Digital marketing

Who do digital marketing people work with to execute a companies marketing goals?

Angela W UX / UI Designer looking for a co-founding opportunity

June 27th, 2016

I am looking to hire a digital marketing manager. Does this role require technical / coding knowledge so they can execute all the campaign tracking setups? Or do they work with another role within a company to make it happen? For example, does a digitial marketing manager know how to technically setup email marketing automations based on customer buying behaviours or do they have to work with a web developer to execute this? So I guess I want to know is what skills is the digital marketer limited to? And are their digital marketers out there that can go into code and setup parameters needed to run CRM campaigns? Or are these people just the people who come up with the strategy and are not executional?

Peter Geisheker Digital Marketing Director - B2B Marketing - SaaS Marketing - Seeking a Digital Marketing Position

June 27th, 2016

Hi Angela,

Generally, a digital marketing manager should be an expert at Internet marketing channels - Google AdWords, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Twitter, Bing, RTB, email marketing automation, SEO, A/B testing, website conversion optimization, etc. This person at their core is an Internet marketer--not a programmer. 

Making updates/changes to the code on your website, such as adding tracking code should really be done by a website developer so it is done correctly. It is the job of the digital marketer to explain to the developer what needs to be done (i.e., I need this Facebook pixel added to the header of every page of the website) and then help manage the developer to make sure the work is completed and everything functions correctly.

As an overview, an experienced digital marketer should be able to setup just about any type of Internet marketing campaign up to the point that changes have to be made to your website's code. At that point, the digital marketer should work with your website developer to make whatever changes need to be made to the code so the changes are made correctly and do not negatively impact your website. 

I hope this helps.


Emily Brackett Owner, Visible Logic

June 27th, 2016

Angela, I've seen it work both ways-where the digital marketing lead does the execution and where they are in charge of finding the people to do the execution.

Many companies can save a lot of money if they hire a good "doer" rather than hiring just a strategy person and then having to layer on additional costs. If you find the right person this can be extremely effective.

The downside is usually that the person may have a strength in one basic channel, and will therefore gravitate to that medium when it doesn't make strategic sense. For example, you may want to test email marketing, social media and/or PPC but if your employee only knows one of these channels really well, they'll either focus too much there, or they will not do the other channels effectively.

This is often why people also consider hiring a small marketing agency. We've taken projects on retainer when a firm was initially thinking of hiring staff. Many small marketing firms can often deliver a highly effective combination of strategy + execution for a reasonable fee.

Tom Cunniff Founder at Cunniff Consulting, B2B Brand Consultancy

June 27th, 2016

If I were you I'd avoid hiring a full-time marketing person until you're sure it will pay out.

If you're clear on what you want/need to accomplish (aka "strategy"), then go find a skilled freelance doer who knows your category. If you have clear and realistic KPIs, consider making a deal with strong incentives to the freelancer for hitting the right targets.

If you're not as clear as you could be about strategy, engage a strategy freelancer who knows your category first, and only then pay someone to do the tactical work.

Boris Kogan Startups and innovation

June 27th, 2016

Depends on the marketer. In general, they will use some sort of automation platform for email automation (like Hubspot,) an analytical platform for analysis (like Mixpanel,) a platform for affiliate/reseller tracking and payment (Tapfiliate,) etc. All of these have APIs/webhooks which must be integrated into the company's code (if you're doing ecommerce, the platform you built your site on might lend itself to the integration without coding.) Anything involving the product code has to be done sidesaddle with the responsible developer-even if your marketer knows how to code, you can't just set him loose on your production code. The good news is that all that stuff does not take a long time to set up, especially after the first time. Most marketing work involves writing content, doing research, developing strategy, engaging with customers, bloggers, journalists, etc., setting up paid customer acquisition campaigns, etc. The code involved mostly involves using other companies' APIs, nothing crazy deep. Most marketers don't know how to code. I personally know a bit, and have used it for marketing work (for instance, I worked a bit with this company and wrote them some marketing code, described here: (warning: some spam stuff is now on the blog, but the article is pretty intact). But this is the exception, and it's really not essential. Sincerely, Baruch

James Linden VP Business Solutions at Kochava

June 27th, 2016

As a lot of folks have mentioned in this thread it really depends on the individual and company needs and background of the digital marketer.  

