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

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn 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 reviews metrics on a screen and discusses marketing strategies in a conference room.

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 consumers. 

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 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 goals. Here are some reasons why having goals 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 its elements. 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. Marketing managers use analytics and data gathered during the research phase to find the precise day and time to launch the campaign. You'll base the timing on the type of campaign (i.e., social media, print, event, etc.), the habits and behaviours 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.

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

Customer retention should be woven into marketing efforts to create lifelong and loyal consumers. Create a buyer persona early in your marketing efforts; however, understand that a 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 strategically. 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 (Canada): $69,000 [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 (Canada): $57,000 [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 (Canada): $95,000 [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 (Canada): $149,000 [4]

How to work in marketing management

To work in marketing management, you’ll need to earn a post-secondary degree or diploma 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. 

Earn a post-secondary degree or diploma.

Most jobs in marketing management require a post-secondary degree or diploma in marketing or a related field. While earning your degree, you might consider taking courses focusing on consumer behaviour, 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 optional or required internships while earning a degree or diploma. Internships provide hands-on learning opportunities that enhance your resume. Companies may sometimes hire interns after graduation, so it’s a great opportunity to consider if your degree or diploma program does not require it. 

Build relevant skills. 

Your degree program should equip you with the technical skills you need to work in a managerial position in marketing. These skills 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 Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) or the Association of Canadian Advertisers. 

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

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. 

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 differ from certificates and are typically 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—many professional 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 have been working in marketing for years, marketing management is growing with many job opportunities and attractive salaries. Get started today by enrolling in an online course like those offered on Coursera, such as the Strategic Leadership and Management Specialization or the Marketing Strategy Specialization.

Article sources


Glassdoor. “Marketing Manager Salaries in Canada,,17.htm.” Accessed February 21, 2024. 

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