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What is a Digital Marketing Manager and How to Become One

By Lace Brunsden


In this age of online dominance, the role of a Digital Marketing Manager has become paramount in steering businesses towards success. Let’s unravel the intricacies of this dynamic profession and explore how to become a digital marketing manager.

Career Summary

Digital Marketing Manager Salary

Digital Marketing Manager Salary

The salary that you can expect in this position can vary depending on the size of the company that you work for as well as your responsibilities. It may even vary depending on the monetary amounts that your client is willing to invest in their digital marketing.

Glassdoor summarizes the average digital marketing manager salary as follows:

  • Entry: US$ 73,000
  • Median: US$ 93,000
  • Senior: US$ 120,000

When comparing a digital marketing manager salary to the average salary across the United States, which is US$ 59,428 according to Forbes, we can see that it is relatively high.

What is a Digital Marketing Manager?

A Digital Marketing Manager is a strategic professional responsible for orchestrating and implementing comprehensive online marketing campaigns. Tasked with leveraging digital channels to promote products or services, they play a pivotal role in enhancing brand visibility, engaging target audiences, and driving business growth in the virtual realm.

What Does a Digital Marketing Manager Do?

Digital Marketing Managers are multifaceted leaders, overseeing a spectrum of tasks ranging from developing and executing digital strategies to analyzing campaign performance. They navigate the intricacies of social media, SEO, content marketing, and other online avenues, aiming to optimize brand presence. Collaborating with cross-functional teams, they craft compelling narratives, monitor analytics, and adapt tactics to ensure a dynamic online presence that aligns with business objectives and resonates with the target audience.

Digital Marketing Manager Career Progression

  • Digital Marketing Coordinator/Assistant: You’ll initiate your journey by supporting campaigns, managing content, and gaining hands-on experience in various digital channels.
  • Digital Marketing Specialist/Analyst: With a few years of experience, you may become a specialist in areas like paid advertising, email marketing, analytics, or social media. You’ll focus on developing expertise in specific channels and tools.
  • Digital Marketing Manager: Transition into a managerial role, overseeing overall digital strategy, coordinating campaigns, and collaborating with diverse teams.
  • Senior Digital Marketing Manager: Steer high-level strategies, manage budgets, and contribute significantly to business objectives as a Senior Digital Marketing Manager.
  • Director of Digital Marketing: Lead the entire digital marketing function and shape long-term organizational strategies.
  • Chief Marketing Officer (CMO): In larger organizations, you may progress to the role of the CMO. You’ll be responsible for the entire marketing department, including both digital and traditional channels.

Best Aspects of Working as a Digital Marketing Manager

  • Creative Freedom
  • Constant Learning
  • Impactful Campaigns
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration
  • Competitive Compensation

Worst Aspects of Working as a Digital Marketing Manager

  • High Pressure and Stress
  • Rapidly Changing Landscape
  • Balancing Multiple Platforms
  • Measurement Challenges
  • Client/ Stakeholder Expectations

Useful Skills to Have as a Digital Marketing Manager

  • Data Analysis
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Content Creation
  • Social Media Management
  • SEO Expertise

Popular Digital Marketing Manager Specialties

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Paid Advertising (PPC)

How to Become a Digital Marketing Manager

Digital Marketing Manager 6 Steps to Career


Do I Need a Degree to Become a Digital Marketing Manager?

While a degree can enhance your qualifications, it’s not strictly necessary for a career in digital marketing. Practical experience, skills, and a strong portfolio often carry significant weight in the industry. Many successful digital marketing managers have climbed the ranks through hands-on experience, certifications, and continuous learning. 

To become a digital marketing manager without a degree, focus on acquiring practical skills, gaining hands-on experience, and building a strong professional profile. Ultimately, a combination of education and practical skills can open doors in this dynamic field.

Can I Become a Digital Marketing Manager Through Online Education?

Yes, you can become a digital marketing manager through online education. Many reputable platforms offer comprehensive digital marketing courses and certifications.

Here are the steps to pursue this path:

  • Select Relevant Online Courses: Choose courses that cover key digital marketing areas such as SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and analytics.
  • Earn Certifications: Pursue certifications from recognized platforms like Google, HubSpot, Facebook, or others to validate your skills.
  • Build a Portfolio: Apply your knowledge through practical projects or freelance work to build a portfolio showcasing your capabilities.

What are Some Web Resources to Learn Skills to Become a Digital Marketing Manager?

