Digital Marketing Manager: what he does and how much he earns

What does the Digital Marketing Manager do? What is his job description and what is the salary of a Digital Marketing Manager? Finally, how does one become a digital marketing manager? This is what we will find out through the following interviews with leading professionals in digital marketing.

The Digital Marketing Manager is the professional figure who coordinates all digital marketing activities. Likewise, the digital project manager manages companies’ digital projects. According to Doxa Digital data published in 2014, only 34% of SMEs have invested money to open a corporate showcase on the web, but the trend is growing, especially in the luxury goods sector, where e-commerce is expanding by building the loyalty of a careful selection of customers.

Even advertising on online channels – by now we are talking about Internet Advertising -, according to the data that emerged during the IAB Forum 2015, has reached an investment volume of 2.15 billion euro (+10% compared to 2014), targeting a digital audience that daily exceeds peaks of 21 million, not counting the 17.5 million users from mobile.

In the digital environment, so desirable but rather delicate for a brand’s reputation, the Digital Marketing Manager must pursue the company’s vocation, taking care of preparing the ground in the best possible way for the sale of products, taking care of the relationship with customers and potential customers, allowing fans on social profiles to become the spokesperson and face of the brand.

Engagement, communication, content and marketing are fundamental elements for working in digital marketing: the Digital Marketing Manager is the evolution of the traditional marketing director, overseeing the development of the most relevant facets into which a digital strategy is articulated.

For the ‘Digital Jobs and Professions’ column, we have two highly interesting interviews:

  • Immacolata Mariani interviewed Jacopo Laganga, Digital Marketing Manager, whose experience was forged working for several fashion houses;
  • Stefano Belli interviewed Luca Papa, Founder of Digital Coach and lecturer of some modules of the Digital Marketing Manager Course (certification) and the Digital Marketing Course.


Who is the Digital Marketing Manager?

immacolata digital coach wexdigital marketing manager jacopo lagangaThe Digital Marketing Manager is a transversal figure in charge of defining marketing strategies through digital channels. Pursuing the company’s mission and vision, he or she proposes new strategies both offline and online, as well as innovative tools suited to the objectives defined by the company.

As far as the job description is concerned, this is a profile that must incorporate more communication and marketing aspects than commercial ones, combining traditional sales and communication strategies in a digital environment.

Stefano Belli content Luca Papa founder of Digital Coach
The digital marketing manager is a new generation professional who manages the entire digital marketing activity of a company. We are talking about a professional who operates both in the web area and, in the social media area, and in the e-commerce area if the company also sells online.

He reports to him any collaborators operating in these areas, and any external suppliers providing services within these areas. He interacts with the offline marketing area (traditional marketing), with the sales area, with the product area and digital pr, thus a professional who has many interactions even within the company itself.

immacolata digital coach wex Stefano Belli content

What skills should a Digital Marketing Manager have?


digital marketing manager jacopo lagangaIn their approach to the online world, brands are increasingly thinking primarily about sales, as well as communication and engagement.

For this reason, the Digital Marketing Manager must possess all-round digital skills that allow him to range from the embryonic development of a project that will lead to the creation of a website or e-commerce, to the planning behind the process of buying and selling a product through an online channel.

More specifically, a Digital Marketing Manager must:

  • know, also from a technical point of view, all Digital Advertising channels and strategies (Advertising, Google Adwords, Pay per Click, Affiliation, Programmatic) to set up SEM campaigns;
  • have strategic skills regarding the SEO structure to be applied both on site and off site;
  • possess knowledge in the field of Digital PR: this translates into the need to closely follow the development of content through corporate channels, as well as collaborating with webmasters, industry bloggers and fashion influencers;
  • devising and implementing business strategies that combine the communicative power of email marketing, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) activities with the attractiveness of social media to reach potential fans: a newsletter subscriber is just as valuable as a follower within one’s own social channel.

Luca Papa founder of Digital Coach It is crucial for a digital marketing manager to have a 360° view of the digital world. He or she usually comes to this role after having had previous experience, which may have started from different areas but must include all of them.

I am talking about the area of digital marketing, so within this area we must include the sub-components in the world of search engines (SEM and SEO), the world of e-mail marketing, the world of analytics and tools for evaluating the performance of online activities, the world of inbound marketing and digital strategy.

The second macro area is that of social networking, within which he must have had experience, both in those that are more relevant to the business-to-consumer world (Instagram, Pinterest…), and those more oriented towards the world of professionals rather than the business-to-business world, such as Linkedin.

Finally, he must be a professional who in any case knows how to handle the subject of content marketing very well, which is a 360° transversal subject, whether it is expressed in the video, written or visual form, and in particular he must also know how to supervise the blogging activities that the company has to manage if it is doing a good job in terms of content marketing.

