Imagine if McDonald’s launched their mascot, Ronald McDonald, for the first time in 2022 instead of 1965. Not only would the smiling clown be a simulation instead of a real actor, but the brand would also know how well their campaign is doing within a matter of weeks, if not days! And that is the first thing that sets digital marketing apart from traditional marketing — speed — the ‘here and now’ aspect of it. No wonder young people are attracted to this career — the average age of a digital marketing manager is 38 years in the US! And it’s not just digital marketing salary packages that attract young people into this career, but the sheer thrill of this profession that combines creativity with data. Here’s a deeper look at the field and the perks of being a part of it.
What is Digital Marketing?
Have you ever been ‘followed’ by the products in your cart? If you ‘add’ something to the cart and don’t make a purchase, or just view a product online, you will see it appear as a display ad on whatever website or social networking site you use. This and the numerous unopened emails in your inbox trying to sell you products/services that you may or may not have subscribed to are all a part of digital marketing. From social media to search, emails to blogs, we’re surrounded by the digital marketing efforts of hundreds of brands.
The universe of digital marketing is so vast and there are so many different channels in it, that we could keep going on with the examples forever. So, let’s fall back on the ‘traditional’ definition in the interest of time. According to Mailchimp, digital marketing is:
Any marketing that uses electronic devices can be used by marketing specialists to convey promotional messaging and measure its impact on your customer journey.
You can also get a low-down on what is digital marketing here.
What is the average digital marketing salary for professionals?
Just like any other profession, digital marketing salary packages vary depending on the following factors:
- Different marketing channels
- Job titles or roles
- Relevant work experience
1: Which digital marketing channel pays the most?
As in medicine, there are ‘generalists’ and ‘specialists’ in digital marketing. The generalists dabble in all or at least some of the digital marketing channels mentioned below. The specialists pick just one or maybe two (if they are interrelated). There is also scope for lateral movement within the channels. For instance, you can go on from being a content marketer to a social media manager and still show relevant experience.
Another lens through which we can look at digital marketing channels is that of inbound and outbound marketing. Inbound marketing comprises channels that the audience seeks out and finds the brand in the process like content marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While outbound marketing includes channels that are specifically targeted at consumers like display advertising.
|Job Title||Average Salary*|
|Paid Search||US $52,034|
|Display Marketing||US $50,198|
|Social Media||US $55,117|
|Content Marketing||US $73,550|
|Email Marketing||US $85,126|
|Influencer Marketing||US $65,564|
|Affiliate Marketing||US $65,401|
|Video Marketing||US $108,159|
|Display Marketing||US $68,610|
*Data compiled from Indeed, Glassdoor, and Salary.com
2: Digital marketing salary for different job titles (don’t they have the coolest job titles!)
As an industry, digital marketing is new and constantly evolving in comparison to traditional industries. Hence, the job titles and corresponding digital marketing salary packages for this field of work don’t subscribe to rigid standards. Not only are the roles more fluid, but they are also governed by dynamic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).
|Job Title||Average Salary*|
|Growth Hacker/ Manager||US $107,015|
|SEO Consultant||US $55,709|
|Content Writer||US $48,715|
|Content Manager||US $62,189|
|Content Strategist||US $68,323|
|Product Strategist||US $102,337|
|Performance Marketer||US $77,082|
|Campaign Manager||US $70,000|
|Social Media Manager||US $55,117|
|Social Media Coordinator||US $42,698|
|Social Listener||US $69,634|
|User Experience Specialist||US $63,790|
|Online Relationship Manager||US $54,587|
*Compiled from Salary.com, Indeed.com, Glassdoor
Special Roles in Digital Marketing
Some of these roles are self-explanatory. For instance, a Social Media Manager usually manages the social media handles of the brand and promotes content on channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. However, some of the roles here have cross-functional responsibilities and require further elaboration.
- Growth Hacker/Manager: This is an individual contributor role responsible for driving growth on all organic channels. They work in tandem with SEO, content, and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to achieve their targets.
- Content Strategist: This role is for someone who will coordinate with different channels and create a brand content calendar that works for everyone. As a Content Strategist, one can also suggest different types of content buckets that the company should experiment with.
- Brand Storyteller: This role is for someone who builds a narrative around the brand online. This role largely comes under content but can also be clubbed with branding.
- Social Listener: A person in this role keeps a check on the social sentiment about a brand or company.
- Online Relationship Manager: This person or group of people respond to online complaints, engagements, or positive feedback about a company.
3: How experience pays in digital marketing jobs
As we move from channels and roles to years of experience for digital marketers, we are faced with a challenge. First, being a fairly new and dynamic field, more years of experience does not necessarily translate into higher salaries. Second, some individual contributors get paid much more than ‘managers’ in this field purely because their niche skills are more valuable. Third, the roles, channels, and experience are criteria that bleed into each other to determine digital marketing salary packages for professionals.
I. Associate/ Analyst/ Writer
Role: These terms are usually used to describe entry-level roles in any of the marketing channels. They could also be generalist roles like Digital Marketing Associate or specialist roles like Content Writer.
Years of Experience: Zero to three years
Average Salary: $48,916 as per Salary.com
II. Specialist/ Consultant
Role: This term usually refers to individuals who have some experience and typically work freelance. They could also be subject matter experts.
Years of Experience: Five to eight years
Average Salary: $62,098 as per Indeed.com
III. Manager/ Lead/ Head
Role: These terms are used to refer to someone who heads one of the functions or verticals within the digital marketing department.
Years of Experience: 10+ years
Average Salary: $123,899 as per Glassdoor
IV: Director/ Associate Director:
Role: These terms are used to describe someone who is the business head for a group of functions within digital marketing. For instance, Director of Organic Channels.
Years of Experience: 15+ years
Average Salary: $180,045 as per Salary.com
V. Chief Marketing Officer
Role: This person is responsible for the entire marketing vertical. This role is often inclusive of digital and non-digital channels, However, in the digital age, the line between these two segments is quickly blurring.
Years of Experience: 15+ years
Average Salary: Depends on the size of the organization
4: Which are the top 10 countries with the highest digital marketing salaries?
Digital marketing as a field is fairly global in nature. Being ‘digital’ first, it has a global appeal. This should ideally translate into pay parity across the globe but that is not the case. Salaries are impacted by more than industry standards. In the case of a digital marketer’s salary, the standard of living in a country, its internet penetration rate, and the skill gap in that country come into play.
Taking all this into account, we have compiled the top 10 countries where digital marketing jobs are highly paid.
*As per Reboot
Digital marketing is a field that is easy to switch to. So, even if you have not studied to become a digital marketer, you can study online and become one within a matter of months. Moreover, if you are looking to add skills to your kitty, you have the same option to pick from one of many digital marketing courses on Emeritus.
By Anwesha Barari
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