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A vice president of marketing is someone who is in charge of promoting a company’s products and services, typically only answering to the company president. Vice presidents of marketing work in unison with heads of other departments, such as sales and advertising, to generate income for their business. They work in a variety of industries and perform a wide array of tasks. Vice presidents of marketing also often interview, hire and train their staffs.
Vice presidents of marketing aim to get the word out about their company’s products, services and deals. They highlight their company’s best attributes, keeping a close eye on the competition and focusing on making their company superior. VPs of marketing analyze trends, set prices and figure out new ways to promote the company’s brand. Occasionally, the VP of marketing will double as a company’s public relations director by helping to write and distribute press releases and acting as spokesperson.
A vice president of marketing must have strong verbal and written communication skills. She should be confident, organized, professional and creative, as well as an adept problem-solver. She also must feel comfortable working alone and delegating, and must understand how to motivate her staff and get it to function as a team. Occasionally, a VP of marketing will need to handle everyday tasks, such as coordinating workflow and making employee schedules, in addition to her regular responsibilities.
Many vice presidents of marketing spend time with their company in another capacity before being promoted into a management position. Some work in advertising or sales, where they displayed a knack for success in promoting the company. Most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree when hiring someone to lead their marketing department. Areas of study typically include marketing, sales, business, public relations, administration and communication.
More than 175,000 workers were employed as marketing managers in May 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number is expected to grow by 13 percent during the 2008-18 decade, which is about the fast as average for all occupations.
Vice presidents of marketing are some of the highest earners in the American workforce. VPs of marketing earned a median salary of anywhere from $46,000 to more than $184,000 per year in February 2010, according to PayScale.com. Much of those figures were based on the VP of marketing’s experience, well as the industry in which he worked. Meanwhile, the BLS reported the median salary of marketing managers was $108,580 in May 2008.
Sam Amico is a reporter for NBA.com and worked as a writer and editor at daily newspapers for more than a decade, covering everything from rock concerts to college football to courts and crime. He attended Kent State University and is the author of the book, "A Basketball Summer." He also is the co-host of a nationally-syndicated television show, "The Wine & Gold Zone."