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A director of sales and marketing is a high-level manager or executive that oversees a business's sales, advertising, marketing, and public relations units. Often tasked with developing and improving the performance of the businesses, a director of sales and marketing typically has a long history of experience in both sales and sales management. Though the tasks assigned to this person may vary extensively based on the individual business, they are often the brain behind all major marketing and sales decisions.
The overall goal of most sales and marketing directors is to continually expand the success of a business. This may mean selling more gym memberships, getting more building contracts, or launching more successful products from an already high-performing company. With this goal in mind, the main job of a director of sales and marketing is to create sales, marketing, and advertising programs that lead to increased performance. A jack-of-all-marketing-trades, a director of sales and marketing needs to be able to analyze the sales industry and constantly be on the lookout for ways to improve current strategies to increase business.
One important task of many sales and marketing directors is the management, training, and hiring of staff. Good sales and marketing people can make the difference between a beloved company and a despised entity, so training and hiring practices are particularly important to sales and marketing professionals. A director may be responsible for formulating training programs, creating a sales methodology, and consistently checking performance against estimates to see if improvements need to be made. Directors may also set up competitive or teamwork-based sales programs that reward sales and marketing workers for meeting goals through the sales methodology.
Advertising and public relations are often major concerns for a director of sales and marketing. Working within his or her budget, a director must ensure that the company is generating the most positive exposure and highest level of business possible for the advertising dollars spent. Directors may need to be savvy in the ways of television, radio, print, and Internet marketing schemes in order to properly saturate the market and obtain maximum positive levels of public awareness. Beyond this, all of the advertising, sponsorships, and marketing campaigns must be able to meet the business goals set by the director and the executives of the company.
The educational path for a director of sales and marketing can be very different from person to person. Some may have undergraduate or graduate degrees in business, with an emphasis on communications or marketing. Others may achieve their positions by working up the company ladder, showing a consistently excellent sales history as well as a flare for management and creative thinking. Sales and marketing directors may need to work long hours and be responsible for large departments, but the career can be very rewarding for those with a true talent for the varied field of marketing.