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Roles At A Marketing Agency


A marketing agency is made up of numerous moving parts which work together to form a well-functioning machine. Each part of the machine specializes in one specific function that supports other parts, which in turn, support it. Analogies aside, the roles at a marketing agency each require a special set of skills that can be learned in college and honed over time, and will remain in-demand for the foreseeable future. Until robots take over that is..

Career Paths

Being proficient in any of these skills can lead to a career..

At an agency – anything from working for multiple companies alongside others, to working for one company independently. You’ll have a boss.

Internally at a company – working for one company, typically alongside others, but can be independently as well depending on the size of the company. You’ll have a boss.

Independent consulting – working for one or multiple companies independently, i.e. see ‘digital nomad’. You’re your own boss. But the clients you consult for are also sort of your boss.

The Roles

Marketing Implementation Specialist

  • Other Requirements: Web & mobile marketing / Email marketing / Web design skills
  • Pay: $35k-50k on average.

A marketing implementation specialist’s role is a lot like words that are spelled the same way they sound – they implement marketing. An MIS typically specializes in one or more marketing software platforms, such as Act-On, Eloqua, Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, etc. These marketing platforms allow agencies to have one agency-level account that can service multiple clients. And these types of accounts are not cheap, FYI. Each client account offers most of the features necessary to control the whole online presence of a company – everything from building a website, to email marketing automation. All of which the marketing implementation specialist is usually responsible for building out. An MIS is often the account managers right hand as well, since the account manager will relay client feedback to the marketing implementation specialist and vice versa. MIS’s will also sit in on client meetings to simply show face, or to provide details on what is and isn’t possible that the account manager may not be aware of.

Account Manager

  • Other Requirements: Problem solving / customer service skills.
  • Pay: $45k-80k on average, but can be more. May include commission as well.

Being an account manager requires one to be familiar with all aspects and services of the marketing agency. They typically start as marketing implementation specialists (see above), so that they have hands-on experience with the bread & butter services the agency offers (usually email marketing). Account managers are client facing, and require not only intellectual skills, but customer service skills as well. Let’s face it, clients can really be a handful, as marketing campaigns often don’t go as planned. This requires account managers to have thick skin and to be good at resolving issues on their feet while maintaining composure, and the agency-client relationship. Account managers are also tasked with upselling clients to bigger and better services, so in a sense they’re also sale people. They may also serve as a manager to implementation specialists and some of the other designers / specialists, depending on the agency.

Graphic Designer

  • Degree Requirement: Graphic Design Degree
  • Other Requirements: Skills with Adobe Creative Cloud Programs, eg Photoshop, Illustrator, After effects, etc.
  • Pay: $40k-75k on average.

A graphic designer is often the common denominator of a marketing agency. Hence making them one of the most valued assets. A marketing implementation specialist needs a photo edited for an email marketing campaign. An account manager needs a mockup of a website design to pitch to a new client. A web designer needs a design for a home page banner. An eCommerce specialist needs a product photo to have the background whited out. A PPC specialist needs display ads designed for search and social media. A photographer needs a whole album photoshopped. The list goes on and on. Safe to say there’s never a dull moment for a graphic designer.

Web Designer / UX & UI Designer

  • Degree Requirement: Web Development Degree
  • Other Requirements: WordPress / HTML / CSS skills.
  • Pay: $45k-80k on average.

Web designers often bring in the most profit for the agency, as the cost of building a complete website gets pretty pricey these days. It’s not unusual for a site to get into the 5-digit price range. WordPress will often be where any web developer spends most of their time. And the reason web design can bring in the most profit for marketing agencies is because once a web designer has a few sites under their belt, building a site in WordPress becomes second nature, allowing them to get built fairly quick – which means a quick turnaround time. An agency may charge a client for 50 working hours and an experienced designer might get it done in 30 hours. Plugins and applications are also beginning to take a lot of work off of designers’ hands, streamlining the whole process.

eCommerce Specialist

  • Other Requirements: Accounting skills (when pricing products) / conversion optimization skills.
  • Pay: $45k-90k on average.

An eCommerce specialist isn’t much different from a web designer, but there are a few distinctions. Being an eCommerce specialist requires the knowledge of certain guidelines that make products sell. A run of the mill web designer won’t be aware of such guidelines. These guidelines are known as conversion optimization, or what I like to call bounce averting. One conversion optimization example is minimizing the number of clicks / steps during the checkout process. eCommerce sites are also no exception to the high price to build a website, they’re likely to be even more expensive than a typical site due to having to build out numerous product pages.

