The State of Digital Marketing Talent in India [A Survey Report]

by Deepak Kanakaraju on September 30, 2015

We recently conducted a survey to get insights into the state of digital marketing talent in India. The questionnaire had six targeted questions and there were a total of 110 respondents who are (or want to be) digital marketing professionals.

How did we get respondents for this survey? The survey was advertised on my blog, Relevant Facebook groups, bloggers who had a similar set of audience and was also forwarded to other like minded folks by the people who answered the survey.

We did everything possible to make sure that we have an even distribution of the respondents in the survey.

Why this survey? There is a huge demand for digital marketing talent in India right now and companies of all sizes are finding it quite difficult to get good talent into their organizations.

I actively refer candidates for digital marketing roles across the country and I have felt the need for such a data.

Since no such report has been published before, we decided to do a survey ourselves. Any organization in India looking to hire digital marketing talent will benefit a lot from this study.

1. Years of Experience

The first question we asked in the survey was about the years of experience they had in digital marketing. Digital marketing is pretty new in India and even around the world.

There has been a sudden transformation from traditional marketing to digital marketing for plenty of obvious reasons. Universities and MBA schools have still not rolled out digital marketing courses and degree programs in spite of the huge demand in the industry. The gap in training is being filled by digital marketing training programs which has popped up all over the country.

dm experience

It was not surprising to note that considering the newness of digital marketing in India, nearly 41% of the respondents said that they have less than one year of experience in digital marketing. 23.6% said that they have 1-2 years of experience.

That puts the amount of digital marketing candidates with less than two years of experience to nearly 65%! It’s no wonder that companies are having a difficult time in hiring well experienced digital marketing candidates.

Candidates with more than 5 years of experience in digital marketing are just around 15% in the digital marketing talent pool.

These well experienced candidates probably did digital marketing on their own or have worked for a startup where traditional marketing was banned by default due to budget constraints. Very few large companies have embraced digital marketing since its inception.

2. Preferred City of Work

The second question that we asked was where would the prefer to work. Having your company located in a city where talent naturally gravitates toward is always an advantage.

preferred city of work

I kind of expected that Bangalore will be a popular location but I did not expect almost double the preference of Delhi. Bangalore still outranks Pune and Mumbai by 63% and 79% respectively!

I have seen many companies shift from Mumbai to Bangalore just for the talent – including Instamojo, the company I worked for recently.

I don’t know the real reason why Bangalore is so attractive not just for digital marketing but for talent across different disciplines.

Since I have been in Bangalore for quite some time, I can’t really comment on why Bangalore is such a talent magnet, because if I do – I would be biased. 🙂

3. Dream Digital Marketing Job Profile

Another question that we asked in the survey was about their dream digital marketing job profile. What do digital marketing professionals aspire to be?

This was an important question though it may not look very important on the surface. Organizations have to provide opportunities for growth apart from just the salary. Carrots and more carrots.

dream digital marketing job profile1

Please note that digital marketing being a new field, the lines are pretty blurred when it comes to the roles.

As a general rule: VP/Head of digital marketing should report to the CEO directly. If the company is very serious about digital marketing, they would have this position open.

Certain companies who do a fair bit of traditional marketing will have a V.P. of marketing to whom a digital marketing manager or head of digital marketing will report to.

In small startups, the digital marketing manager will perform the role of head digital marketing until the company grows enough to hire a V.P. of marketing who will come in between the CEO and the digital marketing manager.

Around 41% of the respondents say that they dream of becoming the V.P. or Head of Digital Marketing. Candidates in this category cannot just focus on one aspect of digital marketing – they should be mastering all the modules in digital marketing.

It is interesting to note that 13.5% and around 12% of the respondents said they want to become an SEO expert or Analytics expert respectively. Those are exciting job profiles and can be very satisfying to help a company grow using such expertise.

We had other options such as Content Writer, Content Marketing Manager, Social Media Manager and so on. They had less than 10% of the preference collectively so we just categorized them as “other”. The sampling size is too small to get any insights from.

4. Top Digital Marketing Skills

The fourth question we asked the respondents was: what were the top digital marketing skills that they possess. Different companies need different types of skills. The results give us insights about the popular digital marketing skills.


SEO, Social Media and Analytics are the top skills which comprises almost 50% of the pie.

But there are some important skills which seems to have not gained enough votes. For example, for a B2B company or a B2C company with a complex product, copywriting and sales page creation is a very important skill to have.

However, in our survey very few people indicated Copywriting as one of their top skills. This means that companies should focus on hiring and training copywriters than expect to find a copywriter out of the box.

Need More Data?

We asked a few more questions including the salary they expected and the type of organization they wanted to work for but I am not including the data here because we are unable to gain useful insights by analyzing the whole set.

But the data can be extremely useful if you start applying filters such as: What do people with 5-8 years of experience expect in salary? Or it could be a filter such as: In what kind of company do SEO experts want to work for?

To do further analysis you can download our original survey data set from here for a nominal charge of Rs.25


I thank every one who participated in this survey. And for others, I hope this report gives you priceless insights and helps you in better decision making.

Any questions? Leave a comment below!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Sonukumar September 30, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Dear Deepak,
Again excellent article to get the insight on Digital Marketing industry.
Appreciate your efforts for conducting such surveys.


Mano September 30, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Very informational!


Ankit Modi September 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Great insights. Thank you deepak


karthikala September 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

This content creates a new hope and inspiration with in me. Thanks for sharing article like this. The way you have stated everything above is quite awesome.


Saijad September 30, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Hi Deepak,
Another great articl on Digital Marketing Industry. This is the fastest growing industry right now. I appreciate your efforts and the way you had present insight.

Thank you,


Deepak Kanakaraju October 1, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Thank you Saijad! Good data is really sexy.

Will be doing more such surveys soon!


Shyam Mandhania September 30, 2015 at 4:36 pm

That made for quite an interesting analysis!!

Companies moving from Mumbai ( Mumbai!!) to Bengaluru for talent hunt was an eye opener for me..After all…what’s not there in Mumbai!! But Bengaluru is really a hub of great talent.

And yes, you are very right: A VP aspirant needs to be good in all modules.

Great efforts!


Deepak Kanakaraju September 30, 2015 at 5:37 pm

Thank you Shyam. Glad to know that you found the analysis useful.


Soumya Roy September 30, 2015 at 10:44 pm

Great, we saw so much improvements in last couple of years in digital marketing spec.


Parul Dixit October 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Hey Deepak wonderful piece of article.


Deepak Kanakaraju October 1, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Thank you Parul! This has become one of the most shared articles on my blog in recent times 🙂


Technobix October 1, 2015 at 10:53 pm

Hi Deepak, Nice survey, i read your ebook on getting a good job in digital marketing it was amazing book, thanks changed my way of thinking.


Ketan October 9, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Nice article


Roshan chaudhary July 21, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Great Article but i am asking what is future in seo?


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