Top Must-Have Marketing Manager Skills You Shouldn't Miss in 2024

Must-Have Marketing Manager Skills

Marketing managers wear many hats, and their responsibilities range from research to budget and design, and much more. Because their roles cover different areas of marketing expertise, a marketing manager should have a diverse set of essential marketing skills to fulfill their responsibilities.

In this article, we’ll explore eight different marketing skills for marketing managers. We’ll also include advice on improving those essential skills in addition to successfully navigating the job search to become a marketing professional.

Table of Contents

Who Are Marketing Managers, and What Do They Do?


Marketing managers collaborate with cross-functional teams, especially their marketing teams, to successfully market a product, service, brand identity, or consistent brand representation with their effective marketing strategies. Their role starts with thorough market research to identify gaps and better understand the interests of their audience. A marketing manager will create specific marketing campaigns and budgets using informed decisions to successfully market their product or service, and they’ll help design marketing material for a range of platforms, like social media, email, and print. They may also manage constructive feedback after the launch of a product or service from customers and adapt their marketing efforts to incorporate user responses.

What skills do you need to be a marketing manager? Some of the strengths we’ll cover in this article include interpersonal skills like leadership and communication, in addition to soft skills like critical thinking and creativity. We’ll also discuss some of the hard skills you need, like technical proficiency like Google analytics and data analytics, in-depth knowledge of digital marketing strategies like content marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, and social media marketing, and how to enhance brand visibility.

The landscape of the marketing profession is dynamic and vast, so a diverse combination of hard and soft skills will better contribute to your success as a manager. Every marketing manager has their strengths and unique composition of skills and experience.

📚Further reading: Discover 9 Marketing Career Paths [+ Skills Needed & Salary Ranges]

Leadership Skills for Marketing Managers

A marketing manager’s role is part of a much larger team of product developers, content marketers, creators, and more. Marketing managers spearhead their marketing campaigns and are responsible for bringing together everyone’s unique skills to achieve business objectives. It’s essential for a marketing manager to be a good leader, to successfully guide their coworkers toward a shared vision to maximize their marketing campaigns.

Some of the core leadership skills needed for good marketing management include abilities like empathy and active listening, which contribute to a healthy and positive work environment. Good decision-making and problem-solving are important leadership skills since a marketing team relies on the guidance of their leaders at every step. Good leaders should also be able to delegate effectively to get things done.

Apart from good customer relationship management, a good marketing manager is also skilled in conflict resolution, an important ability to address disagreements while making people feel seen and heard. Another team management skill is coaching, which involves understanding a person’s unique contributions and helping them improve and meet their goals.

There are many digital marketing tools to make team management easier. Some of the tools, like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, allow for video conferencing and hassle-free communication within the marketing team. Project management tools like or Jira can help you track progress and make task assignments. There are also plenty of file-sharing tools to help you collaborate with cross-functional teams, like DropBox or OneDrive. 

Interpersonal Communication Skills for Marketing Managers

Marketing managers collaborate with many people, not only within their marketing teams, and effective communication skills are one of the many soft skills that make a good marketing manager. In marketing, it’s also important to effectively communicate your brand strategy or the details of your product, reaching your target audiences with clear and succinct language and imagery.

Some communication skills needed for a marketing manager are verbal and include articulation, active listening, and tone. A successful marketing manager should be able to convey their thoughts but also listen well to others – their employees will provide key insights and important ideas. Written communication is another important interpersonal skill. Emails and messages should be succinct, brief, and clear, to avoid confusion. Finally, there is non-verbal communication, an often-overlooked marketing manager skill. If you’re leading a team, your non-verbal communication - like posture or expressions- should convey confidence and openness, so others trust your vision.

Creative Skills for Marketing Managers

Creativity and innovation are important for designing engaging marketing content. Marketers also use creativity when brainstorming unique marketing strategies to address market gaps and reach a target audience.

