Marketing management, made digital
In 2022, digital marketing is not just a popular activity among brands, it is a vocation brands must engage in if they wish to compete for leads, conversions and long-term customers. Lucky for them (and for you), there are countless new digital marketing management tools, technologies, and trends cropping up around every corner.
With a digital device, an internet connection and the right skills, the possibilities of what you can accomplish in the field of digital marketing management and the returns you can reap are near endless.
But you do have to mind the gap. The talent gap, that is.
The digital marketing talent gap
Although digital marketing management is in high demand for all types of brands, with social media budgets set to double over the next five years, 33 percent of traffic from Google’s organic search results hitting the top of the SERPs and worldwide digital ad spent is expected to exceed a whopping $375 billion by 2022, many traditional marketing professionals have yet to achieve entry-level competency in digital marketing skills and digital marketing management skills.
Compound the above with the fact that the modern-day workforce is shifting over to the world of working freelance and an unavoidable and growing skills gap has begun to affect brands’ abilities to successfully harness the power of digital for marketing management purposes.
When it comes to digital marketing management, 90 percent of digital marketing managers report falling short on the skills they need to succeed - and only 8 percent of brands feel that their digital marketing management personnel are strong, capable and accomplishing set KPIs.
What is marketing management?
Marketing management is the organizational discipline which focuses on the practical application of marketing orientation, techniques and methods inside enterprises and organizations and on the management of a firm's marketing resources and activities.
In other words, marketing management is the “planning, organizing, controlling and implementing of marketing programs, policies, strategies and tactics designed to create and satisfy the demand for the firms' product offerings or services as a means of generating an acceptable profit.”
Ok, but what does it really mean?
What does a marketing manager do?
A marketing manager's job is to establish and direct all marketing efforts for the brand. These include target marketing, demand generation, developing pricing strategies, executing marketing channels and monitoring the latest trends. A marketing manager often uses marketing frameworks and marketing plan templates to create and execute the marketing strategy.
Top must-have skills for every digital marketing manager
So, what skills does the modern-day digital marketing manager actually require to keep abreast of their team, tools, and outcomes? In a way, today’s digital marketing managers are like orchestra conductors.
They need to know all about the different “instruments” in play, as well as how to manage them to create a lively, interesting and engaging symphony that is sure to attract and retain an audience. These instruments, or skills, can be divided into two principal categories - professional, industry skills and soft management skills.
What are marketing manager skills?
Marketing manager skills are individual competencies and abilities that help marketing managers succeed in their role. They include both soft skills and hard skills that vary depending on the specific industry or specific marketing channels that the business has.
Hard skills refer to skills that require technical knowledge or industry expertise. These key skills can include things like market research, public relations, product development, supply chain management, analytical skills, or the ability to successfully manage marketing campaigns.
Soft skills are often things that people have a natural talent for and are typically associated with interacting with other people. An example of a soft skill could be the ability to resolve conflicts or lead a marketing team. This category could also include strategic thinking, critical thinking and interpersonal skills.
Both hard and soft skills are essential for every marketing manager. Here are the top 10 skills every digital marketing manager needs to have.
Top marketing manager skills
#1 - UX design skills
The experience a user has while on a brand’s website and while they are engaging with the brand's online marketing content is extremely important. A positive experience can lengthen the time they spend on site, how well they navigate the various pages, and how motivated they are to convert.
A negative experience can lead them to bounce and even provide negative reviews. As such, a cornerstone of digital marketing management is being able to ensure that the products, company website, and other digital marketing content is easy to navigate and use.
As a digital marketing manager, you need to be able to identify and guide great, effective and compelling UX design. You need to master the art of creating A/B tests and optimizing the usability of the site. The credibility of the brand you’re marketing for depends on it.
#2 - SEO & SEM skills
When it comes to digital marketing management, it is not merely enough to possess great search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) skills. You must also be able to communicate these skills and activities to the members of your team.
You also need to be able to keep up with the rapidly and dynamically changing worlds of SEO and SEM, which have, thus far, expanded to include “white hat marketing” techniques, like blogging and content writing. Not knowing which trends will get your brand’s content seen at the top of the SERPs is a major digital marketing management faux-pas.
#3 - Content management skills
Content is king, and overseeing the creation and publication of your brand’s content is the highly valuable digital marketing management skill that will ensure users are generated into hooked leads who ultimately convert. But successful digital marketing management requires that this skill be developed further to include the publication of content that has been optimized for the many digital channels; email, paid promotion on search engines and social channels (PPC), etc.
You must ensure that the content your team creates is engaging, credible and viral so that potential new and existing customers can’t help but click through and learn more.
#4 - Social media skills
Social media is where brands need to be, in order to reach a tremendous, interested and engaged audience. But there’s much more to social media marketing than simply creating posts and watching them go viral. Key to great digital marketing management is in-depth knowledge of each platform. You need to know:
- When to post
- Which platforms to post on
- Which types of content best engage with your target audience
- How to leverage paid social media promotion
- How to utilize social channels’ analytics programs
- And more.
This way you can more effectively guide your digital marketing team on content creation, the use of dedicated apps and social media tools, and the latest social media trends.
#5 - Responsive design/marketing skills
These days, consumers are interacting with brands from a host of digital devices - computers, tablets and smartphones. As such, digital marketing management responsibilities have naturally evolved to include ensuring that the content and campaigns produced are clear and convincing, regardless of the device they’re being viewed on.
