A Day in the Life of a Digital Marketer

Far beyond the simple ability to use social media, digital marketing requires understanding of consumer habits and motivations, the ability to synthesize analytics, and communicating effectively with clients. Check out what exactly digital marketing is, why it’s important, a day-in-the life of a digital marketer and how to get into the industry.

What Is Digital Marketing?

The promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media

Different than traditional marketing because its channels and methods enable real-time analysis of marketing campaigns. This translates as the ability to see and understand what is and isn’t working.

Ability to monitor:

  • What is being viewed – frequency and duration
  • Sales conversions – visits converting to purchases
  • What content works, what doesn’t work

Makes use of:

  • Internet
  • Wireless text messaging
  • Mobile instant messaging
  • Mobile apps
  • Podcasts
  • Electronic billboards
  • Digital television
  • Radio channels

Why is it Important?

Consumers have access to information any time and any place

Information about products and services now come from:

  • Company/brand
  • Media
  • Friends/relatives/peers

Digital marketing can help consumers:

  • Identify brands they can trust
  • Feel that companies know them and what their preferences are
  • Receive personalized and relevant communications

$100+ billion

Worldwide digital ad spending in 2012 (the first time ever passing $1B mark)

$118.4 billion

Worldwide digital ad spending in 2013 (15.1% rise)

$1 in $5

Number of dollars digital marketing now commands in marketing budgets; a double-digit increase is projected through this year.

Worldwide digital ad spending levels, including online and mobile advertising spending but not including messaging-based formats, as percentage of worldwide ad spending:

2014: 21.7%

2016: 25%

Digital ad spending per Internet user:

North America: $168

Western Europe: $112

What Do Digital Marketers Do?

Relatively new position in marketing (in last 20 years)

Born from vast online consumer presence

Develop marketing strategies

Manage ad campaigns, social media, SEO (search engine optimization)

Track KPIs (key performance indicators; measures used to assess the success of a digital marketing strategy; common KPI is conversions)

Analyze campaigns and identify what did and didn’t work

Marketing managers:

  • Manage digital/online elements of marketing
  • Integrate with offline elements (print and PR)
  • Set a strategic plan for company/brand
  • Work with other departments (sales, HR, customer service) to coordinate, align and consistently implement marketing plan

Challenges in Digital Marketing

Understanding all the digital channels and devices that are used by consumers

  • Different devices use different protocols, specifications and interfaces
  • Consumers interact with devices in different ways and for different purposes

Capturing consumers’ attention amidst the ever increasing proliferation of digital content and channels

Synthesizing, analyzing and utilizing increasing amount of “big data”

Keys to Success in Digital Marketing

Manage complex customer relationships across a variety of channels, including digital and traditional

Participate in dynamic and meaningful customer interactions

Utilize “big data” successfully to facilitate faster and better decision making

A Day in the Life

6 a.m.: Rise and shine! Get the day started!

7a.m.: Eat breakfast and check the news and headlines; read up on anything relevant and share it via one of many various business accounts or personal account (depending on who it’s relevant for)

7:30 a.m.: Head to the office

8 a.m.: Plan out the day (over coffee)

8:15 a.m.: Check emails and address anything that takes less than two minutes to solve; move the remaining emails to the daily “actions” list

8:45 a.m.: Morning huddle with the team; go over daily KPIs

9 a.m.: Meetings (individual or group) to talk about latest project and its progress

9:30 a.m.: Touch base with clients on anything outstanding; start on daily “actions” list

10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Write a digital marketing plan, blog post, or press release

12:30 p.m.: Multi-task – eat and catch up on news, articles, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and chat with other professionals in the industry

1-3 p.m.: Take stock of various client activities in place by looking at analytics reports; go over key metrics (individualized for each client) – what content has had the most attention, do any users have questions that requiring answering? Look for anything out of the ordinary or unexpected and (if found) look for any insights that might be there.

3-4 p.m.: Try to tear away from analytics to address any outstanding “actions” list items; answer emails

4-6 p.m.: Get back to writing digital marketing plans or any other writing or progress reports needed to give clients

6 p.m.: Head home to spend time with the loved ones or duck into a digital marketing event if it’s on the calendar (stay just long enough to chat up the important people and try to be home before the family is tucked in)

9 p.m.: Settle in for the night, catching up on blogging, research and posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkdIn, etc.

How to Get Into the Game


  • Degree in marketing or communications is just a start
  • Previous job, internship, side project
  • Create your own project
  • Enter a marketing contest

Know the Lingo

  • Become fluent in the industry jargon
  • Master marketing terminology AND metrics – know what they mean and how to use them
  • Where to start?’s Marketing Terms and Definitions HubSpot’s The Ultimate Glossary: 120 Social Media Marketing Terms Explained

Cultivate Your Personal Online Presence

  • Show you can build your personal brand
  • This can be a deciding factor when interviewing for a job

Be a Generalist with a Specialization

  • Get experience in affiliate, search, social media, e-mail, mobile, display marketing, etc.
  • Agency experience can give exposure to all aspects of digital marketing – paid search, social media, mobile, etc. – allowing you to work on a number of different accounts and determine a specialty interest
  • Specialty enables you to hone your skills and become an expert

Industry Meetups and Conferences

  • Spend time and engage with people in the industry
  • Attend conferences such as: SXSW, Search Marketing Expo, Web 2.0 Expo, Ad Age Digital Conference, ad:tech, Search Engine Strategies and Pivot.

Keep a Finger on the Pulse

  • Technology is constantly evolving at breakneck speed – learn what’s in the market and what’s coming
  • Consumer behavior is radically and continually shifting – understand what consumers are doing online, what motivates them, and their social/mobile behavior
  • Since media consumption is becoming increasingly fragmented, subscribing to industry blogs and newsletters can help stay on top of the latest news and trends – Ad Age, ClickZ, eMarketer, BrandWeek and AdWeek

Get Technical

  • Basic knowledge of how the web works, HTML, one or two programming languages (PHP, JavaScript, CSS and Ruby) to help you communicate your design needs with developers, designers and other web specialists.
  • Understanding the nuances of basic technical terminology can help you understand how users interact with content