What Type of Marketing Manager Are You?

Scott Richardson
Marketing News
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Key Takeaways

What? There are five types of marketing managers.

So what? Knowing what type of marketing manager you are helps you hone in on how to best manage your team.

Now what? Evidence on management styles indicates we can all improve our effectiveness working with others by consciously “flexing” into the styles of others. For example, if you’re presenting to a Control Freak, consider sending an advance agenda for your meeting…or collaborate with them even earlier in the process of a joint project…or ask them for advice more often in your relationship!

When you are managing marketing resources for your company with limited staff and budget, you can feel a lot like Matt Damon in the movie The Martian: alone. Just like Matt stranded on Mars, if you want to survive in a less-than-ideal situation, you have to come up with solutions to the myriad challenges that arise every day. Your department’s achievement of its goals—and even your company’s bottom line—depends on it.

But you’re not alone, at least in a wider sense. Other marketers in positions like yours at other companies feel much like you do, especially since marketing team leaders now have more to do than ever.

Marketers’ challenges continue to grow. As Forrester vice president and principal analyst Sheryl Pattek said in a blog post, “Marketers live in a brave new world where customer understanding and the ability to provide value to customers in their buying journey across the exploding number of engagement channels are now the name of the game. And now technology is everywhere, touching all of these aspects of marketing and more.”

However similar your responsibilities and challenges are compared to other marketers, there are differences in style and approach that both separate, as well as link, marketers. Based the results of a 2015 survey of marketers from marketing agency Contenteurs, there are five distinct types of marketing manager. Each of the types is a composite of others surveyed who had a set of similar goals and limitations.

To do the best job describing yourself, you should know what kind of personality you have. Take the AMA Personality Test to find out.


1. The brand champion: Often the vice president of marketing or senior manager, this type oversees all branding programs, including the company website, sales support, lead generation, and more—all on a less-than-optimum budget. Identifying new technologies that increase the bottom-line contribution of marketing is a key responsibility. Major concerns include maintaining brand consistency and giving sales timely access to the right selling tools. A major goal is to have more time for developing marketing strategies, optimizing digital marketing programs and overseeing major marketing launches. This person is always prepared, organized and clear.

2. The creative magician: Perhaps a design center manager, this type is in charge of a busy creative team that produces and distributes marketing assets in a mix of media, manages relationships with agencies, production firms, and dealers, and administers the technologies that “make the magic happen.” Ongoing challenges are managing versions of marketing assets, ensuring brand consistency, and getting assets to those who need them, when they need them. Typically juggling many tasks at once, this type does not panic and keeps an eye on the big picture. A key goal for this type of manager is to apply technology that can help his or her team be most effective in the face of a large workload.

3. The Swiss Army knife of marketing: This might be a marketing services coordinator, who handles multiple projects, logistics, trade shows, data management and vendors in addition to managing large numbers of marketing assets. Requests from sales reps often overwhelm the staff, which sometimes leads to friction between sales and marketing. This department operates on a small budget, so the manager seeks innovative, low-cost solutions. This person typically is a high-energy, positive type whose aim is to make everyone feel like part of the team.

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4. Marketing control freak: This type is a marketing manager who oversees the marketing communications department. Responsibilities include the company website, lead generation, vendor relationships, marketing assets and maintaining branding across a global organization. The marketing control freak insists on things being done on time, on budget, and on brand—no ifs, ands or buts. High standards apply not only to this manager but to everyone else. Because the expectation is to do more with less each year, the fear of losing control of what needs to be done is ever present.

5. Marketing process powerhouse: A service champion, this type ensures that marketing fulfills its legal obligations, stays in compliance with regulations, and that customer communications are accurate. The powerhouse oversees a large volume of structured content and is also responsible for training. Being technically inclined, this manager’s goal is to find an automated marketing asset management solution that will creates minimal hassle for users and will increase efficiency for everyone. Very organized and process-oriented, this type is a project management pro.

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Undoubtedly there are elements that you can relate to in more than one of the types described. Each type can manage their marketing resources more effectively with less staff involvement, work more efficiently, provide self-service access to materials by sales teams, distributors, prospects, and others in need of marketing resources, ensure more consistent branding and accuracy of assets, and do all of this despite ongoing budget constraints.   


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Author Bio:

Scott Richardson
Scott Richardson is president and cofounder of Longwood Software, a Web-based software company for marketing and sales teams based in Maynard, Mass.
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