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Advertising and Marketing Managers

The Job

Advertising and marketing managers formulate policies and administer the advertising and marketing firm's operations. Managers may oversee the operations of an entire company, a geographical territory of a company's operations, or a specific department. Managers direct a company's or a department's daily activities within the context of the organization's overall plan. They implement organizational policies and goals. This may involve developing sales or promotional materials, analyzing the department's budgetary requirements, and hiring, training, and supervising staff. Advertising and marketing managers are often responsible for long-range planning for their company or department. This involves setting goals for the organization and developing a workable plan for meeting those goals.

Advertising and marketing managers work to coordinate their department's activities with other departments. If the firm is privately owned, the owner may be the manager. In a large corporation, however, there will be a management structure above the advertising and marketing manager.

In companies that have several different locations, advertising and marketing managers may be assigned to oversee specific geographic areas. For example, a large ad firm with facilities all across the nation is likely to have a number of managers in charge of various territories. There might be a Midwest manager, a Southwest manager, a Southeast manager, a Northeast manager, and a Northwest manager. These managers are often called regional or area managers. Some advertising and marketing firms break their management territories up into even smaller sections, such as a single state or a part of a state. Managers overseeing these smaller segments are often called district managers and typically report directly to an area or regional manager.

Advertising managers are responsible for coordinating the work of many other employees. Creative directors oversee staff such as the copy chief and art director, who are responsible for the contents of ads. Media directors oversee the work of staff who purchase advertising time or space in various media, such as television, radio, the Internet, or magazines. Another type of advertising manager is the account manager, who represents the agency to its clients.

Managers working at large advertising agencies usually handle a variety of accounts, while those working at smaller agencies usually only handle certain types of clients. For example, smaller firms may handle only financial accounts, hotels, book publishers, or industrial clients. Some managers work for agencies that are known for promoting package goods. Others work in retail and department store promotion.

In contrast, marketing managers work with their staff and other advertising professionals to determine how ads should look, where they should be placed, and when the advertising should begin. Managers must keep staff focused on a target audience when working on the promotion of a particular product or service. Managers must also carefully time the release of an ad. For example, launching an advertising campaign too early may create interest well before the product is available. In such cases, by the time the product is released, the public may no longer be interested.

The marketing manager must also oversee his or her department in developing a distribution plan for products. If a product is expected to sell well to a certain group, for example, then marketing professionals must decide how to deliver to members of that group based on when and where they shop.

Once markets are evaluated and merchandise is designed, the actual production begins. The job of the manager is not yet done, however. Along with the public relations department, marketing managers contact members of the press with the aim of getting product information out to the public.

Because research studies show how a product looks on the shelf can often affect sales, managers work with designers to explore new color combinations, more appealing shapes, interesting patterns, and new materials.

Marketing managers use a scientific and statistical approach in answering a client's questions about selling a product to the public. The advertising aspect of a marketing campaign must get attention, arouse interest, secure belief, create desire, and stir action. Beauty, comfort, convenience, and quality are the promises that sell all kinds of products, from consumables to cars.

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