What Does a Digital Marketing Manager Do?

Rosie Allabarton, contributor to the CareerFoundry blog

The role of the digital marketing manager has gained significant visibility in the last 18 months. Studies have shown that, thanks to users spending more time online, marketers have been able to target specific audiences and measure the impact of campaigns with more accuracy and effectiveness than ever before.

For those thinking of building a career in digital marketing, there’s more good news. Trend analysts report that businesses aren’t just hiring more digital marketing positions, they’re also inviting digital marketing managers to play bigger roles in strategic company decision making. It’s clear that companies are increasingly relying on their digital marketing teams, as users’ interactions with brands and individuals via digital platforms becomes ever more the norm.

As a career choice, the role of digital marketing manager is as varied as it is impactful, requiring specialist skills combined with a desire to learn new tools, platforms, and trends.

But what does a digital marketing manager actually do? 

In this article, we’ll be diving into the specific tasks and responsibilities of a typical digital marketing manager. We’ll take a look at their position in the marketing team, what you might expect from a position in the field, and run down average salaries in different locations. 

By the end, you’ll have a rounded picture of what a career in this role might look like, and have clear next steps to launching a career in the field. Here’s exactly what we’ll cover:

  1. What is digital marketing? 
  2. What does a digital marketing manager do? 
  3. What are the typical tasks and responsibilities of a digital marketing manager?
  4. Where do digital marketing managers work?
  5. What are the core skills and traits of a successful digital marketing manager?
  6. How can you become a digital marketing manager?
  7. What is the average digital marketing manager salary?
  8. Key takeaways

Ready to explore the role of the digital marketing manager? Let’s go.

1.  What is digital marketing?

The term “digital marketing”also known as online marketingcovers a multitude of functions, but generally refers to the implementation of all public-facing digital content for a company or brand. Marketers seek to build trust and increase awareness through the publication of promotional materials and relevant content, with the end goal being to win over new customers and retain existing ones.  

Online community building is another arm of digital marketing, giving organizations the opportunity  to connect directly with potential customers. Although this can involve promotion of products and services within online groups, it is also a form of customer service, with communities and forums providing a place for customers to give feedback and get help. 

Depending on its target user, each company will have its preferred places to publish content. Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are most commonly used to share posts and promotional material using text, graphics and videos. Emails, newsletters and web-based advertising are popular tools to reach audiences too, while some companies take advantage of text and multimedia messages for more direct promotion. 

Text-heavy sites like Medium, Tumblr, WordPress and built-in company blogs also play a major role in digital marketing, as they allow companies to take advantage of techniques like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to get increased traffic to their pages through the publication of longer form articles. 

So now that we know what digital marketing is, how does the role of a digital marketing manager fit into this myriad of goals, tasks, and responsibilities?

A digital marketing manager holding a meeting with colleagues in an office

2. What does a digital marketing manager do?

This is undoubtedly one of the most in-demand digital marketing jobs, but what does the role actually entail? The overall purpose of the role of the digital marketing manager is to ensure the successful running of digital channels and campaigns that create new customer leads, promote the brand and its products, and contribute to overall company growth—which sounds like an awful lot of responsibility for just one person!

Luckily, the digital marketing manager doesn’t work alone; they collaborate closely with the community and social media managers, as well as the head of marketing to ensure that messaging is aligned and tasks are distributed among the right people.  

As is often the case, the size of the company determines how hands-on the digital marketing manager is when it comes to the execution of tasks. Within a small startup, for example, the digital marketing manager is likely to create the overall strategy, plan the timeline of its execution, implement each part, and report on the success of the campaign when it’s over.

In a larger organization, however, an individual with the same job title might have the time and resources to focus more on strategy and planning, delegating tasks to other members of the team. 

A sponsored posts campaign on Facebook, for example, might be devised by the digital marketing manager as part of an overall digital campaign, and then executed, tracked and reported on by the social media manager. The resources of the company combined with the seniority and experience of team members will ultimately determine the distribution of tasks and the level of responsibility taken on by each team member.  

As well as working closely with the rest of the marketing team, the digital marketing manager is expected to collaborate frequently with team members in the content production teams, like copywriters, graphic designers, and videographers, and work on strategy and planning with members of the business and sales teams to ensure that targets are aligned and met. 

3. What are the typical tasks and responsibilities of a digital marketing manager?

We’ve collected together some typical tasks and responsibilities you might expect to see in a job advertisement for the role of the digital marketing manager. As you can see, the position requires a wide variety of experience and knowledge, from analytical skills to managerial aptitude.    

As a digital marketing manager, you might expect to:

  • Plan and manage the company’s social media channels and company website
  • Grow the website traffic and enable digital growth
  • Work with the content marketing team on content creation and distribution
  • Monitor the primary marketing metrics to establish the effectiveness of online advertising
  • Report on the performance of digital marketing activities and compare the results against key performance indicators and ROI
  • Develop and scrutinize campaign budgets
  • Review the brand message regularly to ascertain its consistency
  • Develop a workable digital marketing strategy
  • Collaborate with other supporting teams to create impressive client-centered landing pages
  • Provide educational opportunities, relevant information, and growth opportunities for digital marketing staff
  • Analyze end-to-end consumer experience in different digital channels
  • Identify the latest digital technologies and current digital trends affecting the industry
  • Prepare and execute conversion tests

If you’re new to the field, try not to be daunted by this list! In the following sections, we’re going to show you how you can master tasks like these, gain experience and confidence, and launch a long, creative, and fulfilling career in digital marketing.

