How To Become a Marketing Manager


portrait of smiling marketing managers with laptop in office

Marketing is a highly creative yet data-driven industry perfect for those who love brainstorming big ideas and using new technologies. It’s also ideal for those who enjoy working with the finer details to execute projects to a high standard.

It’s a diverse sector ideal for a range of people, with solid growth and future-proofed career prospects.

What is a marketing manager?

A marketing manager works to help businesses achieve success by increasing sales and improving market share. Marketing managers need to implement traditional and digital marketing plans, ensure they are understood by the communications and social media teams and manage projects and people.

What does a marketing manager do?

A marketing manager is a broad role that allows you to bring together your leadership capabilities and creativity to drive tangible outcomes for the business. They may undertake project work for specific campaigns or perform ‘always-on’ marketing, which focuses on day-to-day marketing needs. Marketing managers may focus on specific areas such as digital marketing or social media marketing.

The marketing manager’s responsibilities can include:

  • Exploring and evaluating potential marketing opportunities for the business
  • Thinking strategically to design and develop marketing communication plans
  • Establishing and monitoring the business’ overall marketing mix
  • Overseeing digital media such as email marketing, websites, blogs and social platforms
  • Researching consumer attitudes and buyer behaviour
  • Analysing market research, trends and marketing metrics (e.g. email open rate or Instagram reach)

What skills does a marketing manager need?

Both written and verbal communication are among the top skills employers look for when recruiting marketing managers, as these will be used daily. Marketing managers often need to communicate with a wide range of stakeholders and write persuasive marketing copy for print, digital and audio.

Marketing managers must also possess a passion and aptitude for learning. Both traditional marketing and digital marketing are subject to frequent changes, meaning marketers need to keep across these in order to achieve the best results and be compliant with industry rules. They work cross-functionally with other business areas, particularly with senior management, operations and finance to present strategies, brief new campaigns or report on the success of previous marketing activities.

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How do I become a marketing manager?

The typical career path of a marketing manager can vary depending on individual experience and the type of business. However, one career path to marketing management may look like this:

  • If you are new to the field, complete a Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication (BSB40820) to master the fundamentals.
  • Work part-time or casually while studying, in a relevant or adjacent role. There are plenty of jobs that have complementary skills, such as administration or retail management. A certificate IV will allow you to apply real-world case studies to your work, giving you valuable on-the-job training. You may also choose to complete internships or test your skills out through paid or unpaid freelancing to build your experience and portfolio.
  • Upon graduation, secure your first professional role in marketing. Examples include marketing assistant, marketing coordinator or digital marketing assistant. Depending on your interests and career goals, you could also look at marketing-related roles such as junior copywriter, social media coordinator or market research assistant.
  • Once you’ve gained experience in your initial role, you can consider opportunities to gain additional skills and specialise your developed expertise by taking a marketing course, a business course, or a combination of both. An example of this is the Diploma of Business (Business Development) (BSB50120), the Diploma of Marketing and Communication (BSB50620) and the Diploma of Social Media Marketing (10904NAT).
  • Increase networking opportunities through further professional development, such as training courses and joining professional organisations like the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI). 
  • As your skills as a marketer grow, you’re well placed for either internal promotion opportunities or to seek new external roles with more responsibility. Becoming a marketing manager usually requires a good level of experience within the industry, across a variety of both digital and traditional marketing.

The role of marketing manager can mean different things depending on the business. In some businesses, the role is usually assigned to the person with the most responsibility in the marketing team. Larger companies will have roles above this, such as director of marketing or chief marketing officer (CMO). These roles are leadership and senior management focused, with less work ‘on the tools’.

Marketing manager versus digital marketing manager

In digital marketing, senior roles can be digital marketing manager, head of social media or digital marketing strategist. Regardless of whether you work in a purely digital marketing role or a more generalist one, all marketing roles now require a strong level of digital skills, particularly around social media.

The main difference between traditional marketing managers and digital marketing managers is that digital marketing tends to be more focused around performance and data, simply because it’s easy to track metrics digitally. It can also be more ‘hands on’, whereas traditional marketing can focus more on bigger-picture strategies and the planning and overseeing of campaigns, rather than the execution.


Marketing manager courses

There is a range of study options for those looking at becoming a marketing manager, including double diploma options like a Diploma of Marketing and Communication (BSB50620) and a Diploma of Social Media Marketing (10904NAT).

A double diploma is an excellent way to improve employability and ensure career longevity, allowing you the flexibility to work in various areas within the business. The course length is shorter than doing two single diplomas, meaning you can learn the skills you need and start earning sooner.

The well-rounded double diploma option from CAL focuses on practical skills learned through units such as:

  • Undertake project work
  • Explore and evaluate marketing opportunities
  • Establish and monitor the marketing mix for an organisation
  • Principles and concepts of marketing, including consumer and buyer behaviour
  • Design and develop marketing communication plans
  • Write persuasive marketing copy for both digital and audio
  • Plan social media content and advertising
  • Create digital marketing strategies

What does a marketing manager earn?

The average salary range for marketing managers in Australia is $90,000–$125,000 and people in this role report high levels of job satisfaction. The industry average for marketing professionals is $91,416 with a relatively even gender split – 61% of professionals in the field are female.

What’s the future of marketing in Australia?

Currently, the demand for skilled marketing professionals in Australia is forecasted to increase by over 11.4% by 2026. Due to the skills required to be a successful marketer, the industry is well protected from changes in technology or developments in artificial intelligence. Marketing managers rely heavily on communication and leadership, making it difficult to be replaced by technology in the future.

Instead, marketing managers can take advantage of technological advancements to help them better understand data, track results with accuracy and make better predictions. They can also utilise the range of new and current digital media tools, such as social media and automation platforms. These skills help improve outcomes of their marketing activities and create strategic roles that are more enjoyable by taking away tasks that would previously be done manually.

Is a career in marketing right for me?

Working as a marketing manager in Australia is the ideal career for those who enjoy strategy, creativity and leadership. No two days are the same and there is scope to work within various industries throughout your career. An area with strong future growth, marketing is a future-proofed career option with excellent earning potential and opportunities to advance throughout your career.


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