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A career in Digital Marketing can be hugely satisfying. You get to see tangible growth and results from your efforts, and a visible impact on your audiences or clients through data-driven marketing and analytics. It can be especially rewarding when you find a fix for a problem that results in measurable improvements to a website’s performance or campaign. Another huge draw of Digital Marketing is that it provides cost-effective marketing and reach.

Digital Marketing in 2020

According to recruitment firm Robert Walters Asia, the forecast for 2018 onwards looks to be rosy. There has been an increasing demand for digital marketing candidates in the past 3 years, and it looks likely to continue in the years to come as brands continue to use online platforms to connect and engage with their target audiences.

The demand for technology jobs in Singapore grew by 20 percent in the last 12 months, according to a recent Salary Benchmark 2019 report by recruiting firm Michael Page.

Of particular interest, the report noted that there had been a surge in demand for digital marketing talent in Singapore, with corporations seeking individuals who can push digital strategy to the forefront. The obsession with a digital career is not going anywhere as there are many reasons to pursue digital marketing as a career.

Digital Marketing is more than just creating a Facebook Page and running some advertisements to get Likes on your post.

With companies seeking to reach a broader audience, it is essential for them to utilise digital platforms such as social media, email, and mobile marketing. Furthermore, an omni-channel approach offers more value for businesses, allowing them to approach their audiences from different angles and platforms.

However, adopting an omni-channel strategy does not mean using every available channel, or as many channels as possible. It’s about figuring the sequence of events (customer buying journey) which takes place leading up to the action of purchase, and determining which channels best lead to the success of that.

Related: What is Digital Marketing and Digital Marketing Strategy? (With Examples)

Therein lies the difficulty: finding out how to execute efficiently and track accurately. This also led to an increased demand for candidates who are comfortable with numbers and using analytics tools.

Salary and pay scale for Singapore Digital Marketers

For junior and executive positions, candidates are expected to have a broad understanding of digital marketing concepts and strategies. However, if they choose to specialise in one channel, employers would expect them to have a portfolio or evidence of practical experience.

When talking about digital marketing jobs in the corporate world, you start off your career by either working though client-side or working for an agency. We shall briefly discuss the career progression pathway for both agencies and client-side. 

Full-service agencies usually refer as a “one-stop-shop” where you can get all the different components of an ad campaign done. From market research to content production and programmatic advertising, they have a separate department focused on account management/servicing and sales.

Digital Agency Structure Team

On the other hand, it is more difficult for boutique (small) agencies to take on diverse channels as the workers tend to specialise. Therefore, their contributions are usually more focused on a specific discipline.

One key difference between job titles on both client and agency side is the word ‘marketing’ usually surfaces up more on client-side. The structure of the marketing department tends to be flatter than in an agency. There are typically 3 levels: executive, management, and director.

Client-side digital team structure

A digital marketing executive or assistant manager is usually the junior level of a digital marketing team. They report to the team leads or may have an assigned manager based on the projects they are currently undertaking. Their main goal is to promote and market the respective organisation’s products and services to audiences using various channels.

They are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of digital marketing concepts and are required to oversee the online marketing strategy for their respective organisation. Their job scope might also include liaising with agency specialists in the area of outsourcing to expedite tasks.

The role of a digital marketing manager or senior manager focuses more on strategic decision making and planning on a team level. They are responsible for all aspects of a company’s marketing operations. Their central goal is to help grow a brand’s influence and have a conversion strategy in place while also increasing brand loyalty and awareness. Their versatility in their roles will also include planning, implementing, and monitoring digital marketing campaigns across various digital networks.

For the digital marketing director, he/she should have vast marketing experience and passion for digital technologies. They oversee different teams to ensure consistency through all digital marketing channels. They have a gift of thinking out of the box and have the quality of forward-thinking to build and maintain a strong company web presence.

Ultimately, being a director, he/she can drive all digital marketing efforts to achieve business objectives for a corporation. To be promoted to a director-level takes about 10 years of relevant experience developing, implementing and managing marketing campaigns.

The salary package offered will vary with candidate’s years of experience and industry standards. These are not absolute and should only be taken as a guide. Salary figures are sourced from: Robert Walters, Payscale.com, Morgan McKinley, and digital agencies based in Singapore such as 2Stallions and iFoundries.

