Online Executive MBA Career Spotlight: Marketing Director

Marketing directors manage and direct all marketing activities for their companies. With a broad range of activities within their purview, they oversee their marketing staff and work with financial staff members, art directors, and sales agents. Additionally, they are in charge of a company’s marketing development and content, including projects, concepts, advertising budgets, and communication between vendors, clients, and company managers.

An Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree can help aspiring marketing directors advance in their field to a C-suite position. Washington State University’s online EMBA program aims to provide students with the analytical and critical thinking skills necessary to succeed as a marketing director.

Marketing Managers Vs. Directors

The distinction between marketing directors and managers is more evident in large companies that have multiple brands or product lines that may have a marketing manager for each line. In these instances, all of the marketing managers report to one director, providing sales projections and updates on their product lines’ progress.

In smaller companies with only one brand or product line, the difference is less apparent. Further, a company with only one person in charge of marketing may opt to use either title.

Qualifications and Necessary Skills

Companies expect candidates for marketing director positions to have extensive marketing experience paired with a degree in advertising, marketing management, business administration, or promotions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that many employers prefer a master’s degree.

Marketing directors should possess a broad range of skills, according to the BLS, including:

• Analytical skills: Marketing directors should be able to observe and deconstruct industry patterns to determine the most favorable approaches and methods for their company.• Communication skills: Marketing directors should be able to effectively convey their plans of action and expectations to a diverse team of other staff members and managers during the marketing, advertising, and promotions process. They also should be skilled in public persuasion.• Promotional skills: Marketing directors and their staff should be able to come up with fresh ideas and concepts to capture the public’s attention, such as inventive new advertising campaigns on TV and within social media.• Decision-making skills: Ideal marketing directors are open-minded and decisive. They frequently must make choices regarding contending marketing and advertising ideas proposed by their staff.• Organizational skills: Marketing directors at the executive level often work on several projects simultaneously to meet a variety of deadlines. As such, effectively managing their time and budgets is of the utmost importance.

Duties And Responsibilities

A marketing director’s core responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

• Keeping track of market fluctuations• Examining economic indicators• Monitoring actions of competing companies• Determining the needs of both current and prospective clients

Furthermore, the day-to-day duties of marketing directors, according to, may include a variety of tasks, such as:

• Prepare an annual marketing budget, schedule expenses, analyze variances, and initiate corrective actions to meet financial goals.• Select, recruit, and train new marketing employees.• Provide experiential growth opportunities and information to develop marketing staff.• Contribute to marketing effectiveness by prioritizing short- and long-term concerns and objectives for the marketing team and providing feedback and information relevant to deliberations.• Acquire market share by formulating marketing programs and plans for the company’s product or service.• Maintain customer relations and determine the value of the company’s presence at seminars, trade associations, annual meetings, and conventions.• Provide market forecasts and direct the collection, analysis, and interpretation of market data.• Identify and assemble marketing information for the company’s marketing research database.

Salary Range and Job Expectations

The BLS reports the median annual salary for marketing directors and managers as of May 2016 was $131,180. Earners in the lowest ten percent made less than $67,490, while those in the highest ten percent—typically in an executive, C-suite role—made more than $208,000.

As with similar positions, job satisfaction for marketing directors can vary depending on job holders’ individual goals and preferences, according to “Marketing Manager: Reviews & Advice” in U.S. News & World Report. The chance for upward mobility is above average for marketing directors, making it a good choice for those who value opportunities for advancement and salary increases.

However, stress levels can be high. Marketing managers are frequently responsible for estimating demand for their companies’ products and formulating sales strategies and may be held accountable if the product doesn’t sell as well as expected.

The magazine also reports that marketing managers work more than 40 hours per week on average, especially when a new product or service is about to launch.

By 2024, the BLS projects that the demand for marketing directors and managers could increase by nine percent. Also, with the increasing prevalence of online marketing, directors who have experience in the digital realm are expected to have an advantage.

To this end, companies in the near future may need two or more marketing directors – some who cover traditional marketing methods such as TV and print, and others who handle social media platforms such as Twitter and Snapchat. An EMBA degree and experience working in these areas can benefit job candidates as the marketing field grows.

About Washington State University’s online EMBA Degree Program

Washington State University’s Carson College of Business online Executive MBA degree is designed to build students’ aptitude for big-picture decision making. The WSU Executive MBA program delivers courses from an executive’s point of view in a fully online format to accommodate busy professionals, providing them with the flexibility to complete the program from anywhere – their office, home, or favorite cafe.

Additionally, more than three-quarters of the EMBA online student body has ten or more years of management experience, providing ample opportunities for students to build broad perspectives on leadership while also expanding their professional networks.



Payscale, Average Marketing Director Salary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, How to Become an Advertising, Promotions, or Marketing Manager

Chron, What’s the Difference Between a Marketing Manager and a Marketing Director?

Monster, Marketing Director Job Description Sample

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

U.S. News, Marketing Manager