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Director of Marketing

Education and Training: Advanced degree preferred
Average Salary: $108,000
Job Outlook: Fair

The director of marketing is responsible for a number of key areas in promotion and market analysis. This could include advertising, promotion, public relations, sales, market research, market strategy and other areas. The director of marketing works with the advertising and promotion departments at large firms, and can be responsible for those areas in other smaller ones. The director of marketing is responsible for subordinates who work on promoting an organization’s products and services. This could include product development, research to target specific markets, demand, and pricing.

Education and Training Requirements

While a bachelor’s degree is acceptable, employers prefer candidates who have earned advanced degrees like a master’s degree in business administration. Students should study business law, management, accounting, finance, math, stats, along with business-specific classes like advertising, public relations, sales, and marketing.

Computer-related skills are desired for these positions, especially those who work in market research. The director of marketing must also be an excellent communicator, writer, and have a creative skill-set. Since this position oversees subordinates, it is recommended the director of marketing be an excellent manager. Advanced certifications are available from many organizations including the Public Relations Society of America.

Getting the Job

The director of marketing position is usually filed through the promotion of experienced staff in the areas of advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, or sales. In college, one should try to secure an internship in a marketing department. After school, most people start in entry-level positions in specialized areas like public relations or research and work their way up to the director of marketing position.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The director of marketing position is expected to grow at about the national average. The field is expected to grow by about 13 percent in the next decade. Positive influences on job growth include the need to promote a product in increasingly crowded markets, and the need to create new and fresh ways to advertise and promote products, especially with the explosive growth of social media.

Since marketing is an extremely important area for businesses to focus on, the director of marketing position is less susceptible to be affected by corporate downsizing and outsourcing. The majority of the director of marketing positions that open up will be due to other workers who are leaving the position.

Since the director of marketing is a highly-visibly position, those with experience, the proper training, and credentials are eligible for advancement to top management positions, including chief executive officer. There is also the possibility of opening an independent marketing firm.

Working Conditions and Environment

The director of marketing normally works in a clean and safe office environment. Though a standard 40-hour work week is the norm, the director of marketing may be asked to work many extra hours, especially during important projects for campaigns. This can be a stressful position because the work is usually done under some form of deadline pressure. There also may be a significant amount of travel involved.

Salary and Benefits

The median salary for a director of marketing is $108,000. The salary and benefits package can range widely depending on employer, location, size of firm, position, etc.

Median annual wages for a director of marketing in different industries include:

  • Computer Systems $127,000

  • Management of companies $115,000

  • Technical consulting $111,000

Where to Go for More Information

The American Marketing Association
311 S. Wacker Dr., Ste. 5800
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 542-9000

Business Marketing Association
1833 Centre Point Circle, Ste. 123
Naperville IL 60563
(630) 544-5054

Internet Marketing Association
10 Mar Del Rey
San Clemente, CA 92673
(949) 443-9300

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesSales & Marketing