Marketing Management: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Find out more about careers in marketing management and why they are important, including types of marketing management jobs and their associated salaries.

[Featured image]:  A marketing management team is discussing marketing strategies.

Marketing management involves the strategic and planned creation and implementation of an organization's marketing efforts. People who work in marketing management act as liaisons between a company and its target consumer. 

Marketing management is important because it allows companies to create target marketing efforts and measure outcomes to gain new customers and retain loyal ones. Individuals in marketing management work closely with companies to align goals with marketing efforts and use metrics and other tools to adjust as needed. 

What is marketing management?

Marketing management uses marketing tools, strategies, processes, and analyses as part of an organization's strategic approach to developing and implementing marketing efforts. 

The meaning of marketing management can vary based on an organization's industry and marketing goals. As the name suggests, marketing management takes on managerial functions in marketing, which may entail oversight of marketing campaigns, outcomes, and planning and decision-making before, during, and after marketing plans are executed. 

Importance of marketing management to a business

Marketing management is vital to a business's ability to generate revenue, create a brand, and better understand its customer base. Marketing management works to ensure a company is profitable by gaining new customers, expanding a customer base, building a company’s reputation, and improving customer interactions. Some essential marketing functions of marketing management include managing, analyzing, and aligning with a company’s goals. 

Marketing management aims to provide cohesion and direction for campaigns or other marketing efforts. It’s a data-driven, strategically planned system supervised by professionals working in marketing management. 

Common elements of marketing management

Common marketing management elements include setting goals aligned with marketing efforts, conducting research to understand target consumers, creating campaigns based on analysis and goals, and maintaining a brand’s reputation and recognition by engaging with customers. Marketing management professionals work with a company and its customer base, acting as a bridge between the two. To function as this liaison, they must be able to understand desires and needs, which requires a fair amount of research and analysis. 

Goal setting

One of the foundational requirements for effective marketing is setting a goal. Here are some reasons why having a goal is important for marketing management:

  • Helps plot and plan marketing campaigns

  • Keeps a marketing team on track

  • Easier to create and assign tasks to individuals 

  • Helps measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts

Marketing goals can range from increasing sales by expanding the customer base to finding a niche market to engage customers better. 

Market research

After you’ve set a goal that aligns with the company’s objectives, it’s time to understand the target market and the competitors. Market research involves analyzing economic patterns and gathering customer information. Information like demographics and location can help determine who is buying a product or service and why. 

Some tools to conduct market research may be online surveys or web analytics using search engines like Google. Understanding the competition is sometimes more important than understanding the target consumers. If you find what makes a competitor successful or why customers purchase from them, you may be able to replicate those efforts for your brand. 

Devising, launching, and coordinating campaigns.

Marketing managers use research to devise targeted and effective marketing campaigns. These managers execute and manage the campaign and coordinate the elements of it. Having a concept, message, and call to action is important for gaining customers in marketing campaigns. 

After devising a campaign plan, it’s time to launch it. Using analytics and data gathered during the research phase, marketing managers find the precise day, even time, to launch the campaign. You'll base the timing on the type of campaign (i.e., social media campaign, print, event, etc.), the habits and behaviors of the target audience, and the channels used to launch the campaign. 

Coordinating a campaign involves tracking metrics and analyzing results so that changes can be made along the way, as well as having data after the campaign for future marketing efforts. Look for patterns, check in with the marketing team, and know when to make changes. 

Build relationships.

Beyond closing sales and gaining new customers, building relationships is important in marketing management. A good relationship with customers can extend the life of a brand and build a reputation. 

Customer retention should be woven into marketing efforts to create lifelong and loyal consumers. Create a buyer persona early in your marketing efforts, but understand that person’s needs and desires may shift and change in the future. Growing and shifting with desired target consumers is important for a business’s success.

Marketing managers use methods to build audience relationships, like storytelling, interactive emails, free content like blog posts or infographics, and social media polls. Engagement may lead to relationships in marketing, so marketing managers are always looking for ways to engage and connect with target consumers. 

