7 hot digital marketing jobs for 2020 (and what you need to land them)

From chief experience officer to director of content marketing to brand manager, digital marketing roles are evolving. Here’s a look at seven jobs that can position you for the future of marketing.

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What will be the hot digital marketing jobs in 2020, and which certifications can help you land them?

To answer these questions, we combed through the latest research from talent agencies such as Mondo and The Creative Group. In addition, we checked salary data from Monster, Glassdoor, Indeed, PayScale, ZipRecruiter, Salary.com and other sources.

Based on our findings, we’ve created a guide to seven digital marketing jobs that will be good bets in 2020 and beyond; why they’re hot; what you’ll earn; and the online courses and corresponding certifications for each job that may help you get hired.

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The jobs are listed from lowest-to-highest paying (i.e., from 7 to 1). Their rankings are based upon the top average annual salary we found for each job. Keep in mind some positions may go by a different name — a brand manager, for instance, may do essentially the same thing as a brand marketer, depending upon the employer. So, when you’re querying job sites for a specific position, remember to search using keyword variations of the job title.

Also, because some of these jobs are relatively new, not all the job sites we referenced have salary data available yet.   

7. Marketing Automation Specialist

Why it’s hot: Marketing automation specialists are increasingly in demand, according to MarTech Advisor, given the growing complexity of martech stacks and the need for specialists to master them.

What you’ll do: As a Marketing automation specialist, you need to understand marketing goals, their importance to the organization, and how to help achieve the best outcomes. At the same time, you’ll define and execute marketing automation processes and workflows, juggle multiple omnichannel campaigns, and turn raw data into insights to aid marketing decisions.

What you’ll earn: The highest average annual salary we found is $70,936 (from Monster). Mondo’s 2019 salary guide (free downloadable PDF) is more enticing, with a range of $85,000 to $130,000.

Courses and certifications that can help: HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification (free) is vendor-agnostic but provides fundamentals applicable to marketing automation. GetResponse’s Marketing Automation course and certification is more intensive and costs $199.

Marketo Certified Associate ($95) and Marketo Certified Expert ($225) can score you points with employers who are Marketo customers.

Likewise, the Salesforce Certified Pardot Specialist course ($200) and certification is designed for marketers who want to show their skills in designing, building and implementing marketing workflows through Salesforce’s Pardot platform.

6. Content Strategist

Why it’s hot: Content continues to grow in importance and evolve with the rise of voice-activated content, video and customer-journey mapping. (Check out these eight content trends for 2020 from Convince & Convert.) These are just some of the reasons content strategist is among the hot jobs for 2020 listed in The Creative Group’s 2020 Salary Guide (free PDF download).  

What you’ll do: A contenstrategist is an inbound marketer who possesses a wide range of content marketing skills such as SEO, social media, audience personas, content creation, editing and promotion. The content strategist creates and manages a complete content strategy tailored to their employer’s marketing objectives.

What you’ll earn: The highest average base pay we found was $74,455 (Glassdoor). Salary.com lists a range of $60,737 to $82,027.

Courses and certifications that can help: Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies offers a Content Strategy Certificate program via online courses to those with a graduate degree. Tuition per course is $2,509.

Less expensive/intense options are available, such as Hubspot’s Learn What Content Marketing Is and How to Do It course/certification (free) or Content Marketing Institute’s Content Marketing University ($995), which covers a range of topics over a six-week period. If you need help learning or brushing up on the basics, consider the HubSpot Content Marketing Course and Certification (free).

Copyblogger’s Content Marketer Certification program is another option (annual membership is $399; certification program is $495). You might also want to earn a Google Analytics certification (free).

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5. Brand Manager

Why it’s hot: To attract and retain top talent in a competitive job market, a positive company culture is more important than ever because it helps employees feel engaged. Engaged employees are likely to stay where they are — and perhaps most importantly, serve as advocates for your brand to customers, partners and others. For these and other reasons, brand marketing positions are hot.

What you’ll do: Through storytelling combined with data, Brand Managers craft a distinct organizational identity rooted in authenticity. The goal is to positively influence and persuade customers, earn their trust and, of course, encourage them to buy.

