Statistics show Canadian small and micro businesses are missing out on lucrative online opportunities to grow their business.  From eCommerce to blogging and social media, many small business owners, the self-employed, sales professionals, authors, etc., are simply not equipped to go there.  They’re often not in the position to hire someone with a degree, yet their time and/or knowledge is too limited to fully leverage online business and marketing.  They can’t afford to take their business online, yet they can’t afford not to do so.

A seriously under-utilized alternative for small businesses is a Marketing Administrative Assistant (MAA).  In addition to traditional administrative duties, today’s web-savvy MAA will help:

  • Maintain (or even design) a websiteEconomical Hiring - A Marketing Admin. Assistant Can Manage Your Online Presence
  • Write blog posts for organic search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Design website/blog content illustrations
  • Ensure adherence to copyright laws
  • Design banner advertisements & images for sharing on social networks
  • Manage your social media presence
  • Design and implement multi-channel marketing campaigns
  • Do your newsletter and eMail Marketing
  • Research and analytics
  • Provide online and eMail customer service
  • Keep up with the latest in online business
  • Guide you in your online business decisions

Because your average Marketing Administrative Assistant hasn’t made the higher education investment of those with a degree in marketing, you can often get away with paying them the same amount as any specialized Administrative Assistant.  They save you money from the beginning, and go on to increase your profits by taking your business online. You could hire part-time if it suits the workload, then increase the hours with the profits.

Save even more by allowing them to work from their home office, using their own space and equipment.  However, remote working is NOT an option if you’re a micro-manager as you’ll drive both of you crazy with your trust issues. List your virtual assistant job and learn more about outsourcing to a VA at Canada’s VA Networking.

A good Marketing Administrative Assistant’s skill-set is much more diverse than many who have a degree, so you can fully utilize all of their talents across your company.  How many graduates of business administration or marketing can smoothly fill in for other office positions, like your Secretary or Receptionist?  Or compose, design and publish your sales collateral?  You’re getting several skilled employees for the price of one.

It all boils down to this: a talented MAA won’t cost you money, they’ll make you money.

What to Look For

Since this employee will be responsible for your online success, you’ll want all of the skills mentioned above and they aren’t yet standard for all who have the title.  There are people who have this diverse skill-set (like myself), but it will take some legwork to find them.

It is crucial that the above skills be demonstrated as well.  A lot of people think they’re marketing, social media or blogging experts, but are unable to demonstrate the depth of strategic knowledge required, or show you exceptional work.  Look for a Marketing Administrative Assistant who has an established web presence.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to preview their work and it will tell you much more than any diploma.

Once you find one of these multi-talented individuals, hang onto her!  She’s going to earn you a lot of money and deserves to be treated/paid accordingly, even if it isn’t as much as a highly educated specialist.  You can also retain this kind of talent with telecommuting options or other bonuses.  For example, I’ve accepted as little as $8500/year for a part-time (25 hours/month) telecommuting position working with an author in the UK.  Don’t be afraid to offer what you can afford and negotiate the terms of future wage increases.  Above all, always remember that you’ve hired this person for their knowledge and experience.  Stay out of their way and let them work their magic.

Comment on Canadians Internet BusinessIf you could find a Marketing Administrative Assistant who can do it all, would leveraging the Internet become a feasible option?  Please share your comments below.

Editor’s note:  Career opportunities for our writer, Melody McKinnon, should go directly to her.  Please contact her through our About our Writer page. Thank you!

You may also be interested in reading:
Mobile Commuting / Telecommuting is Increasing in Canada
Help for the 54% of Canadian Small Businesses Without a Website (Statistics)
Canadian Digital Behaviour for Businesses (Statistics)


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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on, and, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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I knew there had to be an alternative to paying someone $60,000+ but I didn’t know it had a name until I read this. I believe a marketing assistant is the answer for us and other small businesses.


This will help with the job description I’m writing up for our social media assistant. It’s all new territory but I think you’re right, we’re all overwhelmed so we think we need an expert. I’ve been wondering if there’s a happy medium and this is it.

Marion Lawrence

I’d take a good administrative assistant over an egghead any day. If she can do the task then go with it. Why not? Most businesses don’t need an overpaid specialist take care of day to day marketing.

Dave Porter

The perfect answer for my small office, I can’t thank you enough.


It depends on what your needs are. A marketing degree teaches you all of the logic behind marketing and different types of marketing. For just online stuff an assistant should be fine.

Blake Bengal

So you’re coming to work for me when? 😉 I think you hit the nail on the head. Most businesses don’t need someone with a degree to do what amounts to be specialized admin. They have to be very well educated about marketing and be a trained admin assistant though. Whether they have a degree or not, you won’t know how good they’ll be on the social web until you see them working on it.


Here’s a story for you…. we hired a marketing assist for our marketing manager. When he left, we didn’t have to replace him! Turns out his assistant was doing most of the work anyway. We gave here a significant raise but she still doesn’t cost nearly as much as a marketing manager. I never would have believed it if I didn’t see it myself. GREAT ADVICE!