Ihor Svietlichnyi
CMO expla 

Joined expla company as a Junior Marketing Manager and advanced to the position of CMO within 4 years. Launched two of the company's largest units.


The Main Profit Maker: Who Іs an Online Marketer and How Much They Earn

Hi! I’m Ihor Svietlichnyi, and I’ve been working in online marketing for over eight years, three of which as Chief Marketing Officer at Cpamatica. The demand for our profession is growing, as well as the new stereotypes about this field. That’s why I want to explain in detail what marketers do, what role they play in business, and how they can develop – professionally and financially.

Who is an online marketer

An online marketer is a person who attracts new users to a business. There can be a lot of tools to use: Google Ads, Meta Ads, Microsoft Ads, Reddit. In some job descriptions, this specialist is called a Marketing manager, in others a Growth manager, but globally, it’s always about getting new users interested in the product. The demand for online marketers is increasing, as it’s crucial to have the skills to sell everything that IT specialists create.

A small business or B2B can keep going without an online marketer – often these roles are covered by, say, a sales manager. But I don’t know any B2C businesses that don’t need these specialists.

Five things an online marketer should know:

  • sales funnel – shows the customer’s path from familiarization with the product to purchase;
  • CTR – the click-through rate of a link to all its impressions;
  • CPC – the cost per click on an ad;
  • ROI – return on investment;
  • landing – a simple page that aims to get a specific action from the user (registration, purchase, application).

Marketing is the new IT. How much does an online marketer earn

In Ukraine, outsourcing is highly developed. I believe that about 70% of all money in IT comes from the solutions made for the clients abroad.

Online marketers at Cpamatica are the main profit makers. Salaries in a classic agency, a product agency, and a performance agency differ on the Ukrainian market. I would recommend keeping an eye on them on DOU, Djinni.

Average salaries in Ukrainian product companies:

  • Junior — $800-1,200;
  • Middle — $1,200-2,100;
  • Senior — $2,100-3,000;
  • Head, Lead — $3-5K+.

Salaries in performance marketing agencies are often higher than in product one. But the exact amounts depend on the company, your experience, and location.

Why are the salaries so high in the performance and product agencies? It’s because most of the money comes from abroad. This is export revenue. Online marketers are gradually catching up to the level of high wages. In foreign companies, a talented online marketer earns as much as a developer.

Classic, product, “performance” agency: what’s the difference

Now, let’s talk about where online marketers can show themselves. This is usually either a classic agency, a product company, or a performance marketing agency. What is the difference in responsibilities, what are the pros and cons?

In a performance agency, marketing is the main function. They focus on attracting the target user who will immediately bring money to the business. This is an opportunity to learn how to work directly with businesses. Also, a specialist can often gain experience with different products/traffic sources.

You will be surrounded by professional online marketers, and they are a great source of expertise. In a product company, this is only one of several responsibilities.

We hire numerous individuals at Cpamatica. The key metric by which we evaluate a person’s professionalism is the size of the monthly budgets that they operate with. It can be $100, $1,000, or $100,000. Product agencies typically boast larger figures, while performance and classic ones tend to have fewer.

The product agency budget can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can’t just enter the Canadian market with $5,000. In performance agency, the numbers are slightly lower, but you need to pay off here and now. In performance marketing, we don’t have a 3-9 month payback lag, which the product industry can afford.

Agency marketing in Ukraine works with the smallest budgets. These are mostly local clients – FMCG, retail, logistics, and others. You need to understand that you can be a huge client in Ukraine, but still have smaller budgets than a local retailer somewhere in Texas.

In the product, an online marketer supports only one business. In performance, a specialist works with several clients. For example, we have a business area of browser games, and a person works on that (plus 1-2 other areas). There are a lot of interesting niches. In classic agencies, there can be 7-15 clients per specialist, depending on the grade of the marketer. Involvement in projects is sometimes quite superficial. Because of this, many marketers, having gained experience in a classic agency, want to “sell” their experience at a higher price and consider positions in performance marketing or product one.