What you’ll earn: The highest salary listed that we found is $94,173 (Glassdoor). ZipRecruiter pegs the average at $81,534, but says the range is $24,500 to $145,500.

Courses and certifications that can help: Few online courses and certifications specifically for brand managers exist (yet), though IE Business School offers a five-month course entitled Branding: The Creative Journey Specialization (tuition not disclosed). See also the courses and certifications for no. 2, Content Strategist.  

4. Director of Content Marketing

Why it’s hot: Content marketing agency Skyword ranks director of content marketing among the top six digital marketing roles companies need to fill for success in 2020. “The next few years will see the rise of leadership that spans the entire content operation, from research and strategy to partner relations, governance and maintenance,” thus the rise of the director of content marketing role, Skyword says.

What you’ll do: The director’s job is to cut across the various content silos of PR, social and SEO, aligning the goals of each with a deeper vision. The director must also advocate for the mission of content as a strategic business model, which is challenging given that some C-suite execs remain unconvinced of content marketing’s value.

What you’ll earn: Glassdoor’s average salary is high at $119,750, though Salary.com’s average range for a Brand and Content Marketing Director is even higher — $153,000 to $193,700.

Courses and certifications that can help: In addition to the courses and certifications for Content Strategist, you might consider Digital Marketer’s Content Marketing Mastery coursework and certification ($495), designed for intermediate and advanced marketers.  


3. Director of Growth Marketing

Why it’s hot: Director of growth marketing is another relatively recent role that’s gained traction, given the increasing importance of data-driven marketing and the need to understand the entire customer journey.

What you’ll do: The job merges marketing expertise with product management and a dash of engineering, says digital marketing talent agency MarketPro. Among the skills you’ll need are experience in demand generation, account-based marketing, data and analytics, marketing automation, SEO and brand storytelling.

What you’ll earn: Glassdoor reports the average base pay is $119,750, with a range from $79,000 to $148,000. Meanwhile, for what it’s worth: a growth marketing manager earns on average $59,709 to $79,938, according to Salary.com.

Courses and certifications that can help: Consider any of the content strategist (no. 2 on our list) and director of content marketing (no. 4 on our list) certifications as well as CXL Institute’s Growth Marketing Minidegree ($699 for a one-time fee or $199/month).    

2. Chief Experience Officer

Why it’s hot: Customer experience “has become the new marketing,” according to Harvard Business Review. “It influences brand perceptions and impacts business performance just as strongly as traditional marketing such as media advertising and price promotions once did.” Given that 76 percent of executives surveyed by Forrester believe improving customer experience is a top priority, it’s no surprise that companies are putting a C-level executive in charge of it.

Hence, the rise of the chief experience officer (CxO), one of the top six emerging jobs for creative and marketing professionals in The Creative Group’s 2020 Salary Guide.

What you’ll do: CxOs must possess a deep understanding of the customer journey and lifecycle; be savvy about how to leverage technology to improve the customer journey; and partner with the CIO and CMO to deliver the best customer experience that also meets the company’s goals.

What you’ll earn: The top average is $165,000, according to talent agency Robert Half. However, Salary.com shows a salary range of $168,830 to $268,775.

Courses and certifications that can help: At this level, experience will count way more than certifications, and a Google search didn’t uncover any courses and certifications specific to this role.

Related: The rise of the chief experience officer

1. Marketing Analytics Manager

Why it’s hot: Considered one of 2020’s top 10 hot jobs for creative and marketing professionals by The Creative Group, a marketing analytics manager crunches all the stats and turns them into useful insights for the CMO.

What you’ll do: Essential skills, according to MarTech Advisor, include the ability to deliver data-rich reports that drive successful marketing initiatives; a knack for balancing structured and unstructured data; and strong storytelling skills.  

What you’ll earn: Glassdoor lists the average base pay of $173,850 with a range from $26,000 to $192,000. The Creative Group’s 2020 salary guide shows a range of $84,250 to $130,500. Salary.com’s range is $90,668 to $122,543.

Courses and certifications that can help: Several universities offer online courses and certifications in marketing analytics including the University of California at Berkeley ($896), Columbia University ($340) and Wharton ($585).