Becoming a Marketing Communications Manager

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Becoming a Marketing Communications Manager

Sep 08, 2022
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Marketing is one of the cornerstones of business, and plays a huge role in shaping how we live our lives, whether we realize it or not. For people passionate about marketing, there are a wide variety of career paths available. If you’re just looking into starting a marketing career, or if you have an established career and are looking to take it to the next level, you might consider the role of marketing communications manager.

What a Marketing Communications Manager Does

A communications manager is responsible for helping promote a company’s products and services, as well as its brand and the overall vision / mission of the company. A communications manager creates marketing and ad materials across a broad number of media — press releases, billboards, brochures, blogs and websites, and other promotional items (such as merchandise). This may also include posting to social media accounts, monitoring ad campaigns, or even web design. Communication managers also generally oversee the search engine optimization (SEO) for their company, making sure searched-for terms are present in the company’s online content.

In addition, a communications manager may be responsible for speaking at conferences, handing out some of those promotional items, and attending events in order to further spread the word of their company’s brand. Other PR-related tasks might include responding to press inquiries, writing newsletters, and so on.

Despite the wide variety of skill sets and responsibilities, the work of a communications manager isn’t done alone. They must be able to work with other managers, department heads, and teams and have strong collaboration skills. One of the reasons to pursue a bachelor’s degree in communications is to help cultivate those all-important business communications skills.

In short, a marketing communications manager must have strong skills in:

  • Communications, in order to convey the company’s ideas to stakeholders, clients, colleagues, and team members. Communications will be key not only in preparing those promotional materials, but in the public relations work and presentations a marketing communications manager must make.

  • Marketing, which is at the heart of the communication manager’s job. As said above, you will be expected to work closely with marketing teams, implement marketing campaigns, and create ads and content.

  • Leadership and team management skills, to help with developing (and working with) a strong team. A manager must be able to efficiently oversee the work of others. You may find yourself having to work with and supervise the efforts of designers, copywriters, social media people, marketers, and people in any number of other roles. Despite the broad set of expertise you’ll have, you can’t do everything yourself. You’ll have to delegate work, keep your employees motivated, and do your best to make certain the team is working together efficiently and with the company’s vision in mind.

  • Strategic thinking skills. As a marketing communications manager, you’ll be at the heart of the company’s entire marketing strategy, which is going to take considerable strategic skill.

Salary and Career Outlook

What’s the career outlook for this line of work? Promising. According to the US Department of Labor, jobs in this field are expected to grow by 8% between now and 2028, which is faster than the national average. Because this career is closely tied to companies and organizations looking to expand their market share, there will likely always be a competitive but lucrative market for qualified individuals.

In terms of salary, things are equally positive. The median salary for a marketing communications manager is $72,850, with the top earners — those with nine years or more of experience — can earn $107,000 a year or more.

Becoming a Marketing Communications Manager

So how do you get on the path to becoming a marketing communications manager?

It’s not necessarily a short road, but it’s far from impossible. The first step is to get a bachelor’s degree, preferably in the fields of journalism, marketing, or communication. This will set the stage by teaching you the basics of what you need to know: branding, communication research and methods, market research, sales and storytelling, and branding.

Your next step should be to get some real-world experience under your belt — unfortunately, marketing communications manager is generally not a job someone can just walk into straight out of school. You might start out at a PR firm, a marketing organization, or an ad agency.

Once you have some experience (or straight out of undergraduate school, if you prefer), you may benefit most from gaining a postgraduate degree and an official certification. A common degree for this line of work is a Master of Communication and Management, which will arm you with the advanced skills you need to stand out in a competitive market.

You can either earn a Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) certification, and / or certifications in Google analytics, social media marketing, project management, and more.

The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

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