advertisement
  • Initiate market research studies and analyze their findings to understand customer and market opportunities for businesses
  • Develop pricing strategies for products or services marketed to the target customers of a firm
  • Meet with clients to provide marketing or technical advice
  • Direct the hiring of advertising, promotions, and marketing staff and oversee their daily activities

Advertising managers create interest among potential buyers of a product or service. They do this for a department, for an entire organization, or on a project basis (referred to as an account). Advertising managers work in advertising agencies that put together advertising campaigns for clients, in media firms that sell advertising space or time, and in organizations that advertise heavily.

Advertising managers work with sales staff and others to generate ideas for an advertising campaign. They oversee the staff that develops the advertising. They work with the finance department to prepare a budget and cost estimates for the campaign.

Often, advertising managers serve as liaisons between the client and the advertising or promotion agency that develops and places the ads. In larger organizations with extensive advertising departments, different advertising managers may oversee in-house accounts and creative and media services departments.

In addition, some advertising managers specialize in a particular field or type of advertising. For example, media directors determine the way in which an advertising campaign reaches customers. They can use any or all of various media, including radio, television, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and outdoor signs. 

Advertising managers known as account executives manage clients’ accounts, but they are not responsible for developing or supervising the creation or presentation of advertising. That task becomes the work of the creative services department.

Promotions managers direct programs that combine advertising with purchasing incentives to increase sales. Often, the programs use direct mail, inserts in newspapers, Internet advertisements, in-store displays, product endorsements, or special events to target customers. Purchasing incentives may include discounts, samples, gifts, rebates, coupons, sweepstakes, or contests.

Marketing managers estimate the demand for products and services that an organization and its competitors offer. They identify potential markets for the organization’s products.

Marketing managers also develop pricing strategies to help organizations maximize their profits and market share while ensuring that the organizations’ customers are satisfied. They work with sales, public relations, and product development staff.

For example, a marketing manager may monitor trends that indicate the need for a new product or service. Then he or she oversees the development of that product or service. For more information on sales or public relations, see the profiles on sales managers, public relations and fundraising managers, public relations specialists, and market research analysts.

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How To Become A Merchandising Director

A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. These managers typically have work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales.

Education

A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. For advertising management positions, some employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in advertising or journalism. A relevant course of study might include classes in marketing, consumer behavior, market research, sales, communication methods and technology, visual arts, art history, and photography.

Most marketing managers need a bachelor’s degree. Courses in business law, management, economics, finance, computer science, mathematics, and statistics are advantageous. For example, courses in computer science are helpful in developing an approach to maximize online traffic, by utilizing online search results, because maximizing such traffic is critical for digital advertisements and promotions. In addition, completing an internship while in school can be useful.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Advertising, promotional, and marketing managers typically have work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales. For example, many managers are former sales representatives; buyers or purchasing agents; or public relations specialists.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must be able to analyze industry trends to determine the most promising strategies for their organization. 

Communication skills. Managers must be able to communicate effectively with a broad-based team made up of other managers or staff members during the advertising, promotions, and marketing process. They must also be able to communicate persuasively with the public.

Creativity. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must be able to generate new and imaginative ideas.

Decisionmaking skills. Managers often must choose between competing advertising and marketing strategies put forward by staff.

Interpersonal skills. These managers must deal with a range of people in different roles, both inside and outside the organization.

Organizational skills. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must manage their time and budget efficiently while directing and motivating staff members.

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Merchandising Director Demographics

Gender

Male

48.9%

Female

41.7%

Unknown

9.3%
Ethnicity

White

63.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.9%

Chinese

13.4%

French

11.9%

Mandarin

7.5%

Portuguese

6.0%

Cantonese

6.0%

Korean

6.0%

German

4.5%

Japanese

4.5%

Italian

4.5%

Hindi

3.0%

Irish

1.5%

Turkish

1.5%

Urdu

1.5%

Bengali

1.5%
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Merchandising Director Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

22.8%

Ohio State University

6.9%

University of Phoenix

6.9%

Michigan State University

6.5%

Cornell University

4.7%

New York University

4.3%

Kent State University

4.3%

Saint John's University - New York

3.9%

University of Florida

3.9%

Hofstra University

3.9%

University of Arizona

3.9%

San Francisco State University

3.4%

University of Texas at Austin

3.4%

University of Wisconsin Extension

3.0%

Vanderbilt University

3.0%

George Washington University

3.0%

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

3.0%

School of Visual Arts

3.0%

Bowling Green State University

3.0%

Pennsylvania State University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

31.4%

Marketing

12.7%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

8.0%

Graphic Design

7.8%

Management

4.6%

Fine Arts

4.5%

Economics

3.9%

Communication

3.8%

English

2.9%

Finance

2.6%

Political Science

2.2%

Accounting

2.2%

Kinesiology

2.0%

Interior Design

2.0%

Apparel And Textiles

1.8%

Psychology

1.8%

Education

1.6%

History

1.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.3%

General Sales

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

58.7%

Masters

16.0%

Other

14.1%

Associate

7.9%

Certificate

2.0%

Doctorate

0.7%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$94,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$51,000
Min 10%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$172,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Nike
Highest Paying City
Denver, CO
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
4.0 years
How much does a Merchandising Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Merchandising Director in the United States is $94,469 per year or $45 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $51,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $172,000.

