What is a digital marketing manager?
A digital marketing manager is a professional responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing the digital marketing strategy of an organization. As the world increasingly moves online, digital marketing has never been more crucial for businesses seeking to engage customers, drive sales, and grow brand awareness.
These managers orchestrate all online marketing activities, utilizing various digital channels such as social media, search engines, email marketing, and websites. They blend technical skills, creativity, and strategic thinking to build and sustain a strong digital presence for their organization. By leveraging data analytics, SEO, content management, and other tools, they aim to create meaningful consumer interactions, facilitating brand loyalty and generating revenue.
Duties and responsibilities
Digital marketing managers wear multiple hats. They are responsible for creating and executing digital marketing campaigns tailored to the company’s goals, be it customer acquisition, engagement, or conversion. This includes the planning and management of SEO/SEM strategies, content marketing, and social media engagement.
Beyond execution, they measure and report on the performance of all digital marketing activities by employing a variety of analytics tools. This data-driven approach helps in making informed decisions and refining strategies for better ROI. They also liaise with other departments like sales, product development, and customer service to ensure that the digital marketing efforts align with the organization’s broader objectives.
Digital marketing managers typically work in an office environment, although the nature of digital work allows for significant flexibility, including remote work options. They are usually part of a larger marketing team but also work closely with other departments, such as sales, development, and design, to integrate and coordinate marketing efforts across the organization.
The work is highly dynamic, given the fast-changing landscape of digital technologies, consumer preferences, and market trends. Therefore, staying updated on industry developments and adapting to new tools and platforms are essential aspects of the role. The work environment often requires quick decision-making and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
Typical work hours
A standard 40-hour workweek is common for digital marketing managers, although the demands of campaigns, project deadlines, and peak sales seasons might require additional hours. Given the global reach of digital platforms, there may be instances when activities need to be coordinated across different time zones, requiring some flexibility in work hours.
While weekend work is generally not a regular expectation, it may be necessary during crucial campaigns or urgent situations. The role also allows for a good work-life balance, especially as remote work becomes more accepted in the industry, offering flexibility in both work hours and location.
How to become a digital marketing manager
This career guide section outlines the steps to becoming a digital marketing manager. The key steps include acquiring relevant educational qualifications, gaining industry experience, and obtaining certifications.
Step 1: Obtain a bachelor’s degree
The first step is gaining the necessary educational qualifications. A bachelor’s degree is often a minimum requirement. Fields of study may include marketing, business, or related areas. Courses in these programs should provide a foundation in marketing, advertising, and consumer behavior, as well as a broad understanding of digital platforms.
Step 2: Gain relevant experience
With your degree in hand, entering the workforce is the next step. Experience in marketing or digital-related fields is critical. Internships, part-time jobs, or full-time roles related to digital marketing will give you practical experience with key tools and strategies. Positions could include social media coordinator, SEO specialist, or content marketer. Experience in these roles will offer insight into the dynamics of digital marketing and equip you with the skills needed as a manager.
Step 3: Pursue a master’s degree (optional)
While this step is not required, it can be beneficial. A master’s degree in marketing or a related field can give you an edge when applying for managerial roles. These programs often dive deeper into the strategic aspects of marketing and provide advanced training in areas such as analytics, strategic decision-making, and creativity.
Step 4: Obtain digital marketing certification
Certification is another key step. Many organizations offer certifications that validate your digital marketing skills and knowledge. Programs like Google’s Digital Marketing Course, Facebook’s Blueprint, or HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Certification, among others, can add weight to your resume and keep your skills up-to-date in the competitive digital landscape.
Step 5: Apply for jobs
After equipping yourself with the necessary education, experience, and certifications, the next step is to start applying for digital marketing manager positions. Make sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your digital marketing skills and achievements. Network both online and offline to discover potential job opportunities. While applying, showcase your understanding of strategic marketing skills, project and team management, as well as your familiarity with digital marketing tools and platforms.
How much do digital marketing managers make?
Compensation for digital marketing managers varies by experience, industry, education, location, and organization size. Factors that often impact income include their level of professional expertise, the scale of digital marketing operations, and the organization’s annual revenue.
Highest paying industries
- Investment Activities – $117,500
- Software Publishers – $115,700
- Computer Systems Design – $113,350
- Cable and Other Subscription Programming – $111,490
- Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portals – $110,780
Highest paying states
- New Jersey – $120,160
- Virginia – $118,330
- Washington – $117,590
- Delaware – $116,770
- New York – $115,930
Types of digital marketing managers
Below, we explore common career types and areas of specialization for digital marketing managers, with an overview of the various roles and focuses this position offers.
