What Do Marketing Directors Do?

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Updated September 13, 2018
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Marketing Directors Do? Duties

What Do Marketing Directors Do?


Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

Marketing is arguably the most important department in any organization because it dictates not only the reputation but also the sales of the company and every business lives and dies by its revenue. While departments can differ depending on the industry in which the company operates, as well as the size of the business, typically the marketing director is at the top level of middle management.

What is a Marketing Director?

A marketing director is often responsible for the day-to-day actions of the marketing department in a business. While they may report to a VP of marketing or a CMO, these roles are in executive management and focus on higher level issues while the marketing director is still heavily involved with the marketing itself.

The marketing director is usually the head of middle management and therefore will have overwhelming control over the marketing department, but might not dictate the overall strategy. Instead, the strategy might be decided at the executive or even board of directors level and then honed and implemented by the marketing director and their department.

Marketing directors can either work in-house for the company or as a marketing director for an agency in which case they will perform the same role but for multiple companies. Typically, they will work in-house, except in the case of startup or smaller businesses which might need to hire an agency rather than invest in hiring a full-time employee.

The Role of a Marketing Director

The role will involve looking at trends and changes at the industry level so that they can constantly reevaluate their strategy and tactics to maximize their benefit while reducing costs. They will also be looking at the data which is presented to them in meeting by those that report to them and help to make important decisions about the implementation of marketing strategy.

While a marketing director is unlikely to be working with data and reports in the way that they did as a junior employee, they’ll still need to be aware of the most important figures and their company SEO and PPC. Instead, they will be looking at a higher level at their target audience and what the competition is doing so that they can appropriately adjust their work.

A huge part of a marketing directors role will be to meet with junior employees, approve their decisions and help to set important prices for the products or services that the business sells. By utilizing the information that they are given by the employees which report to them, they’ll be able to use their experience to guide their team to improve the department performance.

Who Does a Marketing Director Meet With?

The hierarchy and structure of an organization will have a significant impact on the job of a marketing director. In most companies, a director is similar to a junior VP, while in others they may report to a junior VP or even to a CMO. Regardless of the structure, a marketing director will always report to another marketing employee above them because a director is usually the final line of middle management.

On the other end, they will be in control of the day-to-day operation of the entire department, and therefore they will often meet with a large number of employees. While the bulk of their meetings will be with other upper middle management employees who will give them the information that they need and help them to make decisions, they might also meet with lower level workers.

It’s not uncommon for marketing directors to make a conscious effort to be still involved with the nitty gritty details of the marketing tactics by communicating with lower level employees. This communication might occur when reviewing the web design, advertising documents, pricing information, and even deciding on website inspiration templates to start from.

What Do Marketing Directors Do?

Each marketing director will have quite a significant amount of control over which tasks they choose to do each day depending on what they excel at, what the company needs and the industry they work in. Therefore, it’s hard to answers the question what do marketing directors do, but some of the most common tasks will include:

  • Meeting with junior employees to review reports
  • Meeting to review packaging, advertising, and important graphics changes.
  • Deciding on pricing for products and services
  • Analyzing industry trends
  • Keeping track of competitor marketing
  • Reporting to upper-level management
  • Giving input to upper-level management on marketing related issues
  • Reviewing documents and figures
  • Setting targets
  • Helping your team to thrive

As you can see, a large amount of marketing director’s day will revolve around meetings and the decisions that will come from them. While there is some time spent individually reviewing documents, deciding on strategy and setting targets, a director is there to lead a team and ensure that they succeed.

Marketing Directors Need to Be Leaders

Becoming a skillful marketing director is often difficult for many employees because it’s often the first job that involves more leadership and less marketing. While you need to have a thorough and complex understanding of marketing, you’re not working in the ‘trenches’ day-in and day-out. Instead, you’re there to help your team to thrive.

Part of this responsibility will mean learning to step away from the marketing work and embracing management and leadership responsibilities. On an average day, this will mean making decisions and asking the right types of questions so that your team heads in the right direction and creates the best work, rather than doing the work yourself. This change can be challenging, but it’s vital if you wish to succeed and to move into upper-level management in the future.

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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

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