1. Marketing

How to get into digital marketing

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New graduate-level careers in digital marketing are frequently appearing in marketing departments and agencies across the country making now a great time to enter this field

‘There is no denying the impact that digital marketing has had on our society, it’s now integrated into our everyday lives, has changed the ways in which we communicate and has had a profound impact on business practices,’ says Helen Dargie, course leader of the MSc Digital Marketing at Robert Gordon University (RGU).

‘The growth of interactive websites, mobile phones and social media has resulted in an understanding and knowledge gap for many businesses,’ explains Andrew Morton, lecturer in marketing at Plymouth University.

Specialist roles are now common in areas including:

  • blogging
  • campaign metrics and research
  • communications and public relations (PR)
  • content marketing
  • copywriting
  • database management and analysis
  • email marketing
  • mobile marketing
  • pay-per-click (PPC)
  • search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • social media
  • web design and development.

Wayne Barker, director of online marketing at Boom Online Marketing, says that this depth means many graduates initially experiment with several areas before developing expertise in one discipline.

‘This is a fast-paced and ever-evolving field,’ he explains. ‘What works today might not work tomorrow; what is best practice now can change in a flicker.’

Develop your skills

Technical skills are incredibly important in the field; grasping online technologies – especially social media – is imperative, but desired attributes often vary according to each role.

‘There is a recognised digital skills gap within industry with employers screaming out for graduates that have knowledge and understanding of digital skills and techniques, and individuals that possess these digital skills will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace,’ explains Helen.

There are a number of key skills that are particularly useful when pursuing a career in the digital marketing field. It is important to possess both a creative and analytical mindset, and Helen explains how the digital marketing course at RGU provides students with a blend of these skills. ‘For example, students gain experience of creative soft-skills such as digital strategy, content, social and email marketing and digital PR, while also learning a blend of technical skills such as search engine optimisation, Google Analytics, video production, Photoshop, web design and much more.’

Personal characteristics shouldn’t be underestimated either. Great digital marketers are hard-working, experimental multitaskers that are always willing to learn. As such, the vocation is at the forefront of developments in customer loyalty and user experience. ‘This requires learning new skills and, often, changing working structures,’ explains Andrew.

Digital marketing roles also require impressive levels of dynamism, enthusiasm, flexibility and inquisition.

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