Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Career, Salary and Education Information

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Top 3 Marketing Manager Jobs

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What Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers Do[About this section] [To Top]

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.

Duties of Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers typically do the following:

  • Work with department heads or staff to discuss topics such as budgets and contracts, marketing plans, and the selection of advertising media
  • Plan promotional campaigns such as contests, coupons, or giveaways
  • Plan advertising campaigns, including which media to advertise in, such as radio, television, print, online media, and billboards
  • Negotiate advertising contracts
  • Evaluate the look and feel of websites used in campaigns or layouts, which are sketches or plans for an advertisement
  • Initiate market research studies and analyze their findings to understand customer and market opportunities for businesses
  • Develop pricing strategies for products or services marketed to the target customers of a firm
  • Meet with clients to provide marketing or technical advice
  • Direct the hiring of advertising, promotions, and marketing staff and oversee their daily activities

Advertising managers create interest among potential buyers of a product or service. They do this for a department, for an entire organization, or on a project basis (referred to as an account). Advertising managers work in advertising agencies that put together advertising campaigns for clients, in media firms that sell advertising space or time, and in organizations that advertise heavily.

Advertising managers work with sales staff and others to generate ideas for an advertising campaign. They oversee the staff that develops the advertising. They work with the finance department to prepare a budget and cost estimates for the campaign.

Often, advertising managers serve as liaisons between the client and the advertising or promotion agency that develops and places the ads. In larger organizations with extensive advertising departments, different advertising managers may oversee in-house accounts and creative and media services departments.

In addition, some advertising managers specialize in a particular field or type of advertising. For example, media directors determine the way in which an advertising campaign reaches customers. They can use any or all of various media, including radio, television, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and outdoor signs.

Advertising managers known as account executives manage clients’ accounts, but they are not responsible for developing or supervising the creation or presentation of advertising. That task becomes the work of the creative services department.

Promotions managers direct programs that combine advertising with purchasing incentives to increase sales. Often, the programs use direct mail, inserts in newspapers, Internet advertisements, in-store displays, product endorsements, or special events to target customers. Purchasing incentives may include discounts, samples, gifts, rebates, coupons, sweepstakes, or contests.

Marketing managers estimate the demand for products and services that an organization and its competitors offer. They identify potential markets for the organization’s products.

Marketing managers also develop pricing strategies to help organizations maximize their profits and market share while ensuring that the organizations’ customers are satisfied. They work with sales, public relations, and product development staff.

For example, a marketing manager may monitor trends that indicate the need for a new product or service. Then he or she oversees the development of that product or service. For more information on sales or public relations, see the profiles on sales managers, public relations and fundraising managers, public relations specialists, and market research analysts.

Work Environment for Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers[About this section] [To Top]

Advertising and promotions managers held about 31,000 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most advertising and promotions managers in 2014 were as follows:

Advertising, public relations, and related services 31%
Information 17
Retail trade 9
Management of companies and enterprises 8
Wholesale trade 6

Marketing managers held about 194,300 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most marketing managers in 2014 were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services 21%
Management of companies and enterprises 17
Manufacturing 12
Finance and insurance 10
Wholesale trade 9

Because the work of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers directly affects a firm’s revenue, people in these occupations typically work closely with top executives. The jobs of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers are usually stressful, particularly near deadlines. They may travel to meet with clients or media representatives.

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager Work Schedules

Most advertising, promotions, and marketing managers work full time. About 2 in 5 advertising and promotions managers worked more than 40 hours per week in 2014.

How to Become an Advertising, Promotions, or Marketing Manager[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers near you!

A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. These managers typically have work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales.

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager Education

A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. For advertising management positions, some employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in advertising or journalism. A relevant course of study might include classes in marketing, consumer behavior, market research, sales, communication methods and technology, visual arts, art history, and photography.

Most marketing managers need a bachelor’s degree. Courses in business law, management, economics, finance, computer science, mathematics, and statistics are advantageous. For example, courses in computer science are helpful in developing an approach to maximize online traffic, by utilizing online search results, because maximizing such traffic is critical for digital advertisements and promotions. In addition, completing an internship while in school can be useful.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Advertising, promotional, and marketing managers typically have work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales. For example, many managers are former sales representatives; buyers or purchasing agents; or public relations specialists.

Important Qualities for Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Analytical skills. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must be able to analyze industry trends to determine the most promising strategies for their organization.

Communication skills. Managers must be able to communicate effectively with a broad-based team made up of other managers or staff members during the advertising, promotions, and marketing process. They must also be able to communicate persuasively with the public.

Creativity. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must be able to generate new and imaginative ideas.

Decisionmaking skills. Managers often must choose between competing advertising and marketing strategies put forward by staff.

Interpersonal skills. These managers must deal with a range of people in different roles, both inside and outside the organization.

Organizational skills. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must manage their time and budget efficiently while directing and motivating staff members.


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Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for advertising and promotions managers was $95,890 in May 2015. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $42,440, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $187,200.

The median annual wage for marketing managers was $128,750 in May 2015. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $66,090, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $187,200.

Most advertising, promotions, and marketing managers work full time. About 2 in 5 advertising and promotions managers worked more than 40 hours per week in 2014.

Job Outlook for Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of advertising and promotions managers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment of marketing managers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

Advertising, promotional, and marketing campaigns are expected to continue being essential as organizations seek to maintain and expand their market share. Advertising and promotions managers will be needed to plan, direct, and coordinate advertising and promotional campaigns, as well as to introduce new products into the marketplace.

Newspaper publishers, one of the top-employing industries of advertising and promotions managers, is projected to decline over the projection period. The continued rise of electronic media will result in decreasing demand for print newspapers. However, advertising and promotions managers are expected to see employment growth in other areas, in which they will be needed to manage digital media campaigns, which often target customers through the use of websites, social media, or live chats.

Through the Internet, advertising campaigns can reach a target audience across many platforms. This greater reach can increase the scale of the campaigns that advertising and promotions managers oversee. With better advertising management software, advertising and promotions managers can control these campaigns more easily, increasing their productivity, and thereby limiting the potential employment growth.

Because marketing managers and their departments are important to an organization’s revenue, marketing managers are less likely to be let go than other types of managers. Marketing managers will continue to be in demand as organizations seek to market their products to specific customers and localities.

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers Job Prospects

Advertising, promotions, and marketing manager positions are highly desirable and are often sought by other managers and experienced professionals. As a result, strong competition is expected for these occupations. With Internet-based advertising becoming more important, advertising managers who can navigate the digital world should have the best prospects.

Employment projections data for Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers, 2014-24
Occupational Title Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24
Percent Numeric
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers 225,200 244,900 9 19,700
  Advertising and promotions managers 31,000 32,400 5 1,500
  Marketing managers 194,300 212,500 9 18,200


*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Used by permission.

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