Campaigns are integral to spreading a message to the public. Whether they’re shaping the perception of a political candidate or designing a series of advertisements to promote a brand, campaign managers ensure that strategies are implemented effectively to achieve the campaign’s intended goals.
Campaign managers work in various industries and sectors, including on political campaigns and with marketing agencies and nonprofit organizations. However, in analyzing what a campaign manager does, it’s crucial to note that their job description is dictated by the setting they work in. For example, political campaign managers may share a similar skill set to their marketing counterparts, but their day-to-day duties are quite different.
As more companies and political candidates enter the digital space to promote themselves, they’ll need skilled professionals to craft and communicate unified messaging and manage the teams that create those messages. Individuals seeking a career in campaign management can develop the marketing, data analysis, and operations skills they need to succeed by pursuing an advanced business education.
What Does a Political Campaign Manager Do?
Political campaign managers undertake a variety of tasks on behalf of political candidates to help them win elections. One of their primary responsibilities is to plan and execute campaign events. From town hall meetings to fundraising galas, campaign managers ensure that every event runs smoothly, leaving a lasting impact on voters and supporters.
In addition to event management, political campaign managers are at the forefront of voter outreach efforts. They work to engage with the public, employing various strategies to communicate their candidates’ policy positions. This involves researching and analyzing key demographics, devising targeted messaging to resonate with different voter groups, and deploying comprehensive voter outreach campaigns.
Crafting policy positions is another crucial aspect of what a political campaign manager does. They collaborate closely with candidates, helping them articulate their stance on critical issues and develop comprehensive policy platforms. Through careful research, data analysis, and consultation with experts, campaign managers ensure that their candidates’ policy positions are well-informed and resonate with the concerns and interests of the electorate.
Campaign managers are also vital to establishing and maintaining media relationships. They typically serve as a campaign’s press liaison, coordinating interviews and conferences with various media outlets. Building rapport with journalists and media outlets helps campaign managers secure favorable media coverage, amplifying the candidate’s message and increasing their visibility.
By strategizing media interactions and effectively managing public relations, campaign managers navigate the intricate landscape of political communication, ensuring that their candidates’ platforms accurately reach the public.
What Does a Marketing Campaign Manager Do?
Marketing campaign managers develop and implement marketing strategies, working with team members such as copywriters, designers, and digital marketers to create campaigns. They also ensure that campaign elements such as ads and social media content align with the overall campaign strategy.
Once a campaign is launched, campaign managers ensure its success by monitoring its performance and analyzing key metrics, using data analytics to track the campaign’s reach, engagement, and return on investment (ROI). Based on these data-driven insights, they decide how best to optimize the campaign and improve its effectiveness. This may involve tweaking messaging, adjusting targeting parameters, or reallocating resources.
In addition to overseeing the campaign itself, marketing campaign managers also manage the marketing team. They guide and support team members, assign tasks and set deadlines, and ensure that everyone works toward the campaign’s objectives. Effective communication and collaboration skills are crucial, as campaign managers act as liaisons between different departments and stakeholders, including upper management, creative teams, and external vendors.
Campaign Manager Salary and Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for marketing managers, including campaign managers, was $135,030 in 2021. However, salaries can vary significantly depending on factors such as the type and size of the company or political campaign as well as an individual’s level of education and experience.
The BLS projects that employment of marketing managers will grow by 10% between 2021 and 2031, creating more than 31,000 jobs. This can be attributed to the increasing importance of effective marketing strategies in the modern business landscape. Campaign managers will likely see an increase in relevance as campaigns pivot further to digital formats and social media, giving those with proficiency in digital media improved employment opportunities.
Career Path of Campaign Managers
A solid educational foundation is essential to embark on a successful career as a campaign manager. While a bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum requirement for the role, earning an MBA can give aspiring campaign managers a competitive edge. The curriculum for MBA programs often includes courses on data analytics, strategic planning, and the foundations of marketing, all of which are highly relevant to what campaign managers do.
To succeed as campaign managers, individuals need a diverse skill set. Strong communication and interpersonal abilities are essential for building relationships with various stakeholders, including candidates, campaign staff, and the media. Analytical skills are also crucial for conducting research, analyzing data, and making strategic decisions. Additionally, negotiation skills can be beneficial when partnering with other organizations and individuals.
While formal education is essential, practical experience is equally invaluable in shaping a campaign manager’s career. Many MBA programs offer internships or field study opportunities, enabling students to gain hands-on experience managing real campaigns.
Take the Next Step Toward a Career in Campaign Management
Campaign managers play a pivotal role in the success of political and marketing campaigns. They orchestrate campaigns from behind the scenes, ensuring that strategies are implemented effectively and data-driven messages are conveyed to the target audience. With the strong demand for skilled campaign managers across various industries and sectors, pursuing a career in campaign management can lead to promising job prospects and attractive salary potential.
Those considering this career path should explore Washington State University’s Online Master of Business Administration program and its marketing concentration. WSU’s comprehensive curriculum equips students with the foundational skills needed to excel in this dynamic field. In addition to coursework, students in the program can gain real-world experience and connect with fellow professionals through an international field study.
The 100% online format means that even those with busy schedules can advance their education and pursue their career goals. Discover how to achieve career success as a campaign manager with Washington State University.