A Digital Marketing Executive is a type of Marketing Manager who has a special focus on digital marketing.
A Digital Marketing Executive is a type of Marketing Manager who has a special focus on digital marketing. Due to the rapidly increasing use of the internet, many companies now have a significant digital output or online presence, and so specialised digital marketing positions are on the increase. A role in digital marketing can relate to one or more of the following:
- Marketing of digital products such as websites and mobile applications, in a variety of different ways, both online and offline. This could mean creating printed materials such as brochures and posters as well as online marketing campaigns.
- Marketing of any product (digital or not) using digital marketing strategies. This includes any marketing campaign that is based online, such as social networking, viral YouTube videos, and online adverts.
Many companies end up combining the two roles, as both the product and the way in which it is being marketed is digital. For example, an e-commerce website such as Amazon.co.uk may not only require online marketing of the website and its products (e.g. through adverts and other online campaigns) but offline marketing as well (e.g. with printed materials such as posters.)
Typical responsibilities include:
- Seeking out new opportunities for online marketing campaigns
- Providing information to sales teams on how to market digital products
- Contributing to global marketing strategies for products
- Writing marketing copy for websites and maintaining activity on these websites
- Liaising with software developers to enable search engine optimisation
- Analysing web traffic to company websites and providing monthly reports
- Liaising with web and graphic designers to create visually effective software
- Creating and maintaining social networking channels
- Writing copy for email marketing campaigns
- Creating brochures and other printed materials to supplement online products
- Communicating key information relating to digital products to non-digital marketing colleagues
- Attending conferences, product launches and networking events
There are no specific qualifications that are a requirement for this role. Despite the modern job title, most employers seeking digital marketing executives will look for someone with a traditional academic background. Since marketing in any medium requires strong written skills, the ideal candidate is likely to have a degree in a humanities subject. Any qualifications that demonstrate a strong familiarity with the internet and web design will be a plus.
What makes Digital Marketing Executives different from other marketing professionals is their specialist knowledge of the digital arena. Ideal candidates for the job will be highly up-to-date with advances in web technology and will know all about social networking and viral marketing campaigns. They will need to know how to use technical language effectively, using all the appropriate internet jargon, and they will know what makes a product innovative in the digital world. They will also need to know how to communicate the key features of a digital product to customers and colleagues who are not as technically literate as they are.
Digital marketing executives need to:
- Be comfortable writing and communicating effectively about technology
- Have a strong interest in the future of digital products
- Think creatively about innovative approaches to marketing
- Understand what makes a good online marketing campaign
- Enjoy explaining the benefits of software to people who are not already familiar with it
Even though a technical background is not essential for digital marketing, it helps if you understand how a website or other digital product technically works. The more understanding you have of what you are trying to promote, the better you will promote it. Technical skills also help from a communication point of view, as you can demonstrate marketing requirements to software developers and designers using more detailed concepts and visualisations.
Therefore the following skills are desirable in the role of digital marketing:
- Graphic design
- Video editing
- Web development
For an entry-level role into digital marketing, the ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate a good mix of creative and technical skills. For a more senior role, they will have significant experience of digital marketing, and this may be complemented further by a background in web design and development.
Digital marketing executives typically work standard hours in the office. Since most of their work will be based online, there will not be a day-to-day customer interaction, and often a digital marketing executive will be able to dress casually in the same way a web developer would be. However, like colleagues in other marketing roles, digital marketing managers will be expected to attend product tradeshows, launches and other networking events. Digital marketing executives are key to digital product demonstrations as they will have the technical knowledge to explain them in the most effective way.
Digital marketing executives can be employed by a range of companies such as online shops, banks, charities and publishers. They can also be hired by a digital marketing agency, which will specialise in digital marketing. With enough industry contacts, digital marketing executives often do freelance brand management online for small websites, or set up their own online marketing company. Often, web developers will offer online marketing as an additional feature in the package they already offer, so if the digital marketing executive has a background in web development, they can combine it and offer a complete web solution to their clients.
The salary of a Digital Marketing Executive can vary greatly depending on the size and profitability of the company. While it is often in line with the salary of a Marketing Manager (with typical salaries ranging between £25,000 and £40,000), Digital Marketing Executives have the advantage of having specialised skills relating to digital marketing and knowledge of related fields such as e-commerce. Because of this, digital marketing professionals can often end up earning more than their Marketing Manager counterparts.
Successful digital marketing managers can progress to senior digital marketing positions. It is possible to progress from being in charge of a particular digital product to being in charge of the entire online marketing strategy for a particular company. This may also mean being involved in the vision for the company’s digital future, not just in marketing.
Careers at Fubra – Find digital marketing vacancies at Fubra, Hampshire.
Also known as…
- Online Marketing Manager
- Online Brand Manager
What’s it really like?
Virgil Ierubino is a 25 year old Digital Marketing Executive, currently working at the publisher Cambridge University Press.
Here he explains his career so far:
I graduated in 2008 with a degree in Philosophy from Cambridge University. As arts students will know, apart from academia, there is no obvious career path for graduates in this subject. However, philosophy taught me to think logically and write creatively, and both these skills ended up being invaluable for my marketing career so far. Apart from philosophy, I had always taken a huge interest in the digital field. I have always been very technical, and my knowledge of software made me an ideal candidate for digital marketing roles.
After I graduated, I secured the role of Marketing Manager at a company which sells animation software. I managed the brand, devised marketing campaigns and controlled the company’s website. Just under a year later, I left the company and for a brief period decided to be a freelance web designer. I then took up my present role as digital marketing executive at Cambridge University Press, where I market the catalogue of English Language teaching books and software, in a medium-sized team with other marketing colleagues.
My typical day in the office involves lots of varied tasks for different projects. I work on a lot of documents such as marketing plans, sales support guides and website briefs for suppliers. I also attend team meetings to discuss upcoming products and how best to promote them. Once a month I login to various systems to generate sales reports, and circulate them within the team together with an executive summary and commentary. I also login to social networking sites frequently and post appropriately.
I like the job a lot because of how varied it is — I am involved with a number of different projects at once so I never have to get bogged down in one thing. I also like the opportunity I have to influence and define the company’s direction for new types of digital products. The main thing I like though is the chance to be creative and experimental: because digital products and digital marketing is a quickly evolving field, there’s a chance to promote very interesting new products and be really innovative in campaigns.
Even though there is plenty of room for creativity, there are some more mundane aspects of the role which I don’t enjoy so much, such as generating sales reports. Also, because I am in a very traditional company that isn’t used to digital marketing, I often have to persuade people of marketing initiatives that they don’t immediately agree with. The other frustrating thing about this is that digital marketing and marketing for software is not always given the same priority and budget as traditional marketing or the marketing of books.
My advice to anyone seeking a career in digital marketing is to be very aware of what is happening in the digital scene. Know all the digital jargon and latest developments in gadgets such as mobile phones. It is worthwhile developing your skills in computer software too. Once you get the role, chances are you will be in the same team as people who don’t have digital marketing interests. Make yourself an expert and don’t be shy in taking the responsibility for all things digital in your team.