What does a Digital Marketing Manager Do?

So what does a digital marketing manager do?

It’s a good question. A question which could generate many different answers based on experience and if you ask someone in-house or agency.

I was a Digital Marketing Manager agency side. Born out of being a Marketing Manager client side. But now I’m a freelance consultant.

I just wanted to be good at doing online stuff and doing it my way. So I specialised in one area, mainly analytics, and got good at it.

I did the more traditional marketing tactics like literature, direct mail, exhibtions and PR mallarcky for a few years whilst working for a few product manufacturers in the automotive and construction sectors – I just thought it was boring and repetitive. I couldn’t prove my worth either – not with metrics like AEV and how many brochures we sent out.

I enjoyed doing online marketing. In fact I loved it. I still do now.

The Marketing Managers role is now becoming much more segmented.

Let’s assume we are talking about the in-house marketer. A Digital Marketing Manager manages the digital (or online) elements of the marketing mix, integrates with offline (print, PR etc), also gets involved in strategic side of things like setting KPI’s. A digital marketing manager works with other departments (sales, customer services, HR etc) to ensure the implementation of the marketing plan is coordinated, aligned, consistent and meets business objectives.

It’s too easy to give a current employee the title Digital Marketing Manager purely because the senior person giving the title doesn’t do digital or fully understand digital themselves but know they need to be on it. Probably also because the employee knows what a “retweet” is. This person may also be titled Social Media Manager.

I once saw a job ad for a “Digital and Online Marketing Manager”. What’s the difference between digital and online?

In my opinion, today’s Marketing Manager is required to know too much. Too many channels, too many changes in technology, emerging segments and the rapid pace at which news travels.

So what does a Marketing Manager do today? Personally, I think the role of the Marketing Manager is becoming much more segmented since the rise of digital and multi channel marketing.

We now see management type roles emerging for Content, Community, Social Media, Usability and so on. Specific.

We see lots of roles managing specific areas of the bigger picture.

Here’a a pretty good description of what a digital marketing coordinators role should be.

Marketers are learning that one little area maybe the cause of something bigger further along down the line. Take Usability as an example and it’s effect on revenue or conversions. A Marketing Manager may not have the time to focus on this, but it’s the sole job of a Usability Manager.

But then if you are an in-house Digital Marketing Manager then you might employ an agency who specialises in Usability.

Do one thing and do it well?

Marketing is always evolving. It’s evolving fast. It’s important to keep up or at least be familiar with new tactics, tools and channels as they emerge. It’s the job of any marketer to know what’s going on and how things are changing.

People’s buying habits and behaviour is changing.

How people consume information is changing too.

Who’s analysing how your customers are changing? An analyst? If so, then a Digital Marketing Manager may use this information to develop new strategies or campaigns to generate more leads or revenue from the web.

Can marketers react in real-time?

The Marketing Manager would once have to wait 3-4 weeks to see their ad in a magazine.

The Digital Marketing Manager waits 2 minutes to see an online ad and then collated results after 30 minutes.

The Marketing Manager would have to wait another 3-4 weeks to change the copy in the ad. The Digital Marketing Manager reacts in real time to change the online ad copy based on behaviour and analytical data.

Whilst marketers adapt for the customers of today, they also have to plan for the customer in 5 years time. What will they look like? How will they behave?

So what does a digital marketing manager do?

Creates, develops and/or implements the short and long term strategy and campaigns to increase leads or revenue from the internet. They also manage a team of specialists (PPC, SEO etc) to help carry out the tactical approaches.

Here’s an excellent must-read post titled ‘The T-Shaped Web Marketer‘ by Rand Fishkin.

5 thoughts on “What does a Digital Marketing Manager Do?

  1. Charise

    Excellent article on what digital marketing managers really do!! 🙂 Being a digital marketer the responsibilities are continuously being separated into new roles and titles as the industry evolves (very quickly as I might add). Which is great so it allows a company to properly focus on the different aspects of online marketing. I personally love both the analytics and creative side of digital, so it’s hard to see it being segmented but it’s all for the best I suppose.

  2. Luis

    Total agree with the post. I am actually digital marketing manager at a group of shopping centres in Europe and I corroborate that it’s ot of work in too much branches.

    What still is a quiz for me is to unfold what is the next step in a digital marketing manager career? Any idea?

    All the best.

  3. Neel


    Thanks for the information! I have experience of 5 years in marketing and around 2 years in digital marketing. I work in a consulting environment, where we have to handle many clients. So I didn’t get a change to dive deep into digital marketing. I know SEO, SEM and SMM but the problem is that I didn’t work on any of those extensively. Is there anything that I could (learning any courses) do to make sure that my next job would be into complete digital marketing?

  4. Antonio

    Thanks for the article, I enjoyed it, I agree Marketers have to be much more segmented, interestingly savvy SME owners now see then need to bring in specialist consultant to help manage their business.


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