Marketing Manager Vs Marketing Director

Although the two job titles are often used synonymously, marketing managers and marketing directors have two distinct and separate positions. Take a deeper look at the similarities and differences between marketing managers and marketing directors.

Comparing Marketing Manager to Marketing Director

While browsing job postings, it is common to see marketing manager and marketing director positions used equally among smaller companies. However, corporations with large marketing departments make a distinction between both positions, as they often employ both marketing managers and marketing directors. Uncover the key differences between each position to better understand both roles.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2014-2024)**
Marketing Manager Bachelor's Degree $62,855 9% (for marketing managers)
Marketing Director Bachelor's Degree $82,786 9% (for marketing managers)

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

Responsibilities of Marketing Managers vs. Marketing Directors

Marketing managers are typically in charge of marketing related to specific products or campaigns, while marketing directors oversee the activities of the entire marketing department. Marketing directors work with organizational leaders to create campaigns and goals, which are then worked on by the marketing team. Both positions must have exceptional leadership and people management skills, superior communication skills, and they must be highly organized in their day-to-day activities.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers are the driving force behind the success of marketing campaigns. In larger organizations, they usually has an area of focus (i.e. a specific product or product line) for the types of campaigns that they work on. They work with vendors, leaders from other departments, and marketing team members (i.e. interns, marketing coordinators, graphic designers) to coordinate successful promotions and campaigns. Marketing managers often start their careers in the positions that they now supervise and have logged approximately 1-9 years of relevant experience. A position as a marketing director is a common trajectory. They work standard corporate schedules and work longer hours as required.

  • Manages one or more marketing campaigns at the same time to promote a specific part of their organization
  • Researches markets and trends to determine campaign demographics
  • Tracks and measures assigned marketing campaigns to determine success or areas of improvement for future campaigns
  • Works with marketing team to brainstorm campaign details

Marketing Director

Marketing directors run all marketing activities at an organization. These professionals work long hours and have an average of 10-19 years of experience. They make decisions about future and current campaigns, manage marketing managers, and control the budget for marketing campaigns. With more experience, marketing directors can advance to some of the highest positions in an organization, including the sales and marketing director, senior vice president of marketing, and the chief marketing officer.

  • Acts as an organization's top marketing authority
  • Collaborates with executives in their organization to determine yearly marketing goals
  • Helps to brainstorm new ideas and offers ways to utilize current technology
  • Assigns marketing campaigns to appropriate marketing managers and their teams
  • Ensures marketing department goals are being reached by department efforts

Related Careers

If you are considering career paths related to that of a marketing manager, the coordination and communications skills needed for this position are also a great fit for an internal communications manager. Alternatively, marketing directors can use their creativity and top-tier leadership skills for the role of creative director.

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