How to Hire a Digital Marketing Director to Boost Your Business
Take your business to the next level with our tips on how to hire a digital marketing director or manager.
As any business owner knows, marketing your products or services is vital to your overall business strategy and ensuring your company meets its goals.
After all, if your audience doesn't know how to find your business, you're going to have a difficult time expanding your customer base and positively impacting your business's bottom line.
Founders and small business owners often find themselves wearing many hats in order to keep their business running—including taking on the role of a digital marketing manager.
While some business owners can balance these responsibilities for a period of time, once your business starts growing it can become harder and harder to juggle.
If you’d rather take the pressure off yourself and focus on your company’s greater strategic ambitions, you’ve probably asked yourself the question, “Should I hire a digital marketing director?”
The role of a digital marketing director is sometimes referred to as a "digital marketing manager" or "chief marketing officer", but in practice, each of these people carry out similar responsibilities.
In essence, their goal is to gain unparalleled insight into your target audience and create marketing strategies that drive them through the funnel to purchase your product or service.
Although it may sound simple on the surface, it’s a highly specialised career, and the skills and expertise a digital marketing manager can bring to your company won’t come cheap.
In Australia, the average salary of a marketing manager is between $95,000 and $115,000, so it's a big decision for any business owner to make.
Because it's such a costly decision, it's important that you know what a digital marketing manager actually does so that you know what to look for in qualified candidates.
In this guide we'll take a closer look at the roles and responsibilities of a digital marketing manager, and where to find one.
If you aren't ready to hire a permanent new member for your marketing team, we’ll also outline some alternative options to hiring a digital marketing director.
First Things First, What Is a Digital Marketing Director?
To put it simply, a digital marketing manager will market the right products, to the right audience, at the right time.
While that may sound straightforward enough, digital marketing managers should have a wide variety of specialist skills to enable them to do their jobs effectively.
Depending on your business's needs, some of the many hats a digital marketing director might wear as part of their job description include:
Social media strategy
Digital marketing campaigns
Marketing strategy and marketing plans
Design and copywriting
In larger companies, the digital marketing manager will often liaise with internal or external specialists in each of the above roles.
In smaller companies, digital marketing managers are often expected to take on many of these roles themselves or delegate these tasks to more junior members of the marketing team.
But for a digital marketing manager to truly be successful in their role, they need to do more than simply delegate tasks.
They need to truly understand the nuances of each team member's role.
A digital marketing director is inherently a senior-level management position, and they will guide your internal marketing team in creating powerful messaging, driving sales, and identifying which media channels to use in order to target a receptive audience.
All of this has to be done while keeping your business goals and budget in mind and consistently reporting on the success of their marketing campaigns.
A digital marketing manager's career path can be highly varied, and you may come across candidates with a background in design, copywriting, social media management, public relations, or project management.
No matter what career path your potential digital marketing manager has taken, you'll usually want to screen only candidates who have over five years of experience and have excelled in a role where they were directly responsible for managing a team.
Hiring the right digital marketing director can be daunting because they have the power to boost your business and take your growth to the next level.
On the other hand, an inexperienced digital marketing manager can end up costing your business money if you don’t see a healthy return on investment in your marketing campaigns.
If a digital marketing manager does not have experience in managing a team with a diverse skill set, you may also find the company culture within your marketing team beginning to sour.
This can then lead to a loss in productivity, a negative culture, and difficulty in retaining employees—and after all, there’s little point in having a digital marketing manager if they don’t have an engaged, motivated team to lead.
What Does a Digital Marketing Director Actually Do?
As we've outlined above, a digital marketing director’s role is highly diverse and their roles and responsibilities will often be defined by the particular business or industry they work in.
In general, a qualified digital marketing director will be responsible for spearheading all areas of your business's marketing strategy, including:
Planning, developing and executing all marketing initiatives
Advising, planning and reporting on your marketing budget
Liaising with internal and external stakeholders
Leading a team of marketing professionals
Although this list is by no means exhaustive, here are some of the most common responsibilities that your digital marketing director is likely to carry out:
Increasing brand awareness
Brand awareness is the foundation of all of your marketing efforts, whether it's through digital marketing, traditional marketing, or a combination of the two.
Brand awareness helps make people more aware of your brand, enabling your business to build trust with them and influence their purchasing decisions.
To help your brand gain awareness, your digital marketing manager will need to do in-depth research into your target market, competitors, and industry landscape.
With this information, they will create a digital marketing strategy that resonates with your prospects to drive them through the sales funnel.