How one enters the profession

More than 75% of online marketers at Cpamatica are switchers. They come to us from finance, logistics, pharmaceuticals, consulting, and audit. If people have achieved some success in one of these areas, it is a signal that they will be able to build productive work in our business as well.

It is easier for us to teach marketing in six months than to teach a person to work in general.

People often enter the profession after taking courses. For juniors, this is normal. Then a person considers development vectors – SEO, email, PR, PPC – and seeks opportunities. Online marketers also enter the field with technical degrees. A technical background is a big plus. It happens that people get interested in marketing at university and start working in SMM, affiliate, and from there move towards performance marketing.

There are many opportunities in the profession. First, there is growth in grades: Junior, Middle, Senior. The seniority is determined by the number of channels a specialist works with. Although it is possible to work with only one, but on huge budgets and with insane automation. It is also worth mentioning mentoring others in the team. Some people move on as managers: they hire marketers to the team, develop entire departments.

An online marketer has a 360-degree view of the business – they understand how the support works, where users come from, and what the main problems are. That’s why they often have the opportunity to become product managers. It is important to mention that almost one in five (18%) CEOs (FTSE 100) is a former marketer. This makes marketing the second most common path to the CEO position, behind only those with a background in finance (36%). In the consumer sector, 31% of FTSE 100 companies are led by executives who previously held sales and marketing positions, while only 25% have a financial degree and 19% come from operations.

About the stereotypes

Many newcomers believe that an online marketer is an intermediate position, and that they enter the profession only to grow further. But you should understand that in performance agencies, it is marketers who bring money to the table. And the level of autonomy is greater than that of some product managers.

For example, an employee is in charge of game development. His task is to make the project P&L. The more the company earns, the higher the percentage they receive. Of course, the person is not left alone with this, as there are processes, business units, analysts, developers, designers, product managers – you need to interact with everyone.

What is to be done about this stereotype? Nothing. You just have to choose where you can develop more organically.

What skills does a newbie need

  • Excel is the #1 hard skill for Junior.

You need to know formulas and functions at a high level. Because when you get three spreadsheets with chaos inside, you’ll need to bring them together into something workable, analyze them, and draw conclusions.

  • Knowledge of SQL, Python will be a plus.
  • English is Upper-Intermediate and above.
  • The ability to google quickly and efficiently.

It is very important how well a person can search, draw conclusions, and present them. A great marketer can spend a week doing research, looking through hundreds of pages of content, studying competitors, and making a 4-slide presentation with key findings that will help his company (reduce the budget for the test, increase the chance of test success, influence the choice of a country for expansion, etc.)

  • Basic Internet literacy.
  • Experience with any task managers (Jira, Asana, ClickUp, etc.).
  • Experience with CRM, CMS.
  • For a marketer, soft skills are 50% of success.
  • Curiosity. You should always be interested in “Why?”.
  • Motivation.
    Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? Why am I launching dozens/hundreds of advertising campaigns?”. An online marketer has no final point where the work ends. The company can always earn more, and your wages will grow with it. A/B tests, reducing the cost of user acquisition, testing new semantics, landing pages… This is constant hard work that will bring results only if you are highly motivated.

“I wake up at eight every day and set up ads to become a professional. To be No. 1 among the competitors” – that’s what it’s all about.

  • Basic creativity: create and steal like an artist 🤭.
  • Sometimes effective marketing is not only about understanding the policies of the networks where you advertise, but also about knowing how to adapt your creativity accordingly. The most respected marketers are those who know how to do this.

To the library: what to read and watch for online marketers

In conclusion, I’d like to recommend six interesting resources for online marketers to get inspiration and knowledge from:

  1. Digital Marketing Fundamentals course from Google.
  2. The book «Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas that don’t Make Sense», by Rory Sutherland.
  3. The book «Predictably Irrational», by Dan Ariely.
  4. Youtube channel Revenue Tactics.
  5. Webmagic — Telegram channel about Google ads, PPC, and web analytics.
  6. Paid Search — a podcast about Google Ads.

The path of an online marketer is not easy, often non-linear, but always interesting. I will be glad if my thoughts inspire you to grow in this field.

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