What Digital Marketers Do
Digital marketing is a broad term referring to an area of internet marketing dedicated to helping brands improve sales, generate leads, create loyalty, or become known better, through running various online campaigns. A digital marketer may work in a one or more specialty, such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing (SMM), content marketing, email marketing, pay-per click ads (PPC), and paid ads on search engines/ search engine marketing (SEM).
Who would enjoy a career in SEO & SEM and Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing requires a broad set of skills. On the one hand, it’s great for people who are analytically-driven, as professionals in the field are constantly monitoring results and testing to see what works best. On the other hand, those who work in the profession also have to be creative, willing to experiment, and have a strong awareness of consumer behavior and general psychology.
For those who possess both traits equally, and also feel natural working with various types of technology, digital marketing can feel like a dream job. People who are social and effective communicators do well, too, as marketers typically work in teams with a wide variety of other professionals, such as engineers, developers, and clients. Digital marketing jobs can also be quite flexible in terms of working hours and telecommuting, which make them ideal for people who seek work/ life balance or thrive in an environment they have more control over.
Who mightn't like the career?
Best practices in marketing are always changing. Google and other search engines update their algorithms regularly, which can totally derail an entire campaign and/ or years of work if it was based around old guidelines. Technology also improves and consumer expectations sway. Because of this, the career is not good for someone who isn’t prepared to adapt and learn new things almost daily. It can also be a challenging career for prideful people, as there can often be someone above them who will dictate which campaigns are implemented, be it a marketing director, manager, or the client.
It’s also worth noting that, although there are lots of exciting developments to follow and new campaigns to implement or test, much of a digital marketer’s job is repetitive desk work. Therefore, it may not be ideal for someone who needs a lot of physical activity or constant stimulus. Lastly, it’s quite common for digital marketers to be hired on as contractors or auxiliaries, which means no benefits are offered and individuals are required to make their own arrangements for taxes. In these cases, the individual is considered “self-employed,” which comes with its own set of requirements and responsibilities that some prefer not to have.
There are no degrees required to work in digital marketing. Many people who get into the field do so by picking up certifications that are useful in the field, such as those provided by Google AdWords, Bing Ads, web design, coding, programming, or in using specific online tools and coding languages. With that said, a number of degrees in marketing, business, psychology or computer science may also be helpful.
Digital marketing is a developing field and there is often a lot of carryover between jobs, as well as variances in expectations for the same title at any given firm,such as Growth Marketer., For this reason, it’s helpful to have a diverse set of skills and a portfolio of example work before applying.
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Moving into SEO & SEM and Digital Marketing from another career
Many positions within the realms of technology, marketing, or sales transition well into a career in digital marketing in general. However, because every type of product or service requires digital marketers, almost any background may be useful while transitioning.
For example, someone who works in finance or accounting may be able to get into financial digital marketing, provided he or she obtains certifications, completes coursework, or has another way of gaining practical marketing experience. A dentist who marketed his practice well, but wishes to retire from clinical practice, may be able to put his skills to work at a digital marketing firm that caters to dentists or dental product retailers/ manufacturers.
For further reading:
Digital Marketing Specialist
Role: Most people enter into the field simply as a “digital marketer” or “digital marketing specialist,” though larger firms will also hire people to fill niche roles in SEO, SMM, content marketing, email, PPC ads, and SEM. Specialists work under the direction of managers and carry out the campaigns their supervisors design. They may be involved in collaboration sessions with the marketing team or talk with the client to learn how to best represent the brand. They’ll also spend a fair amount of time tracking results and performing analysis to see how various campaigns are performing.
Digital Marketing Manager
Role: In order to become a marketing manager, most firms require that the candidate have a degree in a field relating to management or marketing. The manager is responsible for creating the overall marketing campaigns, breaking up tasks among the team, ensuring the campaigns produce the desired results, and managing the team of specialists.
Role: Marketing directors generally oversee all aspects of marketing, including digital, print, media, or any other medium the company uses. They often come up with the overall concepts the marketing teams use in their campaigns, and work to ensure a cohesive branding effort is made. It’s also the director’s job to set budgets for marketing, measure ROI, handle all business planning as it relates to marketing, and oversee all staff below him.
Vice President of Marketing / Head of Marketing
Role: Vice presidents are high-level executives who work even more strategically. They naturally oversee all aspects of marketing, but their core focus is on understanding consumer behavior, expectations, and ensuring that the marketing messages speak to both. They may conduct market research, observe trends, and help frame the general feel of the brand or products, covering everything from pricing to packaging.
It’s common for directors and VPs to travel anywhere the company does business or is considering doing business, which could mean domestic or abroad. Those in lower positions tend to work out of a centralized office.
Digital Marketing Specialist: According to PayScale, digital marketing specialists earn an average of USD$49,000 per year in the United States. In the United Kingdom, the average is £25,000, whereas salaries are CAD$50,000 and AU$65,000 in Canada and Australia, respectively.
Digital Marketing Manager: USD$62,363, £32,183, CAD$62,215, AU$76,281
Marketing Director: USD$83,000, £68,073, CAD$85,300, AU$144,926
VP of Marketing: USD $138,620, £92,817, CAD$124,413, AU$161,500
Digital marketing professionals may increase their salaries by as much as 25% through bonuses, profit sharing, and commissions.
Why Digital Marketers move on
Most digital marketers are happy in their careers, but if they do switch, they typically move from one area of digital marketing to another or focus in on one specialty area. However, for some, there isn’t enough diversity, challenge, or opportunity for advancement. These individuals often spin off their own independent marketing firms, create a business related to the area they specialize in, or move more into the technical side of the web and development.