PPC Specialist

  • Other Requirements: Google Ads certification / ad copywriting skills.
  • Pay: $50k-80k on average.

A PPC Specialist does all types of pay per click advertising. Including, but not limited to; SEM (search engine marketing) Google Shopping ads, Search ads, Display ads, CRM Remarketing ads, Cookie Retargeting ads, Adroll ads, Amazon ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Pinterest ads, Snapchat ads, Twitter ads and YouTube video ads. Much like an eCommerce specialist and a copywriter, a PPC specialist needs to be aware of guidelines that allow advertisements to be successful. A solid understanding of ad design and ad copy are imperative in this role. Think of all the commercials you can remember – there’s not many, and that’s because making a memorable advertisement is no walk in the park.


Search Engine Optimizer

  • Other Requirements: On-page & off-page SEO skills / copywriting skills.
  • Pay: $50k-80k on average.

A search engine optimizer is a lot like a web developer, but with a special set of skills. When building a home (website) SEO’s are a lot like architects – they do the blueprint of the house before it’s constructed. SEO’s plan how keywords should be used in each URL, amongst many other things. If they weren’t part of the design process, such as when someone needs search engine optimization services on an existing site, SEO’s are a lot like handymen. They perform a lot of different tasks to correct on-page SEO. Off-page SEO, such as link building, is also important experience to have under one’s belt to get hired for this role.


  • Degree Requirement: Photography Degree
  • Other Requirements: A solid portfolio & a unique approach / vision.
  • Pay: $35k-60k on average.

A photographer is likely to be the least common position at a marketing agency, but surely there’s still a demand for them. The photography position often coincides with the videography position as well, as in the person with the camera will both take photos and shoot video simultaneously. Although a marketing agency won’t get as many photo shoot inquiries as they will email marketing inquiries, it’s still important for an agency to have a photographer on hand – or a phone call away. The subject matter of photo shoots will often consist of product photography, employee picture days, business location photos, conference photo shoot coverage, and more.



  • Degree Requirement: Film Degree
  • Other Requirements: A solid portfolio & a unique approach / vision.
  • Pay: $40k-70k on average.

While a marketing agency isn’t as likely to get a video production job, it does happen from time to time (companies are more likely to source that from a video production focused company rather than a marketing agency). But, needless to say, videos play a big role in marketing these days. With the influx of YouTube ads and social media ads video marketing is becoming more and more prominent. Marketing agencies will often combine video production services with other services such as video advertising and email marketing. Safe to say videography is a profession that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Video Editor

  • Degree Requirement: Film Degree
  • Other Requirements: A solid portfolio & a unique approach / vision.
  • Pay: $40k-70k on average.

Video editing is a great career to pursue whether or not it’s at a marketing agency. Much like photography and videography, a video editor won’t often be an in-house employee. That being said, the video editor is responsible for making raw footage look like a polished, influential, and intriguing piece of art. Which is why a quality video editor is extremely necessary when it comes to marketing a brand.


  • Degree Requirement: Creative Writing Degree / Communications Degree / English Degree / Journalism Degree
  • Other Requirements: A solid portfolio / college essays.
  • Pay: $35k-70k on average.

Copywriting is another one of those odd positions at a marketing agency that isn’t typically an in-house position, but rather an on-call consultant. Companies will often write the copy they think belongs in their emails and on their website, but they are sadly mistaken when a professional copywriter has a chance to review it. And believe you me, writing copy is no simple task. Writing with perfect grammar is just the tip of the iceberg. Writing ad copy is an entirely different ballgame. You need to be able to not just intrigue a potential customer with you writing, but you need to persuade them to become a paying customer. In case you’re considering copywriting as a career, make sure you really, REALLY, love writing. And are great at it as well.

Social Media Manager

  • Other Requirements: A solid portfolio
  • Pay: $35k-70k on average.

Social media management is probably the only job that just about every millennial is proficient at, considering they “practiced” it for a couple hours 5 days a week and 4 hours a day on the weekends. Which means there’s a large supply of candidates looking to pursue social media management as a career – no surprise there. What sets you apart from others in this field of work is having results to show. A social media account that you built that has 5 or 6 figure following will stand out on your resume over someone who hasn’t built a following and is just interested in getting paid to play on the ‘Gram. You must be able to build a strong community of fans around your clients’ products / services and execute marketing campaigns that will elicit an emotion to drive desirable results.

Written by Brandon Banducci


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