Marketing professionals hold the task of linking the products and services of companies to their end-users. The process involves attracting customers through advertising and pricing, along with distribution. The marketing director job description involves overseeing a company’s efforts to push goods and services to market and to buyers.
As the American Marketing Association suggests, the terms “marketing director” and “marketing manager” prove interchangeable in small or medium-sized companies. However, in large corporations, the marketing directors oversees many projects, brands and the teams or marketing managers involved with particular projects and brands.
Marketing Director Job Overview: What Does a Marketing Director Do?
The duties outlined in the marketing director job description depend on the size of the company. In small or medium-sized firms, the professional has considerable involvement in the details of running the marketing program. For those marketing directors in large businesses, the duties and skills emphasize strategy and ensuring alignment of the marketing plan with company goals.
Marketing Director Job Duties
- Creating and oversee the company’s marketing strategy and campaigns, including guidelines for advertising, pricing, distribution and placement in stores of products and services.
- Facilitate conversations about needs and desires of the company’s customers or target market and marketing efforts, technology, tools and resources to address the needs and desires.
- Supervise and coordinate marketing activities or guidelines.
- Monitor economic or industry trends and the products, services, marketing strategies and performance of competitors.
- Oversee use of market studies by lower-level marketing managers or other staff and analyze results.
- Identify potential markets and types of customers for company’s products and services.
- Participate in or monitor hiring, termination, training and development of sales and marketing staff.
- Attend trade shows or association meetings and events, including sports competitions or concerts, sponsored by the company or its brands.
- Seek advice from buyers in the company concerning features of products.
Marketing Director Essential Job Skills
Analytical. The marketing director job description includes analyzing sales, market, economic and other data. Analytical skills are needed for marketing directors to evaluate sales and marketing programs. With the ability to examine data, marketing directors can also read and respond to trends in markets and the economy in general.
Communication. Marketing directors listen to feedback on products, services and the marketing of them from marketing teams, other managers in the company and purchasing agents within and outside the company. Communication also involves clearly and accurately conveying to executives trends and results of marketing and sales efforts. According to O*NET, approximately 79 percent of marketing directors or managers hold daily face-to-face discussions.
Leadership. Members of marketing teams rely on marketing directors for instructions and guidance on matters such as goals and strategies. Leadership also involves the ability to delegate responsibilities to lower-level marketing managers and staff, answer their questions and resolve conflicts among teams or with other divisions in the organization.
Computer. Marketing directors need skills in using programs and spreadsheets to organize and analyze sales and other marketing-related data. Use of and response to email and also social media are prominent methods of communication and marketing. According to O*NET, all marketing managers and directors surveyed emailed “every day.” Computer skills also help marketing directors oversee digital and online campaigns such as pay-per-click and website displays and traffic.
Becoming a Marketing Director Professional
Within the marketing director job description lies the need for knowledge and experience in sales, marketing and managing people or teams. Exposure through education or work to a particular industry or company also helps aspirants become marketing directors.
Qualifications and Training
As a general rule, marketing directors have at least a bachelor’s degree. Typical majors include business administration or marketing. In addition to business classes, market directors should have a curriculum that includes computer science, communications, and statistics. In fact, computer science education helps marketing professionals understand e-commerce, search engine optimization, social media marketing and other forms of computer or digital marketing. Directors may need classes in business and consumer law to grasp the legal standards for contracts, pricing, and accuracy in advertising.
To enter highly technical or scientific fields, some background, a minor or even major in the discipline can help qualify a marketing director. For example, those seeking to work in pharmaceuticals may need education or training in biochemistry. Similarly, marketing directors for equipment or machine manufacturers might have an engineering background.
Typically, a marketing director builds experience as a sales representative, marketing analyst, purchasing agent or account representative. With online retailers or sellers, the marketing director job description likely includes a preference or requirement for experience in e-commerce, social media or pay-per-click marketing. Additionally, aspiring marketing directors in online or digital commerce can use experience in web design or web development.
Marketing directors work full time, many times in excess of 40 hours per week. While office hours normally follow typical weekday and daytime formats, marketing directors often must be available in evenings and sometimes weekends. The approach of deadlines, the start of marketing campaigns or seasonal periods may require marketing directors to hold irregular hours.
Some of the marketing director’s job duties require travel and multiple overnight stints away from home or the main office. For example, trade shows may run on weekends or occupy successive weekdays. Marketing directors who appear as guests during promotional events at, for example, sporting events will experience evening or weekend work.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
O*NET reports that employment of marketing managers, which include marketing directors, should rise by nine to 13 percent by 2024. Moreover, job openings by 2024 should number a projected 64,200.
According to O*NET, companies engaged in “Professional, Scientific and Technical Services” employed 21 percent of marketing directors and managers, tops among industries. The “Management of Companies and Enterprises” sector accounted for 17 percent of marketing managers and directors, while “Manufacturing” hired 12 percent of these workers.
Marketing directors of large companies are responsible for lower-level marketing managers and teams who execute the plans of introducing goods and services to purchasers. However, in smaller firms, the directors have more involvement in the details and function as marketing managers.
Whatever the involvement in the details of the process, marketing directors need a command of leadership, communication, analytical and business acumen. Developing a background in sales and marketing is essential to fulfilling the role, while exposure to the employer’s industry can serve as a competitive advantage to employment. Prospects for employment are especially strong for marketing directors entering scientific, technical, manufacturing and professional fields.