How and Why to Start a Career in Digital Marketing

Are you a “digital native”? Are you both creative and analytical? Do you like to test what works and measure the outcomes? [...]

Are you a “digital native”? Are you both creative and analytical? Do you like to test what works and measure the outcomes? Then you could be a great fit for a digital marketing career. 

Guido Ampollini, a professional with more than 15 years in the digital field and owner of GA Agency, a boutique digital marketing agency based in London, tells us how and why you should start a career in digital marketing.

Digital marketing, whether you’ve studied it or not, is an industry that attracts many among us for a variety of reasons. Digital marketing could be labeled as the young, fast-changing and widely-applicable field in the business world. Many new aspects within the marketing realm, such as social media and influencers are very relevant to Gen Z. Have you ever considered marketing as a future career path? We will first list a couple of reasons why pursuing a career in digital marketing could be an exciting and promising option, and if you are seriously thinking about how to go about it, we will provide you with the practicalities of how to actually get there!

THE WHY

Why to become a digital marketer?

1. Digital marketing is a growing industry

Today, brands find their customers online. During our lives, we spend a lot of time online, from searching for the newest trends to finding a guide on how to make cool TikTok videos. Social media plays another incredibly important role in our lives and is a central element of the marketing industry. 

Social media platforms are especially growing, as growth has accelerated significantly since the outbreak of COVID-19. Social media user numbers increased by more than 13% compared to 2020, and grew at the fastest rate in three years, with nearly half a billion new users bringing the global user total to over 4.3 billion by mid 2021. 

On average, more than 1.3 million new users joined social media every day during 2020, equating to roughly 15½ new users every single second (We Are Social, 2021). When you work in marketing, you are at the forefront of the latest developments in ways brands reach their customers in an industry that is constantly growing. Few industries transform as quickly as digital marketing. What was popular only a couple of years ago could now seem antiquated.

2. CONSTANT TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES 

We are at the helm of a technological revolution. We can see how innovations such as smart algorithms and Virtual Reality (VR) are reshaping the customer experience, allowing brands to better cater to digital customers. The continuous technological changes are having a major impact on the way of doing business within the digital marketing sector. You constantly learn to adapt to the introduction of new systems or programs, which makes this profession highly dynamic and stimulating. 

3. OPPORTUNITY TO APPLY DIFFERENT SKILLS

The all-roundedness of marketing allows you to explore either/both your creative and analytical side. You have highly creative digital marketers who love nothing more than to write content, maintain social media channels and manage communities, and you have digital marketers who prefer to analyse large amounts of data with headphones on all day long. And everything in between, of course. So if you are very creative, you can be a great digital marketer, but if you are more data savvy, then that is also possible! In general, you often start in an orienting all-round role, in which you are able to explore both the creative and analytical aspects of the profession. 

Furthermore, you get to learn to combine tasks such as market data analysis with brainstorming for new campaigns. This great variety of projects brings with it many advantages. You are never bored and you are always confronted with new challenges.

4. THERE IS MONEY IN MARKETING 

The starting salary is certainly not bad for graduates with a marketing degree. Not to mention the impressive pay that experienced, professional marketers have to their credit. Those who are committed to pursuing a successful career in the marketing sector, strike high opportunities to earn money. At manager level, the average gross salaries one could expect to earn at the likes of Google as Google Ads Account Manager are ~£60,000 p/a, whilst TikTok offers £63,000 to its Marketing Managers, including all the benefits, according to Glassdoor research.

5. NO MARKETING DEGREE REQUIRED

Even with a diploma in another study program, you could still get a chance to work in the marketing sector by completing several free online courses offered by Google. Sometimes employers are also open to candidates without extensive marketing training. Would you like to pursue your  future career in marketing, but do you not have a diploma specifically in marketing? Then you might want to consider a marketing internship. You can often gain enough experience to be considered a serious candidate by employers. Doing a quick online search, you will be able to find a myriad of vacancies for full-time and internship marketing jobs for students.

THE HOW

What does it take to become a digital marketer?

So, you’ve just read why you should pursue a career in digital marketing. As you have been reading this article all the way till this point, we are going forward assuming you want to figure out how to actually become a digital marketer. 

One of the best ways to understand digital marketing in its broadest sense is to start a simple website of your own. You can build a website on Squarespace, Webflow or WordPress among other user-friendly options without needing coding or design expertise. Choose something you like as the subject of your website; a hobby or interest. That way you keep yourself motivated!

Website builders

With your own website you can learn almost everything in practice: writing content, HTML optimising your website constantly, advertising with Google and Facebook Ads, analyzing data via Google Analytics, managing communities via social media channels, affiliate marketing, and much more. By doing such exercise you can also learn whether digital marketing is for you and how you like it! 

There are, of course, many other different ways to get to learn about digital marketing. Anyone who starts a marketing education or internship can certainly come a long way. If you have tried or think you’re made for digital marketing, but are searching for ways to get experience: consider working for a brand or doing an internship at a digital marketing agency, for instance. 

Whether you see yourself fit working for a brand or be a part of a digital marketing agency, in marketing you will find many opportunities to build a fulfilling career. When you work directly with a client, you are working within the client’s company on their specific marketing needs, and when you work in an agency, you are part of a fast-paced organization that provides marketing services to a range of other organizations. In addition, based on the acquired skills and connections, you can explore other options, such as project management or PR.

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