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What To Look For When Hiring a Digital Marketing Manager

As an emerging role, the success metrics of a Digital Marketing Manager are not similar to that of the traditional one. It takes more than marketing acumen to get the job done. The role is particularly entrepreneurial – one has to wear many hats, be able to think on their feet, and learn quickly. According to a study done jointly by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) and The Economist in 2019, these are the skills and competencies needed by the future marketing workforce to be successful in the next 5 years: 

  • Technology Skills (48%)
  • Openness to Change (38%) 
  • Adaptability (37%)
  • Broader Business Knowledge (31%) 


What does a Digital Marketing Manager do? 

A digital marketing expert should be able to conceptualise campaigns – working with designers to create images, videos, and write compelling copy that speak to the target audience while also vetting up campaigns using various platforms, tracking KPIs, and creating analytics reporting. The ideal candidates should have a blend of creativity and technical capabilities. They will partner with email, performance marketing, and web teams to design, test, and evolve lead nurturing tactics. 

The technical skills required include (but are not limited to the following per se): 

  1. Pay-per-click (PPC) 
  2. SEO 
  3. Content Marketing 
  4. Email Marketing 
  5. Social Media Marketing 
  6. Media Planning  
  7. Digital Metrics and Analytics 

A day in the life of a Digital Marketing Manager 

No single day is the same for sure – the digital landscape is fast-paced. In a nutshell, no matter the industry, a digital marketing manager would have to adapt the processes, trends, content themes, communication methods, and technology to suit the business needs. The manager’s daily and monthly responsibilities include: 

  • To work in partnership with creative teams, develop briefs and guide the creative direction to meet objectives for all advertising and public-facing communications – including print, digital, and video assets. 
  • Conceptualise and execute multi-channel campaigns across the prospect and customer lifecycle, ensuring the alignment of communications and messaging across all channels. 
  • Manage content and updates for customer and internal touchpoints, establishing budget guidelines, participating in events, documenting business processes, and providing additional sales support. 
  • Gather customer and market insights to inform outreach strategies, increase customer conversions, and generate more qualified leads. 
  • Identify effectiveness and impact of current marketing initiatives with tracking and analysis, and optimise accordingly. 
  • Present ideas and final deliverables to internal and external teams, and communicate with senior leaders about marketing programs, strategies, and budgets. 

We’ve identified 5 traits that you should consider when recruiting your next Digital Marketing Manager. 

A Natural Leader 

Be able to communicate effectively – assertive to get things done but not overbearing. Adapt at sound relationship-building both in the B2B and B2C context. Understand the fundamentals of strategy which include goal settings, creating processes and procedures, and also forecasting to achieve a return on investment (ROI). Have a clear understanding of the content marketing (sales) funnel and buyer’s journey to enable conversions. As digital marketing is a relatively new field, the candidate pool will consist of people from different working backgrounds or mid-career switchers. Keep an open mind and look out for their transferable skills and attributes such as; 

Customer-centredness: They place the customers at the heart of everything they do.

Collaborative: Have the ability to engage others across functions and organisational structures. 

Digital Champion: Embrace the complexities and capabilities of digital technologies.

Innovative: Can apply fresh ideas and take calculated risks.


As digital marketing happens in real-time, the candidates must be able to pivot in complex, large-scale campaigns effectively. Unlike traditional print campaigns, there is no long turnaround as the production lead time on creatives has shifted. They must be able to push through challenges and find unique solutions to problems. This includes the ability to achieve an effective work-life balance and prioritise well-being, on the personal front. 

Comfortable with Technology  

If not a native user, one has to be a passionate self-starter. Whether the candidate is raised in the digital age or has learned later in life, he/she needs to be comfortable exploring digital platforms and be aware of the communication intricacies that each channel has to offer. 

Has Industry Knowledge 

Market knowledge drives decisions and we’re currently living in a data-driven world. Look for candidates who display curiosity and interest in what drives consumers. If they’re coming from a different specialisation, they’ll be able to apply their experience to the new demographic and stay open to learning.

Life-long Learner 

A digital marketing specialist needs to keep up with as many digital marketing trends as possible that are relevant to the industry and business. It is important for the candidate to be interested in ongoing learning not only for himself but also for his subordinates. 

What does Digital Marketing success look like? 

With the right marketing strategies in place, your business can reach and exceed its goals. Success will be determined by how well the Digital Marketing Manager performs against set key performance indicators (KPIs). Decide on objectives and what outcomes your company wants to achieve and what should be measured, to optimise marketing efforts. This may include: 

Increasing website visits 

One of the ‘must-have’ goals for companies is to increase traffic to their websites. The more visits your company attracts through content marketing, SEO, paid tactics, or email marketing, the more opportunities to inform potential customers about what you have to offer – which will subsequently attract more leads, conversions, and sales. The digital marketing specialist you hire should be aware of the latest SEO changes and trends to enable more clickthrough. 

Driving storefront traffic 

If your business operates a physical storefront, your objective is to bring customers into your location. Strategies like local SEO and Geofencing Advertising can help attract more foot traffic. As more searches are done on mobile, your digital marketing specialist can send targeted notifications to customers who are looking for the type of products or services your company is offering, at the right moment. 

Amplifying brand awareness  

Digital marketing is a great way to create brand awareness without being too intrusive or ‘in-your-face’, but still commercial nonetheless. An effective digital marketing manager should be able to craft content that represents your brand personality, allows your customers to get to know your brand better, and what sets you apart from competitors.   

Raising revenue and conversions 

The biggest and most important objective of any marketing strategy is to increase revenue. Digital marketers who can personalise and produce results-driven strategies can have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line.

No company or business can successfully thrive without its valued employees. It’s important to hire the right person for the job. Certain pre-requisites are essential for the role of Digital Marketing Manager – this should not be overlooked. At 90 Degrees Asia, we believe that a good hire adds not only vital new skills and experience to your team but also brings warmth, camaraderie, and inspiration to your company culture. If you require the skillsets of a Digital Marketing Manager but are not yet ready to hire in-house, contact us for a non-obligatory consultation.


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