What's the Difference Between a Marketing Manager and a Marketing Director?

by E.M. Rawes; Updated September 26, 2017
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A job description for a manager often includes such duties as planning, coordinating and directing activities within a specific industry or a specific department. For this reason, many people think marketing managers and marketing directors have the same job responsibilities. In reality, marketing managers and directors have entirely different jobs and associated responsibilities.

Marketing Manager

The marketing manager usually manages both the advertising and marketing departments, as many corporations often combine the two into one function. The marketing manager leads a team of staff responsible for developing plans and strategies for successful product launch and market penetration. In corporations that hire outside marketing and advertising agencies to launch and strategize, the marketing manager hires the agency and oversees its progress. The marketing manager also makes budget decisions and has a rapport with the sales department. He must have at least a bachelor's degree in marketing or a related field. His marketing and advertising expertise, combined with his education and experience, allows him to work his way up to the marketing manager position, according to StateUniversity.com.

Marketing Director

The marketing director determines and maintains a company's marketing strategy. The marketing director focuses on market segments; which are groups of consumers placed into categories by location, age, or other common characteristics. She works to figure out which segment is best suited for her company's product, based on where the product will sell the most for the longest period of time. The duties of the marketing director vary, depending on the size and policy of the company. For some directors, their duties stop at segmenting and determining the best potential market. Other directors also conduct additional research, and work to implement the launch of a product in the particular choice segment. In either instance, sales managers report to the marketing director so she can keep track of the company's sales figures. With those sales figures, she decides if the strategy is successful. She must have a master's degree in business or a related field and must climb the corporate ladder to obtain her position, according to StateUniversity.com.

Differences Associated with Duties and Responsibility

The marketing manager focuses on few projects at a time. He works on the launch and strategy of only those products during a given time period. The marketing director, however, focuses on the marketing strategy for the entire company, all the time. This is the major difference between the two jobs; the director works on a larger scale. Also, the manager has interaction with the sales department, but only to ensure the two departments — marketing and sales — are on the same page. Sales managers report to the director, and the marketing director works with sales figures. The director also has more control, a larger scope and more decision-making power.

Other Differences

The marketing manager must have at least a bachelor's degree. A master's degree is generally required for a marketing director. As of 2011, a marketing manager's median salary is around $73,000 per year, according to StateUniversity.com. A marketing director's median salary is upwards of $130,000 per year.

About the Author

E.M. Rawes is a professional writer specializing in business, finance, mathematical and social sciences topics. She completed her studies at the University of Maryland, where she earned her Bachelor of Science. During her time working in workforce management and as a financial analyst, she reinforced her business and financial know-how.

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