What does a Marketing Manager do?

In most fields of advertising, the marketing manager is a liaison who works directly with several clients to develop their advertising goals while acting as their representative and advocate within the larger agency. Marketing managers in the music industry, however, are more likely to spend their time developing and implementing creative ad campaigns to boost album or single sales. In so doing, they must consider the personality of the artist in question, the character and branding of any past campaigns for this artist, and the untapped audience for the artist's product.

The best marketing managers are not only creative but organized, detail-oriented, communicative, and flexible.

To get the job done, marketing managers use pretty much every form of advertising available: print ads, radio ads, online ads, television commercials, billboards, street teams, and even product placement. All of this requires collaboration and negotiation with members of other departments and outside companies, during which the marketing manager seeks to maximize visibility while minimizing cost.

People in the Field

At a Glance

Career Path
Marketing managers usually start out as interns in a marketing department or ad agency, or as college marketing representatives. From there they progress to become marketing representatives and, eventually, marketing managers. The career doesn't stop there; marketing managers can become marketing directors, found their own advertising or marketing agencies, or explore a different side of music marketing, working for a performing group as a concert hall marketing director.
Marketing has a reputation for being highly competitive, but a changing musical environment—due to the popularity of music streaming and the success of online advertising—ensures that this field is open for those with great ideas and drive. Aspiring marketers may also be interested in entry-level positions as social media managers, which are abundant.
Finding Work

An internship in the advertising or marketing department of a record label is a great first step to becoming a marketing manager for music. It may also be helpful to gain experience at a more general-purpose advertising agency before shifting over to record labels and other music industry businesses.

Professional Skills
  • Marketing strategy
  • Writing copy
  • Social media
  • Budgeting
  • Long-term planning
  • Visual design
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Written and verbal communication
Interpersonal Skills

Because this job requires the conception and implementation of unique, eye-catching, and effective advertising campaigns, creative types flourish as marketing managers. However, creativity must be tempered by conscientiousness; the best marketing managers are not only imaginative but organized, detail-oriented, communicative, and flexible. They come up with original ideas and then support their concepts with careful planning, scheduling, collaboration, and budgeting.

Work Life

Most marketing managers work normal business hours in an office setting. Generally, the job does not require significant travel, but may require almost daily trips to out-of-office meetings, late nights, and certainly lots of time on the phone negotiating deals and partnerships.

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