A digital marketing manager sitting on a step outside, working on a laptop

4. Where do digital marketing managers work?

You’ll find digital marketing managers in almost every industry you can think of, thanks to the huge impact the internet has had on consumer behaviour. If businesses—even brick-and-mortar ones—want to attract and retain customers, there’s no getting away from the fact that they need to have an online presence. 

With digital marketing being more cost-effective and measurable than traditional types of marketing, both established and new businesses are putting considerable resources into building this side of their business.

However, not all businesses use digital marketing to achieve the same result. Larger companies (those with more than 5,000 employees) are more likely to use digital marketing to stand out from competitors, while smaller companies are more likely to use digital marketing to improve brand awareness

The reason for this is that large companies are already known to their customers and potential customers—so rather than simply increase brand awareness, their goal is to show those same consumers why their business is the best option when compared to other, similar businesses.

For smaller companies, though, digital marketing is an inexpensive way for them to get noticed outside of their immediate circles. They need to let potential customers know they exist at all, and digital marketing gives them an opportunity to reach a lot of people who might be interested in their product quickly and easily. 

5. What are the core skills and traits of a digital marketing manager?

Digital marketing managers need to work with platforms, budgets, tools and teams in order to make a significant contribution to company growth, relying on a multitude of skills and traits. Don’t be put off if you don’t have specific digital marketing experience yet, as many of these skills are transferable—take a look at this list of digital marketing manager skills and see if any of these traits already apply to you. 

Hard skills

  • In-depth knowledge of social media platforms and trends
  • Knowledge of marketing and web analytics tools such as Google Adwords, Google Analytics, Taboola, Outbrain and similar web advertising platforms
  • Knowledge of setting up and running email marketing tools like HubSpot, Sendinblue, Omnisend, MailChimp and Mailjet
  • Understanding of pay-per-click advertising
  • Insights into keyword research and SEO implementation, monitoring, and management
  • Knowledge of marketing campaign strategy and execution 
  • Practical skills in multivariate experiments and A/B and email marketing
  • User experience knowledge and optimisation of customer experience funnels and landing pages

Soft skills 

  • Great time management and ability to prioritize tasks
  • Strong analytical skillset combined with genuine interest in learning new tools, gathering data, and studying trends 
  • Project management skills
  • Leadership and delegation skills 
  • Strong verbal and written communication 
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently

Experience 

  • Writing and presenting detailed insights and reports
  • Working with different departments towards a common goal 
  • Launching and managing successful social media campaigns
  • Building long term digital marketing strategies
  • Setting up and running web analytics and email tools 
  • Aligning messaging across multiple platforms 
  • Working with team members to execute on a campaign with clear goals  

Now that you know the skills you need for the role, let’s take a look at how to get started in the field. 

An aspiring digital marketing manager sitting at a wooden bench outside, working on a laptop

6. How to become a digital marketing manager

If you’re interested in launching a new career in digital marketing, with your eye on a digital marketing manager role, there are concrete steps you can take to get there. 

Take a course 

Although you definitely don’t need a degree to get a role in digital marketing, taking a course will help you get to grips with some of the more challenging aspects of the role, strengthen the skills you already have, and teach you new ones. It’ll demonstrate your knowledge in the field to potential employers too, as well as help you stand out from the competition. It could even lead to a higher salary when you do start working

Get to know the tools

In an industry that’s constantly evolving, learning about the latest tools and trends in digital marketing is an absolute must. And with so many free tools and resources out there for digital marketing managers, why not try your hand at a few of them? 

Try one of these ideas: 

  • Put together an Instagram campaign and track the results using Google Analytics
  • Create some ads or sponsored content for a Facebook business page
  • Write some persuasive SEO landing pages for a product of your choosing and measure the site traffic
  • Use HubSpot to plan a complete digital campaign using multiple platforms 

These ‘campaigns’ don’t have to be perfect, but this is a great way to start learning your way around tools you’ll need to know like the back of your hand when you start working in digital marketing. 

Work on your soft skills 

If you’re not quite ready to dive into the hard skills just yet, now might be a good time to polish your soft skills. Perhaps there are additional responsibilities you could take on in your current job like project management or task delegation that would make the transition into a digital marketing manager role less intimidating.

7. What’s the average digital marketing manager salary?

Although many of us shy away from talking about money, it’s important to have a good understanding of what we should expect financially from a role before we embark on retraining in a new career. 

Fortunately, sites like Glassdoor, Salary.com, PayScale and Indeed have tools to help us compare salaries in different countries and cities. 

For a digital marketing manager, the current salary ranges for the following capital cities look like this. 

  • Berlin: €44,421 per year
  • London: £50,217 per year
  • Paris: €47,065 per year
  • Copenhagen: DKK 542,076 pear year
  • Stockholm: SEK 456,396 per year
  • Madrid: €48,743 pear year
  • Amsterdam: €61,657 per year

To understand more about how salaries in digital marketing work, check out our more comprehensive digital marketing salary guide.

8. Key takeaways

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the role of the digital marketing manager! Our aim for this article was to provide a clear idea of the responsibilities and tasks that fall under the role, the skills you’ll need to excel in the space and, most importantly, a list of concrete steps you can take if you’re thinking of launching a career in the field. 

If you take away just one thing, let it be this: keep learning! In an ever-evolving space, the best digital marketing managers are always mastering the latest tools and learning about new trends to stay at the top of their game—make sure you do, too! 

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