How much should you pay a Digital Marketing Manager?

You know the answer is likely to involve the phrase, 'it depends' at least once. But I'm going to avoid using it, and will instead do my level best to give you a solid answer by the end of this blog.

There will be standard factors that apply to the answer - experience, location or speciality requirements will either increase or decrease the amounts mentioned.

How much to pay a digital marketing manager

The first thing to realise is that digital marketing as a role in New Zealand is still considered somewhat specialist. It's not taught as a fixed qualification, and there are few established businesses here that hire for a purely digital role. Those that do expect the candidate to do a little of everything, which isn't always realistic.

That's because digital marketing, more so than other forms of marketing, is split into multiple disciplines. Add to that the ever-evolving, rapidly changing nature of each of those disciplines and a generalist will quickly fall behind.

Take one of those specialists as an example; a Social Media Manager. Nationally the average salary for one of those is around $43,448. That's for someone focused, full time on only your social media.

If you're looking for someone to improve your website's search rankings, or your paid advertising on Google then you're after a Search Engine Marketing specialist. In New Zealand not enough of these roles exist to have their own salary statistics, but a Digital Marketing Specialist (with SEO/SEM skills) has an average salary of $56,500. This is likely to be most focused on the bigger employment hubs as few provincial businesses will require this skill set.

Digital marketing also centres around copy, or the text used in blogs and on website pages. This copy has to be formatted and designed based on how search engines work so the digital assets can be found. Again, finding a digital copy writer would be a challenge in NZ, but a standard copywriter's salary can be anywhere between $40,599 and $195,700 dependant on experience, technical knowledge and style.

A Digital Marketing Manager would usually oversee all of the above roles, and could even include an analyst, graphic designer or web designer too. The average Digital Marketing Manager in New Zealand can be expected to earn upwards of $60,000 a year.

Hiring a digitally focused marketing team can be expensive, but essential. Today's business is all about whether you win or lose online. But if you can't fork out the $200k+ a year needed for a basic digital team, what are your options?

Digital marketing agencies exist across New Zealand from small, one person companies to large international firms with a local branch. The key to finding out which one suits you the best lies in carefully mapping out what you expect from them, and then approaching the ones that can handle what you need, at a price that doesn't blow your budget.

As an example, our digital marketing management services start from $3,500 +GST p/m* and go up to $8,500 +GST p/m* and cover social media marketing, email marketing, search, paid advertising, blogging and more.

The other advantage of working with an agency is that they generally have a team of specialists, meaning they can use the SEM specialist when required, then bring in the social media specialist when needed. This gives you the benefit of focused experience, but in the small doses required by a developing firm. 

Ready to get started with a digital marketing agency? Book a meeting with me to discuss your needs, and to see if Vanguard 86 could be the right fit for you.

Book a meeting with Thomas here 

All figures sourced from

* Figures exclude onboarding and software license

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