How to Become a Marketing Manager in 4 Steps
Marketing management is a popular profession. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is expected to grow by 10% by 2031. Read on to discover how to become a marketing manager and more about this rewarding occupation.
What is a Marketing Manager?
Marketing managers have some of the most exciting jobs but also carry organizational responsibilities. These managers help organizations achieve their marketing goals. They are also held accountable for falling below performance goals. Due to these responsibilities, marketing managers tend to make a higher-than-average salary.
How Much Does a Marketing Manager Make?
The average pay for marketing managers was $153,440—nearly triple the average wage for all occupations.1 The amount a marketing manager makes will vary depending on the organization’s size and what type of marketing manager they are.
Types of Marketing Managers
Larger organizations often have more marketing departments, more teams and medium-specific initiatives. Marketing managers can specialize in a specific area of expertise. There are various types of marketing managers that handle tasks from strategy to execution.
Digital Marketing Manager
Digital marketing is one of the broadest types of marketing since it includes everything outside of print, broadcast, direct mail, phone, and outdoor advertising, like billboards. Digital marketing managers balance several tasks at once. They develop marketing strategies for search engines, social media, conversion rate optimization, email and more.
Social Media Marketing Manager
As evident from the name, social media marketing managers supervise online social channels. They oversee content creation and growth, community management, and paid social media initiatives.
Growth Marketing Manager
Growth marketers specifically focus on improving metrics that the organization values. These metrics are measured in conversions—the completion of the desired goal like subscriptions, purchases, etc. Growth marketing managers improve the customer’s journey through the marketing funnel. Day-to-day activities involve planning and implementing tests that provide insights into audience engagement and conversion rates.
Product Marketing Manager
Product marketing managers create strategies to present the product or service to the market. Product marketing lies at the center of marketing, sales, and development. Product marketers use customer research to position the product and find ways to communicate the benefits to prospective customers. Customer feedback is then delivered to the development team to improve the product.
There is not an exhaustive list of marketing managers. There can be a type of marketing management for nearly every kind of marketing, from paid search to organic. New areas of marketing also appear as technology develops. Each organization defines the responsibilities of its marketing managers differently. Job titles can also vary from company to company.
While you explore how to become a marketing manager, be thorough in your research of the industries you are interested in and the responsibilities you would like to have. Your path to becoming a marketing manager will become more apparent if you know what you are training to accomplish!
TIP: Look at job descriptions for marketing managers to see the responsibilities and qualifications employers want in marketing managers.
Once you know what kind of marketing manager you want to be, the following steps involve gaining the skills necessary to be employed by a company or agency.
How to Become a Marketing Manager
- Complete a bachelor’s degree
- Achieve a master’s degree
- Earn certifications
- Find internships and employment
1. COMPLETE A BACHELOR’S DEGREE
A business degree will give you a broad understanding of operations, which is necessary to become a marketing manager. A marketing degree will more specifically prepare you to form marketing strategies—one of the core functions of a marketing manager.
A degree in business analytics is another profitable option. Employers in the marketing world highly prize analytical skills. The ability to create reports and discover actionable insights is a crucial ability that every marketing manager should have.
The best part about marketing is the various academic paths that lead to it. Some marketing careers start with a major in complementary studies like communication, advertising, or English. Others begin with a bachelor’s in computer science, psychology, or even education.
The most important part of your bachelor’s degree is developing the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a career as a marketing manager.
TIP: Keep a record of relevant skills you’ve learned and any projects you’ve done for job applications.
2. Achieve a Master’s Degree
A graduate degree is not always necessary to become a marketing manager. Still, it can be helpful—especially if your bachelor’s is in a non-business or marketing field. Not only will a graduate degree prepare you with the proper skills, but it will also make you more desirable to employers and increase your starting pay.
Those with a master’s degree make 18% more each week than those with a bachelor’s degree.2 A graduate degree can give you a competitive edge and make you more appealing to employers. You should choose your master’s degree based on what type of marketing manager you want to be.
A general MBA can also serve you well. An MBA can help advance your career in marketing by giving you a broader skill set in business activities like project management, people management, supply chains, consumer behavior and more.
Regent’s online MBA program is open to anyone, regardless of work experience. There is also no GMAT requirement. Regent’s MBA is an excellent option for recent college graduates or those who want to change careers.
3. Earn Your Certifications
Certifications from respected organizations can show that you have practical knowledge of the tools and skills needed to fill a position as a marketing manager. Certificates demonstrate to potential employers that you’re committed to developing your skills.
There are hundreds of marketing certifications that could pertain to your career path. Many certifications are free, which means you can start on them immediately.
- Google Analytics 4
- Google Ads
- Google Search
- HubSpot Content Marketing
- HubSpot Inbound Marketing
- HubSpot Email Marketing
- Facebook Blueprint
4. FIND INTERNSHIPS AND EMPLOYMENT
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists six essential qualities of marketing managers.3
- Analytical skills
- Communication skills
- Decision-making skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Organizational skills
Many skills listed are soft skills gained from earning a degree at a liberal arts college. You can develop these skills with internships while you are completing your schooling.
Internships are often competitive; finding the right one for you can be challenging. Gaining experience will help you stand out from the competition. Regent University’s Office of Career Services is prepared to help you connect with internships and guide you with interview prep, resumé-building workshops, and career fairs.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Marketing Manager?
No career path is linear. Many employers require at least 3 years of experience or 5+ years for more senior positions. You can build your portfolio by investing in a traditional 4-year bachelor’s degree and a 2-year graduate program.
Accelerated programs can shorten the time it takes to complete your schooling. Regent’s accelerated general MBA will allow you to complete your degree with fewer credit hours. Plus, you won’t need work experience or GMAT testing, so you can start the MBA as soon as you complete your bachelor’s.
Regent’s fast-track graduate pilots also allow eligible B.S. in Business students to enroll in two graduate-level business courses. These graduate-level courses will fulfill your undergraduate requirements and count towards your master’s, on enrolling in Regent’s MBA program.
Now that you’ve learned how to become a marketing manager, it’s time to take the next step. regent.edu/request-information
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. (2021, July 6). Marketing managers. Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. (2022, September 8). Education pays. Employment Projections.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. (2022, September 8). Occupational Outlook Handbook. Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers.