Working in marketing is not how it used to be. When I graduated from university, marketing was mostly offline, except for email – which was a pretty big deal at the time (and in my opinion still is – but that is another blog). As a graduate, I knew the theory of PR, branding, advertising, sponsorship and partnerships, and event promotion. During a post-graduate placement in a web design company, my career fast-tracked. My job was to market the agency, develop a brand and get our name out there, but what I quickly discovered was that our clients needed an online presence. Once their website was live, they needed a helping hand to make it a success. So, I taught myself, starting with SEO, then into PPC, email and social and the learning hasn’t stopped!
Fast forward 17 years to 2019 and digital marketing is very different. It got me thinking – how do you build a career in digital marketing now? Having taught hundreds of students through CIM and trained countless businesses, here are my top tips for all you digital marketers out there.
I don’t profess to be an expert in self-reflection, but I am an analytics person. Give me a spreadsheet and some data, and I am happy. Over the years, one of the key traits I see in students, trainees and employees is that we all have our strengths. Do you know yours? Take some time to think about what you like to do. Are you a numbers person, or do you prefer being creative? With so many different digital marketing disciplines it is hard to become an expert in all, so sit back and think about what you like to do and what you are good at doing.
- Do you like numbers and spreadsheets? Think about specialising in analytics, conversion optimisation.
- Are you technical and a problem solver? Develop your skills with search marketing (SEO and PPC).
- Perhaps you are creative. Are you a master wordsmith? Social media, creating content and emails will be your niche.
Once you know yourself, you can develop your skills and direct your career towards an area that you will not only be successful in, but you will enjoy!
Show me a digital marketer who knows everything – you can’t. They are like hen’s teeth (as my mum would say). You don’t know everything, and I don’t know everything. If you want to excel in a digital marketing career, please don’t think you know it all. Digital is a constantly evolving medium; new technologies, new platforms, changes in consumer behaviour. As digital marketers we have new challenges every day! So, keep learning. There is an abundance of resources out there to help. These are my top go tos:
Blogs / Websites:
Develop Your Network
No digital marketer is an island, expanding your network and contacts is a sure-fire way to excel in your career. I get asked almost daily to recommend people for digital marketing jobs and have successfully placed a number of my former students and trainees into new positions. So my advice is to get out there! Make sure your Linkedin profile is selling your skills, connect with other digital marketers in the industry, join networking programmes and meetups.
Digital marketing is exciting. It’s fast-paced, it changes daily, and there are loads of great opportunities out there. All you need to do is keep yourself up to speed, know what you’re good at, and build your network of other like-minded marketers.