Companies wouldn't know how to adapt products that meet consumers' preferences without marketing managers. They have many duties and responsibilities, including managing and overseeing product, pricing and distribution strategies, and participating in trade shows and public relations activities. If you are both analytical and creative and can make sound business decisions, you have some of the necessary skills to perform the duties of a marketing manager.
Marketing managers identify potential markets for their companies. In this field, you accomplish this by determining which customers are most likely to use your products and services. These customer clusters are known as target markets and are best identified through demographics -- genders, incomes and education levels -- and specific behaviors, according to the Association of Fundraising professionals. After you identify your target audience, you decide whether to sell your products on a regional or national basis, and help determine the advertising media that will best reach these consumers.
A marketing manager oversees new product introductions, especially when a company doesn't have designated product managers. During this process, you might coordinate focus groups through the marketing research department. Focus groups are in-depth interviews with consumers through moderators, or interviewers. You introduce the concept of the product -- features, uses and price range -- through the moderator and determine how well consumers like it. Company managers usually observe consumers' responses behind one-way mirrors. If consumers indicate interest in the product in focus groups, you might conduct national surveys to better quantify how likely people are to buy the product. Subsequently, you introduce the product to the market.
Pricing strategy development is another marketing manager responsibility. During this process, you start by studying prices competitors charge for like products or services. You might then conduct surveys to determine price elasticity among consumers. Price elasticity studies determine how sensitive consumers are to price changes. For example, people might not be as sensitive to prices when new technologies, such as cell phones or computer software, are introduced to the market. Marketing managers also determine prices by calculating raw material and production costs, and then adding the percent markups they desire. In this role, you might also price products relatively low to gain market share, or use higher prices to quickly recover production costs.
Some marketing managers are responsible for supervising employees, such as assistant marketing managers, marketing coordinators or clerical workers. As a marketing manager, you hire and train these professionals and conduct their annual performance reviews. You are also responsible for assigning them various marketing projects or tasks, and ensuring they meet important deadlines.
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