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immacolata digital coach wex Stefano Belli content

Essential Tools for Digital Marketing Managers

What tools should a Digital Marketing Manager know how to use?

digital marketing manager jacopo lagangaIn order to be able to decipher and translate this large amount of data into concrete actions, it is essential to have the best possible knowledge of Analytics tools and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), starting from the implementation phase and ending with the installation of the website. This information must then be integrated with Digital Advertising, Social Analytics, Social Sentiment, Web Reputation and Social Media Listening tools.

An important component is the mastery of dedicated platforms for the customised creation of email campaigns, follow ups, sms, push notifications (in the case of an app), also in a one-to-one perspective based on the user’s behaviour within the website, e-commerce or on social networks: data that automatically integrates with data warehouse and customer service systems.

It is nice to think, in fact, that targeted communication reaches not only the historic customer, but also the virtual supporter of the brand page. And then, of course, you need to be familiar with CMS (Content Management Systems) as tools for managing content within the website.

Luca Papa founder of Digital Coach Here too, we divide the tools into macro areas. Let us start with the web area: a key tool for this area is definitely analytics, first among them Google Analytics, simply because it is the most widespread on the market.

Not only that, it must also master user experience evaluation tools, such as yandex metrics, clicktale, crazyegg, hotjar, which provide heatmaps, clickmaps, linkmaps, giving an idea of what users do on the page. A/B testing tools are also very important, in some cases it could also use goolge analytics tools, in other cases tools like optimzely, visual website optimiser and so on.

Certainly other fundamental tools are: in the SEM area, Adwords is a must, with all its sub-components: search engine advertising, display advertising, remarketing and so on. We then continue with display advertising tools such as programmematic and real time bidding, although we will not operate directly on the platforms but may have external suppliers, and this is the SEM component.

hen we have a whole series of tools in the service of SEO activity. First of all we have Google Search Console, rather than ranking evaluation tools such as semrush, majesticSEO. Finally, inbound marketing tools, and here we might have marketing automation software, rather than mail marketing software such as mailchimp, aweber, campaign monitor. For the social area, on the other hand, we have a whole series of multi-platform social media management tools.

We have tools such as hootsuite, which can manage posting on several different social media. Then we have another series of tools such as socilamentions, radian6, talkwalker, which are social media monitoring and social listening tools, capable of intercepting conversations on the web in order to interpret them and then act accordingly. Finally, all the insights of the social world, now also analytics tools provide interesting insights, but beyond analytics, even the LinkedIn and Twitter platforms have their own insights tools that give the possibility to monitor the KPIs of the social media area.

digital marketing manager job description

immacolata digital coach wex Stefano Belli content

Pathways to Becoming a Digital Marketing Manager

What experiences have led you, and in general, can lead you to become a Digital Marketing Manager?

digital marketing manager jacopo laganga Personally, it is the experiences abroad that have helped me so much, not only to learn English, which is now a fundamental requirement, but also to come into contact with a totally different world, culture and approach to work.

Secondly, the path taken in the agency: before entering a company, it is a gymnasium that I recommend to everyone, because it helps to understand what is behind the development of projects, the critical issues and problems that can arise. There are definitely differences between working in a web agency or in a company then.

I am not only talking about technical skills, but also about acquiring a human and relational background that is crucial for reaching the final objective, that of achieving the project itself. These are fundamental experiences for working in the digital world also in other capacities.

Luca Papa founder of Digital Coach As always in the world of work and in life in general, everyone has their own path, in my case I would say that I got there by having fun and by passion, in the sense that I managed and ran training companies for many years, I began to realise more than a decade ago that digital tools would be fundamental for new business acquisition, and I started experimenting with SEO techniques, SEM techniques, the use of analytics, e-mail marketing techniques, and the use of social media.

So I started experimenting with a whole range of innovative technologies to be able to acquire new customers and increase the turnover of the companies I used to manage. This I did out of passion and fun, because I always find it interesting and intriguing to learn new things, to use new tools and above all to integrate it into something that is functional to a goal.

This has been the case for me, and I still continue to progress and learn simply because I enjoy doing what I do. In general, I would recommend this approach to everyone, if it were possible, the ideal way to become an excellent Digital Marketing Manager would be to start doing it out of passion, for pleasure, having fun experimenting with tools, like when we start doing a sport as children, not necessarily with the idea of immediately getting paid for doing that sport.

Also because there’s a good learning time for these very technical professions, so initially I have to invest a lot of time learning, taking courses, experimenting, coaching myself, trying things out, having the first few job opportunities where I either don’t earn anything or I earn very little, and then I start getting better and better thanks to these opportunities and that point then I’ll make a profession that something I’ve become really good at.

So if I had to suggest a path, I would suggest something alternative: be passionate about these tools, do a lot of training, learn, experiment, get opportunities to try, practice what you are also learning, and only in a final stage start to make a job out of it because at that point you will be very good at it. In different cases, it is very important to have the opportunity to gain practical experience, but I repeat, if the company you work in does not offer you this opportunity, it is essential that you also look outside of your own context for a way to be able to practice in these areas.


Stefano Belli content

Digital Marketing Manager Roles Across Industries

What kind of companies does a Digital Marketing Manager work in and which of them do the most vacancies come from?

Luca Papa founder of Digital Coach A digital marketing manager operates in two types of reality: the first is medium to large companies, typically multinationals with hundreds if not thousands of employees.

In this case he supervises and coordinates a team of other professionals working in different areas. In this case he is a linking figure: he is the one who defines the strategies, supervises the work of internal and external stakeholders and evaluates the results, he is the one who directs everything.

The second hypothesis, on the other hand, is that the digital marketing manager is also becoming increasingly established in small and medium-sized enterprises. That is, those companies for which digital has become or is becoming a key customer acquisition lever, but in which there are very few resources to be able to have more people dealing with digital.

On the other hand, however, the company still needs to use both the web, social, and ecommerce, and so a digital marketing manager is in fact, a web marketing manager who has to do a bit of everything within a small business where it is perhaps just him, rather than him plus 2 or 3 other people.

Stefano Belli content

What is the average salary of a digital marketing manager?

Luca Papa founder of Digital Coach It is not easy to homogenise all situations. We can also identify two different situations here. The first is that of the digital marketing manager of a medium to large company.

We are talking about a profession to which one arrives after several years, after several career steps. The salaries are more important, because it takes longer to get to this role and also because the business being managed moves several tens of millions of euros.

In this case, we are talking about professionals with an average gross annual salary of 50 to 60 thousand euros, and even around 100 thousand euros. This depends on the company in which one works. On the other hand, as far as small and medium-sized enterprises are concerned, one gets there more quickly to become a digital marketing manager, the entry salary, however, is certainly lower, the gross annual remuneration starts at 30-35 thousand euros, and goes up to 70-80 thousand euros.

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Significance of Digital Marketing in Fashion Branding

How important is a digital marketing strategy today to promote a brand in the fashion industry?

digital marketing manager jacopo laganga Increasingly, the digital channel is becoming an integral part of the strategy, particularly in the fashion sector. Suffice it to think of characterising – predominantly or as a secondary declination – real advertising campaigns with a hashtag: a simple act that well sums up the importance of the digital channel and concept within the fashion world.

These campaigns require the development of related activities in the social world, the world of digital pr and thus across all digital channels.

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Digital Marketing’s Impact on the Fashion Industry

What have been the main changes that Digital Marketing has brought about in fashion?

digital marketing manager jacopo laganga Definitely the speed and the fact of feeling even more part of the brand, through the possibility of contributing a comment within an official channel or even through the creation of content.

For example, the action of spontaneously posting on Instagram, without any predefined plans or financial contributions, a quality personal shot in a natural attitude wearing a garment of brand X and tagging the brand, constitutes quality user-generated content and makes the user become an actor in the first person and part of the brand, even though he or she is famous and has thousands of followers.

Even more so if this photo is then shared within the official profile. The customer service aspect should also not be overlooked, because nowadays if one encounters a problem related to the purchase of a product or when placing an order, one prefers to interact with the brand directly from the official fanpage on the channel, using the private messaging service that allows for an immediate response.

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Share a Favorite Project Experience

Would you like to tell us about any project that has particularly pleased you?

digital marketing manager jacopo laganga Lately, I have been working on a particular project, which goes beyond classic website, e-commerce or digital communication projects: the design of a business-to-business online sales channel, hence a B2B e-commerce.

As a rule, in the fashion industry, a brand sells a substantial portion of its products through multi-brand shops located in various geographic areas around the world. A retailer can find himself in need of X product after having bought (and sold) a planned quantity of it during a showroom sales campaign.

The project developed aims to fill this need by providing the seller with a real e-commerce 24 hours a day, but with a B2C, business-to-consumer look and feel, where all aspects of user experience can also be exploited: banners, promotional campaign videos, news of the week, product-related training, delivery in 2-3 working days. In contrast, normal B2B platforms have a much more ‘old style’ approach, a very spartan interface as a kind of excel file placed inside a web-based platform.

This project is not only a very strong business accelerator, given the convenience and speed of purchasing even at the reach of a smartphone, but also a showcase of the brand to its business-to-business customer, who thus becomes the recipient of special email marketing strategies, through which to communicate best sellers, seasonal products or to run promotions, just as happens with a consumer within a B2C e-commerce. This is a novelty in the field of fashion, a change of philosophy, which is also capable of yielding excellent results in terms of business.

If you liked the article, you might be interested in discovering other digital professions such as Web Designer. For those interested in learning more about this topic, our master’s degree in digital marketing, and all our best digital marketing courses in general, will certainly be useful.

Contact one of our digital consultants. During a free coaching session he will help you choose the most suitable training path for you to become a successful Digital Marketing Manager!



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