Director of Marketing Vs VP of Marketing

The director of marketing and the vice president of marketing normally work toward the same goal, however, they have very different roles. This article establishes what the differences are between these marketing careers and provides salary and outlook information for each.

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Comparing the Director of Marketing to the VP of Marketing

A director of marketing is a lead manager for marketing and design teams and helps drive forward a company's marketing brand across all platforms. The vice president of marketing is an upper-level executive who analyzes, strategizes, and sets the advertising concepts and goals that the director executes. A comparison follows below of these two executive/management careers.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary* (2017) Job Growth** (2014-2024)
Director of Marketing Bachelor's degree $82,786 (marketing director) 9% (marketing managers)
VP of Marketing Master's degree (MBA common) $139,355 6% (top executives)

Sources: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Director of Marketing vs VP of Marketing

The director of marketing and the vice president of marketing may work at the same place and on the same project, but their responsibilities are very different. The director of marketing is a manager who interprets executive strategies and turns them into ready-to-sell campaigns using technology-enhanced platforms. The VP of marketing is an executive with a background in design and business who helps the board develop strategies and goals that are decided upon then turned over to the marketing and sales teams. The director of marketing works under the supervision of the VP of marketing and manages the daily activities required for campaign execution; the VP of marketing is responsible for the overall success of campaigns and answers to other top executives. Both positions work to meet an organization's primary marketing and profit goals.

Director of Marketing

The director of marketing takes charge of a national or regional branding project and keeps it within budget and on schedule. Marketing directors have the marketing and sales skills as well as the design background to interpret advertising and sales goals and lead diverse teams to execute marketing strategies. Directors work with artists, musicians, actors, web developers and graphic designers to bring the brand concept together. They may also perform as media liaisons and go-betweens in dealings with the sales force. Other possible duties include managing advertising channels, conducting field research, and communicating marketing plans to retailers.

Job responsibilities of a director of marketing include:

  • Implementing an up-to-date brand presence in all approved media
  • Improving layouts, web pages, graphic designs for existing promotions
  • Staying up-to-date in the latest marketing trends and technology changes
  • Encouraging team members and directors throughout the process

VP of Marketing

The vice president of marketing is an executive board position in most cases and therefore attends executive board meetings. His or her job is to help the board develop strategies for the successful promotion of their products, company and brand. Normally, the VP of marketing has a research team who spends their time testing modern marketing trends, assessing societal changes, and monitoring product recognition to determine the best promotional practices. The VP of marketing works with the other executives to develop a sales-oriented marketing plan with measurable outcomes, then communicates the plan to marketing directors and teams.

Job responsibilities of a VP of marketing include:

  • Leading and supervising various large-scale marketing operations
  • Recruiting top marketing directors and managers
  • Establishing healthy relationships between teams, vendors and other businesses
  • Identifying possible strategic issues before they arise

Related Careers

Sales managers, like directors of marketing, use the latest trends and technological practices to sell and promote products. A related field for a vice president of marketing might be work as a financial manager. These professionals take responsibility for an organization's financial health, producing investment advice and long-term profit strategies.

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