A marketing manager is responsible for the overall development, planning, management and execution of marketing plans for a business — or the products, events, services or goods that that company manages.
A good marketing manager will help to drive revenue, increase visibility, build brand equity and trust, and attract new interest while retaining current customers. They'll also have their finger on the pulse; knowing about current trends, understanding how their audience thinks and feels, and always keeping one eye on the competition and their plans.
Most marketing managers possess an interesting mix of creativity, business acumen, a knack for critical thinking and strong communication skills.
This article will help you delve deeper into the role of the marketing manager and the skills and abilities you should test for in order to find the strongest possible candidate for the role.
What should a marketing manager be able to do?
A marketing manager should first and foremost have a strong understanding of the market they're operating in, and the best way to achieve cut-through for the product, brand or service they've been hired to market. To do this, they'll need to develop a strategy, scope out the competition, analyze results and evaluate financial implications — including return on investment and profit-loss projections.
A large part of the role involves keeping up to date with trends, opportunities and potential pitfalls in the market. This means that marketing managers will need to read sales forecasts and competitor reports, closely follow competitors and their plans, network with colleagues in the industry, and attend relevant events and conferences.
As with most roles, there's a certain amount of admin that comes as part of the day job. Marketing managers may need to negotiate contracts with suppliers, organize meetings between multiple stakeholders, update tracking spreadsheets and keep abreast of the finances.
Most marketing managers are required to manage junior members of staff. As well as ensuring they're working towards clear objectives, a marketing manager will need to support their learning and development and review their work. Hiring, training and performance evaluations will also form part of this role.
Skills to look for in a marketing manager
When hiring a marketing manager, it's important to examine whether candidates have the following crucial skills:
Command of Office suite: most marketing managers will spend a lot of time at a computer completing essential tasks. Candidates should therefore be able to showcase skills across all of the key Microsoft programs including Word, Excel PowerPoint and Outlook.
Competence with CRM: whether it's Salesforce, Raiser's Edge, Oracle Eloqua or another CRM, every prospective marketing manager should have experience working with CRM software, or be able to show they have the transferable skills to pick it up quickly.
Reading comprehension: communication and comprehension are key skills in the world of marketing. Assessing for reading comprehension skills will help you to see whether candidates have the required language abilities to take on the demands of the marketing manager role.
Active listening: marketing managers juggle multiple different relationships with suppliers, stakeholders, partners and staff — which means active listening is a really important skill. As well as giving people your full attention, this involves knowing when to ask questions, and when to step back.
Critical thinking: critical thinking skills are essential in this fast-paced role. Candidates will need to show they can use logic to weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of various different ideas and solutions.
Useful abilities for a marketing manager
Abilities are more innate skills and are essential to look for as part of the hiring process. For a marketing manager, we recommend examining the following:
Written comprehension: strong writing skills are a must for marketing managers so it can be really useful to set a written comprehension test to assess this.
Oral expression: the ability to communicate ideas so people not only understand them, but feel excited and invested in them, is a unique skill and one that will serve any marketing manager well.
Originality: marketing thrives on original ideas that make people stop, think and feel. Candidates who can show originality of thought as part of the hiring process are likely to be good at the more creative aspects of the role.
Teamwork and leadership: marketing anything requires a huge number of people doing different jobs and tasks, and it's the marketing manager's role to pull everyone together and ensure they work well as a team — something that requires strong leadership skills.
Visualization: being able to visualize an end goal is really important in the early stages of a marketing plan or strategy. Strong marketing managers will have this ability, and will be able to communicate their vision and goal to the rest of the team to ensure everyone is working towards a shared objective.
Which soft skills tests could I use to hire a marketing manager?
The presence of the following soft skills in a candidate could indicate a very strong prospective marketing manager:
Teamwork: being able to lead is important, but being able to immerse yourself in a team to ensure a group of people is working together effectively is one of the most important soft skills a prospective marketing manager can demonstrate.
Project management: marketing managers are responsible for the end-to-end planning, execution and delivery of marketing strategies and campaigns. This involves lots of moving parts, different priorities and managing multiple stakeholders, so it's essential candidates show they have strong project management skills.
Communication: testing candidates on their communication skills will help you find someone with strong abilities to share ideas, listen effectively and work well with others.
Which technical or aptitude tests could I use to hire a marketing manager?
Including at least one technical or aptitude test into the marketing manager recruitment process will help you select a well-rounded candidate with the required skills to meet the demands of the role. We recommend any of the following:
Logical reasoning: using logic to make judgments is really important in marketing, where intuition and strong decision making skills are key.
Verbal reasoning: a verbal reasoning test assesses how well someone can read through dense texts, process information and answer questions accordingly. These skills are really useful for marketers of all levels.
Microsoft Office suite: competence across the various Microsoft Office programs, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, is really beneficial and will make tasks such as scheduling meetings, writing emails, preparing reports and presenting results much easier.
Numerical reasoning: basic mathematical skills are really useful in this role, as marketing managers will have to be comfortable looking at finance data and making calculations in order to get the best profit margins and return on investment. This test can help you determine if a candidate has the required skills.
Our recommended test battery for a marketing manager
For the ultimate marketing manager test battery, we recommend using the following tests:
Critical thinking: looking for critical thinking skills is crucial if you want to hire a marketing manager who makes strong decisions based on logic and rationale.
Verbal reasoning: strong written comprehension and communication skills are really important for marketing managers.
Teamwork: although the marketing manager is primarily a leadership role, being a team player is essential when it comes to the everyday practicalities of the role.
Our marketing manager test has been developed to help you hire the right manager for your marketing team.