What skills does a Marketing Manager need?

These are the skills needed by a marketing manager (note that they are different from the skills needed by a solo marketer):

  • Skill development
  • Selection/ deselection of talent with those same skills
  • Buyer’s perspective
  • Selling process
  • Planning and measurement

I googled “skills of a Marketing Manager” and found excellent sites, four in fact, that I’m going to share with you now. Let me give you the summary of what I learned from those four sites, and then explain why all four of them got it wrong.

University of Florida argues there are 5:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Project Management
  • Analytical Skills
  • Holistic Approach
  • Technical Skills

SAS, referencing another blog from Sybase, give us 9:

  • Sales
  • Social Media
  • Journalism / Storytelling
  • Process Design
  • Data / Analytics
  • Domain Expertise
  • Collaboration AND exceptional communication
  • Creativity / Innovation
  • Leadership

The UK National Careers Service suggests:

  • Leadership and motivational
  • Creativity to come up with marketing campaigns
  • Excellent communication
  • Budgeting

Monster.co.uk gave us:

  • Interpersonal communication.
  • Good writing ability
  • Analytical knowledge
  • Creativity and expression
  • Influencing and negotiation skills
  • Team playing
  • Computer skills
  • Commercial nous
  • Ambition to succeed

Manager or Marketer?

So here’s the problem: we use the term ‘Marketing Manager’ really loosely. Often we mean “marketer,” individual, single marketer, working on their own with a bunch of salespeople or a bunch of engineers, sort of doesn’t matter, and we call them “Marketing Manager,” because it makes them feel good about their job. I get that, we want everybody to feel good about their job.

But for this blog, I wanted to give you what the skills of a Marketing Manager are, that is, a person who manages a team of marketers. All of those skills are great for the individual contributor. Let me show you the skills that I think a Marketing Manager needs.

The 5 key skills of a Marketing Manager

  • Skill development. Those same skills, frankly, that we just went through, but also the ability to develop those skills in an individual, and then
  • Selection and deselection of those skills. Get great at interviewing talent to work out if they have those skills, or deselecting team members who just aren’t going to get up with those skills.
  • A buyer’s perspective, because everything you direct needs to be shaped around the buyer.
  • The selling process, because we’re in B2B, and alignment with sales is key, and lastly
  • Planning and measurement

They are the five skills that a Marketing Manager needs. Different from the skills that an individual marketer needs.

Final thoughts

So, a Marketing Manager needs to lead the building of the sales and marketing plans.They need to lead it, but they need to do it with sales and marketing. So, collaboration I guess is another skill, but there’s many others I could mention, I’ve given you the five key ones.

So the Marketing Manager needs to be great at, building the plans and then recruiting, skilling, measuring the team and the outside agencies against the necessary skills to prosecute that plan. Clearly a different set of skills.

Share and Subscribe

Now, the plan. If you don’t already have a funnel plan, go get a free one. If you’ve got a funnel plan, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. You’re going to capture the strategy, the objectives, the velocity, and the tactics in your plan.

Now, if you don’t have one, get one from here. Go to funnelplan.com and get yourself a free funnel plan. There are great features in the paid version, but start with a free one. Go to funnelplan.com, get yourself a free funnel plan. Then build a plan to recruit, skill, and measure your marketing team with the skills needed to execute that plan.


Lots more lined up for next week. Until then, may your funnel be full, and always flowing.

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