How to Become a Marketing Manager? Get all your questions answered about what does a marketing manager does and how to attain that position. Learn through examples and gain advantage over others.

Do you wonder "How to become a marketing manager?" And, wish to know what it takes to be a great one, soon? Then, you are in luck. This article has been curated specially for you. All the doubts, queries, and must-know facts are covered in this piece. For an MBA student who has an inclination towards marketing, this is the role to look forward to.

Now, let’s start with the basic questions like “What is a Marketing manager?” and “How to become a marketing manager?”.


What is a Marketing Manager?

A marketing manager’s job is to help companies meeting their goals. Now, goals can be like creating visibility for the brand, reaching sales goals, or enhancing campaign performance. And he/she does this by creating and implementing separate strategies for the same.

They research the market trends, identify the plausible target audience, their needs, and ways to connect with them. This role is very interesting and challenging because it can function on so many different levels.

For example, one might have to focus on social media marketing, to bulk their efforts on improving their presence and following. Instagram and Facebook are lifelines of social media marketing nowadays.

Or you may be involved in designing and branding a product. This involves an entirely different range of activities like a portfolio or product designing, copyrighting, pitching, etc. It may also include print ads, content creation, email campaigns, and many more.

Quick Tasks of Marketing Manager

Source: ahrefs.com

Now, doing all these projects is not going to be your exact job. A marketing manager is the one in charge of coordinating the tasks, rather than doing the work directly. You will be directing a team of content creators or researchers. Moreover, building and keeping track of the metrics used to determine success.

A quick fun read option for you: A Week in the Life of a Marketing Manager

Now, before being a manager, you must think: "how to get into marketing?”.


How to Get into Marketing?

Starting a career without even knowing the basics will be quite daunting and scary.

If your problem is, you don’t know squat about marketing. Conversions. Bounce rates. Analytics. And, these words sound scary and confusing when you don’t have the right context or knowledge. Then you would have to take some baby steps to get it.

Firstly, you can begin with online courses. There are many different ways to go about learning basics: books, blogs, YouTube videos, Ted talks, classes, workshops, and more. (The internet is truly a remarkable learning platform.)

Quick Remedy for you : Five Steps Ahead course.

This course can definitely ease up the daunting task of getting to know how to get into marketing. From a first hand experience, I could tell you that! It's exhaustive and self-paced course, perfect for you!

Secondly, once your resume reflects that you know basics, the best step would be to start searching for projects. Go on LinkedIn, Indeed, Handshake —any job board really— and apply to all the jobs you can find. Even an unpaid internship will teach you a lot

Thirdly, you could start a blog, channel or podcast of your own. This will help you in understanding how SEO, Ads, content etc should be used. This has multi-fold benefits.

And the best utilization of building a channel or blog is "personal branding". Its the start of building yourself into a brand. Like, self-help practices focus on self-improvement, but personal branding defines success as a form of self-packaging.

In fact, your personal brand will be how you promote yourself.

Additional helpful article: What is MBA in Marketing All About?


Aim v/s Actions

Now, while you work on these steps, you can also aim at what you want to be in 5 or 10 years. And believe me becoming the Chief Marketing Officer or CMO is not the only option.

For instance, you can follow the traditional route or sales route or digital marketing route. If you want a know more, do read: Careers in Marketing After MBA and Without MBA

Marketing is quite versatile sector. You must go through the above article to gauge where does your interest lie? What you do the best? What are the steps to be in that role then?

In fact, marketing ranges from traditional way- where you develop, oversee and promote campaigns, to modern ways. Analytics comes under that, where you develop a good acumen about getting insights from customer data.


How to Become a Marketing Manager in India?

If you ask someone ‘how to become a marketing manager in India’, you might get talked about having a bachelor’s degree, work experience or certifications. Well, they aren’t incorrect. But the secret sauce to this is- keeping pace. Grasping new trends and having good oral and written communications skills is very important.

Marketing managers are in demand, even in India. And are likely to stay that way for the long-haul, as long as they keep learning new things in their career. Marketing is a lucrative career path that, while relatively common, isn’t exactly hard to break into.

So, if you are thinking of changing your stream to marketing, be ready to embrace an ever-learning path. New Day, New Way!

The first step to knowing anything is to ‘Google’ it nowadays. So, let’s see what Google suggested.


Google Search picture

Source: Google Search Engine results

Since, marketing managers contribute a great deal to the effectiveness of a company, a certain level of qualifications is expected from them. Especially in India, good qualifications help in standing out of the crowd.

