Learn About Being a Marketing Director

Updated January 26, 2023

What does a marketing director do?

A marketing director develops a brand’s strategy, creates campaigns to improve brand awareness and helps increase sales. Marketing directors lead marketing teams, guiding them to complete projects and meet marketing objectives. A marketing director has the following responsibilities:

  • Identify customer trends and adjust marketing plans

  • Lead marketing teams to complete projects

  • Meet with marketing partners and vendors to fill in gaps

  • Allocate marketing budget across digital, print and media platforms

  • Coordinate with operations and sales to meet company goals

Average salary

The expected average salary for a marketing director will vary, depending on the director’s responsibilities and the size of the company. In some organizations, marketing directors are considered the head of the marketing department. In larger organizations, there may also be a vice president of marketing.

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link. A marketing director can expect the following salary range:

  • Common salary in the U.S.: $92,798 per year

  • Some salaries range between $39,552 to $175,328 per year.

Marketing director requirements

Marketing directors must complete significant education and training before leading a marketing team. Some aspiring directors will also earn certifications to become a more complete candidate.


A bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement to become a marketing director. Many directors earn a degree in marketing, but other relevant fields include marketing research, information technology and advertising. Some marketing professionals may pursue a master’s degree in business administration or marketing.


Marketing directors need experience in many areas, including sales, marketing, computer programs and budgeting. Some directors will come from similar advertising roles like a purchasing agent or a marketing coordinator. Marketing directors will often undertake their own on-the-job training, as tasks and responsibilities can vary from day to day.


Although certifications are not usually a requirement for a marketing director, they can help you stand out when applying for roles. Certifications you can earn include:

Professional Certified Marketer (PCM)

This certification is available through the American Marketing Association and shows your expertise as a marketer. The PCM certification allows you to choose from different tracks, including digital marketing, sales management, content marketing and marketing management. Each certification requires that you successfully pass a 100-question exam. To maintain the certification, you will need 10 continuing education credits every three years.

HubSpot’s Inbound Certification

The HubSpot inbound certification may be beneficial to digital marketing professionals. It requires you to complete several online lessons and successfully pass an assessment.

Google Analytics and AdWords

The Google Analytics and AdWords certifications teach you digital marketing skills that will assist with placing Google search ads. You can earn a certification in each by completing the online assessment for each exam. Each certification is good for one year, after which you must complete the exam again.

Project Management Certification (PMP)

The PMP certification can help you show strong project management skills. First, you must qualify to sit for the exam through a combination of education, experience and specific project management classes. Then, you must successfully pass a rigorous exam before applying for your certification. You will need to reapply for your certification every three years.


Marketing directors will use a wide variety of skills. Leadership and the ability to work in a team are important for managing a marketing department. Project management skills are also beneficial, as marketing directors are often in charge of multiple projects at once. Marketing directors require the following skills:

  • Advertising: Advertising skills are crucial in the marketing director role. Aspiring marketing directors should look to refine their knowledge of the advertising industry in their education and entry-level positions.

  • Creativity: Marketing directors must be creative and routinely come up with new ideas that grab the attention of customers. Those campaigns may then need new ideas after launch to keep them relevant.

  • Analytical: The marketing director’s role is also analytical. A director may be in charge of allocating a budget, analyzing costs and comparing year-over-year sales trends.

  • Teamwork: It often takes the entire marketing department to complete projects. Strong teamwork skills are needed in every marketing role, but especially the director. Additionally, the marketing director will need to work on larger teams and collaborate with directors in other departments to coordinate efforts.

  • Problem-solving: Much of the marketing role involves solving problems. Whether the problem is declining sales, a lack of brand awareness or limited growth, it is the role of the marketing director to identify problems and implement strategies to solve them.

  • Communication: Strong communication skills will help the marketing director understand company goals while translating them to the marketing team. Directors work with employees at all levels, so strong verbal, nonverbal and written skills are a requirement.

Marketing director work environment

The typical workday for a marketing director will vary. Much of a director’s time is spent in an office environment but one day may be spent analyzing the marketing budget, while another is spent coming up with new marketing strategies. Marketing directors will also spend significant time in meetings. Meetings with executive team members, other department directors and the marketing department are crucial in meeting the goals of the company. Some directors may also be involved in overseeing vendors, including creative agencies, public relations specialists and media buyers, which could require some travel.

How to become a marketing director

To become a marketing director, you will need to complete significant education and training. You can become a marketing director with the following steps:

1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree.

The first step toward becoming a marketing director is to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field. During your education, it’s useful to take coursework that will help you as a marketer, like sales, statistics and advertising.

2. Gain experience in an internship.

It’s useful to develop important marketing skills early through an internship. Some marketing programs even require the completion of one. Even if it is optional, it is a valuable step toward becoming a marketing director.

3. Find an entry-level position in marketing.

An entry-level marketing position will help you strengthen important skills, while also gaining the experience you need to pursue a marketing director role. Use this position to learn the latest marketing trends and to become familiar with your industry.

4. Show your marketing skills.

Begin showing your knowledge of the advertising industry, your capacity to think creatively and your leadership style in your current marketing role. This will show hiring managers that you are ready to accept more responsibility.

5. Apply for a marketing manager role.

A marketing manager has more responsibility than a marketing coordinator which is a positive step towards a director position. Use this position to show management and leadership skills. Sit in on meetings with the marketing director and look to accept more responsibilities.

16. Apply for marketing director roles.

Once you have completed the education requirements and established yourself as an experienced marketer, you are ready to apply for director roles. Draft your cover letter and resume in a way that highlights your most important marketing skills. 

Marketing director job description example

We are looking to fill the role of marketing director for our restaurant company. The ideal candidate will have previous experience in the restaurant role and be familiar with fast-casual trends and sales. The marketing director will oversee the marketing team and complete quarterly objectives. The marketing manager will work directly with the vice president of marketing. Experience with digital marketing and management of outside vendors is preferred. A bachelor’s degree and previous experience in a marketing manager role are required for this position.

Related careers

  • Advertising manager 

  • Finance manager

  • Marketing manager

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