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What Does an Advertising and Promotions Manager Do?

By Jan Fletcher
Updated Feb 24, 2024
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An advertising and promotions manager supervises and coordinates a company's external marketing and promotions. He or she oversees production of an organization's advertising campaigns, and manages other promotional activities, often working in tandem with other organizations. Someone in this position may be the public face of the company, in terms of promotional and community events. He or she may devise and conduct contests and other public activities, while operating under various national and local laws that govern those activities. Those who work in this occupation often possess specialized knowledge in one industry sector.

Managerial functions may comprise a significant portion of his or her job description. By meeting with the firm's management, he or she may gather direction for the overall marketing promotions strategy. The manager may also be well versed in the many laws that regulate fair trade practices, such as truth in advertising, and rules governing disclosure and reporting requirements for promotional contests.

Other management functions might be determining the budget allocated to marketing activities, and collecting and measuring return-on-investment (ROI) data. An example would be doing an analysis of website visitor analytics in the days or weeks following a major social media campaign. Most advertising and promotions managers give public presentations to community groups, and may also speak at entertainment venues. Appearances at trade shows allow a person in this profession to increase and solidify strategic relationships with both existing and potential customers, as well as forging relationships within an industry sector. There can be a significant amount of travel involved for an advertising and promotions manager.

A person working in this career track is expected to be very familiar with the industry in which they work. At times, alliances are created between companies through the efforts of an advertising and promotions manager. Two companies may engage in joint advertising campaigns, or come together to promote a cause within a larger group of businesses.

Depending upon the industry sector, industry niche knowledge may be involved in some of the tasks that fall to an advertising and promotions manager. An example would be if he or she worked within the pharmaceutical or alcoholic beverages sectors. Strict laws in many parts of the world govern the marketing of these products. In some cases, a person in this career may have to possess very specific industry sector knowledge in a particular field.

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Discussion Comments
By bythewell — On Jul 28, 2013

This makes me think of that film (and book) "Thank you for Smoking". I don't know if the people in it were officially called advertising and promotions managers, but they essentially did the same job.

It went into the ethics of doing a job like that for companies like tobacco, alcohol and the gun industry. Very good film and worth watching, if you are thinking about doing this kind of job.

By indigomoth — On Jul 28, 2013

@KoiwiGal - Well, these days they don't have to go that far, unless it's a company that has a particularly famous founder or CEO. And the founder isn't the one who would handle the bulk of the advertising decisions.

There are plenty of actors willing to take on the role of spokesperson for a particular brand and they will wear whatever they are told to wear.

I think when the article says that the advertising manager is the face of the company, they mean that they are the one who interacts with other business people, rather than that they are actually expected to go on commercials.

In a small company, maybe the advertising manager would literally be talking to the public at events, but, I think generally, they work behind the scenes and just coordinate different promotions.

By KoiwiGal — On Jul 27, 2013

The history of advertising is actually quite an interesting subject. For example, the Colonel of KFC fame was basically the manager of advertising for that company for a long time, and he committed to wearing the traditional get-up and the beard and everything in public all the time, so that he could maintain the image that was used for all his restaurants.

He didn't really look like that until he decided that was the image that he wanted to project for the company. I have to wonder if there are any advertising gurus out there today who would be as willing to go this far in advertising a brand.

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