“At the age of 25 yrs, IIM pass out got a job offer of Rs. 1 crore’ by a financial multinational company”- is a common headline for us.

And, the answer to “how to be that” could be broadly divided into three parts: Qualifications, Soft skills and Hard skills.



1.What qualifications do you need to be a marketing manager?

Firstly, a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree in marketing or a related field. Or a master's degree in business or marketing is preferred, from a prestigious B-School.

Secondly, the importance of relevant work experience cannot be understated. A relevant work experience may even rank higher than anything else, in some cases.

But, any experienced marketing manager would know that this is not the ‘only’ way. There is no fixed linear path to become a marketing manager. In fact, there are infinite ways to be there.

But, instead of boring you with analysis paralysis of hundred different ways, I have aimed something else. To tell you what skills can get you to the fastest way.


2.What skills do you need to be a marketing manager?

Let's start with the soft-skills list! According to most of the CMOs, some soft skills are must-haves. Anyone who wants to become a marketing manager must have those. I have jotted down some crucial ones for you!

Execution Skills- You have to gain control over the balance between quality and time. Moreover, build deadlines while having empathy for the task-doers.

Collaboration Skills- Marketing managers must play well with others. In order to get stuff done, a great inter-teams coordination is necessary.

Adaptable- One of the top one is having the ability to deal with a constant state of flux in the marketing landscape. New trends, tools and tactics keep popping up every day. And, you have to keep up with those.

Especially, when it comes to digital marketing front. With growing digital marketing trends, even analytics have become a part of marketing team.

Communication- Finally, oral and written communication skills. At the end of the day, it’s your content and story-telling skills which will connect everything. They are crucial as this only makes the base for any further development.

Best way to do this is to have a “T-skill” approach. You can see the following image of T-Shaped skill.

You can also read: Must Have New-age Skills for Marketing


Skills set required

Source: ahrefs.com

If you see the image above, you could see how its a mix of traditional and technical skills now. 


3. What are the Must-Know Hard Skills?

Let me tell you an open-secret. Today, some of the newest routes to the top position in Marketing are Analytics and Digital Marketing. 

3.1 Marketing Analytics 

This provides insights into customer behavior and preferences. Businesses can then tailor their marketing initiatives to meet the needs of individual consumers.

The humongous data that this generation's customers provide- is untapped gold! And having an inclination to data analysis definitely helps.

Now, coding machine-learning models are not the sole function of a Data-Science team. As a MBA graduate, coding isn't expected out of you. But, you must be able to interpret the outputs generated.

Another important part is Data Visualization. Your role will demand to present the data insights in such a way, that it makes sense to the stakeholders. 

I would suggest you to begin working with tools like spreadsheets, Tableau, Power BI etc., to get the hang of it sooner.

3.2 Digital Marketing

Another new-age skill is digital marketing. It has so many different aspects, skills, and jobs such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing etc.

My suggestion is to learn these skills and take up some pro-bono or live projects during your MBA to gauge the practical sense of it .

Now, the most awaited doubt- what comes into the wallet?


What is a Marketing Manager’s Salary?

As a marketer, you’re always on the hunt for the most effective marketing strategies, trends, examples, tips, or tactics. Mostly, because the goals and tasks varies immensely across firms. Hence, the salary offered also varies. You can google multiple websites to compare salaries, we have one exemplary comparison

Graph showing salary for marketing managers

But, this graph isn’t exhaustive.

Like, right now the digital marketing industry is searing hot with opportunities. It’s because, every company and individual seek to leave a digital impact on the humongous worldwide web. Online spaces have become effective branding, advertising, and marketing platform. And hence, the need for ninjas who can navigate this space is also on the rise.

Brushing or building up your skills in this region might fetch you a much higher salary. 


Conclusion

To conclude, if you want to become a marketing manager in India, two things are of importance. Minimum qualifications to be eligible for the role and maximum willingness to learn new technology and tactics. It’s never late to gain some relevant work experience. But, starting right now, as an MBA student, will be optimum.

Also read: How To Become Market Research Analyst

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About the Author:

Surabhi Bhuyan is a student at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), pursuing MBA in International Business. Has graduated from the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela. Having worked as a data analyst at MuSigma, she has an interest in analytics, and its interplay with marketing. She is an active graffiti artist and loves to read books, especially of the Hindu-mythology genre. To contact her, drop her a message on her LinkedIn