Reviewed by Victor Aluise of the WGU College of Business.
Social media ads. Promotional emails. In-store signage. These are all influenced by marketing management.
By definition, marketing management is a process that informs businesses of how to promote and sell their products, from idea to execution. This can include researching a company’s consumer, setting realistic goals, developing new market-penetration strategies, as well as executing effective marketing plans within budget.
Many companies rely on marketing managers to inform and direct the way their brand looks, feels, and communicates across all channels. Marketing managers are also responsible for coordinating with other departments (like public relations, sales, or human resources) to ensure that the strategies that they employ are successful.
Oftentimes, the function of this type of management is confused with advertising. While marketing and advertising would work closely together, they each have very different roles and skills in the process. Think of it this way: marketing management determines who the consumer is and how they want to be sold to, then it’s the job of the advertising team to get the word out in a strategic way.
If a career as a marketing manager interests you, this guide will help you get a better understanding of the management process, the strategic skills, features, and functions.
Because its role is to inform businesses on how to promote and sell to their customers, this type of management has a powerful influence on the outcome of an organization’s sales. When done effectively, these are some of the benefits of management in marketing:
Good marketing management finds the best ways to communicate with potential customers to grow sales.
By analyzing and reporting on consumer buying habits, marketers can help their companies make more informed advertising and sales decisions.
With the research done by marketing management, companies can be better equipped to target their audience or expand into new segments.
The major components that go into marketing management include:
The foundation of marketing management involves setting clearly defined goals and creating a timeline and strategy to meet them. This can include everything from sales to budget.
In order to respond to consumers’ demands, marketing management works with other departments such as public relations, company leaders, and creative teams. This coordination is essential for the smoother functioning of the company and consistent messaging across all mediums.
Market research works to identify the needs and preferences of consumers. It involves the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, and it arms the company with important information to make key decisions.
When the consumer feels more connected and invested in a product, they’re more likely to buy the product. That’s why It’s crucial for marketing management to create and maintain relationships with its customers to encourage repeat buyers.
Marketing management involves an ongoing cycle of research, planning, implementing, deploying, and measuring. Marketing managers are involved at every stage of the process, ensuring efforts are in line with the company, or campaign’s, overall strategy and goals.
Here’s a look at what happens in each stage.
- Research: Gathering information is the first thing that needs to happen in a marketing management process. This includes conducting research such as surveys and interviews with a target market, collecting customer feedback, or researching market data and industry trends. All of the data collected is then used to inform the marketing strategy.
- Planning: In most cases, planning involves product and sales teams working together to create a promotional calendar that’s aligned with product development and sales targets. Once the calendar or timeline has been established, managers work with their team to create a plan for the parts relevant to marketing.
- Implementing: Once campaigns and projects have been mapped out, marketing managers lead their team through campaign development. Campaigns might include a marketing mix of paid, earned, and owned media. It’s the job of the marketing manager to select the specific marketing channels and determine how they fit into the overall strategy. From there, they’re also responsible for establishing the unique positioning and messaging guidelines for communicating through those campaign channels.
- Deploying: Next, there’s developing and deploying marketing copy and creative, such as website pages, graphics, and copy. The marketing manager oversees all the moving parts of this process—from suggesting design edits to deciding when to launch the campaign.
- Measuring: Finally, as campaigns are deployed, the marketing manager oversees measuring the results so they can optimize and iterate on future campaigns. This might include creating and reviewing reports, strategizing A/B tests, or making campaign optimization recommendations.
Example #1: Consumer Profiling
Consumer data in marketing management is one of the most important assets because it informs an organization of what customers care about most. Let’s say you work for a vitamin brand and your customer profile research reveals that yoga enthusiasts between 20-30 are your main buyers. In this case, you should tailor your marketing content in a way that speaks to their lifestyle and preferences.
Example #2: Social Media Strategy
Building on the example above, you can use the data gathered from consumer profiling to create an effective social media strategy that targets social media users who fall within your ideal audience. Paid ads, product giveaways, and partnerships with fitness or lifestyle influencers can also strengthen your social media strategy.
The world of marketing is always changing, and problems can arise when there’s a lack of knowledge. The good news is many of these challenges can be overcome with the right people, plan, and education.
These are some common obstacles marketing managers face, along with tips for how to handle them.
Staying on top of trends.
Keeping up with all things new regarding social media, web design, consumer trends, and more can be overwhelming for even the best marketing managers. As the marketing field grows and becomes more complex, there’s more to know, do, and track. Furthering your education—whether that’s through professional development courses or completing a degree program—is one of the best ways to grow your knowledge of the marketing landscape.
Poor internal communication.
Facilitating communication is one of the biggest hurdles in the business world. This is especially true in marketing where there can be several campaigns going on at once. If marketers aren’t equipped with a system to collect, organize, and interpret data, it can be a challenge to provide clear, timely reports. Project management and reporting tools are two ways marketers can prevent communication breakdowns, ensuring all teams and departments have a designated hub for sharing and receiving information.
Difficulty interpreting data.
With massive amounts of consumer data at their disposal, the challenge for many marketers is making sense of it all. Having the right experts in place, like a data analyst, can be key in keeping your organization informed about marketing statistics and the numbers behind your marketing strategies. For those interested in a marketing data analyst career path, a data analytics degree is a great place to start.
With changing technology and consumer behaviors, marketing managers have a lot of responsibility to stay in the know. With the right resources and tools at their disposal, they can be prepared to face it all head-on.