Marketing Manager Salary: How Much Does a Marketing Manager Make?

Marketing Manager Salary

Heard the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”?

Well in the context of marketing managers it can be modified to express the sentiment “Jack of all trades, master of some”.

It doesn’t really matter which industry you hail from. If you have an offering to put in front of buyers, clients, supporters or evangelists, you invest time and money in marketing.

And the person in charge of the ideation, conceptualization, execution, distribution and refining of your campaign messages is the marketing manager.

Trust me when I say that the post calls for the candidate to have a good idea of copywriting, research, design, statistics, PR, diplomacy and even persuasion techniques.

Yet with such a tall order of requirements and skills, the post of marketing manager has a surprisingly high satisfaction rate.

In this article we will explore why being a marketing manager is exhilarating, the average compensation of a marketing manager in the US, the criteria which dictate the pay packet of a marketing manager and some ways in which an aspirant for this role can command a better salary.


Who is a Marketing Manager?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics over 2014 and 2022, 18,200 new marketing manager jobs will be added to the economy. And this particular post has a minimal unemployment rate of 3.5%.

In other words if you have trained to be a marketing manager and are determined to get ahead in your organization, you are almost guaranteed to have a fulfilling career that pays remarkably well.

A marketing manager is a creative yet organized professional who is in charge of the marketing resources and the public image of the employer.

He (or she) is required to understand the company vision and mission, co-ordinate with the product development department to take stock of the problems an offering can solve, scrutinize markets and competitors to gauge how best to position the product, develop a budget estimation and campaign guidelines keeping in mind the brand core values, lead a team of experts to design, copywrite and organize the marketing collateral and then distribute the messages on digital and physical channels to ensure the widest possible reach.

Most importantly a marketing manager must be able to define the right metrics to track for campaign performance and is required to justify the ROI of the efforts to the management.

Some Statistics about Marketing Managers Compiled by the Sokanu Career Platform:

  • Presently there are 194,000 marketing managers in the US
  • Professionals from the fields of sales & marketing rate this particular career a high 3.5/5 in terms of advancement, creative liberty and work life balance
  • The need for marketing managers in the US will grow by an estimated 9.4% over the next 10 years
  • About 45,000 marketing managers will retire in the next decade creating a need for fresh talent to take over their responsibilities
  • California is the state with the most number of employed marketing managers – almost 38,000 of them.


What is the Average Annual Marketing Manager Salary?

The average annual salary of a marketing manager in the US today is $128K.

But since the job post calls for shouldering a wide array of responsibilities and also needs considerable creativity, some marketing managers may be able to perform better than others. This affects the compensation they receive.

Also the ultimate salary of a marketing manager varies by location especially if the individual is required to promote and position products in local and state markets. This is because regions like California and New York are saturated in terms of brands and people are bombarded with more marketing messages than a region like West Virginia where it is relatively easy to turn in a profit with a sound campaign.

This is the reason why the Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that in San Jose, California marketing manager salaries can be anywhere between $187,890 and $207,000 a year.

In general the securities and commodities, PR and Oil and Gas industries pay marketing managers more than sectors like information technology.


How Marketing Manager Salary is Impacted by Seniority & Experience:

The career of a marketing manager presents many opportunities to grow in terms of expertise, experience and efficiency. This is the reason why to some extent, the number of years invested in the craft also has a say in who gets paid what.

  • Starting Marketing Managers: As the title proclaims, these are individuals just starting out in their career. They are typically asked to work with an experienced professional and assimilate knowledge from them. Processes do not play as significant a role in marketing as they do in other departments. So it is essential that a marketing manager learns all about the values, the persona and the rhythm of a company (or a brand) from someone who is well versed with these intangible qualities to do a competent job. Starting managers might make up to $66,090 a year.
  • Junior Marketing Managers: Junior marketing managers typically have three to five successful marketing campaigns to their credit. They do lead their own team but are required to report to the senior marketing manager before taking a call that might impact the way a campaign is presented to the public. Such individuals are paid around $91,420 a year.
  • Experienced Marketing Managers: These professionals may have up to 30 successful marketing campaigns in their kitty. There is no corporate distinction between the duties of a junior marketing manager and an experienced marketing manager. The difference lies in how much water their opinions hold with the management and the freedom they are accorded in working with their teams. The annual salary of an experienced marketing manager touches the $128,750
  • Senior Marketing Manager or Portfolio Manager: This individual reports directly to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). A portfolio manager is responsible for guiding and directing multiple brand and marketing managers. If a company boasts several brands under its umbrella like Procter & Gamble does, then there might be a senior marketing manager or portfolio manager for each niche (healthcare, food and beverages, cosmetics) that is served. This post calls for direct accountability for the revenue stream of the company and the compensation is around $175,000 a year.


