Marketing managers organise the market research, advertising, selling, distribution, pricing and aftersales service for a product or group of products. They write reports and make financial plans; they will almost always be involved in the long-term strategic planning of successful products or services.
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Companies that make products, or provide services, all need to decide how best to promote them in order to increase sales or awareness. As a Marketing Manager, you will design and produce marketing policies for these organisations, and you'll be involved in the strategic planning for current and future products or services, as well as the company brand, image and reputation.
You will take overall responsibility for finding out about (and predicting) what customers want, and for identifying target markets for products or services. Markets could be members of the public, other businesses or government departments, for example. You must aim to improve customer loyalty - you want your customers to keep coming back!
In a small or medium sized organisation, you will be involved in nearly all aspects of marketing. Larger companies usually employ more than one Marketing Manager, and you will have your own particular area of responsibility.
You might start out as an Assistant Brand Manager with specific duties connected with the marketing of one particular range of goods. You might, for example:
- organise market research to assess buying trends
- oversee advertising campaigns
- prepare sales estimates
- supervise printing and packaging design
- monitor sales performance
As a Marketing Manager you will analyse sales figures and prepare reports for senior management. Your aim to get the best return possible for the money you spend on marketing.
When reviewing the performance of a product, brand or service, or launching it for the first time, you must make many informed decisions about, for example:
- price range
- product name
- design style of any packaging, logos and websites
- consistency of advertising message and theme
- places and ways to sell it
You must also take into account the results of market research and information about customer preferences and competitors' products.
You will often be involved in decisions on the choice and mix of media for advertising, production schedules, method of distribution and training of sales and exhibition staff. For example, you might decide to use a mixture of social media, radio ads, digital marketing, event sponsorship and magazine advertising.
As the Marketing Manager, you will lead and motivate a team of colleagues, to meet realistic targets.
Many Marketing Managers travel to exhibitions and visit customers to promote your product or service, to gather information and build good relationships with both existing and potential new customers.
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Marketing Manager, you will need:
- good interpersonal skills to lead and motivate a team
- excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
- to be well organised and able to prioritise and delegate tasks
- the ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines
- decisive thinking and problem-solving skills
- tact, diplomacy, persistence, confidence and a persuasive manner
- IT skills
- number skills to analyse statistical information and produce financial plans
- the ability to set and monitor budgets
A driving licence is often required.
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
- Starting: £31,000 - £35,000
- With experience: £39,000 - £48,500
- Senior Marketing Managers earn £55,000 - £64,500
Earnings might be increased with bonuses and commission.
Hours of work
Usually you will work 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday. However, this can vary considerably. Late finishes and weekend work might be required, especially as promotional deadlines approach, resulting in more than a 40-hour week at times.
Where could I work?
Employers include companies selling to the general public (such as food products and computer games, for example) and the business-to-business (B2B) market (selling goods and services to other companies), the service industry (including banks and electricity suppliers) and the government (promoting things like pensions or tax returns).
Charities also use Marketing Managers to manage their marketing projects and to help them raise funds.
Opportunities for Marketing Managers occur in towns and cities throughout the UK.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).
Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.
Take a look at our General Information Article
Entry Routes and Training
Entry to marketing jobs is very competitive. Many applicants have either a degree or HNC/HND in marketing or business studies (with marketing options).
Foundation degrees are available in marketing and also business with marketing.
A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article '
An Advanced Level Apprenticeship is also a great place to start. You may be able to take an NVQ as part of your apprenticeship.
Various vocational BTEC and City & Guilds qualifications are available and could help you to get into this career - see below for more details.
Some marketing posts require qualifications that are industry-specific, for example, agriculture, textiles, pharmaceuticals or engineering.
Many entrants to marketing management have worked in roles such as Marketing or Advertising Executives, or Brand Planners. Some have a Chartered Institute of Marketing professional qualification.
Large companies might offer graduate training schemes.
It might be possible to study for The Chartered Institute of Marketing's (CIM) professional examinations, either before or once in employment.
The qualifications include:
- the professional certificate in marketing
- the professional diploma in marketing
- the chartered postgraduate diploma in marketing
People with some work experience or recent graduates with any subject should consider the professional certificate in marketing.
For entry to the professional diploma course, applicants need the CIM professional certificate in marketing, or a degree in a business or marketing subject. Entry is also possible with marketing management experience.
Direct entrants to the chartered postgraduate diploma in marketing need the professional diploma in marketing, or a degree which had marketing as at least half of its content and a wide range of relevant senior marketing management work experience.
Marketing Managers could go on to become Senior Managers, Directors or Business Owners, for example.
Previous experience working as a Marketing Executive, or Brand Planners would be really useful for this career.
For entry to a degree course in marketing or business studies, the usual requirement is:
- 2/3 A levels
- GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects
- English language and maths at GCSE level
To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.
Alternatives to A levels include:
- BTEC level 3 qualification in marketing or creative and digital media
- City & Guilds level 3 qualification in marketing
- the International Baccalaureate Diploma
However, course requirements vary so check college/university websites carefully.
Some companies ask for qualifications which are specific to their particular industry/business sector.
Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.
It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.
Many entrants to marketing management have worked in roles such as marketing or advertising executives, or brand planners.
If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (for example, Access to Business) could be the way in.
These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.
A number of centres, including Chartered Institute of Marketing accredited centres, offer relevant management and marketing qualifications by distance learning.
There are degree and postgraduate courses in business and marketing available by distance learning.
The Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) offers a Certificate and Diploma in Operational Sales and Marketing Management, by distance learning.
Specialists in graduate careers
Address: Unit 6, The Quad, 49 Atalanta Street, Fulham, London SW6 6TU
Tel: 020 7565 7900
National Skills Academy for Food & Drink
Sector Skills Council for the food and drinks industry
Food and drink careers
Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
Address: Moor Hall, Cookham, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 9QH
Tel: 01628 427120
Communication, Advertising and Marketing education
Tel: 01628 427120
Institute of Sales Management (ISM)
Address: Harrier Court, Lower Woodside, Bedfordshire LU1 4DQ
Tel: 01582 840001
Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Ireland
Northern Ireland Enquiries
Address: 8 Farnham Road, Bangor BT20 3SP
Tel: 028 9146 9901
Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 028 4844