Careers in marketing management

Marketing management jobs aim to gain interest in a product or service by promoting and advertising it in a strategic and targeted way. You can find marketing management jobs in most industries that require marketing efforts to generate revenue and build a brand. A marketing management salary can vary based on job title, location, qualifications, and the industry in which they work. 

Marketing manager

Marketing managers develop strategies for companies and help identify target markets based on a product or service. They oversee campaigns and other marketing efforts, use metrics to measure the effectiveness of marketing plans, and work with individuals from a marketing department, ad sales professionals, financial department, and more to coordinate and finance marketing campaigns. 

Average annual salary (US): $133,380 [1]

Social media manager

Social media managers create content for social media networks based on a company’s marketing goals. They may use social media metrics to target efforts while monitoring and measuring the performance of posts. Social media managers are responsible for engaging with customers and maintaining a company's brand via social media networks

Average annual salary (US): $76,916  [2]

Director of marketing

A director of marketing is an executive position tasked with making high-level decisions regarding marketing efforts for a company. This position manages all ad campaigns and measures metrics like return on investments (ROI) to determine the effectiveness of marketing efforts and make changes as needed. The marketing director typically works above a marketing manager and other roles within a marketing department. 

Average annual salary (US): $134,030 [3]

Chief marketing officer 

Chief marketing officers, or CMOs, are corporate executives who develop marketing plans and strategies that will boost a company’s sales. This role focuses on a company's future and how and where to place marketing efforts to benefit a company now and in the long term. A CMO typically reports to a CEO or COO. 

Average annual salary (US):  $204,295 [4]

How to work in marketing management

To work in marketing management, you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field and gain professional experience in marketing, business, advertising, or similar. Since careers in marketing management are upper-level managerial positions, you may need to earn a master’s degree and gain extensive professional experience in marketing to move into some positions like CMO. 

Read more: 13 Key Marketing Skills to Boost Your Resume

Earn a bachelor’s degree.

Most jobs in marketing management require a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related business field. While earning your degree, you might consider taking courses focusing on consumer behavior, public relations, computer science, and marketing research. Depending on your school, you may be able to specialize in a particular marketing area. Some students may complete internships while earning a degree, which provides hands-on learning opportunities that enhance your resume. In some cases, companies may hire interns after graduation, so it’s a great opportunity to consider if your degree program does not require it. 

Read more: What Can I Do with a Business Management Degree? Skills, Jobs, And Courses

Build relevant skills. 

Your degree program should equip you with the technical skills you’ll need to work in a managerial position in marketing. These skills will likely include using content management systems (CMS), digital ad management skills, search engine optimization, A/B testing, and web analytics. 

Personal skills necessary to work in marketing management include communication, project management, creativity, organizational skills, and problem-solving. You can build these relevant  marketing management skills in a few different ways:

 

  • Attend networking events and seek networking opportunities online and in person.

  • Find a mentor who works in marketing management.

  • Join a professional organization like the American Marketing Association (AMA) or the American Association of Advertising Agencies. 

  • Complete an internship in the marketing department of a local company 

  • Enroll in online courses that focus on building marketing skills like Introduction to Marketing  or Marketing Strategy Specialization, offered on Coursera. 

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course

Introduction to Marketing

Taught by three of Wharton's top faculty in the marketing department, consistently ranked as the #1 marketing department in the world, this course covers ...

4.8

(12,015 ratings)

333,224 already enrolled

Average time: 1 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Positioning (Marketing), Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Customer Satisfaction

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specialization

Marketing Strategy

Develop Your Marketing Strategy. Learn the fundamentals of market research, positioning, the marketing mix and campaign planning.

4.4

(3,368 ratings)

51,212 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Marketing Plan, Market Research, Positioning (Marketing), Value Proposition, Consumer Behaviour, Data Analysis, Market Segmentation, Marketing Process, Market Analysis, Planning, Marketing Strategy

Read more: How to Use LinkedIn: A Guide to Online Networking

Gain experience.

