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What does a Campaign Manager do?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 17, 2024
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A campaign manager, whether in politics or marketing, is the main "go to" person. Campaign managers are responsible for overseeing all aspects of promotional campaigns. Campaign managers for politicians promote a candidate to gain supporters, while marketing professionals use promotional skills to sell products to their target markets. Both types of manager are senior leadership positions.

Effectively managing a team is an important part of campaign management. A campaign can be defined as a series of strategies taken to achieve a competitive objective. Political candidates race against each other to win an election, while marketers promote their products against competing brands to get a larger market share. A manager of a campaign must delegate tasks to other people to accomplish these competitive objectives.

Political managers of campaigns may hold the only paid jobs in campaigns, and they look for supporters of their candidate to complete needed tasks. Those volunteers who want to support the political candidate receive instructions from a manager. Their required tasks may include phoning residents in the area to ask if they would be willing to place a campaign sign in their yards. Overseeing the printing of brochures and organizing volunteer canvassers to deliver them to neighborhood homes are common responsibilities of managers of campaigns.

Unlike managers of political campaigns, a marketing manager usually delegates tasks to paid staff. However, marketing managers may also work with unpaid interns just beginning their advertising careers. For example, creative department interns may work on the copywriting or graphic design elements of marketing campaigns planned by the manager of the campaign.

Marketing campaign managers test the effectiveness of marketing campaigns using computer software programs. Managers of political campaign may also use software to track voter responses during speeches by the candidate. Managers of political campaigns often travel to events to publicly support the candidate during speeches and other election events. Marketing campaign managers may also travel as part of their job — especially those who work in head offices in large corporations.

Delegating and accomplishing objectives while adhering to a set budget is a crucial responsibility for campaign managers. A manager of a political campaign must keep track of donations and use them wisely to cover expenses. A marketing manager has to create the best return on investment (ROI) for the company during advertising campaigns. For instance, if the campaign to promote a product is too expensive, even a good sales response won’t really matter because the profit will be too low after the expenses are deducted.

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Discussion Comments
By subway11 — On Jul 20, 2010

Sneakers41- I agree that fundraising strategies are a big part of the campaign manager’s job. Many have developed grass roots efforts and established fundraising online with donations as little as one dollar.

Most of this money goes to television advertising along with some print collateral that is usually mailed to the registered voters. Sometimes the campaign manager organizes an email strategy to reach even more potential voters.

By sneakers41 — On Jul 20, 2010

I just want to say that many campaign managers also oversee phone banks in which volunteers call potential voters on behalf of the candidate to seek their vote.

Generally motivating the candidate’s base of supporters and growing the number of volunteers along with the overall fundraising strategy falls on the campaign manager's responsibility.

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