What You Need to Know About a Career in Digital Marketing

Its an undeniable fact that in we live in an increasingly digital world.  From smartphones to paperless offices to cloud based data to social media, paper is increasingly a thing of the past.  With consumers flocking to the internet for everything from recipes to coordinating events with friends, it only makes sense that advertisers would follow suit, taking their marketing efforts to where their customers virtually reside.  

To put those anecdotal observations into cold hard numbers, experts estimate that the total spent on digital marketing and advertising efforts will total $118 billion by 2021.  In 2016, revenues from digital advertising clocked in at $59.6 billion.  In case all those extra zeros didn’t clue you in, now is a great time to make your mark in the digital marketing world.

As a job seeker, this means that careers in the digital marketing field are booming.  The fast-growing business is in need of motivated, creative and tech-savvy employees to keep up with the seemingly ever-increasing demand.  Job listings in the digital marketing sphere continue to grow, and the smart money for folks new to the labor force would be on staking a claim while the time is right.  Interested in a career in digital marketing?  There are a few things you should know!

Street Smarts vs. Book Smarts

Whether in the job market or world in general, we all know that a solid education is a great thing to have.  When it comes to a career in digital marketing, however, don’t discount the value of a solid dose of industry savvy to complement that fancy degree.  Having an ear on the ground is not only beneficial once you break in, but can also help you score a digital marketing gig in the first place.  Network with those in the know regarding best practices and advertising approaches that work best in different industries.  If you can, find a mentor already ensconced in the digital marketing field to hold your hand along the way.  Knowledge is power but remember that there are multiple ways to acquire all those facts and figures.

Practice Makes Perfect

There’s a reason old sayings stand the test of time.  Experience in the digital marketing field will get you far in landing that career at a respected firm.  Consider offering your services freelance to build a solid portfolio and encourage your friends and clients to spread your name far and wide.  Taking on a variety of industries will also help make you appear well rounded and highly employable in this competitive field.

Become a Shoestring Thought-Leader

In today’s career day and age, it isn’t enough to clock in and out of the daily grind.  Getting yourself published through articles and opinion pieces and participating in industry events and panels is a sure fire way to make your CV stand out from the crowd.  Bonus points in that these kinds of activities also build up your personal brand and recognition, prepping for the eventuality that you’d like to set up your own digital marketing shop one day.

Passion Prevails

One of employer’s major sticking points in today’s hiring market is finding a candidate with staying power.  This means someone who has a true passion for the advertising and digital marketing field, rather than an employee looking to score a monthly paycheck.  To show an agency you’re serious about digitization, consider obtaining outside certifications or attending conferences on your own time.  If you are applying for an entry level position, be prepared during the interview process to explain why digital marketing is your passion.

Pick a Specialty

While general ed in broad market and application concepts will be helpful in a career in digital marketing, employers in this and other fields are increasingly on the hunt for candidates with specialized knowledge.  Consider picking one or two main areas to focus on when it comes to your digital marketing field.  If you can show off your expertise in a specific arena you’ve got a better shot of landing a lucrative position with a higher salary cap.  

In need of a starting spot for your specialty?  Here are a few of the most popular sub-genres within the world of digital marketing today.

In House or Agency?

Before you start sending out that resume or nailing down certifications or specialties, consider whether you aim to work in house for a brand in their marketing department or if calling an advertising agency home is more your speed.  With an agency approach you’ll often be representing multiple brands and clients across a broad swath of product lines.  In house position focus more on a single product and may ask for extensive knowledge in their particular arena.  Both choices have their plusses and minuses and candidates should thoroughly investigate any potential employer on their merits before sending off that initial resume or interview request.  

The Strength of Digital

While we opened with flashy stats and a cheerleader like approach to a career in digital marketing, the truth is the field has much to offer for the right kind of candidate.  Combining artistic and design elements with attention to detail and innovative thinking, digital marketing is a career that allows employees to flex both their creative and thinking sides of the brain.  Successes can be readily measured by individual campaign analytics and feedback from supervisors and clients is often instantaneous.

When it comes to job stability and security, few fields are projected to outpace digital marketing over the coming years.  Its expected that job growth in digital marketing jobs will surpass all other career fields by 2020.  That’s a pretty decent trend for someone looking to cash in on the next big career boom.  If you’re looking for a field that has plenty of room for growth long term with lucrative immediate pay offs as well, try exploring the world of digital marketing.  If the number of people we see with heads buried in their phones are any indication, the trend of growth doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.


Article Updated from the Original on September 13, 2017