I began my marketing career during my senior year in college with a summer internship at Redhawk Wealth Advisors. The experience helped get my foot in the door but wasn’t enough to land a digital marketing job after graduation. After a few months of unsuccessful job searching, I accepted a sales job at a software company called Siteimprove. The idea was to get some real-world business experience and then try my luck in the marketing field. Even though my primary job function was sales, I learned a lot about digital marketing, interfacing with our customers.
A year and a half later, I was ready to try my luck in digital marketing, so I got certified in Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and Hubspot Inbound Marketing and started applying. I was offered a role as a Digital Marketing Specialist with Ecreative, where I was responsible for SEO management for around 20 clients. I wouldn’t say I liked the agency’s setup because you didn’t have enough time to give the clients a quality experience. Despite this, the opportunity to work with a large number of companies was extraordinarily valuable and helped me develop as a digital marketer.
After a year at Ecreative, I found an SEO & Content Marketing Specialist role at Merchology, a custom apparel company. The small marketing team allowed me to gain experience in just about every facet of marketing. I thought it was much more rewarding to dedicate all my time and energy to growing one company rather than 20+. In my first year, we received the Fast 50 award for the fastest-growing company in Minnesota, it was exciting!
Two years later, I moved to California and took my current role as the Growth Marketing Manager at Criteria Corp.
In digital marketing, you have to wear a lot of hats; I’m responsible for leading our team’s marketing strategy, executing the day-to-day, and monitoring the success of our marketing channels using tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush. I’m mainly looking at metrics like conversions, conversion rate, sessions, bounce rate, and keyword performance. We use this information to make data-driven decisions for web content projects and marketing campaigns. I’ll compile this data into reports I’ve built in Google Data Studio to share with our executive leadership team to make better decisions.
As a Growth Marketing Manager, I’m responsible for the SEO (search engine optimization) of our website, which includes monitoring keyword performance, running audits, making on-page optimizations, and creating new content. Other aspects of the role include: running our email marketing campaigns through Hubspot (our CRM), managing paid user acquisition channels, and A/B testing the performance of the various ads we trial to drive traffic and downloads.
Working in marketing has been a great experience. Growing brands is genuinely enjoyable, and it’s a lot of fun to watch your work pay off. With analytics tools, you can quantify your results and figure out what works and what doesn’t. There’s a lot of research, testing, and detective work that goes into figuring out the best way to spread your messages, which I find interesting. If you’re the type of person who likes to put in your headphones, experiment, and crunch data, you’ll love it!
There’s a lot of collaboration and creativity in digital marketing. You can expect to work closely with developers, graphic designers, and the sales team. This cross-department collaboration makes it easy to connect with colleagues that you might not work with directly, which I enjoy. It’s also very satisfying to create a campaign from scratch and successfully captivate your target audience.
Full Health, Dental, and Vision, Life Insurance, 3 Weeks PTO, 4% 401k Match, Equity, $100 Monthly Technology Allowance, $50 Monthly Lyft Credit
Digital marketing isn’t comprised of only creative job functions, as many expect. There is a ton of data analysis, growth projecting, model building, and reporting. If spending a lot of time in spreadsheets and analyzing data sounds boring, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Conversely, if you’re a numbers junkie and don’t consider yourself creative, you might have a hard time. The best marketers are creatives with big ideas.
One caveat for the job search – beware of multi-level marketing scams and sales jobs disguised as marketing jobs online. Some companies advertise their undesirable jobs as marketing jobs on job boards. If it seems a little fishy, it probably is.
Salary is pretty solid, you’re likely looking at $40,000 to $60,000 for your first role, $60,000 to $100,000 for a mid-level role, and $100,000 to $150,000 for a senior-level role. The benefits are usually great for marketing positions too. You can expect a handful of benefits that you care about and some that are pretty much window dressing.
Breaking into the marketing industry isn’t easy. You’ll probably have to start with a job you don’t like or spend time working for an underwhelming company. I had to do both. My advice would be to focus on developing one specific skill to the point that you’re an expert. I decided to learn SEO since it isn’t something that’s taught in college courses. Mastering a skill in demand makes you much more desirable to employers. Once hired, you can expand your skill set to other marketing areas and work your way into your ideal role.
If you want to be successful as a Growth Marketing Manager or Digital Marketing Manager, I’ve found these skills to be the most helpful:
Written Communication: for web content, email campaigns, and ad copy.
Analytics: for monitoring the performance of websites and mobile applications.
SEO: for organically growing your business online.
PPC: for growing your business online through paid search.
Content Marketing: for organically growing your business online.
Email Marketing: for email marketing campaigns.
Social Media: for social media management and paid social campaigns.
Excel/ Google Sheets: for analyzing data and building reports.
Inbound Marketing: for user acquisition.
If you’re looking to get your feet wet and land an entry-level role, here are a few certifications I would recommend to make your resume stand out:
Google Ads Hubspot Inbound
Hubspot Content Marketing
Hubspot Social Media Marketing
HubSpot Email Marketing Certification
Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification (paid)
Moz SEO Essentials (paid)
Facebook BluePrint Certification (paid)
Twitter Flight School Certification
Bing Ads Certification
SEMrush SEO Toolkit Course
Marketing isn’t at risk of becoming an outdated industry, especially if you’re pursuing a career in digital marketing. The majority of your work can be done on a computer and be remote, making marketing jobs somewhat pandemic-proof. Specific marketing jobs, like email marketing and copywriting, are at some risk of automation. However, artificial intelligence likely won’t have the creative ability to replace most marketers for a very long time.