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Hot MBA Jobs: Marketing Manager

MBA Jobs Marketing Manager

If there’s one career field that has grown by leaps and bounds and changed dramatically over the last few years, it’s marketing. In the era of Mad Men, marketing and advertising were only for the large companies that could afford to buy commercials, billboards and magazine placements. Now, marketing management is a necessary part of any and every business no matter if it’s a one-person startup or a multi-billion dollar organization.

In fact, in 2015, more than $180 billion USD was spent on advertising and marketing. So, it’s no wonder that marketing has become a hot MBA career. At top schools such as the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, more than 20 percent of the MBA graduates head into marketing. And at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, MBAs can choose to concentrate their academic discipline within the field of marketing.
But what exactly does it mean to be a marketing manager?

Marketing Manager Job Description

Marketing managers estimate the demand for products and services. They identify potential markets and review what an organizations competitors are doing in the same space. To put it simply, a marketing manager is responsible for developing world-class marketing and advertising plans that include social media, collateral, digital, web and more.

According to the University of Florida, a marketing manager should demonstrate five critical skills:

  1. Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to quickly analyze situations to determine their validity, what needs to be done and how everything should be handled. In particular, for marketing, this skill is vital for breeding creativity.
  2. Project Management: Marketing managers have to be able to lead company projects effectively and efficiently. The key is being able to direct their team to accomplish the company’s objectives.
  3. Analytical Skills: Successful marketing managers know how to sift through the vast amount of data available to discover what they need to know about consumer behavior, ROI and more.
  4. Holistic Approach: Marketing is not a one-trick pony. It should be integrated into every aspect of the business. Marketing managers should understand how marketing is related to every department and interconnected system.
  5. Technical Skills: As technology continues to advance, marketing has become a tech savvy place where successful Managers will need to depend on technology to reach customers, gain information and develop tools for success.

According to the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” Marketing managers have the added responsibility of hiring staff, building a team, casting a vision, planning strategy, managing budgets, and tracking results.

Marketing managers can be found in almost any industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 report, out of the 192,890 marketing managers nationwide, the top industries include management of companies and enterprises (33,540), computer systems design and related Services (11,770), and management, scientific, and technical consulting services (10,750).

Marketing Manager Salary

In May 2015, it was reported that marketing managers made a median annual wage of $128,750. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $66,090, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $187,200. According to Monster, MBAs can expect to start out making $102,000 as marketing managers and $133,000 as marketing directors.

Working as a Marketing Manager

So, what does a day in the life of a marketing manager look like? Bloomberg Businessweek spoke to Daniel Helmhold, a 2011 MBA grad from the ESADE Business & Law School in Barcelona, who took a product marketing manager role at Kabam, an interactive entertainment company with headquarters in San Francisco, CA.

Helmhold starts his workday at 9:00 a.m., heading home at 6:30 p.m. Throughout that time he meets with heads of various departments to discuss projects and events that are currently in the works.

“We get together to discuss the review results of all events that have occurred recently, and we go through the metrics of the program: the number of people that engaged, the revenue generated from events, key learnings of what we should execute again and what we shouldn’t,” he said. “We also take a detailed look at what we are executing in the coming week.”

The rest of Helmhold’s day is spent on his projects whether that’s coming up with creative messaging, figuring out cross-promotion or pulling data to better understand monetization and the customers. In general, marketing managers can expect to work more than 40 hours a week and to be prepared for travel.

Do You Need an MBA?

Marketing doesn’t require an MBA, but more and more often companies are looking for MBAs to add to their team. According to U.S. News, while a bachelor’s degree can get most individuals in the door in marketing, an MBA is what can help you make it to the next level on the corporate ladder. The reality is that while creativity is important for marketing, just as important is the ability to manage and lead a team, while understanding how marketing impacts every aspect of the business.

However, that’s not to say that an MBA is all graduates need. One also needs experience.

“MBA programs can help develop you into a business leader, with an enterprise-wide decision-making perspective. However, your company experience will train you to be a marketer,” said Kimberly Whitler, assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, in Forbes. “The rigor and discipline with which a great company approaches marketing is like nothing you will find any place else.”

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About the Author


Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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