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Director of Marketing

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What Is a Director of Marketing? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

A director of marketing helps plan and guide internal and external marketing activities for a business. They create overarching strategies that inform the work of marketing managers and their teams. Here’s what to know about a director of marketing’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.


What Is a Director of Marketing?

A director of marketing is in charge of developing a company’s marketing strategies. They focus on the big picture, aligning marketing personnel with broader marketing and business goals. 


What Do Directors of Marketing Do?

A director of marketing guides the activities of marketing teams with marketing plans, strategies, goals and budgets. They also determine the approach of marketing campaigns and initiatives by identifying target markets and audiences.

Director of Marketing Responsibilities 

Director of Marketing Within a Company

Marketing directors are senior-level professionals within the marketing department. They design and articulate marketing strategies to marketing managers, who help enforce these strategies among marketing teams. Depending on the company, directors of marketing may report to the VP of marketing or the chief marketing officer.  

Importance of Directors of Marketing

Directors of marketing are responsible for deciding on the direction that marketing departments take for campaigns, projects and other initiatives. Without this leadership position, marketing teams would lack the clarity needed to produce consistent branding and messaging across marketing activities. Because marketing directors are concerned with increasing revenue through marketing strategies, they can affect an organization’s profitability as well.

A realistic day in the life of a digital marketing manager. | Video: Andrew Ethan Zeng


What Skills Are Needed to Be a Director of Marketing?

Qualifications to Be a Director of Marketing

  • Extensive background in marketing, branding and sales. 
  • Experience working in a marketing management position. 
  • Proven success managing budgets and achieving business objectives. 
  • Skilled at researching markets, trends, competitors and target audiences.

Director of Marketing Prerequisites

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, English or a related field. 
  • Master’s degree in marketing or a related field (not required, but highly recommended). 
  • Seven to 10 years of relevant work experience. 
  • At least two to three years of management experience. 
  • Relevant marketing certifications (not required, but helpful for standing out among other candidates).

Director of Marketing Hard Skills

  • Experience creating marketing strategies, plans, campaigns and other marketing initiatives. 
  • Knowledge of how to develop a consistent brand voice and style.
  • Ability to conduct market research, competitive analyses and research on potential target audiences. 
  • Understanding of how marketing strategies relate to business and sales goals. 
  • Expertise in project management and ensuring teams meet timeline and budget objectives.

Director of Marketing Soft Skills

  • Strong management and leadership skills.
  • Ability to pivot between project details and big-picture goals. 
  • Mastery of critical and creative thinking. 
  • Collaborative mentality and openness to work with different parties. 
  • Analytical mindset well-versed in quickly spotting trends.

Tools and Programs Directors of Marketing Use

  • Project management platforms like monday.com, Asana and ClickUp. 
  • Data management tools like Airtable, Excel and Google Sheets. 
  • Communication tools like Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams. 
  • Content management systems like HubSpot, WordPress and Drupal. 
  • Market research tools like Google Trends, Answer the Public and Statista.
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How to Become a Director of Marketing 

Director of Marketing Education and Experience

Marketing directors often complete a bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, English or a related field. Some may go on to earn their master’s in business administration with a marketing focus. Aspiring marketing directors should expect to work seven to 10 years in the marketing field before landing the role. Newcomers typically start out in entry-level roles like marketing coordinator or copywriter before working their way up to marketing manager, brand manager and other managerial roles.

Director of Marketing Certificates and Courses

Director of Marketing Career Path

The path to director of marketing often starts in entry-level marketing roles, like marketing coordinator or marketing specialist, and advances to marketing management positions. Directors of marketing who want even greater leadership opportunities may go on to pursue a VP of marketing or chief marketing officer position.


Director of Marketing Salary and Job Outlook

Marketing directors are likely to benefit from the demand for marketing leaders. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, advertising, promotions and marketing managers will see their numbers rise by 10 percent between 2021 and 2031. 

The full compensation package for a director of marketing depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average director of marketing salary.


Expand Your Director of Marketing Career Opportunities

Enrich your marketing background with newfound abilities by completing Udemy’s online courses.


Three reasons to take this course:

  1. You get lifetime access to lectures, including new lectures every month (content is added/updated constantly).

  2. You can …


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