Content marketing manager
In this role, individuals oversee the creation of engaging content designed to capture the target audience’s attention. They may collaborate with writers and graphic designers to produce high-quality blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and more. This position requires a thorough understanding of content strategy and a deep knowledge of SEO tactics to ensure that content reaches as many consumers as possible.
SEO and SEM specialist
Understanding how search engines work and optimizing content to ensure better visibility in search engine results is the primary responsibility of this role. This specialization entails skilled work in keyword research, analysis of a website’s performance, and implementation of SEO optimization techniques that contribute to higher rankings in search engine results.
Email marketing specialist
An essential aspect of digital marketing involves managing email campaigns. A specialist in this field can design, send, test, and improve email blasts to potential and existing customers. Understanding the nuances of effective email marketing and having the ability to analyze performance statistics are critical skills for this position.
Social media manager
Utilizing social media platforms for promotion and customer engagement is fundamental in today’s business world. This specialist manages a company’s presence across different social media platforms, composes engaging posts, interacts with followers, and analyzes results to fine-tune the company’s social media strategies. The role requires a solid understanding of upcoming trends and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing social media landscape.
Digital advertising specialist
This role focuses on online ads, particularly pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements. Experts in this field create, manage, and optimize PPC campaigns, considering search volume, competitiveness, and ad spending. Understanding the best practices and limitations of different online advertising platforms is critical for this role.
Top skills for digital marketing managers
Acquiring and mastering a wide array of skills can contribute significantly to your success as a digital marketing manager. This profession requires a complex mix of creativity, analytical thinking, and technical knowledge.
The ability to think strategically is indispensable. It involves setting roadmaps, planning marketing campaigns, and measuring their effectiveness while focusing on meeting the business’s goals.
Strong analytical abilities are crucial for understanding market trends, customer behavior, and campaign performance. A vital part of the role involves interpreting complex data to shape marketing strategies and make actionable recommendations.
Being adept with various digital tools and platforms, like Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and social media platforms, is pivotal. The ability to navigate these tools, analyze data, and implement effective strategies is a crucial part of the job.
Excellent communication skills are essential for effectively conveying strategies, ideas, and results to different stakeholders, including written and verbal communication and presenting complex information clearly and concisely.
Creativity is an essential trait for these managers. The profession requires innovative thinking for developing compelling marketing campaigns, crafting engaging content, and devising creative solutions to marketing challenges.
The ability to lead and manage teams, provide guidance, and encourage others to perform their best is critical for success. Leadership involves managing teams effectively and motivating team members to achieve their best.
Digital marketing manager career path
As a digital marketing manager, your career development will hinge primarily on advancing your skills and experience in online marketing strategies. This may present various avenues for progression, depending on your specific career objectives and aspirations.
With ample experience and additional training, you can aspire to be in a higher management position, such as a senior digital marketing manager or digital marketing director. In this role, your scope increases as you oversee the entire online marketing strategy, direct marketing efforts, manage the budget, and make critical business decisions. You will work closely with upper management and help influence the overall business strategy with insights from your team’s digital marketing efforts.
Chief marketing officer
As you gain more experience and demonstrated expertise, you might step into an executive role such as chief marketing officer (CMO). This represents a significant leap in responsibility, where you influence the entire strategic direction of the company’s marketing efforts. You’ll direct all marketing activities, both digital and traditional, and will be directly accountable for the success or failure of these initiatives.
Alternatively, with the specialized skills and knowledge you’ve gained, you might choose an entrepreneurial path. Launching a digital marketing agency could be a rewarding venture where you design and implement marketing strategies for other businesses. This entrepreneurial route allows you to capitalize on your expertise and expand your career beyond what is achievable within a traditional corporate structure.
Similar job titles
Position trends and outlook for digital marketing managers
Current industry trends highlight the importance of personalization in customer engagement. Savvy digital marketing managers often work to balance maintaining customer privacy and delivering personalized experiences. The significance of mobile marketing cannot be overstated, considering how the reliance on smartphones has steeply increased among consumers. Social media platforms are also highly instrumental, as they remain key avenues for digital marketers to reach and engage with their target audience.
SEO remains a critical skill for any marketing manager to succeed in today’s online-centric world. Being able to optimize website content for better search engine visibility has proven to contribute significantly toward a business’s online presence. In the same vein, paid advertising is also gaining more traction, with Google Ads and social media ads being among the more popular platforms.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers, which include digital marketing managers, is projected to grow 10 percent through 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. As digital platforms continue to become more ingrained in our day-to-day lives, businesses increasingly need professionals who can maintain a strong online presence.
