The marketing director is at the top of the company's marketing hierarchy, and is responsible for shaping the firm's overall marketing strategy. He or she has many years of experience in helping businesses position their products competitively in the market. He or she usually reports directly to the managing director or board, acting as a senior advisor and subject matter expert on how the company should reach out and present its offerings to customers.
Marketing directors usually have to work for a many years to gain both the experience and respect they need to reach this position. Consequentially the role is extremely prestigious. However, like many executive level staff, they're likely to be held liable if the company underperforms on their watch, and many may find themselves quickly out of a job if marketing results are poor.
Such senior positions require enormous personal energy, resistance to stress, meticulous planning, and the ability to motivate and inspire staff, not to mention the ability to withstand public scrutiny! This is the price paid for prestige, responsibility, the many perks and healthy salary that the job offers.
The main work of a marketing director is to develop and implement strategies that raise company profits and cut costs. They do this by the continual improvement of the company's marketing plan. This means marketing directors obsess over specialist business concepts such as target markets, product differentiation, brand building, industry trends and pricing strategies. They help decide on the strategy the company will use for all of these areas and manage the people below them that will put it into action.
Marketing directors need an intricate understanding of technology, due to the size of the Internet as an advertising platform, and the fact that almost all marketing materials are now produced on a computer. They also need to be strongly charismatic with good people skills, due to the amount of people they work with and will manage on each marketing campaign. Strong instincts for customer needs and drivers, as well as for finding niches in the overall marketplace, are also paramount.