Creativity is an essential marketing manager skill for a few reasons. Marketing managers need to collaborate with content creators and graphic designers, and their content should be engaging, interesting, and fresh. This naturally requires some outside-the-box thinking and unique execution. Creativity is also essential for problem solving, when marketing plans run into unforeseen issues that require creative troubleshooting and innovative solutions.

Creative thinking supports marketers by helping them anticipate industry trends and lead new trends. Creative marketing managers can quickly adapt to change and even identify new opportunities by thinking out of the box. They effectively leverage various marketing channels and marketing techniques to maintain their competitive edge in the industry.

Strategic Thinking Skills for Marketing Managers

The marketing landscape is constantly changing, and digital marketing on social media platforms evolves at such a fast pace. A successful marketing manager should be able to make careful plans by understanding the needs of the market and anticipating changes and trends. They must excel at executing great and effective data-driven marketing strategies.

Consider the launch of a new product. A marketing manager who is a good strategic thinker will do market research and study their competition. They’ll also imagine different approaches to marketing their unique product. A strategic thinker will develop a detailed marketing plan with multiple stages, and consider how to incorporate customer feedback before executing marketing strategies. This approach is part of a broader brand strategy that ensures successful marketing strategies. In contrast, a marketing manager who lacks strategic thinking might launch their product without detailed market research or a thorough marketing plan.

Tech-savvy Skills for Marketing Managers

Marketing managers should have some technical marketing skills, as the marketing landscape is increasingly digital. Team management software can have a steep learning curve if you lack computer literacy, and content marketing requires some knowledge of design technology. Not to mention, a marketing plan will likely include digital marketing like email and social media campaigns, which requires a knowledge of different platforms.

Some of the key skills for marketing managers include data analysis, graphic design, content creation, and content management, but there are many more.

There are numerous data analytics tools for marketing managers, and the software you choose to master depends on your unique goals. Customer support software like HubSpot and LiveChat will help you connect with clients in real-time. Social media management software like Hootsuite will help you organize your posts. SEO tools like Google Analytics will help you plan effective content. Video and graphic design software like Adobe and Canva are great for curating unique content.

For bachelor's degree students or fresh graduates, we recommend finding a marketing internship to up-skill your marketing knowledge, but for those of you who are seasoned marketers looking to improve your marketing skills, we recommend sites like Skillshare, Udemy, and Coursera where thousands of technical skills courses are available. If you’re looking for less commitment and cost, YouTube has millions of free videos from content creators who have mastered their technical skills.

📚Further reading: 50 Powerful Marketing Tools for Business Scaling [+ Tips]

Organizational Skills for Marketing Managers

Any good manager will be highly organized. Organizational skills are used to plan and achieve goals and responsibilities. This family of skills includes time management, multitasking, and goal setting. Organization is an important skill for marketing managers who juggle many tasks and teams, and staying organized will keep their marketing plan running smoothly.

These important skills contribute to task management by helping to prioritize tasks, breaking them down into smaller sub-tasks, and managing time and budget.

Organizational skills for marketing managers start with setting goals. It’s important to plan an appropriate goal and the steps you will take to achieve it. Some other key organizational skills include time and budget management, good prioritization, record-keeping, and delegation.  

Client-Centered Skills for Marketing Managers

A customer-centric approach involves making the customer and their experiences the center of your decisions and goals. Emphasizing consumer psychology helps understand the motivations behind customer behaviors, which is crucial for enhancing brand engagement and gathering consumer insights.

Customer care is an important marketing manager skill for a few reasons. Marketing managers should understand their prospective customers and their needs to become successful with their marketing campaigns. It’s also important to adjust your marketing approach by responding to customer feedback. Actionable insights gained from such feedback are vital for refining marketing strategies. A failure to center your approach around the client can negatively impact your brand image and sales.

There are many elements of customer care skills. Some of these overlap with interpersonal skills for marketing managers, like communication, empathy, and active listening. Others are basic customer service skills like friendliness, good humor, and good knowledge of your product or service. You may also need some tech skills, to solve problems and to manage online feedback like live chats, and social media comments, which are integral to effective public relations and understanding consumer behavior.

