What Exactly Does a Marketing Manager Do?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Have you ever asked someone what they do for a living and they rattle off some technical job title that leaves you nodding your head and saying "Oh yeah!" when what you're really thinking is "What the heck is that?!" 

No? Well, I've had it happen to me all the time and it has got me thinking. Why aren't we more clear with what it is that we do? I think some of it has to do with being in an industry for a certain period of time and getting used to jargon that no one else understands. Or it might just have to do with trying to make our jobs sound more intelligent and exciting than they really are. 

I am guilty myself of giving vague answers whenever someone asks what I do for a living. Oh, I'm in marketing, I say, only to get an expectant pause and blank stare back while the person waits for me to explain what on earth that means.

This has been on my mind lately because I realized that the excruciating decision of choosing a college major would probably be much easier if we had a clue what those vague industry titles actually meant! The first step is to realize that each job has a million different variations of the same title. For example, I refer to my position in the marketing world as an Account Manager, but it can also be called marketing manager, copywriter, digital strategist, communications manager, public relations manager, marketing specialist, external relations director. It's easy to see why it can be so confusing, right?

Today, I thought I'd share a little about what exactly it is I do every day and what falls under that enormous purview of marketing. I'm also excited to turn this into a weekly series next month and have some awesomely talented ladies contribute as well! They'll each be sharing a little about what it is they do every day and giving us a peek behind that job title we don't understand. I'm super excited about this and hope you'll stay tuned each week to read their posts!

Without further ado, here's Part One:

I work remotely for a full-service marketing agency that does everything from digital to print marketing with some other services squeezed in between. We build websites, manage social media accounts, create marketing strategies, place ads, write copy, design print collateral, and supply trade show banners. I've broken down my job, in particular, below...

Account managing.
At it's core, this is what my job entails most — managing client accounts. I am the first point of contact for a client if something goes wrong on their website, they need an ad created, a flyer printed, a new page added to their website, help promoting an event, or a radio spot purchased. There are several talented people who help me complete these tasks (graphic designers, web developers, SEO strategists, etc.) but, for the most part, I am the one with the giant to-do list who is making sure it all gets done.

Lots and lots of writing.
This is one of the most fun and challenging parts of my job. At the company I work for, I handle almost all of the copywriting. Sometimes it is for clients I manage (see above) that I'm working with on several different projects and sometimes it's the only part of a project I'll touch. While most of the writing I do is for the web (websites, landing pages, social media, email newsletters, etc.), I occasionally write copy for printed materials, like large trade show banners, brochures, catalogs, and flyers.  It is challenging because there is a lot of research and thought that has to go into writing content for marketing purposes. Each brand has a completely different "voice" and, in any given day, I'm switching between 3-5 of these writing voices. It's also not the easiest when you have to come up with a witty headline for an ad that is due within a few hours — especially at the end of the day when your brain is fried and can only think nap time. The good news is: I really, really enjoy writing. It was my major, after all. My writing for work varies from creating social media posts for a wide range of clients on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter; writing a blog post on the benefits of spray foam insulation for a client who specializes in...you guessed it...spray foam; writing a press release on behalf of a client who recently won an award; writing character-limited Zillow and Facebook ads; and writing short category blurbs for the homepage of a website. It's never the same thing every day.

Brainstorming and Planning.
Another big part of my job is brainstorming ideas and contributing to marketing strategies for each individual client. We firmly believe that one size does not fit all and that each brand needs a customized strategy in order to be effective. This means that there is a lot of time spent figuring out which social media platforms fit a particular brand's needs, what type of posts will work best for their industry, what type of methods we need to use in order to increase their website's SEO, what channels they should advertise on, what type of media should they pursue for ads, and what the voice and language should sound like for that particular ad. There's a lot of thought that goes into each project and I am so very grateful that there are many talented brains working on it in addition to me. It's a constant learning experience when you're working in an industry that's constantly evolving.

Photographer, Voice-Over, Model, Listener.
One of the best parts of my job is that it is truly never boring. Some of the most random and fun roles I've undertaken is trekking around Richmond to take pictures for a client's Instagram account, narrating a client's YouTube videos, and standing in as a hand model for a photography shoot. One of the most random tasks I've ever done was stand behind a camera as a doctor explained a complicated procedure that his clinic offers. He realized that he was less nervous being filmed if he was talking to an actual person, rather than the camera. So I got to be the "official listener" that day. The marketing field is a fun one to be in these days. I love learning more about it every day and seeing how much it is constantly changing and developing. There's always going to be another latest and greatest in the world of marketing. The trick, I think, is to surround yourself with other great marketers so you can decipher between what traditionally works and what will work today.

You can read the other posts in this series here:


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  1. Your job sounds so interesting! I honestly would love to get into that field some day. Writing is my forte, for sure. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It really is a fun field to be in! I thoroughly enjoy it.


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