Job Roles

Salary Range (Annual)

Digital Marketing Executive / Digital Marketing Associate$30,000 - $48,000
Digital Marketing Manager$45,000 - $110,000
Digital Marketing Director$84,000 - $250,000
Digital Planner$42,000 - $54,000
Digital Account Executive$36,000 - $42,000
Digital Account Manager$45,000 - $54,000
Social Media Manager$53,400 - $85,000
Social Media Director$84,000 - $150,000
Search Engine Optimisation Specialist$30,000 - $38,000
Search Engine Optimisation Manager$54,000 - 85,000
Paid Media Specialist$42,000 - $72,000
Digital Marketing Analyst$30,000 - $48,000
Content Manager$45,000 - $78,000
Conversion Rate Optimisation Manager$52,000 - $90,000

On Social Media Manager VS Community Manager

A social media manager is more focused on the logistics and operations of various brand channels, they plan campaigns, distribution of content and evaluate brand impact. They are responsible for the performance of social media, making sure that each platform is properly utilised through measurement and analytics.

Community managers focus on people and personalities. They interact with users on behalf of the brand, posting and publishing content on various social platforms. They’re often the face of the brand in the digital space, and the internal advocate for customers. Social listening and monitoring is an important part of their job as they funnel information internally from all digital platforms.

Like most other jobs, it takes years of experience (at least 10 years for director level) to reach the top. However, the journey will be an enriching and fulfilling one.

Companies would expect candidates to possess a degree in marketing or communications. For entry-level positions, some employers may consider a diploma. However, you may wish to supplement your qualifications with certificates from online courses, distance learning programs, or local institutes.

Sometimes, the digital marketing modules in university or institutional curriculum focuses more on the theoretical aspect and rarely offer actionable insights which you can apply directly to your work. This puts the candidate at a disadvantage because the learning curve at their workplace may be quite steep and they’ll struggle to catch up. This is especially true for digital marketing as updates happen frequently and it is imperative to stay abreast of trends and news.

Ideal Qualities of a Digital Marketer

Some may think that digital marketing is only for the young ones, the older marketers may have difficulty catching on. However, that is not true. Not all millennials are born digitally-savvy, they just grew up with the platforms. Being good at this industry requires more than just knowing how to navigate the digital landscape. Age is, after all, just a number.

An ability to condense and present information neatly in a visual manner is a core skill of a good marketer as they have to analyse different metrics and optimise sales. Furthermore, the ideal digital marketing employee is expected to be able to articulate their thoughts confidently and coherently.

Showing that you’re able to build a personal brand and an online presence adds brownie points to your credibility. Some examples include having a blog or social media page that posts relevant content, or showing that you’ve cultivated a small online following, or creating a personal brand.

Most employers would indicate whether a degree or diploma is required. However, in this online era, it is possible to land a marketing gig (depending on the organisation) with a good portfolio, marketing certifications online and offline, and strong commendations from reputable industry professionals.

An internship or online side project will showcase your skills to the hiring manager and puts you at a greater advantage. Don’t forget to set up a LinkedIn account and feature your achievements.

Knowing and understanding the industry jargon helps too, as it will come in handy if you have to evaluate pitches and hold meeting with a digital marketing agency.

For example, Search Engine Optimisation, a niche yet essential aspect of any digital strategy, has been steadily gaining popularity in Singapore. A lot of marketers and business owners are starting to recognise the long-term value that SEO brings to the table. Want a slice of the pie? Start by familiarising yourself with the phrases- check out this comprehensive SEO Glossary.

Related: What is an SEO Strategy and Why You Need an Integrated Marketing Strategy?

Wang Yaoxian, Senior Project Manager at Zombits, a local digital marketing agency, says that there is high demand for candidates who are able to demonstrate problem solving capabilities and have an analytical mindset. “Because in real life, things don’t go according to plan and you need to be able to think on your feet and address the problem at the first opportunity. The inability to assess and process a course of action quickly can be very detrimental.”

As for advice on the good habits that a digital marketer should have, he says, “Develop habits that exercise your brain. I like to stay updated on current affairs, spend some time catching up on what’s happening in the world and think about how it could affect me, my work, or my client, regardless of whether or not it is practical or applicable.”

The biggest brands of tomorrow will be built online

There is no secret to having a successful career in digital marketing. However, do keep in mind two points: be a creative problem solver, and remember that marketing is about connecting with an audience.

Having a finger on the pulse of the industry is great, but subscribing to ebooks and mailing lists won’t be doing much to get you that job offer or promotion. In an industry that moves at an incredibly fast pace, you have to take action. Look at ways to upgrade your digital marketing skills by attending digital marketing courses, reading up on digital marketing resources online, starting a blog or a website and getting your hands dirty, and getting a digital marketing certificate.

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