  • Moz (SEO): Moz offers an extensive resource library and learning center focusing on search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Social Media Examiner (Social Media Marketing): Social Media Examiner provides in-depth articles, webinars, and podcasts on the latest trends and strategies in social media marketing.
  • HubSpot Academy (Inbound Marketing): HubSpot Academy offers courses on inbound marketing, content marketing, and email marketing, providing valuable insights into the HubSpot platform.
  • Google Analytics Academy (Analytics): Google Analytics Academy provides free courses on using Google Analytics to measure website traffic and gather valuable insights.
  • Copyblogger (Content Marketing): Copyblogger is a resource hub for content marketing, offering articles and tips on effective content creation and strategy.
  • Email on Acid (Email Marketing): Email on Acid Blog covers various aspects of email marketing, including design, deliverability, and best practices.
  • Search Engine Land (Search Engine Marketing): Search Engine Land is a leading source for news and in-depth articles on search engine marketing and optimization.
  • Content Marketing Institute (Content Marketing): Content Marketing Institute provides resources, webinars, and insights on content marketing strategies and trends.
  • Neil Patel (Digital Marketing): Neil Patel’s Blog offers comprehensive content on various aspects of digital marketing, including SEO, content, and online advertising.
  • Ahrefs Blog (SEO and Link Building): Ahrefs Blog is a valuable resource for SEO and link-building strategies, providing actionable insights for digital marketers.

Practical Experience

What are Internship Opportunities for Aspiring Digital Marketing Managers?

Internship opportunities for aspiring digital marketing managers can provide valuable hands-on experience and exposure to the industry.

Here are some potential internship roles that you can consider:

  • Digital Marketing Intern: You can gain a broad understanding of digital marketing by assisting with various campaigns, content creation, and social media management.
  • Social Media Marketing Intern: Focus specifically on social media strategies, content scheduling, community engagement, and analytics.
  • Content Marketing Intern: You will work on creating and optimizing content for different platforms, including blogs, websites, and social media.
  • SEO Intern: Learn the intricacies of search engine optimization, keyword research, and on-page/off-page optimization.
  • Email Marketing Intern: You will assist in developing and executing email marketing campaigns, analyzing metrics, and optimizing for better performance.
  • Analytics Intern: Gain experience in data analysis, working with tools like Google Analytics to track and measure the success of digital marketing efforts.
  • PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Intern: You will assist with managing and optimizing paid advertising campaigns on platforms like Google Ads and social media.
  • Inbound Marketing Intern: Learn about inbound marketing strategies, lead generation, and customer relationship management.
  • Graphic Design Intern (for Visual Content): Focus on creating visual content for digital marketing campaigns, including graphics, infographics, and other design elements.
  • Market Research Intern: You will conduct research on industry trends, competitor analysis, and customer behavior to inform digital marketing strategies.

What Skills Will I Learn as a Digital Marketing Manager?

As a digital marketing manager, you will develop a diverse set of skills to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of online marketing.

Here are key skills you can expect to acquire:

  • Digital Strategy: Crafting and implementing comprehensive digital marketing strategies aligned with business goals.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Optimizing websites to improve search engine rankings and drive organic traffic.
  • Social Media Management: Building and managing a strong social media presence across various platforms to engage with the target audience.
  • Content Marketing: Creating and curating compelling content to attract and retain customers, establishing thought leadership and brand authority.
  • Email Marketing: Designing and executing email campaigns for lead generation, customer retention, and engagement.
  • Paid Advertising (PPC): Managing paid advertising campaigns, including budgeting, targeting, and optimizing for better ROI.
  • Analytics and Data Interpretation: Utilizing tools like Google Analytics to track and analyze website and campaign performance, making data-driven decisions.
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): Improving website elements to enhance user experience and increase the likelihood of conversions.
  • Project Management: Coordinating and overseeing multiple campaigns, ensuring they are executed effectively and on schedule.
  • Marketing Automation: Implementing and managing marketing automation tools to streamline repetitive tasks and nurture leads.
  • Budgeting and ROI Analysis: Allocating and managing budgets effectively, analyzing the return on investment for various marketing channels.
  • Leadership and Team Collaboration: Leading cross-functional teams, collaborating with other departments, and managing relationships with external partners.
  • Communication Skills: Effectively communicating marketing strategies, results, and objectives to both team members and stakeholders.
  • Adaptability and Continuous Learning: Staying abreast of industry trends, algorithm changes, and emerging technologies to adapt strategies accordingly.
  • Brand Management: Ensuring brand consistency across all digital channels and campaigns.

What is the Work-Life Balance of a Digital Marketing Manager?

The work-life balance that you will experience as a digital marketing manager can vary depending on factors such as company culture, workload, and campaign schedules.

Here are some insights into the work-life balance of a digital marketing manager for you to consider:

  • Deadline Intensity: During campaign launches or crucial periods, you may experience increased workload and tight deadlines, impacting your work-life balance temporarily.
  • Flexibility in Remote Work: Many digital marketing tasks can be performed remotely, offering flexibility in terms of work location. However, this flexibility may also mean that the line between work and personal life can blur, especially if not managed effectively.
  • Monitoring Campaigns Across Time Zones: Digital marketing often involves managing campaigns that target audiences in different time zones. This can lead to occasional late-night or early-morning adjustments to optimize campaign performance.
  • Collaboration and Meetings: Collaborating with cross-functional teams and attending meetings may consume a significant portion of the workday. Managing these interactions efficiently is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
  • Balancing Multiple Platforms: Managing campaigns across various digital platforms can be demanding. Striking a balance and ensuring consistent quality across platforms requires effective time management.
  • Ongoing Learning and Adaptation: Staying updated on industry trends and emerging technologies is crucial. You may invest personal time in continuous learning, attending webinars, or reading industry publications outside of regular working hours.

