Marketing Manager vs. Advertising ManagerMarketing Manager vs. Advertising ManagerMarketing Manager vs. Advertising Manager

Marketing and advertising are integral components of business. Spending on global advertising rose to around $620 billion in 2019, according to data from the World Advertising and Research Center (WARC). Advertising experts around the world have had to adapt quickly to seismic changes in the industry and rapidly evolving consumer trends. The use of newspaper and magazine advertising continues to decrease dramatically while digital and social media advertising continue to grow. Advertising experts not only need to be aware of changing consumer expectations, they also must anticipate how the advertising industry will continue to evolve.

The overall field of marketing is essential to business. Both the marketing and advertising departments of a company play a crucial role in helping to generate revenue. Businesses continue to rely on professionals with both marketing and advertising expertise to grow their customer base and increase their profits. However, while the marketing manager and advertising manager roles share certain similarities, the differences between them are significant enough that they’re viewed as separate career paths.

Students interested in an online master’s in management and leadership degree might want to compare marketing manager vs. advertising manager roles so they can pursue the career that’s best aligned with their interests.

A team of young marketing managers is gathered around a conference table to plan a new marketing campaign

Definitions: Marketing Manager vs. Advertising Manager

One of the easiest ways to explain the difference between marketing and advertising is that advertising is a component of a company’s marketing strategy. Marketing is an overall process involving a strategic plan that targets certain consumers to get them to buy a certain product or service. Marketing begins when a marketing manager creates a proposition that describes the business, identifies a target audience, and establishes a promotional campaign.

The process of marketing consists of many components, including market research, public and community relations, customer support, sales strategy, media planning, and advertising. The aspect of the marketing process that involves a physical or digital advertisement is the advertising component. Advertising a product or service can take the form of ads in newspapers or magazines, ads on the radio or TV, ads sent through direct mail or email, video or picture ads on social media platforms, or ads on billboards.

Even though advertising is an aspect of marketing, when looking at marketing manager vs. advertising manager jobs in terms of their day-to-day responsibilities, they are very different. While marketing managers and advertising managers often work together to achieve a common goal, they each perform separate tasks.

Similarities Between a Marketing Manager and an Advertising Manager

Marketing managers and advertising managers both are responsible for the “branding” process of a business and work to create a relationship between the business and its target audience. They establish the identity of their business by designing and promoting its name, logo, and specific image. Both marketing managers and advertising managers have the primary goal of helping companies increase revenue by increasing awareness of a product or service.

Professionals in both fields often work closely with a company’s executives. Advertising managers and marketing managers typically work full time, Monday to Friday, in an office setting. In some cases, they may need to meet with clients or vendors at off-site locations.

Companies typically require marketing managers and advertising managers to have a bachelor’s degree, such as a Bachelor of Science in Marketing or a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. To advance in the field or earn a higher salary, individuals should consider pursuing a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership or a similar degree.

Salaries for advertising and marketing managers are also similar, though income levels vary according to location, employer, experience, and education level. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that advertising and promotions managers across the U.S. earned an annual median salary of $125,510 in 2019, with the lowest 10% earnings range reported at $61,930. The median salary for marketing managers was reported at $136,850, with the lowest 10% of earners bringing in $71,010. The BLS projects that employment in these fields will grow by 8% from 2018 to 2028.

Differences Between a Marketing Manager and an Advertising Manager

While there are many similarities between marketing and advertising, close consideration of marketing manager vs. advertising manager roles reveals that they have distinct though complementary responsibilities. Marketing managers research potential consumer markets and create strategies to target them, while advertising managers focus on the communication methodologies for delivering a company’s marketing strategy. The following list of job duties highlights the key differences between the two careers:

Marketing Manager

  • Forecasts the demand for a company’s products or services
  • Identifies potential expansion markets for a company’s products or services
  • Works closely with sales, product development, and public relations staff
  • Monitors trends that indicate demand for a new product or service
  • Develops pricing strategies to maximize sales and revenue

Advertising Manager

  • Develops messaging campaigns to increase awareness of a company’s products or services
  • Oversees staff that develops advertising campaigns
  • Works with the finance department to prepare budgets for advertising campaigns
  • Plans advertising channels, such as billboards, radio, digital marketing
  • Negotiates advertising contracts

Your Path Toward Your Career Goals Starts at Maryville

Individuals who have an interest in promoting products or services can look into a career in marketing or advertising. Those who already have a bachelor’s degree in the field can consider earning an online master’s in management and leadership degree. The program at Maryville University offers a marketing concentration with courses such as Integrated Marketing Communications, Branding, Social Networking and Search Engine Optimization, and Strategic Marketing.

If you are interested in the fields of marketing and advertising, you may be considering the marketing manager and advertising manager roles. Explore how an online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership degree from Maryville can help you begin or advance your career in marketing or advertising.

Recommended Reading

Careers in Management and Leadership: Moving Business Forward

MA in Management and Leadership vs. MBA: Comparing Two Key Advanced Degrees

A Guide to Activism in the Digital Age


BizFluent, “What Is Strategy Development?”

Boss Magazine, “The Importance of Leadership in Business”

Houston Chronicle, “Why Is Good Management Essential in the Workplace?

Human Resource Executive, “A New Era of Leadership

IBM, “What Is Supply Chain Management?

National Center for Biotechnology Information, “The Role of Leadership in a Digitalized World: A Review

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