Featured In: Forbes | Five Traits To Look For In Your Next Digital Marketing Manager

December 27, 2017

 Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Five Traits To Look For In Your Next Digital Marketing Manager

By Kelly Ehlers


Today’s successful digital marketing managers work at the intersection of tried-and-true industry prowess and a tech-savvy understanding of their evolving audience. The market has evolved and, along with it, so have the strategies and the strengths that determine success.

In order to keep up with this ever-changing environment, consider these five skills when you look for your next digital marketing manager.

The Art Of The Pivot

Digital marketing happens in real-time. The ability to quickly and urgently shift gears is invaluable. It’s also a learned skill. Pivoting is a top skill in implementing large-scale digital campaigns. We don’t have the long turnaround of traditional print campaigns. The immediacy of production lead time on creative materials has significantly shifted. At my agency, the majority of our leadership team didn’t arrive with significant agency experience, but they were equipped with the skills and attitude to make high-stakes decisions and quickly and creatively solve problems. Your ideal candidate exemplifies making quick judgments with confidence through demonstrated success.

Digital Literacy

When it comes to digital literacy, if you’re not a native user then you need to be a passionate self-starter -- I’m looking at you, my fellow Gen Xers. Nearly a decade ago, I made a career switch and learned to speak social along the way. I spent my days talking to clients and my nights navigating the earliest iterations of Facebook brand pages. Today there are countless resources to advance digital literacy. Whether your candidates were raised in the digital age or learned later in life, they will need to be comfortable exploring digital platforms and self-aware of the communication intricacies each channel has to offer.

Industry Knowledge

Market knowledge drives decisions and we’re living in a data-driven world. A successful marketer should be able to identify and target a specific type of market segment behavior. In our industry, we can tell which assets are getting the most interaction and with which demographics. Look for candidates who display curiosity and interest in what drives consumers. The best candidate will know what drives your target consumer and how that may change. If they’re coming in from a different specialization, they’ll be able to apply their experience to the new demographic and stay open to learning.

Creative Conceptualizing

Your marketing manager must have the ability to act on a creative vision. This person is responsible for bringing the vision to life for the client and audience. A senior-level candidate should have the ability to zoom out and look at the big picture so they can communicate concepts between the account team and the creative department. Some candidates may be creatively adept, which is an advantage, but experience can also bring savviness in recognizing a specific taste or visual identity. A good candidate can identify a creative need, create an overarching solution, collaborate with teams to successfully execute this vision and measure the results.

An Understanding Of Metrics

Analytics is the starting point for building your marketing strategy. If your candidate doesn’t have direct experience with digital analytics, they should have a basic grasp of knowing how to turn data into results. Maybe your candidate knows the latest trends in email marketing and how they relate to moving the needle and measuring results. Don’t expect candidates to rattle off numbers during interviews unless they have useful metrics from previous experience. Whether they identify as numbers people, it’s vital that they appreciate and understand the invaluable resource of digital marketing metrics.

The digital landscape shifts at such a rapid pace that, above all, you’ll need a strong foundation to build upon. When I’m hiring, I look for potential. Whether you’re interviewing a prodigious recent graduate or an experienced candidate who is making a mid-career shift, these tools will help you identify someone who can add value to your agency.


View the full Forbes article here.