Overseeing responsive design and marketing can be a tough skill to master, but it is also one that is both rewarding and critical to the ultimate success of your digital marketing management endeavors.
#6 - Analytics and tech tool skills
Analytics is the gift that keeps giving. It is the tool or repertoire of tools that can inform your digital marketing management activities and make your - and your team’s work life exponentially easier and more informed.
In the digital era, not acquiring analytics skills and learning which tools and techniques can provide you with actionable insights that direct digital marketing management decision-making, is a dire mistake. Master the realm of analytics and discover how tracking and analyzing data can help your team overcome perilous marketing obstacles and plateaus.
And, because the world we live in is truly tech-driven, understanding and knowing how to use the latest tech tools to optimize your team’s productivity and results are now par for the course with respect to digital marketing management. There are tons of free tools and platforms that you can introduce your team to, like Hootsuite, Google Analytics, Canva and Buffer, as well as plenty of paid products that are worth looking into adopting.
All you need to do is stay on top of the latest tech tool launches, decide which to integrate into your digital marketing management activities and watch as your - and your team’s loads begin to lighten. The true challenge here is prioritizing, and understanding which of the endless number of tools out there, make a good investment for your business.
Top must-have soft management skills for digital marketing management
#7 - Distributed experts managements skills
Digital marketing management involves many of the skills required of a project manager. It is up to you to maximize the efficiency and productivity of your entire team, in order to promote timely and satisfactory results, which can be a particular challenge, when your team is made up of freelancers working remotely from around the world.
As such, your job might at times feel more like that of a symphony conductor than that of a traditional project manager - you need to be able to possess advanced management skills and control every aspect of every project and task, while still excelling in delegation, and doing so with supreme leadership capabilities.
And, if you can harness technological innovations, like automation, to further streamline your digital marketing management endeavors and relieve some of the load placed upon your team’s shoulders, you will find that you’ve saved your brand time, money and resources that can be re-allocated towards other, more pressing business tasks.
#8 - People skills
Having stellar people or leadership skills is a major ingredient for a marketing manager. Despite the fact that digitization has changed the face of literally every aspect of the world we live in, including interactions between brands and their customers, customers continue to demand a personal brand experience, much like they’d receive upon visiting a brick-and-mortar shop.
To accomplish this goal, digital marketing management must include stellar people skills, towards customers and employees alike, or run the risk of disengaging those who create your digital marketing content, as well as those who consume it. In short, successful digital marketing management must include:
- A deep understanding of your brand’s target audience
- Proficiency and use of customer retention management (CRM) software, for organizational and re-marketing purposes
- High-level employee management, to assure brand goals remain aligned
- The ability to control your team, while remaining an agile team player
#9 - Team building/motivational skills
How can you build a team and keep them motivated, when each team member works independently and remotely, as is often the case in the digital age? Answer: it’s not an easy task, but it is still an absolute must.
The role of the digital marketing manager additionally includes fostering a sense of teamwork and motivation among your brand’s digital marketers, to ensure that important tasks are satisfactorily completed. As such, digital marketing management requires tapping into the unique soft skill sets your team members possess and leveraging them to create a competitive edge for your brand.
Talk to them regularly, through open lines of communication; find out what makes them tick, what sets them apart, and how they can feel valued while on the job. What you do with this information and how you keep your team focused and on-task, well that’s completely up to you. We hear that incentivization is particularly effective.
#10 - Partner networking skills
The role of digital marketing manager not only includes responsibilities pertaining to your team and the products they create, but it also involves serving as a company liaison between your business and relevant partners and clients.
You’ll need to be able to court potential clients, present your team’s capabilities in the best possible light and make bids for contracts and partnerships (and hopefully win them).
Here too, you will need to be able to utilize your top digital skills to best scout, learn about and network with potential new and existing partners. Your social presence, particularly on channels like LinkedIn, is of utmost importance. After all, you are representing your brand’s entire digital marketing department.
What goes on a marketing manager's job description?
A marketing manager job description can vary quite a bit. Usually it has the basic requirements like the ability to manage a team and execute projects efficiently. It also usually contains some element of acquisition like advertising or SEO.
Usually online degrees are not a requirement, but an MBA in marketing is a strong plus. Then, each brand would typically require a specialization in a few specific marketing channels. It could be social media, product management, SEO, Google Ads, CRO, influencers, etc.
Experience in advertising, managing ad campaigns and monitoring ad performance are usually on the top of the list, but it definitely varies by the brand.
How to improve marketing manager skills?
There are several ways to improve your skills if you want to be a marketing manager. First and most obvious is to get one of the available online bachelor degrees in marketing.
If you don't have the time and want to get something quicker then you can always do a marketing program or course online on a site like Udemy or Coursera. Another way to improve your skills is to get a marketing internship or apprentice program through a site like Acadium.
Mayple matches brands to digital marketing managers who possess the skills they need to succeed
Mayple is bridging the digital marketing management talent gap by making sure brands are paired with vetted, best-fit talents who’ve acquired the skills needed for this dynamic, future-forward position. Mayple aligns brands’ business goals with digital marketing management experts’ known skills so that consistently high levels of service and top results well within reach.
Do you have the digital marketing management skills brands are looking for in 2022?