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Bridging the Gap from Entry-Level Marketing to Management

Bridging the Gap from Entry-Level Marketing to Management

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Success in the marketing industry often comes down to an aptitude for exploiting ongoing technological advances, and gritty resourcefulness in the face of unexpected economic challenges. 

Effectively leveraging these external elements necessitates the presence of a specialised marketing manager who can grasp the level, timing and composition of customer demand and respond with an efficient, business objective-aligned marketing strategy to drive sales and increase brand loyalty. 

What is a marketing manager?
In contrast to marketers in other positions, marketing managers are expected to engage in broader activities of thought leadership and creative idea generation. Simply put, the overall brand communication strategy and innovation originates with them. 

Management roles in the marketing industry encompass everything from Marketing Directors to department heads, such as Head of Digital Strategy. These positions are reserved for individuals who:

- have mastered business and marketing goal setting and strategy; 
- are driven to utilise the benefits of cutting-edge technology; 
- have a strong understanding of relevant financial concerns, and;
- have exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) expects high levels of competition in this field, given its significant projected growth  through 2016.

What does it take to reach the top?
So, how do you make the jump from lackey to master? A good start is in developing your critical thinking skills, specifically to enhance your understanding of how to link business goals to marketing actions. Employing incisive critical thinking and business savvy to manage projects from strategy through to implementation will play an important part in your career advancement.

As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, it becomes increasingly important to develop your technical know-how. While the daily maintenance of technical channels and platforms (such as web development or SEO) will fall to in-house or outsourced tech experts, it is imperative that the marketing manager understands what the consumer wants and which tools will best satisfy those needs. 

Managers wear many different hats 
To occupy any management position in this industry, you need a holistic understanding of general marketing principles and best practices. From trade shows to Twitter feeds, there is a broad range of interconnected systems that will require ongoing monitoring and managing to ensure the successful implementation of your overall marketing strategy. 

It is essential for aspiring marketing managers and department heads to expand their knowledge of marketing goods, services and ideas across the industrial, commercial and public sectors of the local and global economy. Accelerating your progress to a management position demands a thorough understanding of complex business practices that impact upon the marketing function, as well as how to leverage marketing tactics to feed organisational goals.

Advancing to a management role in the marketing industry requires dedication to ongoing learning and development. If your marketing skills are sharp and you’re ready to cross the bridge between entry-level to management, you might want to give yourself the edge with a broader business-minded marketing qualification. 

Download the information pack for the prestigious UCT Postgraduate Diploma in Management in Marketing, here.

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