What does a digital marketing manager do?

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    • 18th September 2018

    Yorkshire and especially Leeds offer a lot of roles for digital marketing managers. But what does a digital marketing manager actually do?

    And how do you best get into this career path as a graduate or a career-changer?

    Read on to discover what a digital marketing manager does, what skills are great for success within the role and why Leeds is so important for digital marketing jobs.




    “Digital marketing managers strategically plan, implement and manage creative projects that grow a brand’s overall online presence. “

    Even with this definition digital marketing remains a very broad spectrum. For the sake of clarity, we’ll define it a bit further.

    Creative or technical

    There are traditionally 2 career routes for a digital marketing manager to pursue: Creative and technical.

    • A digital marketer focusing on the technical part of the role will be well versed on the data-driven side of things. Analysing data from Google Analytics and project managing with the web development team to ensure overall functionality of the brand’s website will be a large part of it. A digital manager interested in the technical side of things is also more likely to specialise in paid advertising.


    • A digital marketer with more strengths in the creative side of campaigns will be involved in the day to day part of developing campaign creatives, copywriting and ensuring social engagement. The creative digital manager is more likely to specialise in content marketing or social media marketing.


    • Despite there being two different routes for digital marketing managers, a competitive digital marketer is aware of both areas. Improving a website’s overall SEO is generally the end-goal of a creative campaign, but you can’t achieve this without understanding what you need to accomplish (technical analysis) and how to get your audience on board with the campaign (creative).
    digital campaign creative board
    All roads of digital

    Basic skills

    Regardless of choosing the technical or creative route, every digital marketing manager needs the following basic skills:

    • Project management

    Keeping track of a project’s progress and ensuring it meets the deadlines.

    • Speaking skills

    Often a digital marketer will be required to do a presentation, but they will also need to pitch campaign ideas to clients. Good speaking skills are therefore essential for the role.

    • Editing and writing skills

    Even for someone specialising in the technical area of digital marketing, a keen eye for copy is important. A user’s experience can’t be improved if you neglect how you’re communicating with them.

    • Data analysis

    Even the most creative among us need to be able to analyse the data in front of them. A story can’t be found if the survey data can’t be sufficiently analysed. Likewise a digital marketing campaign should never be started until the quantitative goals are set.

    Specialist areas

    As mentioned within the definition section of the article there are usually specific areas in which digital marketing managers specialise.

    • Content marketing

    A digital marketing manager who champions content marketing has a good understanding of copywriting, SEO, email marketing and also PR.

    • Social media marketing

    There’s a lot of value in social media marketing, when it comes to growing a brand’s online presence. A keen understanding of how to engage across social media  channels is a vital skill that is a job role in it’s own right. Social media managers frequently start out in a broader digital marketing role, but this is now changing with many starter and graduate jobs now being in social media.

    • Paid Advertising

    Pay per Click (PPC) and paid social adverts require a strategic and highly analytical approach. Spotting the right opportunity and be able to set the right bid campaign to secure return on investment (ROI).

    • Creative account management

    Specialising in the bigger picture is also a route to consider pursuing. Many client-side and smaller creative agency roles are looking for someone who can orgainse and implement all of the above.

    team analysing digital results
    Set your goals

    Career-changers getting into digital marketing

    Degrees in digital marketing are on the rise, though a lot of marketers have found their way into digital marketing too.

    A career-changer doesn’t have to go back to school though, as certificates in digital areas are a great way for career changers to enter the digital job market. You don’t necessarily need to pay for certificates either. For example, Google offers an array of courses for certificates that just require time and study.

    Many career-changers from a writing background or office admin background are drawn towards the creative-side of digital marketing. While you’re sometimes even find an accountant changing into the paid advertising side of things.

    How the role is changing

    The amount of digital marketing jobs is on the rise. Creative agencies that once specialised in one advertising area such as design have broadened out to include digital services. And digital agencies that once focused purely on digital marketing are broadening out to include full service marketing solutions.

    Likewise specialist digital agencies, such as social media agencies, are growing in numbers due to a trend towards specialising key talent in their area of highest expertise.

    This has created a landscape of full-service marketing agencies (with backgrounds in marketing and digital) and specialist digital agencies championing their expertise in social media and PPC only. Digital marketing agencies, social media marketing agencies and integrated marketing agencies all need the most talented digital marketers.

    However what was once viewed as a marketing channel in its own right is now a core part of marketing. Traditional digital only roles are morphing into overall marketing roles. While marketers once had to adapt to digital knowhow, the digital marketers are taking on more general marketing tactics to achieve overall branding success for clients.

    “Constant new developments in our sector has meant more new businesses, departments and marketing strategies, all leading to the rise of the digital marketing manager and the amount of jobs we receive in this particular area.

    It’s a position that requires a thirst for knowledge and a passion to keep up with (or ahead of) the market so a great time for growth.”

    – Ian Rigby | Gloss Recruitment 

    Digital marketing jobs in Leeds

    With a 138% increase of technical startups recorded between 2011 and 2016 as discovered by Tech Nation, Leeds has earned its title as digital hub of the north.

    The city of Leeds is undergoing a large change at the moment as well. Areas like Quarry Hill and Wellington Place are undergoing large redevelopments to entice more residents and more companies to call Leeds their home.

    Creative agencies in Leeds are expanding across the UK and across the pond into the USA. The digital industry of Leeds broke the £1bn turnover mark in 2017 and with the hopes of Channel 4 making Leeds their Headquarters there’s bound to more creative and digital work for the region.

    Basically there’s a large demand for digital marketing jobs in Leeds and this demand is likely to increase over the next few years.

    county arcade leeds
    Digital transforming retail in Leeds

    Are you ready for digital marketing jobs in Leeds?

    If this article has got you raring to go, at Gloss Recruitment we have a wide selection of digital marketing jobs in Leeds and across Yorkshire waiting for you to apply.

    Take a look at our jobs section here. Or submit your CV to discuss the latest digital marketing jobs in Leeds.

    Alternatively, if you’re a recruiter in Leeds looking for top digital talent call us on 0113 209 5705 to discuss your vacancy.