Digital marketing manager career tips
Understand the digital landscape
Staying on top of the latest trends and developments in digital marketing and technology is critical. By understanding the digital landscape, you are better prepared to strategize, execute, and manage successful campaigns for your company. This includes keeping up-to-date with the most recent search engine algorithms, social media updates, and digital advertising rules and regulations.
Get industry-recognized certification
Earning relevant industry certifications can set you apart. Certifications demonstrate your commitment to learning and enhancing your knowledge in the field. Some certifications to consider are Google Ads Certification, Facebook BluePrint Certification, and HubSpot Content Marketing Certification. Don’t hesitate to highlight these credentials in your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Changes in digital marketing often occur rapidly and without warning. As such, it’s imperative to keep learning and honing your skills. You can:
- Subscribe to digital marketing newsletters like Marketing Land or Social Media Today
- Follow influential marketing blogs like HubSpot or Neil Patel
- Attend digital marketing webinars, conferences, or events
Build a professional network
Networking with other digital marketing professionals can foster growth and open new opportunities. You learn from their experiences, gain insights into industry developments, and create possibilities for future collaboration. Consider joining:
- Digital Analytics Association
- Internet Marketing Association
- Social Media Association
- International Social Media Association
Showcase your successes
Metrics speak volumes in the field of digital marketing. Always track and document your accomplishments and learning outcomes. Showcasing your results — whether it’s an increase in website traffic, a rise in conversion rates, or an improvement in customer engagement — will help you gauge your performance and validate your expertise to future employers or clients.
Where the digital marketing manager jobs are
- New York
Top job sites
- Simply Hired
What skills are essential for a digital marketing manager?
Key skills include creativity, analytical thinking, project management, and social networking proficiency. They also need knowledge of web analytics tools and social media platforms, familiarity with SEO/SEM, communication skills, and a little HTML/CSS knowledge for basic web design tasks.
What does a digital marketing manager do on a daily basis?
Daily tasks typically include managing marketing campaigns, tracking data, monitoring the latest trends and technologies in digital marketing, and liaising with designers, content creators, and other departments. They can also manage social media strategies, handle SEO/SEM campaigns, and present reports on their results.
What education is needed to become a digital marketing manager?
Most employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in marketing, advertising, business administration, or a similar field. However, a combination of relevant work experience and certification in digital marketing could also be acceptable.
What does a digital marketing manager typically work on?
Their work focuses on planning, implementing, and monitoring a company’s digital marketing campaigns across all digital networks, including email campaigns, social media, online advertising, SEO/SEM, and website design for maximum online presence and brand awareness.
How important are data analytics skills for a digital marketing manager?
Very important. A major part of a digital marketing manager’s job is to analyze marketing data to improve their strategies. They must understand what promotional activities are successful, where the highest quality leads come from, and how to increase customer conversions and engagement.
Can someone become a digital marketing manager without a degree?
Yes, but it’s challenging. This profession values experience and certain skills over formal education. Skills like SEO/SEM, content creation, data analysis, and knowledge of different digital marketing channels can be learned on the job or through online courses. However, having a degree in a relevant field can give you a competitive edge.
What are some ways a digital marketing manager can stay up-to-date with marketing trends and technology?
Continuous learning is key. It can involve subscribing to industry newsletters, attending webinars and conferences, participating in online forums and communities, completing online courses, and networking with other professionals in the field. Additionally, tech publications and platforms like LinkedIn can be good sources of information about the latest trends and technologies.
What certifications could help someone become a digital marketing manager?
There are many digital marketing certifications that can boost your career. These include Google Ads Certificate, Google Analytics Certificate, HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification, Facebook Blueprint Certification, and Content Marketing Institute Online Certification. Additionally, certificates from prominent digital marketing courses can also be beneficial.
What are some challenges a digital marketing manager might face?
Keeping up with the constant changes in digital platforms and consumer behavior can be challenging. They may also struggle with justifying the ROI of their campaigns, dealing with competition, navigating through the vast amount of data, understanding new technology, and managing time and resources.
What types of companies do digital marketing managers work for?
A digital marketing manager can work for a wide range of companies, including digital marketing agencies, technology companies, retail businesses, financial institutions, entertainment companies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations. Some digital also work as freelancers or consultants.
What soft skills are crucial for a digital marketing manager?
Besides technical skills, soft skills like creativity, adaptability, problem-solving, communication, and team management are critical. They should be able to communicate effectively with their team and stakeholders, adapt quickly to changes, think creatively to solve problems, and manage the team to achieve the desired results.