Managing a marketing team
Small businesses often have marketing teams made up of a few people, and many of them also make use of freelancers and consultants on an ad-hoc basis.
A key part of your digital marketing director's role is to ensure that all internal and external team members are aligned in their goals and efforts, and to assist in creating a company culture that draws top talent within the industry.
Staying updated with the latest marketing trends
In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, trends are constantly coming and going. Platform updates, new technologies and updated rules and regulations are par for the course.
To ensure your business is taking advantage of the latest trends and platforms, your digital marketing director will need to remain updated with the latest advances in the industry.
Ultimately, all of your marketing efforts should lead to an increase in sales.
While there are multiple significant touch points in the buying funnel, driving sales is the most important for any business.
Your digital marketing manager will have to always keep this goal in mind to increase your return on investment in your marketing strategy.
A key part of a digital marketing manager's role is to present reports to the business owner and other executives to keep them updated on the results of their marketing efforts.
These management reports provide insights and business growth strategies, while tracking performance and helping your business make data-driven decisions about the future.
When Should I Think about Hiring a Digital Marketing Director?
Unfortunately, there is no defining moment when a business should hire a digital marketing manager.
Before they list a digital marketing director job, a business owner should first consider whether there are enough marketing problems they need to solve.
In start-up environments and small businesses with under ten people, a founder will often take on marketing roles themselves.
But if you want to supercharge your business's growth, it becomes more and more important to hire a specialist for the role.
If you aren't sure whether it's the right time to begin interviewing digital marketing director candidates, here are some questions you can ask yourself first:
What specific challenges do you want a newly hired digital marketing manager to tackle?
Do you have any existing employees in your marketing team that are able to take on aspects of the marketing management role?
Do you need to hire a full-time digital marketing director, or can your business problems be solved by a freelancer or consultant?
Is your company able to offer a competitive salary and a marketing campaign budget?
Because marketing is such a broad field, it's important to know exactly what you want your digital marketing manager to do before you begin the hiring process.
In order to determine this, you need to know where your business is in its growth trajectory. Here are some tips to help you decide what kind of digital marketing manager to hire.
Hiring a digital marketing manager for small businesses
If you run a newly launched small business, you may want to find a digital marketing manager who has extensive experience in brand strategy and go-to-market strategy.
Alternatively, you may want to find a consultant instead of making a permanent hire.
Just because you have a small business with a small marketing budget, this doesn't necessarily rule out hiring a full-time digital marketing manager—although you'll want to avoid interviewing candidates who have experience working for massive global brands with $50 million marketing budgets and large teams.
Not only will these digital marketing directors usually require a higher salary, but they may struggle to adapt their skill set to a start-up or small business environment.
Hiring a digital marketing manager for large businesses
If your business is already established and you want to increase your conversions from social media campaigns, you will want to look for a digital marketing manager with strong knowledge of paid media and lead generation.
Large businesses with big marketing teams will almost always want to find a digital marketing manager who has extensive experience managing a team.
After all, the bigger your team, the more likely you are to have specialists in their respective fields.
This means your digital marketing manager won’t be involved in the nitty-gritty of each marketing field, but will spend most of their time coordinating, aligning, and motivating your highly skilled team.
What Skills or Attributes Do Digital Marketing Directors Need?
As mentioned before, marketing is an extremely broad industry and digital marketing managers may come from a variety of different marketing-related backgrounds.
Despite the versatility of the role, there are some attributes that all digital marketing managers should have in order to be successful in their role.
While all management-level employees need strong communication skills, it's particularly important in marketing.
Your digital marketing manager will need to explain marketing objectives and the outcomes of their marketing strategy to stakeholders, in addition to communicating with their internal team and external service providers to ensure their marketing efforts are aligned.
A digital marketing manager will have countless responsibilities to keep track of.
Whether it's reporting on digital marketing campaigns, managing their team, or conducting market research for a future campaign, an integral part of the role is the ability to juggle projects.
It’s vital that they’re able to do this while ensuring all projects are delivered on time, and within budget.
Digital marketing is an incredibly fast-paced industry, and your marketing director should have the expertise and the confidence to make on-the-go decisions that are best for your business.
Skills like intuition, emotional intelligence, and strategic risk-taking can't be taught, they can only be learnt.
This is why it's so important to hire a digital marketing director with extensive experience, who is able to carry out their role with little guidance.
While your company's marketing should be closely tied to your business strategy, a good digital marketing manager will be able to balance your business's goals with the types of communications that resonate with your audience.
They will have a hand in everything, from photoshoots to font sizes, campaign messaging, and creating marketing materials that capture and convert your audience.
