Marketing managers are senior marketers in charge of a team before, during, and after a campaign. They have a wide range of duties and are essential to any big business looking to mount effective marketing campaigns and develop a beloved brand identity.
So, what does a marketing manager actually do? This article explains some of the elements of a marketing management job. Marketing management is a field in which agility is highly prized. Managers should be willing to pick up novel roles outside of their specialism.
A marketing manager is typically responsible for assessing what kinds of research a marketing team will need to do in order to successfully plan a campaign. A good marketer values an understanding of their target audiences above all else.
Market research is a step that can’t be skipped, and the efficacy of that research will determine the success of any future campaigns. Market research involves the coding of data into recognizable and easily analyzed sets. Market data can be acquired in one of three main ways:
1. Quantitative Research
Quantitative market research data is numerical. An example of a quantitative data set would be the results of a multiple-choice survey. The answers that come back with surveys could be transformed into numerical data, which can then tell you a great deal about the opinions or social makeup of your target audience.
This data is great for getting a gauge of what your market looks like, but it isn’t very useful if used without qualitative backup.
2. Qualitative Research
Qualitative market research data can be acquired from focus groups, interviews, product reviews, and any method by which a brand or product can be freely discussed by potential audiences. This data usually takes the form of written or verbal statements.
Because the results of qualitative research do not naturally form datasets, they must be coded in order to extrapolate meaning. This is where the advanced research skills of a marketing manager come in.
There are a few well-known ways of coding qualitative results. One prominent method is by using Hoffman’s framing theory to try and understand and then group statement or reaction motivation. Frames “are abstractions that work to organize or structure message meaning”.
By understanding the frames through which an audience sees a product or service, a marketer can successfully code their statements and reactions into usable datasets.
3. Experimental Research
Marketing managers may oversee some experimental research as part of their analysis of an audience. This can involve the limited release of a product to a test market, the release of a beta software product, or an analysis of how similar products have fared.
Marketing managers are in charge of auditing the current market strengths and weaknesses of the company they are contracted to promote. A thorough brand audit is planned and executed under the manager’s supervision.
Brand auditing is essential to work in marketing. Without knowing what the position and potential of a brand are within a market it is very hard to devise ways in which that position can be effectively improved through marketing.
A good marketing manager will put together a detailed plan for a brand audit that involves the separation of strengths and weaknesses into easily definable categories.
Marketing managers’ roles are not all centered on data and assessment. They regularly have to be the leaders of full marketing teams. For this, they need great interpersonal management skills. Keeping a team motivated, focused, collaborative and happy is no easy task.
You may be called to resolve conflicts between departments, to deal with inconsistent work or inequality among the people working with you, or any number of other issues.
Interpersonal management skills don’t just come naturally. They need to be fostered by training or experience. There are plenty of ways to pick up advanced interpersonal management skills, including online Master of Management courses convened by top universities.
Once the research and brand audit stages are out of the way, a marketing manager is often the person in charge of developing a cohesive and compelling marketing strategy. Strategizing involves being able to take a step back and look at how the wider aims of an organization can be achieved step by step.
A good marketing strategy aims to build a strong storyline that backs up the values and aesthetic identities of an organization. It fosters an emotional connection between an audience and a brand. It is implemented across multiple platforms and is able to be reactive to successes and failures.
Marketing strategies have to take into account more than the immediate response to a campaign. They have to be built around the idea that a brand should have some degree of cultural permanency – that is, that the brand will continue to react to cultural shifts long after the marketing campaign has been wrapped up.
A marketing manager really has to kick themselves into gear when the time comes to actually implement a marketing strategy. This is where interpersonal management skills and market know-how really combine and come into play as a symbiotic entity.
During the implementation phase, marketing materials are produced and released under the manager’s supervision. If market research has been conducted thoroughly enough, this implementation should swiftly have a positive effect on the parent company’s fortunes. Pressure on senior marketers is high. If results are not swift, they can find their strategic vision being questioned by their employers.
Feedback and Analysis
Marketing doesn’t end with implementation. The collection and analysis of feedback are essential if an organization is expecting you to treat every campaign as a learning experience. Businesses rely upon the fostering of growth in order to flourish. If learning is not constant, growth will be inconsistent.
Marketing managers have a duty to collate a response to their campaigns. They need to organize methods for consumers to leave feedback about a campaign, analyze data on increased or decreased revenue, and gauge satisfaction from within the organization. The marketing feedback loop is a useful structure for analyzing and improving performance.