By Greg Detter, Senior Vice President, Robert Half

Digital marketing is an innovation- and trend-driven discipline where creativity and technology combine to spark sales. But amid all the excitement around new arenas for campaigns, like social commerce and the metaverse, the fundamentals of building a successful digital marketing team can be summed up in two steps:

  1. Decide on the right mix of roles needed to execute your strategy.
  2. Find the best pros to take on those roles.

It’s not rocket science — but it’s not perfectly straightforward either. More than four in 10 marketing and creative managers (40%) told Robert Half that digital marketing positions were the most challenging jobs to find talent for. At the same time, an identical proportion of those leaders anticipate larger digital marketing budgets for 2022. To put it simply, they have the money but lack the people.

To help you assemble your A-team, here’s a rundown of the key roles in today’s digital marketing landscape, plus the standout skills to look for in candidates you may want to recruit.

Digital marketing manager

This pro is the heart of your digital marketing team and someone you need to understand the ins and outs of marketing strategy and campaign management. This person will work with content producers, search engine optimization (SEO) specialists, social media experts and others to drive campaigns from the drawing board to execution — all while keeping a close eye on the budget.

Key skills and experience to look for:

  • Ability to foster collaboration between internal and external marketing teams
  • Experience in crafting key performance indicators (KPIs) to guide the team through continuous improvement
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills

SEO specialist

For your brand to achieve maximum visibility and consumer reach, you need a stellar SEO specialist. It’s their job to research, analyze and execute the best SEO practices for all areas of your organization’s website.

In addition to knowing the basic tricks of the trade, such as link building, site audits and mobile optimization, your SEO specialist must be tuned in to Google’s ever-evolving strategy for improving search engine results pages (SERPs). Only then can you be sure your search results answer potential customers’ queries in the richest and most compelling ways.

Key skills and experience to look for:

  • Deep understanding of tools and platforms like Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Moz and Semrush
  • Ability to clearly convey SEO needs to web development and content marketing teams
  • Experience in turning data analysis into actionable SEO tasks

Content marketing manager

If content is king, then content marketing managers are the kingmakers. It’s their job to mastermind digital content strategies across all your digital platforms, driving traffic to maximize customer engagement, conversions and sales.

Depending on your company’s size and needs, a content marketing manager may have a hands-on role in crafting content or a more strategic role, leading a team of content creators.

Key skills and experience to look for:

  • Experience using digital marketing and SEO tools like Google Analytics, Google Keyword Planner and Semrush
  • 3-5 years of experience in content marketing, with a strong writing background and digital portfolio
  • Advanced teamwork and communication skills to build effective relationships with internal and external content creators

Marketing analytics manager

Measuring the outcomes of your marketing campaigns in terms of dollars and cents may seem relatively easy. But how can you be sure you’re spending your budget wisely, and what can you do to maximize your return on investment?

Enter marketing analytics managers. These professionals use statistical tools to gather and visualize data, identify trends and patterns, and convey findings to the marketing team’s decision makers. A good analyst is an important counterweight to people who rely more on sentiment and gut feeling. They know what works and what doesn’t — and they have the data to prove it.

Key skills and experience to look for:

  • A track record of collecting and analyzing data on competitors and customers
  • Strong communication skills to document and present reports on research findings
  • Working knowledge of database query languages like SQL

Email marketing manager

Would you personally subscribe to your company’s marketing emails and newsletters? If not, consider hiring an email marketing manager to up-level your offerings.

This professional uses their content creation skills and business sense to craft emails that customers want to open, often working closely with graphic designers to create a visually appealing campaign. Also, they use market research and analytical tools to monitor the performance of current campaigns and improve future ones.

Key skills and experience to look for:

  • Ability to plan, draft, refine and proofread high-quality email content
  • Comfort with tracking and reporting campaign KPIs such as open, click-through and unsubscribe rates
  • Proficiency in email marketing platforms like HubSpot, MailChimp and Klaviyo

Social media manager

Gone are the days when highlighting your products and services on a news feed qualified as a social media campaign. Modern consumers want much more, including deep insights into what you offer and how your products and services can help them. They also want to feel like they are having a genuine conversation with your brand.

Your social media manager makes all this happen by creating engaging social content, responding to followers’ comments and posts, collaborating with influencers, and more. They’re constantly looking for new ways to stay in touch with your audience, whether that means long-form company updates via LinkedIn Newsletters or 30-second video clips on Instagram Reels.

Key skills and experience to look for:

  • A passion for up-and-coming digital marketing trends like micro-influencing and video marketing
  • Empathy, especially when it comes to thinking like a consumer and having a deep understanding of what drives them (and what drives them away)
  • Proficiency with tools like Facebook Ads Manager

Marketing automation specialist

Marketing automation, as a process, aims to get the right content in front of the right people at the right time — with the minimum amount of human intervention. Specialists in this discipline set up automated processes to convert website visitors into customers, using social media posts and email campaigns to nudge these potential buyers through the different stages of the sales journey.

Demand for skilled marketing automation practitioners is growing, with almost one-third of creative and marketing managers (31%) telling Robert Half they anticipate larger budgets to implement automation tools in 2022.

Key skills and experience to look for:

  • Experience using analytics to measure campaign strengths and weaknesses
  • Ability to manage several ongoing projects simultaneously (and effectively)
  • SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) skills


Stringing grammatical text together in a way that attracts the attention of search engines and customers is only part of what a copywriter does. The best copywriters write with purpose and subject matter expertise, finding new ways to generate interest and desire in the minds of their readers and inspire them to take action.

Key skills and experience to look for:

  • Proficiency in SEO techniques like keyword research, optimized headings, link building and meta descriptions
  • Resilience in embracing and absorbing constructive criticism from editors and other members of the marketing team
  • Familiarity with a range of content management systems

Get help building your digital marketing dream team

Struggling to fill some or all of the roles mentioned above? Robert Half can help.

Whether you need a single email marketing specialist or an entire project team, our recruiting specialists can quickly connect you with the digital marketing talent you need to lock in your digital marketing dream team on your budget.