People often ask me as a digital media recruiter: What are the most common ecommerce and digital marketing jobs that companies are looking to fill right now? The answer is.…all of them. Employers currently have talent needs all across the digital ecosystem, from junior web analyst to User Experience Designer, and Digital Marketing Manager to VP of Ecommerce. But if you want to know what I’m hearing most about so far this year there’s one job title – for the moment anyway- that is coming up more often than any other, and it may not be what you’d expect: Media Manager. That’s right, the Champion of Channels. The Prince (or Princess) of Planning. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about Social Media Manager – I addressed that particular position in a previous post. What I’m referring to here is the Media Manager who oversees the strategy and execution of media plans and budgets, across all channels. And these days, those channels can include everything from DRTV to direct mail to paid search. That’s actually why many media managers tell me they love what they do- there is s lot variety, and your work is limited only by the number of new and innovative campaigns you can create.
The Media Manager has been around as long as….well, for as long as there’s been media to manage. From prehistoric paintings on cave walls 200,000 years ago to the modern mobile app, humans have communicated through designed channels. And while I’m sure rock carvings were considered cutting edge in their day (no pun intended), certainly no one would disagree that there’s never been a better time throughout all of human history to experience media, in all of its forms and methods of distribution, than today.
If there ever was a multi-dimensional job, this is it. To be successful as a Media Manager, you need to be comfortable with your feet planted in multiple and distinctly different buckets. While extremely detail oriented and analytically minded, it also requires a personality that can communicate clearly and develop strong relationships with internal team members and agency partners. You’re strategic, but also tactical: You can fly at 10,000 feet but also 50 feet off the ground. You know how to build and manage campaigns from conception to completion like you know how to drive your car. You know lead generation and brand building like you know your favorite movie. You know how to track data, analyze it, optimize it, and report it. You have financial discipline. You know that CPC, CPL and CPA are more than just professional designations. These all-important KPI’s are how you measure your success. You have enthusiasm, passion and curiosity for industry trends, emerging technologies and what drives consumer behavior. Of course, if there is a direct staff, your Media Manager management and leadership skills also come into play. The work is varied, and there’s constant opportunity to learn. One day you might be planning a new video campaign, the next day a large direct mail initiative. And because direct and digital marketing is so measurable and immediate, it’s a closed loop system: Campaigns can be quickly tested and validated.
Based on my experience as a digital media recruiter, working on the agency side, particularly with a bigger shop that works both with more traditional as well as digital media, can be a real career boost if you’re just entering this field. You’ll be exposed to multiple accounts across a variety of different industries, working with all forms of media and learning from true media experts.
A Bernhart salute to the Media Manager, a job on our “hot list” as we move into 2016.