Becoming a Digital Marketing Manager: Everything You Need to Know

07 Jul 2020

07 Jul 2020

Becoming a Digital Marketing Manager: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re thinking about making the next step in your digital marketing career and looking for a Digital Marketing Manager role, or even if you’re simply considering a career in the industry and want to know more about the jobs available to understand what that career looks like then you’ll want to understand what a digital marketing manager does within their role, the skills and experience needed, and the steps you’ll need to take in order to land the job. 

In this blog post, we’ll be taking a look at exactly that and providing you with all the information you need. 

So, let’s dive right in and explore everything you need to know about a Digital Marketing Managers job.  

What is a Digital Marketing Manager?  

The truth is, a Digital Marketing Manager's job can be hard to define. 

The role typically varies from business to business and covers a wide range of activities falling under the digital marketing umbrella. 

For example, smaller businesses may have one specialist, expected to be a jack of all trades when it comes to digital marketing, whilst others may have a manager who’s in charge of a team of specialists or who manages a Digital Marketing Assistant or Executive. 

It’d be extremely rare for a Digital Marketing Manager role to be the same across different businesses. 

So, what do they have in common? And how can you define what a Digital Marketing Manager is?

Well, one thing’s for sure, a Digital Marketing Manager is the person responsible for overseeing and managing the digital marketing strategy, from devising and developing it, through to the implementation and creation of marketing campaigns across each of their digital channels (often alongside a team of specialist marketers). 

A Digital Marketing Manager is required to use their company's or client's digital channels in order to create brand awareness, generate and acquire new business leads, drive traffic and sales on websites and to grow and maintain their brands reputation online. 

At the same time, any Digital Marketing Manager who’s worth their salt, will also be able to continually measure the results of their work to optimise and improve marketing campaigns along the way.

What Does a Digital Marketing Manager do?

So, the Digital Marketing Manager is in charge of the overall digital marketing strategy, but what  does that entail? What would you be doing each day in the role and what areas does this cover?

With a wide range of responsibilities and targets, a Digital Marketing Manager is expected to have their fingers in many pies, so let’s take a look. 

Digital Marketing Manager Duties 

Here are some of the most common duties that the role would include: 

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) - Undertaking and utilising SEO tactics and strategies in order to maintain the businesses website, drive traffic and generate leads.
  • Paid Media Advertising - Designing, creating and optimising paid media campaigns in order to advertise your business, brand, service or products online.
  • Content Marketing - Creating and developing engaging content both on and offsite in a variety of forms including text, video, imagery and audio.
  • Email Marketing - Acquiring email sign-ups and creating engaging email marketing campaigns in the form of newsletters, promotions and offers. 
  • Social Media Marketing - Management of the businesses social media channels, engaging with potential customers and creating social media campaigns (both paid and organic) to promote your business.  
  • Reporting, Measurement & Analytics - Reporting to senior staff on the results from digital marketing campaigns, analysing and optimising campaigns for maximum ROI and ensuring that the data you collect is accurate and conforms to GDPR. 
  • Budget Management - Management of the digital marketing budget, with responsibility for prioritising which channels the money is spent on. 
  • Branding - Maintaining and managing the businesses branding in terms of messaging and imagery across all digital channels. 
  • Line & Project Management - This could include direct line management of a team of specialist marketers in different departments such as content marketing, technical, paid media, email marketing etc. or they may simply manage a Digital Marketing Assistant or Executive.You’ll be expected to be able to delegate tasks, review your teams work and provide feedback, all the while working within deadlines and budgets. 
  • Keeping Up To Date With The Latest Digital Marketing Trends - With the digital marketing landscape ever changing, a Digital Marketing Manager will be expected to keep up to date with the latest trends including updates to Google’s algorithms, new social media platforms, the latest webmaster guidelines, new tools or programmes and digital marketing tactics.  

What Skills & Experience Do You Need as a Digital Marketing Manager? 

So, we know the types of activities that you’d typically be undertaking as a Digital Marketing Manager, but what about the skills and experience you’d need to be able to do so? 

What do you need to have in your locker? 

Below, tying in with the duties above, we’ve collated the top 10 skills and experience that we typically see businesses looking for when they’re hiring for a Digital Marketing Manager: 

