8 Essential Marketing Manager Skills
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 30 January 2023
Published 19 July 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Marketing managers work with diverse individuals across marketing, sales and advertising teams to build successful campaigns, achieve sales and boost revenue. These professionals rely on a range of skills to perform effectively in their jobs. By developing your skills as a marketing manager, you can better develop a marketing project, direct teams and analyse results to achieve business goals. In this article, we discuss what a marketing manager is, what they do, what marketing manager skills you need to succeed in this career and how to improve and highlight them effectively.
What is a marketing manager?
A marketing manager is the professional responsible for organising, planning, directing, analysing and monitoring marketing campaigns and the members of a marketing team. They usually serve as intermediaries between the marketing directors and chief marketing officers, the sales department and the marketing department. These professionals work with sales and advertising teams to promote ideas and their organisations' products or services.
Related: How to Become a Marketing Manager
What are marketing manager skills?
Marketing managers are responsible for leading teams and projects to successful outcomes, and they often have extensive knowledge of different management techniques, leadership strategies and teamwork capabilities in order to oversee their staff members. In addition to these skills, consider developing the following competencies to perform effectively in your career:
Communication is essential in a marketing management role. Your communication skills are necessary for collaboration between different departments and the dissemination of crucial information that marketing, sales and advertising teams use when developing strategies. A marketing manager may rely on effective communication to convey information that helps marketing teams plan and track campaign progress, implement alternative strategies and apply new directions from executives.
Professionals in management roles have strong decision-making skills and use these skills to analyse new information, make last-minute changes to plans and implement creative solutions. Your ability to weigh alternative options, seek input and apply feedback when making important decisions in the workplace is critical to the success of your campaigns. Additionally, your decision-making skills can also highlight your analytical and critical thinking abilities, further impressing employers.
Management roles depend on a leader's ability to solve problems in the workplace. Whether a marketing manager is troubleshooting a technical application to distribute a social media post or supporting team members when resolving conflict, these professionals rely on their problem-solving skills to achieve success and positive outcomes. Consider developing conflict-resolution skills and improving your critical thinking to support your ability to help others solve problems in the workplace.
Marketing managers perform many leadership functions, too. For instance, managers may often support employees by mentoring, training and guiding staff in improving performance and developing their skills. Marketing managers also rely on their leadership skills to motivate their teams, provide training opportunities, delegate tasks, set strategic goals and mentor new employees as they adjust to their new work environments.
Planning and organisational skills
As a marketing manager, strategic planning is an essential focus of anticipating obstacles and overcoming challenges that may arise during marketing campaigns. Your planning skills are also necessary for developing strategies with your team, gathering and organising marketing materials and establishing and tracking metrics that provide insight into the health of your campaigns. Your organisational skills are also critical for managing your schedules, workflow and team members' information, assignments and achievements.
Analysing and evaluation skills
A marketing manager relies on their analytical skills and ability to research and evaluate information. Managers in marketing often analyse and evaluate key performance indicators (KPIs), strategies they implement for campaigns and the marketing return on investment (ROI) as they complete projects. It's important to understand how to analyse campaign metrics to determine if modifying or changing the strategies you integrate can boost conversions, sales and profitability.
Marketing managers often have extensive computer proficiency and often work with a range of digital marketing tools and software, like keyword planning applications, content management systems, email automation tools, social media features and sometimes website design. Depending on your credentials, you can pursue professional certification or a credential that demonstrates your proficiency and skill level in various digital marketing tools.
Creative skills like the ability to innovate and develop novel ideas are essential for sharing feedback with teams, building new strategies and executing new projects. Some marketing managers may rely on their creativity to help design elements and features of a website, content on a landing page or graphics for promotional social media posts. Creativity is also necessary to understand diverse perspectives on marketing concepts to develop unique campaigns that appeal to an organisation's target audience.
What are the responsibilities of a marketing manager?
Marketing managers help promote their organisations' products or services to potential clients. Marketing managers also lead teams of marketing and advertising specialists to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. To be successful in this profession, marketing managers develop strong leadership skills and the ability to direct their team's workflow to achieve goals. Besides these responsibilities, marketing managers also perform several more important tasks, including:
Planning promotional events
Designing aesthetically appealing marketing materials
Leading a team of content and email marketers
Collaborating with influencer marketers
Setting up ad campaigns using social media or search engine ad platforms
Creating social media content and distributing promotional content on social media platforms
Managing search engine optimisation, such as keyword research and backlinking to attract potential customers to company websites
Managing and directing marketing teams in the development of effective lead-generating campaigns
Measuring key metrics, planning marketing budgets and tracking marketing ROI for each strategy they implement
Collaborating with influencers, brand ambassadors, shareholders and other team members to boost promotional success and acquire more sales
How to improve your skills as a marketing manager
A marketing manager needs to have the skills to initiate, monitor and accomplish important marketing campaigns and strategies. To increase your effectiveness in your profession, consider the following steps to improve your marketing manager skills:
1. Participate in a professional mentorship
Mentorships can help you develop your leadership skills and managerial style. Learning from a mentor can also help you deepen your understanding of the responsibilities that come with your role. A mentor can also help you navigate obstacles as you advance in your career through professional training, development workshops and by studying industry resources. Consider a mentorship with a supervisor at your organisation or seek out professional development opportunities for managers building additional leadership skills.
2. Study trade books and industry resources
Consider studying current materials on leadership and management. Industry resources like journals, websites and blogs that support your development in marketing can also provide valuable insight into new strategies and techniques that can help you improve your approach to both management and marketing. Additional resources to consider include journals, books and magazines about leadership training, management techniques and other role-specific tools that provide independent learning opportunities.
3. Take advantage of leadership opportunities
Accepting leadership roles can help you develop your marketing manager skills. Think about taking on minor leadership roles before entering a managerial position, such as overseeing a project, presenting marketing reports to executives or training new team members. Taking the initiative to perform in a leadership capacity can be an effective first step in improving your leadership skills. This is also a beneficial approach to learning the job from an experienced professional and developing in your capacity as a manager.
4. Attend management classes
You can also attend courses that support your managerial skills and leadership development. Consider classes that focus on applying management techniques and provide practical exercises you can use in the workplace. Taking management classes not only supports your professional growth but it also demonstrates your willingness to take action to become a stronger leader. Attending leadership courses also promotes networking, since you can meet classmates with whom you exchange ideas and experiences, further expanding your expertise as a marketing manager.
5. Listen to and apply feedback
Seek feedback from superiors, executives and even other team members to understand where you can still improve and where you're excelling. Understanding how your supervisors perceive your performance can help you identify specific skills or techniques to use to further develop your career. Applying feedback can also help you set and achieve goals, measure your professional growth and determine what actions you need to take to strengthen your skills as a manager.
Tips for highlighting your skills as a marketing manager
Consider the following tips to showcase your skills when looking for a job:
On a resume: Include the skills you have that match the job description so employers can assess your qualifications. Consider listing these skills in a separate section underneath your professional summary so employers see your talents right away.
In a cover letter: Reiterate how your skills connect with the job requirements when you begin your letter. Be sure to highlight how these skills can contribute to the organisation.
During a job interview: In an interview, discuss how you applied your skills in the past by using the STAR response technique to describe a situation, your role in it, the actions you took and the results you achieved.
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