Digital marketing Careers

Today when everything is available at the click of a mouse, why should marketing and shopping be any different ? Want to find out about a new model of a mobile or a car, a company or an individual, or learn about schemes under which you can buy a product and even have it delivered at your doorstop – just check the internet. The growth of Internet technology has changed the way we now do business, educate ourselves and do our regular shopping. The world is closer today than ever before and just as we can now access goods and services from anywhere in the globe, marketers from everywhere can reach us too. Last week we learnt about online education and teaching and the many ways we can gain knowledge, pick up a skill or a certification through the internet. Today we talk about digital marketing and the many career possibilities it offers.

Digital marketing is the use of the internet for advertisement, publicity and marketing. The digital media, particularly the internet, which brings email and the web to practically every individual is now playing an increasingly important role in business and marketing campaigns. The industry has already grown over $1 billion worldwide in the last three years and is expected to continue its upward trend. No marketing budget, plan or strategy is now considered complete unless it includes a digital component. With more than 700 m mobile phone connections and the increased use of social networking sites, and a growing Internet audience, marketers are now exploring opportunities to connect to them through digital mediums like the Internet, search engines, email, social, mobile, video etc.

The Digital marketing career covers the basics of traditional marketing and marketing in a new internet environment. Digital marketers understand the needs of customers, their usage of websites and search engines and develop and optimize online marketing initiatives to drive customer acquisition. This involves specialised fields like search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), website designing, internet marketing consulting, e-commerce solutions, online marketing, email marketing and digital marketing copywriting.

Each of these roles requires unique skill sets; while some are more technical others focus more on marketing. The SEO (search engine optimisation) professional has to know how to optimise the website for better organic ranking in various search engines for key words consumers may be querying. An email-marketing specialist should have an insight to consumer behaviour and analytics, and marketing spends and returns and also be aware of relevant laws governing email-marketing communication. Internet marketing involves development and management of content-based social networks and blog sites. Knowledge of social networks, blogs and content-based marketing enable email marketers to design content, update pages, so as to create an attractive web experience for customers. 

Getting In

As digital marketing covers some aspects of science, statistics, artistic visualisation and e-commerce, a student of any field can take up this career. While those with degrees in technology and/ or marketing do have an upper-hand, what is more important is a strong knowledge of the internet and a strong presence in it. Moreover a basic knowledge of various web related software is extremely helpful.

This is an ideal career for those with a strong understanding of the Internet technology and good marketing skills. An understanding of internet consumer behaviour, web analytics, consumer engagement with different digital channels, applicable rules and regulations governing each digital channels and for protecting consumers, are very important for a digital marketer. In addition those entering this field also require to have good marketing and communication skills. You must be able to think of what the clients and the target audience want. No website will attract visitors unless it is marketed well. Those with a degree in marketing, management or advertising and branding can get a certification in digital marketing to take their career forward. A knowledge of web-designing can also be an added advantage.

There  are several certification, diploma and postgraduate courses on digital marketing from several institutes, organisations and universities. Many management institutes and some computer institutes like NIIT offer such courses.  Institutes such as Pearl Academy of Fashion also offer a course in digital e-commerce. Student must make sure that they cover search engine marketing, search engine optimisation and e-mail marketing.

As this is a new career with a huge potential, starting salaries are promsing and a fresher can expect between Rs 15000-30000 rupees per month. Management graduates and experienced professionals can command a lot more.

Digital marketing is fast gaining momentum thanks to increasing internet expansion across the world. The country's Internet population is predicted to reach 25% of the population, and e-commerce industry to reach 100 crores in revenues by 2015. The growth of online education, shopping and other activities translates into more growth for digital marketing.

In fact digital marketing is slated to grow faster and is considered more efficient than traditional forms of marketing – as the customer is just a click away. If there is a great offer, consumers can instantly click on the advertisement, land on the website and complete the transaction. Not surprising that more and more companies and organizations are using digital marketing, which is fast becoming one of the most promising career choices of today.

So if you are an internet freak – here’s your chance to make your pastime into a rewarding career!

Usha Albuquerque
20 May 2013