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 the various roles you can take in this field and how to get the skills you need to land the job.

[Featured image] Marketing meeting in progress led by manager

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

What is marketing management?

Marketing managers organise 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 strategies

  • 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

  • Analysing market trends and conducting competitor research

How much does a marketing manager make?

The National Careers Service states that the average marketing manager’s wage is between £27,000 (for someone starting in their career) and £65,000 (for someone more experienced) [1]. According to Glassdoor, the median annual salary for a marketing manager in the UK is £49,901 [2]. 

How much you make will depend on where you live, what company you work for, the industry you work in, your qualifications, and your experience level. Scientific, technical, and professional service marketing managers tend to draw larger salaries. Marketing managers working in London tend to have a higher salary than in other areas of the country. 

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. 

As a result, no matter where your passions lie, you will likely find marketing jobs in that industry. Some marketing managers focus on a specific area of marketing. These specialties include: 

  • Affiliate marketing managers focus on the relationships between an organisation and its marketing affiliates that earn commissions in exchange for driving traffic to a website.

  • Brand marketing managers aim to increase brand awareness and the identity of a company or product.

  • Content marketing managers oversee the production of content that drives traffic to an organisation’s website.

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

  • Marketing communications managers monitor and evaluate the messaging marketing a brand or product.

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

  • Social media marketing managers take charge of the company’s presence on social media platforms.

What’s the difference between marketing managers and PR managers? 

Marketing managers handle communication between a company and its customers (current and potential). On the other hand, public relations (PR) managers focus on maintaining a company’s positive reputation through earned media coverage.


How to become a marketing manager

Many companies look for candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree for management positions in marketing, although it is not essential. If you’re considering a career in marketing, consider earning a degree in marketing, advertising, communications, or a related field to put yourself above the competition. Make yourself 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. In addition, marketing managers also leverage a range of skills whilst on the job. As you pursue a degree or gain hands-on experience, look for opportunities to build these skills.

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

  • SEO fundamentals help you decide how to direct campaigns on digital platforms.

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

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

  • Interpersonal skills equip you to collaborate closely with advertising, public relations, and customer service 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, can equip you to complete tasks more efficiently.

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

2. Earn a certification or certificate

Adding a relevant credential to your resume can validate your skills to potential employers as you develop key marketing skills. Learn at your own pace and get yourself job-ready with the Google Digital Marketing and E-Commerce Professional Certificate.

3. Take relevant classes 

Explore whether a career in marketing might be 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 practice

You don’t need a job to start earning experience. Put your skills to use by marketing yourself, finding an internship within a marketing department, or offering your marketing services to a non-profit group. 

5. Build a portfolio

Your portfolio should be a selection of your best work in the field. You can start building content for your portfolio whilst developing new skills by completing a Guided Project designed to finish in under two hours. Here are some options to get you started:

Marketing manager career path

Marketing management is an in-demand field, with marketing, media, advertising, PR, and sales recruitment expected to grow by 29 per cent [3]. Companies want to increase their market shares and turn to marketing managers to help them reach those goals.

Since many management roles require work experience, many marketing managers start as sales representatives, PR specialists,  marketing specialists, or marketing coordinators before moving into management positions. As you earn experience and further your education, you can set your sights on roles like VP of marketing or chief marketing officer.

Get started with Coursera

If a career in marketing aligns with your interests, get job-ready in as little as six months, even with no prior experience, by completing the Google Digital Marketing and E-Commerce Professional Certificate. Learn in-demand marketing skills such as running ad campaigns, reaching your ideal customer, and tracking reach through analytics tools. You’ll also learn to use marketing tools like Google Analytics, Mailchimp, and Google Ads.  

Article sources


1. National Careers Service. “Marketing Manager, https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/marketing-manager.” Accessed August 29, 2023.

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