To be successful, a digital marketing manager should be able to advise a creative team in order to achieve the best possible results from each campaign.
Your digital marketing manager won't just lead your internal team; they will also need to be able to effectively lead external teams.
For example, if your business is sponsoring a community sporting event, your digital marketing manager is likely to be a key point of contact for internal and external team members.
They will help organise your stall, brief designers, and rally your team members on the big day.
A combination of confidence, good communication, and organisation are key leadership skills to look out for in a digital marketing manager.
While all marketing managers should be able to brief SEO specialists, paid media specialists, copywriters, social media managers, and content creators, a truly exceptional digital marketing manager will have a thorough understanding of each of these roles.
Sometimes they may even be required to take on these roles themselves.
This versatility in their skill set will enable them to effectively lead a team, provide constructive feedback, help create content, and ensure that your marketing materials are high quality, on-brand, and resonate with your target audience.
How Do I Find a Digital Marketing Director?
Finding the best candidates for a digital marketing director position follows a similar process to finding any other employee.
However, the stakes are often higher because a digital marketing director will have a major impact on your business's bottom line.
It can feel overwhelming to know where to start your search, so here are some of the easiest and most effective ways to find qualified candidates for the role:
Look within your network
This is one of the most effective ways to fill your digital marketing director position because it gives you the opportunity to meet a candidate who has proven their skills to someone you trust.
To leverage your network, it's important to get the word out as far and wide as possible through the following channels:
Your personal social media page
Your business network
Friends and family
You never know who in your network might be able to match you to the right hire, so it's worth telling everyone—whether it's your dentist, neighbour, or local butcher—that you're looking to fill a digital marketing director position.
LinkedIn allows you to post a job description specifying the role you're looking for within your area. If the role is open to remote work, you can reach candidates far and wide in Australia, or even the world.
While this can be effective, it can also be incredibly time-consuming to go through all of the applications and identify qualified candidates that you want to interview.
Job search platforms
Similar to LinkedIn, job recruitment platforms will allow you to post a job description that will reach suitable candidates.
Some job search platforms will allow you to post for free, while others may charge a small fee.
Like LinkedIn, you may become overwhelmed with the high amount of applications and the length of time it takes you to go through each applicant's CV and portfolio.
One of the biggest pitfalls of using platforms like LinkedIn and job search engines is that their algorithms don't differentiate between highly qualified and unqualified candidates.
This can easily become discouraging if you're sifting through hundreds of applications a week and not finding a suitable candidate.
A recruitment agency has a wide network and will act as a filter for applications, ensuring you're only presented with applications from highly skilled digital marketing directors.
The downside of this route is that it can become expensive because a recruitment agency will charge you a percentage of the hire's annual salary.
This is usually 15% to 20%, but can sometimes be as high as 30%.
Make an internal hire
If you already have an internal marketing team, you may want to promote someone from within your business.
The biggest benefit of this is that the individual will already understand the company culture, business model, and nuances of your organisation and won't need to acclimate to your business.
On the other hand, an internal hire may not have as much confidence, experience, and knowledge as a digital marketing director who has already been in the role at various companies for five to ten years.
Is There Another Way to Fill a Digital Marketing Director Position?
If your business is growing and you're ready to take it to the next level, hiring a digital marketing director to lead your team can help you reach your sales targets faster.
Not only will the pressure to market your products or services be taken off your shoulders (giving you more time to focus on core business strategies), but an experienced digital marketing manager can also bring a new depth of knowledge and insight to your company.
While a good digital marketing manager can be one of your most important hires, the role is inherently expensive.
If you hire the wrong person for the job, the effects will be felt throughout your business. So it's no surprise if you're reluctant to take the gamble on a new permanent hire.
Luckily, it is possible to get the best of both worlds: unmatched marketing expertise, with minimal risk to your company.
Working with a digital marketing agency like Hello Social gives you access not only to an individual marketing expert, but to an entire team of experts.
As we've outlined in this blog, digital marketing is a multi-faceted industry with a wide variety of specialisations.
Finding one person who has a strong understanding of all aspects of marketing can be challenging, but Hello Social enables you to leverage the skills of many different people.
Our team has also worked on countless brands in almost every industry you can imagine, giving them unmatched insight into industry best practices and the challenges that are faced by businesses similar to yours.
From influencer marketing to social media management, content creation, and everything in between, our team deeply understands every aspect of digital marketing and can work with you to accelerate your business's growth.
Ready to start a new chapter in your business's story, without the costly overheads that come with making a permanent hire?
Get in touch with usand let's work together to take your business to a new level.