Consider applying for an entry-level marketing job right after graduation. Employers want to see that you have first-hand experience handling all aspects of marketing, advertising, and managing people. Experience demonstrates proficiency in both technical and personal skills. Having professional references may also help you land a job in marketing management. 

Consider getting a certificate. 

Certificates can improve your chances of getting hired in marketing management by demonstrating proficiency in some key skills employers seek. Certificates are available for many different job titles within marketing management. You can find general marketing certificates or specific ones tailored to a particular industry or specialty in marketing. 

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specialization

Business Foundations

Solve Real Business Problems. Build a foundation of core business skills in marketing, finance, accounting and operations.

4.7

(17,140 ratings)

150,888 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 7 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Positioning (Marketing), Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Customer Satisfaction, Financial Accounting, Accounting, Financial Statement, Balance Sheet, Decision-Making, Change Management, Human Resources (HR), Discounted Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, Cash Flow Analysis, Process Management, Operations Management, Six Sigma, Inventory, Finance

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course

Principles of Management

Team leads, managers, and entrepreneurs must juggle team citizenship and leadership, ethics, strategy, and projects with their work in their area of ...

4.8

(60 ratings)

9,933 already enrolled

Average time: 1 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Coaching, strategy, Leadership And Management, Business Communication, Team Management

Optional: Join a marketing association.

If you’re getting certified in marketing management, you’re likely earning certification from a professional marketing organization. Note that certifications are different from certificates and typically are standardized credentials that certify your work in an industry by an exam or education. Many of these organizations require membership if you’re earning certification from their program, but even if you are not certified, joining a marketing association can have many benefits. 

You may get some help finding a job as many associations hold events and conferences that place eligible candidates in contact with possible employers. You may also receive guidance for building skills with free resources like webinars and other training materials with the latest marketing trends and news. 

Next steps

If you’re ready to start marketing management, take the next steps and build the relevant skills you will need to succeed in marketing. Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been working in marketing for years, the marketing management field is growing with many job opportunities and an attractive salary for most people. Get started today by enrolling in an online course like those offered on Coursera:

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specialization

Strategic Leadership and Management

Leadership and Business Skill for Immediate Impact. Apply practical strategies to becoming an effective organizational leader.

4.8

(5,765 ratings)

90,593 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 8 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Strategic Management, Negotiation, Leadership, Business Strategy, self-awareness, Ethical decision-making, Defining Leadership, Trust in relationships, Leadership Development, Develop team culture, Navigate growth and change in teams, Create space for DEIB, Facilitate psychological safety, Manage motivation and engagement, Organizational Structure, Knowledge of General Business Functions, Organization Design, Organizational Theory, Organizational Culture, Ethics, Decision-Making, Strategic Leadership, Organizational Change, Business Model, Strategic Thinking, Mergers And Acquisitions (M&A), Diversification, Global Strategy, Corporate Governance, Management

Placeholder

specialization

Marketing Strategy

Develop Your Marketing Strategy. Learn the fundamentals of market research, positioning, the marketing mix and campaign planning.

4.4

(3,368 ratings)

51,212 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Marketing Plan, Market Research, Positioning (Marketing), Value Proposition, Consumer Behaviour, Data Analysis, Market Segmentation, Marketing Process, Market Analysis, Planning, Marketing Strategy

Article sources

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Career Outlook Handbook: Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm.” Accessed September 13, 2022. 

2. Glassdoor. “Social Media Manager Salaries,  https://www.glassdoor.com/Career/social-media-manager-career_KO0,20.htm.” Accessed September 13, 2022.

3. Glassdoor. “Director of Marketing Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Career/director-of-marketing-career_KO0,21.htm.” Accessed September 13, 2022. 

4. Glassdoor. “Chief Marketing Officer Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Career/chief-marketing-officer-career_KO0,23.htm.” Accessed September 13 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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