I've managed digital marketers who know it all:

(A) the right companies to chose for ad tech/media automation 
(B) can do the media buying
(C) setup the campaigns/test links/take live
(D) report back on learnings, optimizations and data insights 

Others might have specific focus on media, data, or technical setup.  The "swiss-army knife" digital marketer is harder to find however.  Combing thru LinkedIn Navigator can help plug in relevant keywords to narrow your search.    I'd also focus on those that have helped with startups (if that's your case) vs. working at more established companies.  Startup folks are usually more hands on with a roll up your sleeves philosophy.  

Gloria Luna VP Marketing - Brand builder and creative problem solver

June 27th, 2016

Angela, as some here have already mentioned, I agree that separating these two functions - the front-end brand-focused marketing and the back-end programming and functionality - is the most effective way to execute a successful digital strategy.

Your digital marketing manager should be able to develop a brand appropriate strategy and be responsible for its execution. Additionally, they should be capable of handling the on-going community management for your social media platforms by being responsible to develop content, posting regularly and responding to your fans/followers.  This person should work closely with you and your team so they fully understand your brand image and voice

If your primary distribution channel is your website, you should have access to a skilled IT programmer who works on regular maintenance of your site and should also be able to manage the technical aspects of your digital strategy.  They can also collaborate with your digital marketing manager to work on the programming aspects of your executions and ensure that your team understands what is feasible and what is involved.  Mistakes here can be very costly to correct.

I don't believe this is a forum to be overtly pitching business, but depending on the scale of your budgets and needs, you should be able to also find a number of agencies that have both capabilities but make sure they are also separate within the agency.  I have seen clients make the mistake of working with agencies that have both functions handled by the same team and I can guarantee the outcome on either end will not be up to your standards.

Vishal Wadher CEO & President at atmosol

June 27th, 2016

Hello Angela,

Its going to be hard to find a "combo" person who has both the marketing / creative skills AND the development skills required to work on your Magento Store (effectively), setup the proper tags, html responsive email campaigns, marketing automation scripts etc.  So typically you would need 2 people with different skills.  One for the marketing / creative direction.  And another who is technically skilled at executing everything.

Another option would be to work with an agency like atmosol.  We are a Magento Silver partner and work with mid to large enterprise retailers like Tupperware.  Our team (all in USA) has the perfect skill set combination to help you with your digital marketing strategy and execute it all from a technical perspective.  So for a fraction of the cost to hire in house, you would have a team of experts in the relevant marketing / tech areas that you are seeking.

If you'd like to discuss this further, please feel free to reach out to me here - 

Thank you,

Yvette Bordley Digital Marketing Consultant SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing E-commerce Digital Marketing Specialist and Trainer

June 27th, 2016

Hi Angela 

The previous posts sum it up really well. Digital marketing consultants usually plan, recommend and prepare digital marketing strategies and integrated marketing plans. They improve the search engine ranking of SEO clients through: - On page optimisation, Link building and Online PR. They research competitors and  social media strategies and implement and monitor social media campaigns. They generate online and offline marketing and advertising ideas for client campaigns. They produce detailed performance reports (including rankings, web statistics, etc). They provide email marketing consultancy etc. Setting up tracking is part of monitoring and metrics and most good digital marketers should have a handle on this and work closely with developers to implement. Buffer have created a UTM guide that may be useful to you Hope this helps. Yvette 

Josh McCormack Securing funding for my pre revenue startup app in recruiting space.

June 27th, 2016

Plan out the strategy (possibly with outside help) and hiring the person who can execute it. Hands on skills able to handle managing ads, CRM, marketing automation, etc. are sadly rare in a lot of marketing people. Subject matter expertise would be ideal, too. 

Marv Steigman Chief Marketing Officer

June 27th, 2016

The answer, of course, is, "It depends."

If you have the budget for, and the scope of work requires, staff to perform technical functions then the primary role of your digital marketing manager is, to manage. He or she can then hire or contract for whatever development / technical work is required.

I caution however against hiring a person for that role who does not minimally have a thorough understanding of what's required technically so as to assure accurate budgeting and cost controls.

In many cases though, the budget, scope or other limitations preclude this. In those cases the Marketing Manger will develop the campaign (IMC) and parse out technical work to developers with specialized skills. There are marketing managers who can perform the the development work (I'm an example) but it's rare for someone to have the requisite management ability as well as posses the technical skills.

Another alternative is to find a group that can handle the strategic work and development work and contract with them to do it all. We do this as a matter of course and function as the marketing group for small to medium businesses. This relieves you of much of the headache and personnel issues.

Hope this helps.