Is a Marketing Manager Career Right for You?
Have you considered pursuing a career as a Marketing Manager? This interview takes you through the ups and downs you can expect, what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more. This is a true career story as told to DiversityJobs and is one of many interviews with graphic designers and advertising executives.
I was a Marketing Manager for a construction firm. I had several years of copywriting experience, but no formal marketing training beyond the writing. For the desktop publishing aspect of the job, I actually had four years of experience.
I was responsible for performing website updates for content as needed. I created press releases for announcements on new hires, products, industry-relevant studies and events. Disseminating literature information, providing product samples, developing product documentation, and updating content were all a part of my responsibilities.
One of the common misunderstandings about the job is it is largely clerical in nature. I’ve encountered this with my previous position. A lot of the projects assigned were clerical and unrelated to marketing, and this affected how much time was available to devote to specific marketing initiatives.
This is probably the case with a lot of smaller companies, but one’s efficacy in this role is determined in part by how much of the Marketing Manager’s position is devoted completely to marketing. If the company sees the position as clerical or hybrid in nature, then the role isn’t really a Marketing Manager position.
I would rate my job a “5” because the position is more of a hybrid clerical role than a marketing role. The job would have been a solid “7” if the product sold resonated with me more. It would have been an “8” if it were possible to focus exclusively on marketing efforts. It would have been a “10” if I had complete latitude where creativity was concerned.
I just quit the job recently because the company I worked for wasn’t a good match. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing and creative aspects of it. Individuals should know I am currently pursuing technical writing; I see myself doing technical copywriting in the future.
I landed in this position as a temp. I would have kept looking for a position as a Marketing Assistant/Coordinator at a larger company who produced a product I could really get excited about. I would have loved to have been able to work in a lesser role under someone who was really accomplished-someone I could really learn from.
The hardest thing I learned about this job is the importance of having access to a knowledge base. It is much easier to develop content for an extremely organized company that just lacks literature than a disorganized one who has very little reference material to develop content available.
I’d also like to stress the importance of product knowledge. It is extremely important to have access to valuable, pertinent material to adequately prepare for the role and everything it entails.
I’ve learned it is important to take a job based on desire for that particular opportunity, viewing money as less of a concern if at all possible. If you are going to work as a Marketing Manager, make sure the culture, the company and the product all work for you. These things should count just as much as pay.
The strangest thing was being told to redo content that was previously approved by another member of management. I had no idea the two weren't on the same page.
I felt good hearing from the sales team members about how they felt like this was the most responsive support they’ve ever had from the Marketing division. The division has been through quite a few changes in recent years, and under my predecessor, the response time was a concern.
The biggest challenge on the job is producing documentation on the fly. The window for when the document was needed for its intended use were usually same-day.
The pay wasn’t really comparable to the number of roles I had to play. Project Manager, Sales Support, Marketing Assistant, clerk, stand-in receptionist… It comes with working for a smaller company at times. I made between 30-35K and I got about two weeks of vacation and one week of sick pay.
You really do need a basic web development skill set, copywriting experience, an Internet marketing background, familiarity with social media and campaign development to work this job. A sales support background is probably why I did so well with the sales team.
I would tell anyone interested in this career to ask about how the role is designed. I’d encourage them to ask more questions about expectations for the role as it pertains to this particular company and ask about where they are in their branding efforts.
In five years I will be in technical writing. I will be producing technical documentation for companies, preferably in an industry like telecommunications or information technology.
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