What Does a Marketing Manager Do? A Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

A marketing manager knows how to get the word out—about a company, a brand, or a product. Discover a variety of roles available in this field and how to gain the knowledge and skills needed to land the job.

Featured image] A marketing manager meets with her team at a conference table. One woman has a laptop, glasses, and a coffee cup in front of her.

Marketing managers generate customer interest in products and services across various media channels. They often manage the strategy connecting a business with its customer base or an organization to its stakeholders. 

Marketing management could be a good fit if you’re looking for a career where you can use your strategic mindset, creativity, and people skills to make a difference in a company’s growth. Take a closer look at what the job entails and how to become a marketing manager.

What is marketing management?

Marketing managers organize and manage marketing campaigns to raise awareness of and generate demand for products and services. This broad definition can encompass a wide variety of activities including:

  • Designing, managing, and evaluating marketing campaigns

  • Directing social media engagement strategy

  • Managing budgets for marketing campaigns

  • Collaborating with advertising and creative departments

  • Reviewing advertising material for print and digital media

  • Preparing advertising contracts

  • Performing market research to find new opportunities

  • Managing marketing department employees

  • Analyzing market trends and conducting competitor research

How much does a marketing manager make?

The median annual salary for a marketing manager in Canada is $80,000, according to Talent.com [1]. How much you make will depend on where you live, your employer, and the sector or industry you work in, among other factors.

Types of marketing managers

Marketing managers typically work in corporate environments. You’ll find them in various industries, such as health care, hospitality, entertainment, finance, and technology. 

This means that no matter where your passions lie, you’ll likely find marketing jobs in that sector. Some marketing managers focus on a specific area of marketing. These specialties may include any of the following: 

  • Affiliate marketing managers focus on creating, establishing, and curating relationships between an organization and its marketing affiliates that earn commissions in exchange for driving traffic to a website.

  • Brand marketing managers aim to increase brand awareness of a company, product, or service.

  • Content marketing managers oversee the production and implementation of content to create awareness and drive traffic to an organization’s website.

  • Digital marketing managers supervise and implement marketing campaigns designed for digital channels.

  • Marketing communications managers develop, distribute, monitor, and evaluate key messaging used to communicate about brand, product, service or other related campaigns.

  • Product marketing managers oversee the positioning and branding of specific products.

  • Social media marketing managers oversee a company’s continued presence on social media platforms.

How to become a marketing manager

Many companies prefer management candidates with at least an undergraduate degree, a related college diploma, and some prior work experience in the field of marketing. If you’re considering a career in marketing, consider earning a degree in business, marketing, communications, or a related field. Make yourself even more appealing to hiring managers by pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a marketing concentration.

1. Build marketing manager skills.

A formal education in marketing helps you build a foundation for success in the field. However, marketing managers also leverage a range of other skills in their positions. As you pursue a degree, diploma, or certificate or gather hands-on experience, look for opportunities to build the following skills:

  • Writing and public speaking skills help you present ideas clearly and effectively to customers, decision-makers, and private clients.

  • SEO fundamentals help you make informed decisions about campaign directions on digital platforms.

  • Analytical skills help you sort and analyze data to evaluate the success of marketing campaigns.

  • Creative thinking empowers you to generate new and innovative ideas for compelling campaigns and marketing strategies.

  • Interpersonal skills equip you to collaborate closely with advertising, public relations, customer service, and other departments.

  • Project management skills prepare you to set goals, track progress, meet deadlines, and manage teams.

  • Technical skills—particularly with project management, email marketing, SEO, and presentation software—allow you to complete tasks more efficiently.

  • Leadership skills help you to motivate and mentor marketing team members and delegate tasks to the right people.

2. Earn a certificate.

Adding a relevant credential to your resume can validate your skills to potential employers and acquire and update key marketing skills. Learn at your own pace from the industry leaders at Meta with the Meta Marketing Analytics or Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificates.

3. Take relevant classes. 

Explore whether a career in marketing is right for you by taking an introductory course in the field. Learn the fundamentals with Introduction to Marketing from the University of Pennsylvania or develop your content marketing skills with The Strategy of Content Marketing from UC Davis.

4. Get hands-on experience. 

Start learning and gaining hands-on experience by marketing yourself, interning within a marketing department, or volunteering your marketing services to a not-for-profit organization. 

5. Build a portfolio. 

Your portfolio is a selection of your best work in the marketing field. You can start creating and building your portfolio while developing new skills by completing a Guided Project, which you can complete in less than two hours. Here are some options to get you started:

Marketing manager career path

The demand for marketing managers in Canada varies from province to province. Overall, according to Job Bank, Canada’s national employment service, the outlook for marketing management jobs over the next three years is moderate. Part of this anticipated growth is attributed to retirements from the labour force [2].

Since many management roles require relevant prior work experience, many marketing managers start out as coordinators and specialists before moving into management positions. As you continue learning and gaining hands-on experience, you can set your sights on bigger roles like senior manager of marketing, director of marketing, vice president of marketing, or chief marketing officer.

Get started with Coursera.

If a career in marketing aligns with your interests and goals, there are several next steps you can take toward your professional goals:

Article sources


Talent.com. “Marketing Executive Salary in Canada, 2022, https://ca.talent.com/salary?job=marketing+manager.” Accessed February 26, 2024.

Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

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.