Real Merchandising Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director, Merchandising Levi Strauss & Co. San Francisco, CA Jan 20, 2014 $217,382
Merchandising Director VF Sportswear, Inc. New York, NY Aug 10, 2015 $193,084
Merchandising Director VF Sportswear, Inc. New York, NY Sep 04, 2015 $185,657
Director Merchandise Cost Optimization True Value Company Chicago, IL Jun 13, 2016 $181,500
Director of Merchandising, Menswear Belstaff USA Corp. New York, NY Apr 16, 2012 $180,000
Director of Merchandising VF Sportswear, Inc. New York, NY Aug 10, 2012 $175,000
Director of Merchandising H Company Holdings LLC New York, NY Jun 28, 2010 $170,000
North America Category Merchandising Director, NIK NIKE USA, Inc. Beaverton, OR Nov 18, 2013 $165,000
Merchandising Director, Strategy & Profitability CVS Pharmacy, Inc. Woonsocket, RI Jan 08, 2016 $160,000
Director, Promotions & Merchandising Coty Inc. New York, NY May 11, 2015 $160,000
Strategic Merchandising Director Sephora USA, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 11, 2013 $152,000 -
$160,000
Director of Merchandising Jinny Beauty Supply Co. Inc. Niles, IL Oct 01, 2011 $150,055
Director of Strategic Merchandising & Store Planni Delia*, Inc. New York, NY Jun 01, 2011 $150,000
Director of Merchandising Jinny Beauty Supply Co., Inc. Niles, IL Sep 18, 2011 $149,552
Category Merchandising Director, NSW Football-Nort NIKE USA, Inc. Beaverton, OR Dec 05, 2013 $148,990
Category Merchandising Director, NSW Football-Nort NIKE USA, Inc. Beaverton, OR Oct 25, 2013 $148,990
Director of Merchandising DVF Studio LLC New York, NY Jul 30, 2014 $145,000
Director, DMM-West ELM Merchandising Williams-Sonoma, Inc. New York, NY Jul 16, 2014 $144,560 -
$223,000
Category Merchandising Director, NSW Football-Nort NIKE, Inc. Beaverton, OR Dec 05, 2013 $144,300
Director, Merchandising Ralph Lauren Corporation New York, NY Mar 19, 2012 $140,000
Director of Merchandising Dover Saddlery, Inc. Littleton, MA Oct 01, 2011 $127,500
Director of Design and Merchandising, North Americ Pure Elements Clothing Co., Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $125,000
Strategic Merchandising Director Sephora USA, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 03, 2013 $120,000 -
$150,000
Merchandising Director Ocusun, LLC Novato, CA Sep 29, 2015 $120,000
Director of Buying and Merchandising Makers Row Inc. New York, NY Jun 15, 2015 $120,000
Director of Meat Merchandising The Golub Corporation Schenectady, NY Jul 25, 2011 $120,000
Director of Strategic Merchandising & Store Planni Delia*, Inc. New York, NY Jun 01, 2011 $112,029
Director, Visual Merchandising Fashions Outlet of America New York, NY Jan 20, 2010 $110,000

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Top Skills for A Merchandising Director

  1. New Merchandise
  2. Store Operations
  3. Product Categories
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Introduced new merchandise processes, planning and reporting for the corporate emblematic branded promotional online catalogs and marketing programs.
  • Directed and oversaw merchandising and business operations, including process development, warehouse / inventory management, and retail store operations.
  • Developed a process to surface the most critical items within product categories in order to most effectively measure retail price competitiveness.
  • Leveraged vendor relationships to increase business development, obtain product exclusivity, favorable terms, and extended co-op.
  • Raised overall store experience and customer service through creating sales training guidelines that focused staff on exceeding customer expectations.

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Top 10 Best States for Merchandising Directors

  1. New York
  2. Colorado
  3. New Jersey
  4. Virginia
  5. Rhode Island
  6. California
  7. Delaware
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Connecticut
  • (865 jobs)
  • (197 jobs)
  • (378 jobs)
  • (288 jobs)
  • (51 jobs)
  • (1,783 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (368 jobs)
  • (124 jobs)
  • (194 jobs)

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