How to Become a Digital Marketing Manager

As the digital marketing field continues to grow in popularity, you may be wondering how to become a digital marketing manager. Digital marketing managers are responsible for implementing, overseeing, and managing digital marketing strategies that advance an organization’s mission by reaching a large audience and attaining greater exposure. This often results in increased sales, donations, or community interest and involvement.

Tablet computer displaying different analytic overviews of traffic to a website

To excel in a digital marketing manager role, you should have data analysis, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and email marketing skills; proficiency in current and emerging technology platforms and tools; and a foundation in traditional marketing strategies.

What Does a Digital Marketing Manager Do?

Because of the varied responsibilities particular to each organization, the concept of digital marketing is often confused or oversimplified. While many professionals in various organizations perform similar tasks, digital marketing managers are responsible for enhancing and growing their company’s digital assets.

Along with developing marketing campaigns in promotion of a company or service, digital marketing managers spearhead brand awareness in the digital arena. They direct website traffic, oversee social media initiatives, and find customer and business leads.

Steps to Become a Digital Marketing Manager

To excel in the field, digital marketing managers must be knowledgeable of digital marketing best practices and industry standards. This includes being well-versed in website analytics, data analysis, and content creation.

If you’re looking to pursue a career as a digital marketing manager, you must keep up to date with the latest technology trends. Becoming recognized as a thought leader is also helpful. You can gain this recognition by maintaining a personal blog and regularly contributing to social media, industry websites, and publications. Continuing education and professional development are also hallmarks of success in this field.

Step One: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Since the roles and duties of a digital marketing manager vary widely, students wishing to pursue this career path come from various backgrounds. Digital marketing managers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as an online bachelor’s in marketing, digital media, communication, website/graphic design, English, or liberal studies. While these professionals most often manage digital content, some are also tasked with directing and developing team members.

Step Two: Choose Your Path

The digital marketing field is broad, so students should strive to select a specialty that suits their interests, qualifications, and abilities.

Digital marketing managers focused on search engine optimization (SEO) continually assess search engine methodology, including algorithms, to achieve optimum results and outcomes for their clients and organizations. Pay-per-click (PPC) digital marketing managers employ internet marketing practices to direct web traffic and user attention to certain websites or specific areas of websites. This specialty requires comfort with and proficiency in all aspects of digital advertising, website analytics, and conversion rate optimization.

Digital marketing managers who are responsible for an organization’s social media presence help maintain strong relationships — both online and offline — between clients/customers and brands by developing the organization’s overall social media strategy. Digital marketing managers may oversee a social media specialist, who usually carries out the organization’s day-to-day social media tasks, such as posting content or responding to comments or questions from the organization’s followers.

Step Three: Practice Continuing Education

New technology and business approaches are constantly emerging. As such, if you wish to excel in the field of digital marketing management, you should prioritize your ongoing professional development through such means as conducting personal research, attending workshops and seminars, networking with industry professionals, and attaining advanced degrees.

In addition, some technical certification may be necessary. Depending on a digital marketing manager’s niche, certification could pertain to SEO, PPC, data analytics, website programming (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, for example), social media marketing, content management systems (CMS), or content creation.

Aspiring digital marketing managers should also hone certain soft skills, such as flexibility, personability, storytelling, an eye for design, an understanding of the “sales funnel,” and organization.

In this regard, a master’s degree in management and leadership may also be beneficial.

Digital Marketing Manager Salaries

Digital marketing manager salaries vary by industry, company size, project scope, and education level. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2017 median pay for all marketing managers was $132,230.

Employment Outlook for Digital Marketing Managers

As a result of people’s increased personal and professional reliance on technology, the outlook for digital marketing managers is strong. The BLS predicts the demand for marketing managers in general will increase by 10 percent between 2016 and 2026. As more users turn to online assistance to complete tasks, from banking to shopping, the need for adept digital marketing managers is likely to increase in the coming years.

Explore Your Career Options

Now that you know what digital marketing managers do and how to become one, it could be time to take the next step toward a career. Maryville University’s online bachelor’s in marketing program can help you develop the knowledge and skills to succeed in this innovative, fast-growing field. Visit the program page to learn more about the curriculum and career opportunities that may await.


Indeed, “What Does a Digital Marketing Manager Do?”
Maryville University, Careers with a Marketing Degree
Maryville University, Online Marketing Degree
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers