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How to become a Digital Marketing Manager in 2022

The role of Digital Marketing Manager is one of the most popular and rewarding jobs in digital marketing. It’s an indispensable role on any marketing team and therefore highly sought-after by employers of all kinds.

Here’s our comprehensive 2022 guide to the role, explaining how to become a digital marketing manager, what exactly they do, the skills needed to succeed in the job, and the day-to-day tasks they undertake.

Learn essential marketing manager skills on our Digital Marketing MSc

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What does a digital marketing manager do?

The exact roles and responsibilities of digital marketing managers can vary depending on the size and type of the team and wider organisation. Roles also differ by the split between lead generation and brand awareness, as well as B2B versus B2C approaches. Some digital marketing managers do a lot of account-based marketing, others focus more on demand generation – it depends on the company and role. However, the fundamental duties of the position are usually the same:

Strategising

Digital Marketing Managers need to be able to plan and manage a digital marketing approach and content over a set period of time in order to meet the objectives of the marketing team and business as a whole. Taking ownership of digital marketing strategies is one of the most critical tasks a digital marketing manager does, and requires several skills (which we’ll get onto shortly).

Budgeting

In conjunction with strategy, marketing managers will usually be responsible for ensuring that plans are properly costed and good value for money. Marketing is, after all, part of a commercial enterprise, and exists to make the business more profitable. Cost-effective use of funds is key to create good return on investment (ROI).

Metrics and reporting

Digital marketing managers must monitor all their campaigns and output very closely. Keeping track of marketing metrics and analysing the data allows you to see what’s working well, what isn’t, and adjust your activities accordingly.

Oversee content

Whether it’s proofreading copy and monitoring tone of voice in web page copy or briefing a social media image to graphic designers, marketing managers are responsible for consistent branding and quality of the team’s content output.

 

What are a digital marketing manager’s key skills?

With these responsibilities in mind, there are particular skills you’ll need to fulfil the tasks required of the job.

Project management

In the melting pot of creatives, stakeholders, clients, brand agencies, and directors, the digital marketing manager is the one mixing the alloys and making sure everything is working harmoniously together to fit into the brand mould. Being able to effectively manage complex projects is a huge and crucial part of the role. Within this skillset, organisation and time management are key.

Communication

Running a tight ship and keeping so many stakeholders happy calls for excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. You must be able to brief creatives clearly and concisely, as well as liaise with senior management – both listening to their concerns and relaying updates on your marketing activities. A tactful approach and good people skills are vital.

Hard marketing skills

A digital marketing manager needs to know their PPC from their SEO. There are many digital marketing tools at your disposal but you must understand how each works, and when and how to deploy them. There’s no substitute for having concrete knowledge of digital marketing techniques and channels, from social media to email marketing and more.

IT and web skills

As the title suggests, a digital marketing manager’s daily tasks involve using diverse online channels to get an organisation’s message across. It therefore helps to have some understanding of coding and programming languages, an appreciation of web design and user experience (UX), as well as a familiarity with web analytics tools and e-commerce. Online project management and word processing programmes will also come in very handy – particularly in the 2022 age of hybrid working.

Why study our double accredited MSc Digital Marketing course   

 

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A step-by-step guide to becoming a digital marketing manager

Is it hard to become a digital marketing manager?

Is it a role that’s best suited to my skills and experience?

Do you need a masters degree to become a digital marketing manager?

If you’re asking yourself these questions you should first bear in mind that there are a few different routes to the role. Like any job, it may take some experience in the industry to work your way up to a management position but there are various opportunities out there to kickstart your marketing career.

1. Start from the bottom and work up

Becoming a digital marketing manager usually involves some ladder climbing. If you can get work in an agency or an entry-level position such as a junior marketing executive, that’s the best way to learn what attributes and abilities are needed to succeed in a marketing team.

The key to showing an employer you can perform at a managerial level is having experience of actually doing the job and even being able to show a portfolio of work under your belt. Once you’ve been thrown in at the deep end and dealt with a variety of briefs, you’ll soon build up a skills base and be able to demonstrate how you can handle a digital marketing manager’s responsibilities.

But you may be wondering: how do I get an entry-level digital marketing manager or agency role?

2. Do an internship or apprenticeship

If you haven’t worked in digital marketing before, interning can be a quick way to learn the ropes and figure out exactly where you want to be in the team. Contact marketing teams and agencies and ask about their available internships.

You’ll learn what someone in a digital marketing manager position does day-to-day and have the chance to ask questions and gain some hands-on experience. It can also lead to full-time job offers and looks impressive on your CV. In the UK, by law internships now have to be paid, however this is likely to be low or minimum wage and  opportunities are generally quite hard to come by.

Apprenticeships are similar to internships but usually more long-term commitments. Agencies and in-house marketing teams are taking on apprentices more commonly these days and it’s an arrangement that works for both parties. You’ll get lots of real-world, hands-on experience, and the company gets an entry-level employee who’s keen to learn and help out.

3. Find a Grad Scheme

Graduate schemes are a great way for employers to attract the brightest and best young talent coming out of university and develop their skills. Look out for opportunities to apply to grad schemes via careers fairs, company websites and in industry publications. Competition for places can be fierce, but if you get accepted, your career track in digital marketing management is taken care of (at least for a year or two).

4. Do freelance marketing work

Thankfully there’s a wealth of internet resources so you can learn and practice almost any area of digital marketing entirely on your own to build an impressive portfolio. Read up on your areas of interest – be that SEO, digital marketing project management software, Google Analytics, etc. There are great blogs, videos and how-to guides freely available online.

Once you’re confident, offer your services to friends, colleagues or companies. Alternatively, create real or invented campaigns across your chosen channels and practice managing them. Record the results and you have real-world experience to demonstrate to recruiters.

5. Find a masters in digital marketing

Digital marketing degrees are not the only path to a digital marketing manager position. But if you want a comprehensive grounding in all relevant areas that a manager needs to know, the advanced level of knowledge a good masters will teach you is unparalleled.

Employers are also much more likely to take you on directly into a manager position if you can show you have the knowledge and experience gained through a postgraduate qualification.

If you’re not sure about the benefits of a masters, read our blog post on whether a digital marketing degree is worth it.

Discover our online Digital Marketing masters course

 

What is a typical digital marketing manager salary?

Earnings vary by industry, company and size of a marketing team. But if you know your stuff and can show employers that your activities will have a positive impact on the company’s profitability, you’ll be in high demand as a digital marketing manager.

A Glassdoor survey finds that in London the average salary for a digital marketing manager is £43,349 a year. In the UK as a whole, CV Library puts the average at £37,935 with a normal starting salary for an entry-level manager at £25,000.

Career progression opportunities can see earnings rise as high as £100,000 or more in roles such as marketing director or regional manager, so there are big opportunities in the digital marketing world if you have the aptitude and resilience for the job.

 

Digital Marketing MSc at Northumbria University

Becoming a digital marketing manager can be a very fulfilling career. Since every company needs to do marketing, and the internet isn’t going away any time soon, the opportunities are nearly endless for a skilled manager.

To find out more about what it takes to excel in digital marketing as a whole, visit our course page for our Digital Marketing masters and discover what you can learn on our online programme.  Read more about out why you should study our double accredited course

 

 


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