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Promotions & Marketing Manager - Job Profile

About the role

Promotion and Marketing Executives may be involved in a wide range of activities in order to market the services and products of a radio station, or group of stations, to existing and potential listeners and clients. The aim is to increase brand awareness and loyalty, grow audiences, and attract advertisers.

In Commercial Radio such roles are key to supporting the work of sales teams as they seek to maximise advertising and other revenue for the station or group. Marketing Executives may work in a small team for a single station, or as part of a larger regional or national department serving a number of stations or radio brands.

The job profile which follows mainly describes the role of a Marketing Manager in Commercial Radio. However, aspects of this role are relevant to BBC Marketing and Communications Managers with responsibilities for Radio; some Radio Producers or Broadcast Journalists responsible for events and promotions on individual stations; and Community Radio staff or volunteers with responsibility for marketing.

Marketing Managers, or individuals in similar roles, are based in radio stations throughout the UK.

Because Marketing is a very broad term. Marketing managers’ specific responsibilities vary considerably depending on each station’s requirements. Individual stations and groups take different approaches to the organisation of marketing and market research, sponsorship and promotions, events, publicity and PR. Some of this work may be contracted out, and on smaller stations these responsibilities may be shared among other roles.

What does the job do?

Marketing Managers may be expected to fulfil a range of both analytical and creative marketing functions: commissioning research and interpreting data about radio markets and audiences; maintaining contact databases for the station; designing and implementing innovative promotional campaigns and events that engage audiences and meet client needs; developing the station’s relationships with audiences and clients; and ensuring consistent communication in all marketing output.

Marketing Managers are expected to work closely with colleagues involved in sales, sponsorship, promotions, events, publicity and programming. They should be able to offer insight about audiences and key commercial partners so that station output and other activities meet audience and client expectations, contribute to building the brand, and maximise revenue.

Although some of their work is office-based, they must also spend time out of the office meeting with key station contacts, gathering information, and assisting with events. The job may involve long hours, juggling many projects, knowing how to prioritise, and meeting exacting deadlines.

Marketing Managers are responsible for managing budgets, and for ensuring the efficient use of resources. They are also expected to ensure that their work complies with media law, regulation and industry codes.

Typical career routes

Although there is no set entry route for Marketing Managers in Radio, employers usually expect candidates to have both marketing qualifications and experience. Marketing Managers may move into Radio from marketing or communications roles in related environments, and with relevant degrees or other professional qualifications acquired through their work.

In some cases they may be taken on in more junior roles in Radio marketing teams, and progress by acquiring knowledge and experience on the job. Some of the larger broadcasters offer limited places on direct entry schemes, which may include the opportunity to work in marketing.

Whatever an individual’s qualifications, employers expect to see evidence of interest in, and hands-on experience of, radio broadcasting, particularly skills acquired in community radio, student or hospital radio.

Once in post, career progression for Marketing Managers may involve moving to a larger station; or from a local team to a regional or national marketing department, progressing to Marketing Director roles. Some Marketing Managers may choose to work as Marketing generalists, and pursue a career in the wider business market, based on their transferable marketing skills. Others may develop their media specialism, and progress within Radio, or move to other media organisations and related fields.

Essential knowledge and skills

Radio Marketing Managers need the following:
ability to think creatively and generate original ideas
excellent writing skills which they can adapt for different audiences and platforms
knowledge of marketing and communications, and how to build and manage brands
knowledge of the Radio market, different station and programme styles, and audience demographics
familiarity with the increasing range of communications platforms, and how they can be used in marketing campaigns
the confidence and tenacity to pursue information, overcome obstacles, and pitch ideas to senior colleagues
research skills, and the ability to interpret data and make the information accessible for non-specialist colleagues
attention to detail
ability to work independently but also as part of a team
self-motivation and adaptability
ability to work effectively under pressure, react quickly, and meet tight deadlines
determination, diplomacy, and excellent interpersonal skills
a thorough knowledge of the law, ethics and industry regulations as they affect radio marketing
knowledge of when it is necessary, and how to acquire the relevant clearances and licenses, including copyright and music clearances
knowledge of the requirements of the relevant Health and Safety legislation and procedures
a high level of IT skills – particularly good word-processing and data handling skills

Training & qualifications

Although a degree may not be essential, Marketing is an increasingly competitive field. Many of those working for marketing teams in Radio are graduates. A degree in Marketing, or in subjects such as Communications or Business Management, could be advantageous. However, other Marketing Managers may start out in Radio, or a related media area, and work their way up from an entry level role, secured without a degree.

Places on direct entry trainee schemes run by some of the larger broadcasters are highly sought after, as opportunities are limited, and such schemes do not recruit on a regular basis. A degree or equivalent may be a requirement for some of these schemes, but others may specifically target non-graduates.

For those considering higher education, there are a wide range of relevant courses on offer, but it is important to determine whether a particular course offers a good practical grounding in marketing and business; has good contacts with the relevant industry sectors; and encourages students to undertake work placements to gain experience of applying the knowledge and skills they have acquired. For those interested in working in marketing in Radio, such work experience should, wherever possible, be in Radio or similar media environments.

Qualifications and short courses are also available from a range of professional associations and awarding bodies in Marketing fields for those who wish to develop their marketing skills - whether they are starting out in the profession, or are established practitioners seeking further promotion opportunities

Once in post, Radio Marketing Managers are expected to develop their skills on the job, and they may choose to undertake further professional qualifications independently. Most employers offer a variety of forms of training to keep the skills and knowledge of their marketing staff up-to-date, and to introduce new technologies. This training may be offered in-house, or supplied by external providers, depending on the size and structure of different Radio organizations and employers.

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