Wait, Is a Marketing Manager the Same as a Brand Manager?

Before diving deeper, it is important to understand this difference.

If a company is a mono-solution outfit, which means it has only one product (with related cross sells, up-sells and line extensions), then a marketing manager is also the brand manager.

However if an organization boasts several categories of products then it is likely that the persona of the brand and its overarching message (the strategic aspects of the communication) are taken care of by the brand manager and the way this main message is presented to buyers for each product is what the marketing managers oversee.

In general marketing managers are more hands-on than brand managers.

Marketing Management Structure


The Duties & Responsibilities of a Marketing Manager:

We can’t discuss the salary of a marketing manager without elaborating on the duties associated with the post. This is one of the most comprehensive listings you will find on the net.

  • Market Research: Everything starts with meticulous market research. A marketing manager has to find out the demographic and psychographic data of the consumers who are most likely to buy a product, look at the demand and supply dynamics and come to a sound conclusion around possible profitability of the product, understand the approach of competitors and find out what is working for them (or what isn’t) and conduct focus group meetings or surveys to collect initial feedback about the solution in its beta phase.
  • Co-ordination with Product Development Teams: Marketing is a cross functional activity. A marketing manager must maintain direct communication with the product development team at all points of time. He should be able to present requests for addition of new features to solutions based on market research and also refine the products during beta based on preliminary feedback. A marketing manager should have a comprehensive understanding of what a product does and this is facilitated by the development team.
  • Development of Brand Persona & Buyer Persona: With the market research information and the product development team’s brief, an experienced marketing manager collaborates with the brand manager to assemble the buyer’s persona and a branding bible to best present the solutions to the market.
  • Market Penetration with Marketing Mix: This is the meat of what a marketing manager is expected to do. With the guidelines of what to say in hand, the professional must be able to:
  • Create a campaign concept
  • Estimate a budget
  • Project the returns
  • Devise an effective marketing mix (4Ps)
  • Get the collateral created and organized
  • Task team members with distribution of messages on digital and physical channel

  • Metrics Identification and Monitoring: A marketing manager must compile a list of campaign performance metrics that make the most sense given the budget, the nature of the campaign and the channels of distribution and monitor these to ensure that the investment justification is done on the basis of accurate data.
  • Testing & Refinement: This is easier on digital channels than in the physical setting but a marketing manager has to get innovative, find ways of collecting and analyzing metrics data and then come up with improvements for ongoing campaigns to optimize results.
  • Hiring of Staff: Experienced marketing managers need to draft job description specifics for the HR team if there is the need to take on additional help. He also has to pitch in during the interview and training process to ensure that the hired candidate is a good fit with the company’s culture and the requirements of the post.

Do these tasks seem right up your alley? Most professionals take on the title of a marketing manager because the variety, the flexibility to work from home and the creativity contribute to job satisfaction.

>>Find Out If You are a Perfect Fit for the Career of a Marketing Manager<<


How Can You Earn a Higher Marketing Manager Salary?

Even if you are doing exceedingly well in your career, there is always scope for improvement. Here are three ways in which marketing managers can increase their income potential:

  1. Acquire Skills Aggressively: The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that over 84% of marketing managers have only a bachelor’s degree. Add to this the fact that HubSpot has done research to suggest that skill driven marketing managers earn 260% times more than their counterparts who depend on seniority for promotions and investing in certifications like CMMP or a Master’s Degree is a wise decision.
  1. Take the Lead in Product Development: Marketing managers who go out of their way to suggest new product opportunities to the management in conjunction with the development department quickly identify themselves as company assets. At this point of time brands are recognizing and compensating creative genius more frequently and lavishly than traditional use of processes. Capitalize on this shift.
  1. Become an Armchair Psychologist & a Storyteller: Neuromarketing is more than just a buzzword. It is what marketers of the future will rely on to ensure success for their promotions. As a marketing manager it is essential for you to stay abreast of latest persuasion tactics and breakthroughs in neuromarketing. Resources like Hooked by Nir Eyal and Contagious by Jonah Berger are good starting points. You must add to this mix the ability to craft compelling stories because they can carry your marketing message as a “Trojan Horse” better than any other tactic. You boost the ability to create campaigns that resonate and go viral with these tools in your kit.


The role of a marketing manager is evolving as the definition of marketing changes. But the fact that it is one of the most creatively satisfying and well paid jobs that a professional can take on is likely to remain unchallenged.

A reasonably tech savvy and dedicated marketing manager can earn a very comfortable salary.

Are you game?

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Featured Image Attribution: “Businessman Standing On A Flying Money” by Sira Anamwong