Adaptability and Flexibility Skills for Marketing Managers

Adaptability and flexibility are important skills for responding to change and altering your approach to succeed in changing environments. This set of skills is needed for a marketing manager because the world of marketing management moves and changes quickly. There are new market trends in social media marketing and digital marketing every day, and it’s important to adapt quickly to those changes without staying rigid in your digital marketing strategy.

Consider a market expansion plan. A flexible person will develop a strategy to increase their market reach but not be married to any specific execution. When problems arise, as they surely will, an adaptable person will examine what they could do differently, listen to feedback and criticism, and be open to making changes when things don’t go according to plan.

In contrast, a person who lacks adaptability and flexibility might stay committed to the original ideas of their digital marketing and ignore feedback. This approach could lead to them missing opportunities, staying ignorant of necessary changes, and sabotaging their own growth in the business world. This ability to pivot and respond is crucial to making informed decisions in marketing careers, where, instead of hard skills, soft skills like these can determine success or failure.

How to Improve Your Marketing Manager Skills?

It’s important to continue your learning journey when it comes to improving your marketing management skills. Marketing is a dynamic field that is constantly changing, and success in marketing comes from adjusting to change and learning new skills. 

There are a few different avenues to improve your marketing manager skills: 

Education resources

There are many courses and materials for marketing professionals looking to upskill in digital marketing. These can be online courses through sites like Udemy, or even online college courses. Books like ‘Building a Story Brand’ by Donald Miller also offer opportunities to enhance your skills in marketing careers, and there are plenty of free resources like the Marketing Land blog or the Hubspot YouTube channel. 

Networking and industry involvement

Networking is another way to improve your marketing manager skills. Look for events to attend or seek out other professionals to connect with online. There is much to learn about new trends and software from other professionals or industry events. This can significantly enhance your marketing career.

Improving the Job Hunt: Advice for Marketing Managers

It’s important to highlight the skills needed for a marketing manager on a resume or in an interview. Emphasizing specific marketing management skills will show the hiring manager that you have experience and relevant knowledge among your industry peers.

Here are three tips to highlight marketing management skills on your resume: 

Use consolidated numbers to highlight your achievements

Achievements should be specific, and quantifiable. For example, increased website visits by 25%.  

Mention common tools in your resume

Make sure you highlight your proficiency in some of the most common marketing manager tools, like software for team and project management, search engine optimization (SEO, social media, and content creation. 

Include your professional development

Make sure you list any courses you’ve attended or certifications you have. 

📚Further reading: How to Write a Marketing Manager Cover Letter (+ Examples)

Here are three tips to highlight marketing management skills in an interview:

Use the STAR method

When answering interview questions about your previous achievements, describe the setting, the task you were given, the action you took, and the result of your action. Being concise in this way will help you stay organized in an interview. 

Brush up on your knowledge before going to the interview

Review your tools, technical, soft, and hard skills, and previous experience in advance, so the information you provide in the interview is fresh and relevant. 

📚Further reading: Preparing for Your Next Digital Marketing Interview: Tips & Samples

Quantify your skills with specific results

Just like in your resume, quote specific, measurable results when you describe your previous experience in marketing.  

Key Takeaways

Marketing managers have a range of responsibilities and therefore need a variety of skills to achieve success. Some of the soft skills of marketing managers include creative and strategic thinking, in addition to interpersonal skills like leadership and communication. But equally important are technical marketing manager skills like data analysis, SEO, and content creation. 

If you fear you don’t have the right skills needed for a marketing manager, it’s never too late to learn something new and improve on your existing ability. Look for courses, material, and networking opportunities to help you improve your marketing manager skills. 

Follow CakeResume for more specific career advice and tips for interviews and resumes.

CakeResume is a free resume maker and portfolio builder that provides hundreds of resume templates (free download) and various job resume examples to help showcase the best you. Landing your dream job will be a piece of cake!

--- Originally Written by Tiffany Quinn ---

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