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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 broad audience and attaining greater exposure. The results of their efforts include increased sales, donations, or community interest and involvement.

A digital marketing manager sits at his desk and works on his computer

To excel in a digital marketing manager role, individuals should have a range of skills in data analysis, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and email marketing. Additional competencies should include proficiency in current and emerging technology platforms and tools, as well as a foundation in traditional marketing strategies.

What Does a Digital Marketing Manager Do?

The role of a digital marketing manager encompasses varied responsibilities. Their primary focus is on enhancing and growing their company’s digital assets and creating opportunities to generate sales.

Along with developing marketing campaigns that promote a company or service, digital marketing managers spearhead brand awareness in the digital arena. Among other responsibilities, they direct website traffic, oversee social media initiatives, and target customer and business leads.

Qualifications for Digital Marketing Managers

To excel in the field, professionals must be knowledgeable of digital marketing best practices and industry standards. Additional qualifications include knowledge and mastery in the following areas.

  • It is essential to keep up with the latest technology trends, including being well versed in website analytics and data analysis tools. A digital marketing manager should understand how emerging technology trends, such as augmented reality (AR), can provide customers with unique and immersive experiences.
  • Understanding the role that content plays in digital marketing strategy is key, including creating content for SEO, social media, blogs, websites, email, video, and more. Aligning the branding and messaging in digital marketing content with more traditional marketing materials is essential for promoting brand consistency.
  • Becoming recognized as a thought leader adds another dimension to the role of a digital marketing manager. Professionals can gain this recognition by maintaining a personal blog and regularly contributing to social media, industry websites, and publications.
  • Pursuing credentials such as the Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) certificate from the American Marketing Association (AMA) can boost a candidate’s qualifications. Additionally, becoming Google AdWords certified enables professionals to demonstrate expertise in Google AdWords and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns.

The path to becoming a digital marketing manager can vary depending on the industry, company, and other factors. However, the following three steps are essential.

Step One: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Since the roles and duties of a digital marketing manager span a wide range, students of different backgrounds and interests can pursue the career path. Digital marketing managers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as marketing, digital media, communication, website/graphic design, English, or liberal arts. While these professionals most often manage digital content, some may direct and develop 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. There are several paths a digital marketer can go down; two examples are SEO marketing and PPC marketing.

Digital marketing managers who focus on search engine optimization (SEO) continually assess search engine methodology, including algorithms, to achieve optimum search engine outcomes.

PPC digital marketing managers employ internet marketing practices to direct web traffic and user attention to certain websites or specific website pages. This specialty requires familiarity 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 healthy relationships — both online and offline — between clients, customers, and brands by developing an overall social media strategy. Digital marketing managers may also oversee a social media specialist who usually carries out the organization’s day-to-day social media tasks. Some digital marketing managers are active in posting content themselves, or responding to comments or questions from the organization’s followers.

Step Three: Practice Continuing Education

Continuing education and professional development are also hallmarks of success for digital marketing managers. New technology and business approaches are continually emerging. As a result, it is essential to prioritize ongoing professional development by conducting personal research, attending workshops and seminars, networking with industry professionals, and attaining advanced education.

Also, some technical certifications may be necessary. Depending on a digital marketing manager’s niche, certification may pertain to the following:

  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Data analytics
  • Website programming (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, for example)
  • Social media
  • Content management systems (CMS)
  • Content creation

Aspiring digital marketing managers should also hone certain soft skills:

  • Flexibility
  • Personability ― interpersonal communication
  • Storytelling
  • An eye for design
  • An understanding of the “sales funnel”
  • Project management

Since a comprehensive set of both hard and soft skills influence the success of digital marketing managers, 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 (BLS), the median pay for all marketing managers was $136,850 as of May 2019.

Employment Outlook for Digital Marketing Managers

As a result of society’s increased personal and professional reliance on technology, the outlook for digital marketing managers is healthy. The BLS predicts the demand for marketing managers, in general, will increase by 8% between 2018 and 2028. As more users turn to conduct their banking and shopping activities online, the need for adept digital marketing managers is likely to continue 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 forward in your career. Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science 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.

Recommended Reading:
What Does the Future of Advertising Look Like?
11 Modern Marketing Skills for Business Innovators to Master
Exploring Entrepreneurship: Starting and Operating a Small Business

Sources:
American Marketing Association, “Digital Marketing Certification”
Indeed, “Learn About Being a Digital Marketing Manager”
Maryville University, BS in Marketing Degree Online
Maryville University, Careers with a Marketing Degree
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers