5 Must-Have Skills Every Digital Marketing Manager Should Have

Published: 12 July 2023

Updated: 29 January 2024

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Olga is a digital marketing specialist @Viden, delivering results for brands through data-driven strategies and result-oriented tactics across Google & Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads & more.
5 Must-Have Skills Every Digital Marketing Manager Should Have

Hey there! I’m Olga, and I’ve been in digital marketing for a while now. I’d like to talk to you about a critical role that exists within the marketing world – the digital marketing manager. If you’re aiming to climb the ladder in digital marketing or are looking to hire someone to help boost your business’s online presence, you’re in the right place.

One thing I’ve learned is that diving into digital marketing isn’t just about knowing your way around social media or crafting a catchy ad copy. It’s more than that. It requires a solid stack of both hard and soft skills. Yep, you heard that right. A good digital marketing manager needs to balance the art of communication with the science of data analysis.

So, are you curious to learn what these skills are? I’m going to share with you the top five skills – both hard and soft – that have been my guiding lights in this exciting career. These are skills that I’ve refined over the years.

So, pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable.

1. Strategic thinking

Any digital marketing manager must have the ability to think strategically and develop effective plans to achieve marketing goals. This skill is crucial in identifying the steps that must be taken to:

  • Achieve maximum results for the business short and long-term
  • Apply the right strategies and techniques to solve account-specific issues and challenges
  • Map out target audiences
  • Craft efficient campaigns
  • Make optimizations with a complete understanding of how it impacts the performance

To enhance strategic thinking, it’s important to keep up with digital marketing and the client’s industry trends. You can easily do so by attending trainings and seminars, conducted by distinguished marketing specialists as well as ad platforms themselves.

It’s also important to conduct competitor analysis regularly and keep an eye on the changing consumer behavior. Personally, regularly brainstorming ideas and sharing your experience with your team, evaluating the success of past campaigns and innovative strategies, and fostering a wide knowledge base of efficient approaches is one of the best ways I found to sharpen my strategic thinking skills.

2. Data analysis

The ability to accurately analyze and interpret data is crucial for making informed marketing decisions. Digital marketing consultant should be skilled in data evaluation. They should know how to identify trends, extract valuable and actionable insights to optimize their campaigns, assess the impact and the success of conducted tests and experiments. This helps to improve performance KPIs, and build long-term and short-term digital marketing strategies.

Like with many skills, developing proficiency in data analysis comes down to continuous learning and practice. Exploring data visualization tools and dashboards, breaking down user behavior across the brand, digging into the metrics and how they correlate, and reviewing case studies on success stories and common issues in the performance was and still is a must for me from the beginning of my career to this day.

3. Creativity

Helping your clients reach and capture the attention of their target audience in the era of dwindling attention requires creative thinking. Running successful and engaging campaigns on paid social platforms and crafting impactful click-driving ad copy across paid search is based on blending innovative ideas with a deep understanding of your client’s audience and consumer behavior.

Successful campaign ingredients

Unfortunately, throughout the years, it’s a skill that may erode, and the common issue I find is that advertisers prefer tried and true approaches. That’s why it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry, make use of technological advancements such as AI to help you refresh your idea stack and perspective, constantly research for new formats and creative scenarios and seek inspiration from the ever-evolving content trends across the web and industry blogs. Collaborating with a diverse team can also foster creativity through the exchange of ideas and perspectives.

4. Technical proficiency

Being a digital marketer means having a good grasp on digital marketing platforms, analytics, and research tools. A strong technical understanding will allow you to effectively utilize the benefits of analytics, employ effective strategies across various marketing platforms, and leverage emerging technologies and features on paid platforms, as well as provide CRO and UI/UX recommendations. Without proficiency in the technical side of digital marketing and a deep insight into the work of the algorithm that drives paid search and social as well as the stack of technologies and features available, you would struggle to build out powerful campaigns and map out a holistic strategy in a way that drives impactful results, manages costs and improves visibility for the client’s ads.

Three years into my career, I continuously explore and discover new features, optimization “hacks”, new strategies, and ways to target and reach the target audiences across the platforms that I work with. The trick is to continue updating your knowledge, share findings with your team, engage in courses, trainings, and certifications, but, most of all, keep up the hands-on experience with various digital marketing tools to stay ahead of the curve.

5. Communication & collaboration

Effective verbal and written communication is a must for any digital marketer. To negotiate and build a good relationship with clients, which is a necessity if you want to foster successful marketing initiatives, manage expectations, break down performance trends, convey ideas and recommendations, and map out a cohesive marketing strategy aligned with the business goals it is vital to be an excellent communicator.

Moreover, those are the skills you’ll need to coordinate with team members and marketing platform representatives. Without good writing skills, it would also be immensely difficult to craft a compelling ad copy to reach the business’s audiences as well (which is communication, too, in a way, if only a tiny bit one-sided) and guide them to the final goal of your marketing campaigns, be it purchase, lead form submission or anything else.

While some people just have the knack for business communication, personally, that’s the skill I built out throughout my high school and university years, participating in business communication courses, learning the Harvard negotiation method, as well as closely observing and actively listening to my managers and more experienced employees and their communication techniques and styles through the start of my career.

Making a plan before any client meeting as well as having a strong visual with the data and your core points is a good way to stay on track and present your message clearly and concisely. It’s also good to keep in mind not to abuse technical language and maintain plainness and transparency.

It’s important to seek feedback from your team, mentors and supervisors and focus on the suggested points of improvement. Overall, there are many ways you can boost your communication skills from attending workshops and courses to brushing up on it with books and podcastsю However, nothing quite beats practice.

Those are the top five skills that I truly believe every successful digital marketing manager needs to have. Now, if you’re sitting there thinking, “Hey, I’ve got these skills!” or even, “These are exactly the kind of skills I want to develop,” then I have some exciting news for you.

We’re always looking for bright, enthusiastic people to join our digital marketing team. So why not turn this opportunity into your next big career move? If you’re ready to put your skills to the test, apply for our roles today. I can’t wait to see where your talents can take us. Until then, keep learning and growing!

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