8 Essential Marketing Manager Skills (With Developing Steps)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 19 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A marketing manager oversees the performance of a team of marketing specialists. Being a successful marketing manager requires a mix of hard and soft skills. If you're interested in working as a marketing manager, it can be beneficial to learn about their essential skills. In this article, we explain the top seven marketing management skills and how to improve them.

What are marketing manager skills?

There are many useful marketing manager skills that you can develop to perform your tasks more effectively and efficiently. As a marketing manager, you support a business in promoting its products, brands and cultures to its customers. You also oversee marketing teams to ensure that campaigns are running successfully. Both hard and soft skills are indispensable to perform your tasks well.

Some marketing manager skills may come naturally, while others take time to develop. While hard skills may assist you in completing tasks efficiently, soft skills can allow you to collaborate better with your team. Below are examples of different hard and soft skills:

Hard skills

Hard skills are measurable skills that we can acquire and learn. For example:

  • You can learn how to code by attending online programming courses.

  • If you study art, you can learn how to paint.

  • Work experience in a convenience store can teach you how to use a point-of-sale system.

  • As a teacher, you may develop different teaching strategies.

A typical example of a hard skill that a marketing manager has is researching and analysing market trends.

Soft skills

Unlike hard skills, soft skills are more personal related, such as how you interact with people around you. Your personality often impacts the type of soft skills you have, but you can still learn and develop them. While hard skills are often specific to roles, soft skills may be transferable between roles. It's beneficial to display these skills to hiring managers if you have limited work experience.

Related: 9 Tips to Help You Improve Soft Skills in the Workplace

8 essential skills for marketing managers

Here are the eight essential skills that help marketing managers to succeed:

1. Copywriting and storytelling

A marketing manager can manage a lot of marketing activities of a company, such as websites and social media. Sometimes a marketing manager is also responsible for producing marketing content themselves, such as designing images and editing videos. Performing these duties may require you to have solid copywriting skills to write attractive and effective content. Storytelling skills are also valuable for marketing managers because it allows you to use stories to connect, inspire and persuade your target audience.

Related: Copywriting Skills: Definition, Examples and Development

2. Analytical reasoning

Besides creating content, marketing managers also often monitor and evaluate the performance of each marketing campaign. Having strong analytical skills also allows the marketing manager to better predict future trends, such as estimating market responses towards campaigns. They can also generate valuable insights from existing data and make better marketing strategies in the future. Some marketing managers also utilise web analytics dashboards and reporting tools to track information, such as budgets, campaign performance and return on investment.

3. Technical social media knowledge

Many companies rely on social media to market brands and products, so it's important for marketing managers to be familiar with implementing social media in marketing campaigns. This involves understanding the features and characteristics of popular social media platforms and how to practically utilise them in marketing strategies. Using different social media for your personal life may help you learn more about their functions.

4. Computer literacy

Technical expertise and experience in marketing technology and tools are indispensable for marketing managers. They can perform their tasks more efficiently by using different marketing software and tools. Some common tasks of a marketing manager that may require computer and technology skills are:

  • optimising content for search engines using keywords

  • writing and sending mass emails and communications

  • creating and editing spreadsheets and digital schedules

  • evaluating and editing websites and social media profiles

  • analysing market data and feedback

5. Leadership

A marketing manager is a leadership role. You may manage a marketing team or oversee an advertising campaign. Marketing managers may use leadership skills when:

  • setting strategic goals

  • motivating employees to perform well

  • mentoring less experienced team members

  • delegating tasks

  • making key decisions

Related: 12 Leadership Examples for the Workplace

6. Communication

Marketing managers communicate with a range of people, including coworkers, colleagues and customers. It's important that you can clearly convey your ideas, expectations and requests to team members. Here are some common duties of a marketing manager that requires communication skills:

  • collaborating with different departments on a marketing campaign

  • developing rapport with clients and customers

  • listening to and addressing feedback and criticism

  • writing press releases or quarterly summaries

  • presenting ideas and results to senior management

Related: 10 Effective Communication Skills for Career Success

7. Creativity

Marketing is a field that requires a lot of creativity. You may design different visual content, such as posters and videos, and write appealing content to sell products and promote a brand. It's important to brainstorm creative ideas at the start of projects. You may use creative thinking when performing these tasks:

  • developing ideas with graphic designers and artists

  • evaluating the aesthetic appeal of marketing materials

  • devising methods for promoting and distributing products

  • planning and executing promotional events and activities

8. Organisation

Being organised can involve maintaining an orderly workspace, meeting deadlines and communicating well with your team. Organisational skills allow marketing managers to more effectively delegate resources and tasks. It's important to ensure your team members also practise being organised to maximise productivity.

How to develop and improve your skills as a marketing manager

Here are a few steps you can follow to develop the skills that can help you succeed as a marketing manager:

1. Be open to learning

Being a successful marketing manager requires constant learning on how to use up-to-date technical tools and sales strategies to complete tasks and achieve organisational goals. You can improve your skills and keep up with trends by attending marketing seminars, analysing successful marketing strategies and watching tutorials for new marketing tools. You can also share new knowledge with your team members to improve the qualifications of your team.

2. Take feedback

It's important to listen to constructive criticism provided by your colleagues. They can provide different perspectives to help recognise areas you can improve. For example, if you receive feedback that your instructions are unclear, consider improving your communication skills. You can also consider scheduling regular feedback sessions to see if you've improved in different areas.

3. Self-reflection

Besides receiving active feedback from others, practising self-reflection can also help you identify which skills you can improve. To start self-reflection, you can think of a recent project that you've completed and ask yourself a few questions:

  • How's my overall performance?

  • Did I make any mistakes during the project?

  • Which part did I find the most difficult?

After reviewing your performance, consider setting yourself a plan of improvement and evaluate the outcomes frequently.

4. Look for more leadership opportunities

Learning to be a successful marketing manager requires practice. To ensure that you can effectively manage a team, consider taking on extra leadership roles outside work. Start by looking for volunteer leadership opportunities offered by charitable organisations. In these positions, you may have opportunities to organise events, oversee operations and motivate team members, helping to develop your leadership and management skills.

5. Find a mentor

One of the quickest ways to improve your managerial skills is to emulate an experienced leader. Consider seeking a role model who can offer you advice and answer any questions about how to improve as a leader. Try to find mentors within your organisation or professional network.

Tips on highlighting your marketing manager skills

It's important to highlight your marketing managers skill when you're applying for a marketing manager position. Here are some tips on how to highlight your skills during a job search:

On your resume

Carefully read through the job advertisements and descriptions to understand what qualifications employers are looking for. Include any specific skills mentioned by an employer in your resume and describe how you previously utilised those skills. You may also offer to provide references or certification that can verify your proficiency level.

Related: 20 Marketing Skills to Highlight on Your Application

During your interview

During an in-person interview, you can provide more in-depth explanations for when and how you acquired your skills. You may share stories with the hiring manager about how you leveraged these professional skills to achieve a goal or overcome a problem. It's important to prepare specific examples you can discuss before an interview.

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