Think you have what it takes to become a marketing manager?
Tough news: so do thousands of other people.
If you want to land a top marketing position at the company of your dreams, you need to be willing to work for it. You also need to start working on developing your professional skill set -- as well as your personal brand.
Ready to learn what it takes to succeed in marketing?
If so, then keep on reading.
In addition to letting you know how to set yourself apart from the competition, we'll also tell you where you can connect with incredible opportunities within the marketing field.
1. Study Your Target Market
This is, far and away, the most important skill to master if you want to become a successful marketing manager.
Especially in today's hyper-competitive world, where new startups are cropping up every second, it's no longer enough to quickly check your visitor data or randomly scroll through your brand's social media feed.
Instead, you need to get to know your customers on a deeper level.
This includes knowing their exact demographic, their income levels, and even when special occasions in their lives are coming up. You should also know their pain points, what sort of ads/marketing tactics they respond to, and where they're the most likely to spend time online.
You can then segment your market into different, ultra-specific niches. For example, even if they're both interested in your products, an 80-year-old grandmother and a young 19-year-old college student likely won't purchase the same things.
They also won't respond to ads in the same way.
To get to know your market on the deepest possible level, go beyond classic data mining.
Encourage -- and incentivize -- your market to complete customer surveys, take part in polls on your social media accounts, and even work within customer support and service to get to know exactly what they expect from a brand.
2. Find the Right Mentor
If you really want to know how to become a marketing director?
Take advice from someone who has already done it.
Especially if you're taking a college or continuing education course in marketing, you need to start creating your network as soon as possible.
When you build your network, actively look for people who have different strengths than your own. Ensure that you connect with professionals who have experience in the specific industry or marketing niche you want to work within.
Also, look for mentors who work in both the digital and the print marketing world. Subscribe to popular marketing blogs, read books on the state of advertising, and never hesitate to add your voice to the conversation.
Finally, if you can, ask if you can intern or shadow them a couple of days a week. Not only will you have the chance to see how things work in the marketing world, you'll also have an excellent addition to your resume.
3. Develop Your Own Brand
The truth is that, while many people may have what it takes to learn how to become a marketing director, far fewer have what it takes to actually succeed at the job.
So, what separates the wheat from the chaff?
In a single word: branding.
The ability to brand yourself is the ideal way to prove to your market that you have what it takes to disrupt the advertising industry, and that you have the type of magnetic personality and work ethic that people from all walks of life gravitate towards.
Think about why you wanted to get into marketing in the first place. Think about how others would describe you in the personal and professional sense.
Of course, when creating your brand, play to your strengths and think about what differentiates you from your competitors. Aim to tell a story with your personal brand, to create an emotional connection between you and your market.
Finally, to build your brand, start blogging and get active on social media. If you can, contribute articles to popular industry sites. Consider starting a podcast to get your voice out there, or even write your own marketing e-guides.
In addition to helping more people to learn your name, you could also score a little extra income!
4. Study the Different Types of Marketing
The final thing that you need to focus on when you're learning how to succeed in marketing?
Study all of the different types of marketing, and make sure that you can quickly and simply explain them to others. Also, work to understand which kinds of marketing fit best with specific customer bases and company cultures.
For example, there's referral marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and even affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing, in particular, is the perfect way for up-and-coming brands to build their reputations while also earning money to fund larger future ad campaigns. Be sure to read more about the power of affiliate marketing.
Are You Ready to Become a Marketing Manager?
We hope that this post has helped you to better understand the four main skills that you'll need to master in order to become a marketing manager who makes waves.
Remember to focus on studying your target market and your competitors, familiarizing yourself with the various types of marketing, and to find a mentor who can help you to grow.
Maybe you've already done all of this -- and now, you're looking for the right marketing director position for you.
We want to help you find it.
Spend some time on our job board to connect with the top opportunities in the marketing industry.
Still working on growing your skill set? Check out our blog for more tips on how to become a marketing master.