What’s the Career Outlook for Digital Marketing Managers in the USA?

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the outlook for Digital Marketing Managers in the United States is generally positive. The BLS Occupational Handbook for Advertising, Promotions, or Marketing Managers expects employment in these categories to grow by 6% between 2022 and 2032. This is faster than the average.

Digital Marketing Manager Popular Career Specialties

What are the Job Opportunities of a Digital Marketing Manager?

  • Social Media Manager: Take charge of social media strategies, content creation, and community engagement to shape and grow online presence.
  • SEO Manager: Dive deep into search engine optimization, enhancing website rankings, and boosting organic search visibility.
  • Content Marketing Manager: Lead content creation efforts, develop strategies, and manage the distribution of content to engage your audience.
  • Email Marketing Manager: Plan and execute email campaigns, manage subscriber lists, and analyze email performance for impactful communication.
  • Paid Media Manager (PPC): Manage and optimize paid advertising campaigns, including pay-per-click (PPC) ads, to drive targeted results.
  • Inbound Marketing Manager: Attract and nurture leads through content, SEO, and other inbound strategies to bring value to your audience.
  • Analytics Manager: Specialize in data analysis, utilizing tools like Google Analytics to gain insights and continuously improve campaigns.
  • E-commerce Marketing Manager: Focus on digital strategies tailored for e-commerce platforms, optimizing for conversions and driving sales.
  • Brand Manager: Manage and maintain the brand image across digital channels, ensuring consistency and resonance with your target audience.
  • Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Manager: Coordinate marketing efforts across various channels for a cohesive and integrated approach in your marketing strategy.
  • Marketing Automation Specialist: Utilize marketing automation tools to streamline tasks and nurture leads effectively in your digital marketing efforts.
  • Digital Marketing Consultant: Offer expert advice and services to businesses on their digital marketing strategies as a knowledgeable consultant.

What Type of Companies Hire a Digital Marketing Manager?

  • E-commerce Companies: Join the vibrant world of online retail, driving digital marketing strategies to boost sales and enhance the online shopping experience.
  • Digital Agencies: Be part of dynamic marketing agencies, working with diverse clients to create and implement effective digital campaigns.
  • Tech Startups: Contribute your skills to innovative tech startups, shaping and executing digital marketing plans to establish brand presence and drive growth.
  • Corporate Enterprises: Navigate the digital landscape within established corporations, overseeing comprehensive digital marketing initiatives to strengthen market position.
  • Media and Entertainment: Dive into the exciting realm of media and entertainment, crafting digital strategies to engage audiences and promote content across platforms.
  • Healthcare Organizations: Make an impact in the healthcare sector, developing and managing digital marketing campaigns to reach and educate diverse audiences.
  • Financial Institutions: Join financial institutions, implementing digital strategies to enhance brand visibility, engage customers, and drive financial product awareness.
  • Consumer Goods and Retail: Contribute to the success of consumer goods and retail companies, developing digital campaigns to connect with customers and drive product sales.
  • Hospitality and Travel: Shape the digital presence of hospitality and travel brands, creating campaigns to attract customers and enhance the overall customer experience.
  • Education and EdTech: Work in the education sector or with EdTech companies, leveraging digital marketing to reach students, educators, and lifelong learners.
  • Nonprofit Organizations: Channel your skills for a cause by working with nonprofits, creating digital strategies to raise awareness, drive donations, and support meaningful missions.
  • Real Estate and Property Management: Contribute to the growth of real estate and property management companies, using digital marketing to showcase properties and attract clients.
  • Consulting Firms: Bring your expertise to consulting firms, advising clients on digital marketing strategies to optimize their online presence and achieve business goals.
  • Manufacturing and B2B Companies: Contribute to the success of manufacturing and B2B companies, developing digital marketing initiatives to reach a professional audience and drive business partnerships.
  • Government Agencies: Work in the public sector, contributing to government initiatives by implementing digital marketing strategies for public awareness and engagement.

Should I Become a Digital Marketing Manager?

The decision to become a Digital Marketing Manager is a significant step that requires careful consideration of various factors. We have covered insights such as how to become a digital marketing manager, the expected salary of a digital marketing manager, skills you may need, and more. 

As you reflect on the insights provided in this article, consider your personal interests, skills, and long-term career goals. The dynamic nature of digital marketing offers a plethora of opportunities and challenges, from creative campaign ideation to data-driven analytics. Evaluate the diverse roles within digital marketing, from social media management to SEO specialization, and envision how your unique skills can contribute to this dynamic field. 

Acknowledge the importance of continuous learning, adaptability, and staying informed about industry trends to thrive in the role of a Digital Marketing Manager. Ultimately, your decision should stem from a combination of knowledge, self-awareness, and a clear understanding of what the role entails.

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Lace Brunsden

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