  1. Content Marketing - Content is at the heart of a lot of Digital Marketing and as such is a vitally important part of a Digital Marketing Managers role. You’ll be the voice of the company and would be expected to be communicating the underlying marketing message of your business, products or services within the content and copy on your site, whilst communicating on social media, and elsewhere online. You’ll need to be persuasive in your writing and be able to make it clear why people should choose your business over others. 
  2. Data Analysis - Any good digital marketer will need to be able to constantly analyse their marketing campaigns and make improvements. They’ll usually need to be proficient with tools like Google Analytics to spot trends, analyse their website, identify weaknesses and continue to drive more traffic to their site.  
  3. SEO - The majority of Digital Marketing Managers will be expected to know a thing or two about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You won’t necessarily be expected to know all the back end techy stuff, but you’ll definitely be expected to understand the importance of SEO and common best practices. SEO will often form the basics of a digital marketing campaign and so you’ll need to understand the importance of common SEO tasks such as keyword research for creating content and optimising your site. If you’re just starting out in digital marketing, or want to brush up on the basics, Moz’s Beginners Guide to SEO is a great place to start. 
  4. Paid Media Advertising - Depending on the size of the business and the budgets available to you, you may also be expected to have an understanding of PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, as well as paid social and other online advertising. You may be required to run paid advertising campaigns yourself or work alongside fellow teammates or an external agency. Either way, you’ll need to have an understanding of how paid media works. A great resource and chance to learn and boost that CV is the Google Ads Search certification
  5. CRM - CRM (Customer Relationship Management) involves managing a businesses’ relationship and communication with both its customers and prospects. Often a Digital Marketing Manager would use a CRM tool or system (such as Salesforce or Pipedrive) to track data about their customers and to understand their needs. This allows you to create personalised and targeted marketing campaigns for your target audience based on the data that you have about them. You’ll need to have experience or at the very least, an understanding of how this works and the tactics you can use. 
  6. Communication and Relationship Building - Good communication skills are key for any Digital Marketing Manager and this ties in with both customer relationship management and content marketing. You’ll need to be able to communicate your digital marketing strategy in a clear and concise way to both your team and any agencies you might work with, along with the messages within your marketing online. You’ll often be tasked with building and developing relationships with other agencies and partners and so it’s also important that you’re personable and a good listener. 
  7. Organisation and Project Management - This is particularly important if you’re managing a team who are undertaking tasks within your strategy. With a role covering many aspects of digital, you’ll likely be managing a number of different projects at any given time. As such you’ll need to be well organised, be able to prioritise and stick to deadlines and budgets. 
  8. Understanding of Digital Marketing Tools - You’d usually be required to have sound knowledge and understanding of common digital marketing tools including SEMrush, Moz, Google Analytics, Google Ads, Hubspot, Ahrefs and more. As such it’s important to make sure you stay up to date with the latest and best tools and programmes to implement your strategy. 
  9. Management of CMS System - Managing and maintaining a website is likely to be a big part of the role so it’s important that you have experience in using CMS systems (such as WordPress and Magento etc.), an understanding of how CMS systems work. If you also have an understanding of some of the benefits and limitations of each platform, it can help to set you apart when it comes to interviewing.  
  10. Strategic Thinking - You’ll be required to develop innovative and strategic digital marketing strategies and so being a strategic thinker is important. It’s important for those working in digital marketing to keep up to date with what’s going on in the industry, to understand their customers needs and to implement both in their digital marketing strategies, all of which require a level of strategic thinking. 

How Can You Become a Digital Marketing Manager? 

There are a variety of ways in which someone can become a Digital Marketing Manager and although many who start off in digital marketing are graduates, it’s also possible to get a foot in the door without having a qualification. 

There isn’t necessarily a specific degree or qualification that you need to have (although having at least a bachelor's degree from a university is sometimes required) but there are many online qualifications in digital marketing that can help you. 

In Sussex and Brighton, you might want to have a look at the following courses:

Slightly further afield, you can also find Digital Marketing courses here: 

You can also find marketing qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Marketing here

Plus, you can also find some of the best free and paid for digital marketing courses online here

Experience is Key

A lot of people work their way up in the digital marketing industry and once you have a foot in the door, perhaps through an internship, it is often hard work and experience that can help you to land a Digital Marketing Manager role. 

Of course, learning about and training yourself on some of the key skills and experience that we’ve mentioned above is also important. 

If you’re currently working in a Digital Marketing Executive or Digital Marketing Assistant type role, you should try and broaden your skills as much as you can. Earn certifications and undertake courses in SEO, Content Marketing, Paid Media, Social Media and Inbound Marketing as well as the other areas mentioned above and you’ll be on the right path. 

Oh, and don’t forget, you can also find more tips on finding your next role here and 12 job hunting tips here

What is the typical career path for a Digital Marketing Manager?

There are many different paths that someone working within Digital Marketing can take, although a typical career path for a Digital Marketing Manager would look something like this: 

  • Internship
  • Digital Marketing Assistant/Executive
  • Senior Digital Marketing Assistant/Executive
  • Digital Marketing Manager
  • Head of Digital Marketing 
  • Director of Digital Marketing/Digital Marketing Director

There is a clear path to progression with the role and an opportunity to learn, grow and have a real impact within digital marketing. 

What is a typical Salary for a Digital Marketing Manager? 

Whilst money isn’t everything, it’s definitely a key factor when deciding if a career or role is good for you.

The average base pay for a Digital Marketing Manager in the UK is £40,055 per year. 

At the lower end of the scale the starting salary is around £27k per year and at the upper end of the scale £59k per year. 

It’s important to bear in mind that the salary you could earn as a Digital Marketing Manager will depend on a number of factors including; the size of the business, the location, the responsibilities within the role, the number of staff and whether or not you’ll have any line management responsibilities. 

Next steps...

If you’re looking for a Digital Marketing Manager role, or indeed any other marketing roles in Sussex, you can look at what’s currently available on our site here