Marketing Director Job Role and Salary

View all blog posts under Articles | View all blog posts under Business Administration

An advanced degree like the Master of Business Administration (MBA) provides students the opportunity to build skills in several key corporate-focused areas. In addition to experience and knowledge that students gain during their foundational course curriculum, students can also further develop their education through available concentration areas.

The Online MBA from Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business offers eight exciting and in-demand concentrations that can prepare graduates for careers in a number of different industries. The marketing concentration, for instance, enables students to build experience in key areas like marketing research, product development, market strategy, digital marketing, and brand advertising. With these capabilities, graduates can pursue several advanced marketing roles, including marketing director.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at the role and responsibilities of the marketing director, as well as the salary professionals can expect.


What does the director of marketing do?

The main goal of the marketing director is to oversee the branding, advertising, and awareness activities of their company. The goal of these initiatives can vary, but typically revolve around building awareness and interest in the company and its offerings, educating target customers on the products and services offered, and streamlining the avenues through which to purchase them.

As such, some of the critical work and responsibilities that fall under the marketing director role include:

  • Establishing and managing the company’s marketing budget and allocating available funds and resources accordingly, as Robert Half pointed out.
  • Working with the rest of the marketing team (including advertisers, market researchers and analysts, and other marketing stakeholders) to plan promotional and advertising campaigns, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Overseeing the execution of these marketing campaigns.
  • Reviewing the results of the campaign, including data like the number of new customers the campaign attracted, the profits that resulted from the campaign, and more. Marketing directors will use these insights to help inform future campaigns and advertising efforts.
  • Growing the company’s market share in its specific industry, while keeping an eye on the strategies and activities of main competitors.
  • Negotiating and managing contracts with outside vendors, including agencies, ad firms, freelancers, and other providers.
  • Supervising and reporting on market research and analysis, typically focused around the discovery of new customer segments to target or other opportunities within the business’s industry.
  • Establishing pricing strategies for the company’s offerings, according to market research and customer analysis.
  • Managing recruitment, hiring, and onboarding of marketing team staff, and guiding the daily activities of these team members.
  • Overseeing the company’s website, social media, and other digital channels.

As Robert Half noted, the duties associated with the marketing director role can vary depending on the business, its goals, and the other team members in the marketing department. For instance, a business may have a separate social media manager who manages its social feeds and would report to the marketing director.

In addition to overseeing the activities of the rest of the marketing team, the director typically serves as the department head, and will report on the efforts and successes of the marketing team to the company’s chief executive officer, CampaignLive explained. In this way, the marketing director plays an important role in the company, and provides a bridge between the marketing department, the executive team, and the rest of the organization.

Most marketing directors work in advertising, public relations, and related firms, but other employment opportunities also exist in finance, insurance, wholesale trade, manufacturing, and internally in enterprise organizations, according to the BLS.


Marketing director salary

The role of marketing director can be stressful and demanding, and requires professionals to work not only with their marketing team subordinates and executives, but with outside contractors as well. This is typically a full-time position, and can also include travel and other extended hours to meet with clients and partners.

As such, the salary these professionals earn reflects the level of responsibility in their respective jobs. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for marketing directors was $125,510 as of May 2019. Overall, the lowest earners saw an annual wage of $61,930, and the highest 10% of earners saw income levels of $208,000 or more.

As with nearly any professional role, the marketing director salary can vary, according the industry in which directors work, their location, and the number of years of experience they have.


Salary estimates by industry

The BLS found that marketing directors operating in finance and insurance earned the highest median annual wages, at $145,720 as of May 2019.

Professionals working internally within enterprises or smaller companies earned a median wage of $145,510; and those working in the professional, scientific, and technical service sector saw an annual income of $145,300. Marketing directors in the manufacturing industry earned $138,950, and those in wholesale trade reported a median annual wage of $128,680.


Salary estimates by location

PayScale found that marketing directors in certain geographic areas tend to earn more than others, compared to their professional peers and the overall national average salary.

For instance, marketing directors in San Francisco earned more than 60% more than the national average, whereas those in New York and Seattle were paid 30-35% higher than the national average salary for this role. Marketing director roles in Denver, on the other hand, typically offered pay of only 4% above the national average.


Marketing director salary based on years of experience

According to data from PayScale, entry-level marketing coordinators typically earned an average salary of $46,092, including extra pay like bonuses and overtime.

Those with one to four years of experience reported annual income of $58,848, and pay continued to increase according to the number of years of experience professionals earned.

Those with five to nine years of experience saw annual income of $82,720, and professionals with 10 years of experience or more earned $102,716, on average. Marketing directors who were late in their careers—working in the field for at least 20 years—earned $110,183 annually or more, depending on their industry and location.


How to become a marketing manager: Skills that can boost salary

The skills and expertise that marketing director candidates have can also affect their level of pay, PayScale found.

For instance, professionals with considerable product marketing experience earned an average of 18% more than their counterparts, and those with expertise in strategic marketing and planning reported 8-10% higher salaries.


How to become a marketing director

While some employers will consider candidates with a bachelor’s degree, Robert Half noted that many open roles today now require an MBA degree.

There are opportunities for professionals to begin their careers in marketing and work their way up to more advanced roles, like the marketing director position. For instance, digital marketing agencies, public relations firms, and other organizations hire entry-level coordinators or analysts. After breaking into the field, professionals earn managerial experience as they advance in their careers.

Northeastern University’s Online MBA program offers courses that specifically align with the skills professionals will need in marketing careers. Beyond marketing knowledge, you’ll also hone your uniquely human skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and leadership that will truly prepare you for a marketing director role.

To find out more about the marketing concentration offered through the Online MBA at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, check out our website and connect with one of our enrollment advisors today.


Recommended Readings:




Bureau of Labor Statistics – Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers

PayScale – Average Marketing Director Salary

Robert Half – Hot Job: Marketing Director

CampaignLive – Job description: Marketing director