Here at Digital Women we’re passionate about levelling the playing field so that any woman who wants to, can have a rewarding career in tech. We make no secret that it is our mission to upskill one million women like you, and empower you to follow your digital career dreams. Getting started and what you need to know about a career in digital marketing is a huge topic, so welcome to Part One of our Special Report.
Digital Careers 〰️
Is a career in digital marketing something you aspire to? Are you heading for a career change and upskilling, or about to graduate and embark on your first career?
There is a reason that many women are attracted to a career in digital marketing – perhaps because according to some recent research, 85% of all the UK’s purchasing decisions are made by women? Or, maybe simply because it’s a great place to be in 2022: digital marketing continues to be one of the fastest-growing employment sectors, in the UK and around the world. The message that ‘everything is digital’ is not going away – and that means career opportunities are going to continue to grow.
Let’s also talk about flexibility: digital marketing is one of the most flexible sectors to work in to achieve a good work-life balance, especially if you are a carer or a parent. As this Marie Claire article points out, women are prepared to depart from the workforce if there is no option for flexible working.
But the benefits don’t end with flexibility, there are many more reasons that many of us have rewarding digital marketing careers. For a start, there are many kinds of work to choose from, careers in digital marketing are about so much more than social media or email marketing: you can grab jobs in SEO, Search Engine Marketing, Programming, Content Creation. And more importantly, once you start you can progress and move your career forward.
Digital Marketing is continually changing as technologies evolve and new tech emerges. To keep up – or stay ahead of the curve – it pays to be curious and willing to learn a new skill. Digital marketing careers come with many opportunities for CPD (continuous professional development) and upskilling; sometimes years after you have started your journey.
A career in digital marketing is not…
Because digital marketing is a relatively new career choice it’s a hot topic. But it’s a good idea to understand what digital marketing is *not* before you think about starting, discovering or progressing your ideal digital career.
You may have heard otherwise, but marketing isn’t something that gets tacked on at the end of a project – and neither is digital marketing. And it’s important to remember that even without saying the word ‘digital’, marketing is a valuable business tool. Marketing strategy should be part of a company’s core business plan and determined at the start of a business journey, not an after-thought as a product is about to be launched or an event is about to begin.
The digital function of marketing means that success – and strategy – can be tested and measured really easily. Wherever your career in digital marketing takes you, you need to know the basics. You need to know what your message is, understand your audience and when it is OK to contact them: Right Message, Right People, Right time is not a cliche, it really is a fundamental pillar for digital marketing success.
Marketing is how people respond to a product, what they are feeling and the emotion around the product. If you want a career in digital marketing, you need to remember that it isn’t just about technology: it is about relationships and how to build and nurture them.
The relationships we build in marketing and the digital tools tat marketers have access to in 2022 make it really fast and really easy to do this, unlike traditional marketing that took a lot of time and investment to bring strategy to life. Digital technology makes it easy to create content to build relationships. And this is really exciting, particularly if you are at the start of your career journey and you want to explore lots of different types of work.
Why is Digital Marketing different?
Our needs as human beings have basically stayed the same since advertising or marketing was first conceived. Advertising inspires an emotional response, but advertising fundamentals haven’t changed for a long time. Most advertising is geared around free content, for example a reality TV programme on a commercial channel.
The audience watches the programme for an hour, but is not paying to watch it as it does to go to the cinema. The programme becomes advertising because stories about products – within the show or the advertising segments – are placed to inspire us, the audience.
Today, we have 3,000 adverts bombarding us on a daily basis. Pre-Digital Marketing, the platforms that brands and advertisers chose went to a few players, not just newspapers. First radio, then TV, then digital TV came along. Now, because are online it has literally exploded, rather than a few TV channels there are hundreds of opportunities to be marketed through. There are so many different places for content to be seen and as well as obvious media channels like TV and radio, there are social media channels, video streams, gaming channels and innovative digital advertising..
Digital is different to offline marketing because the pieces of content are shorter, but they require quick engagement. The user experience is fragmented because viewing often happens alongside other activities – online or offline – and so it encourages fragmented communities.
Yes, there are lots of channels to choose from, but we have to think carefully about all the different channels / places people will be when they are given advertising or a marketing message. Channel consideration is one of the ways that digital marketing is different, and an ability to see the whole landscape ot visualise how the different channels work separately and together is a really valuable skill if you’re considering a digital marketing career.
Consider your options
Careers in Digital Marketing cover a huge spectrum: from the strategy to reach audiences and engage with them, to the brands that use content or the agencies or freelancers that create content. This content sits across many platforms and can be audio, such as digital radio or podcast, video, such as YouTube, TikTok or informational content, such as how-tos or webinars. Storytelling happens across social media and there are lots of opportunities for writers in digital marketing and lots of valuable jobs behind the scenes, such as content and SEO strategy, analytics and marketing automation.
It’s unusual to set career ambitions on a specific job or a niche market in Digital Marketing at the start of a career, or while you are studying, because there is so much opportunity for growth and development once you get started. Careers can – and will – travel in all sorts of exciting directions.
You really don’t need to start with a career plan or in-depth knowledge of all the jobs or all the channels. If you have foundation skills already – or an enthusiasm to learn fresh new skills – and you know about the fundamentals of marketing, you’re in a good place to consider your options, and just get started.
Learning is no longer a one-time situation: we don’t do one piece of learning to help us work in one particular job. In 2022 learning is a continuous process and is an essential part of developing a digital career.
Start with solid foundations
Be clear about marketing fundamentals and foundations, because the basic marketing funnel still applies.
Marketing moves consumers from a point of awareness, to consideration (engagement with content) and then on to purchase – the all-important conversion. It’s a simple concept and not much has changed about this foundation – the funnel plays a huge role in what a lot of digital marketers ‘do’ at work.
Performance marketing is when we know something has happened, ie the decision to move through the funnel, and we evaluate the result, or conversion. Digital has made this world of conversion much more accountable because every stage of the funnel journey is an opportunity for us to gather data and to learn from it. Before digital, we had talent, expertise, and hope – that marketing campaigns would result in sales. And we used sales figures to check if something worked.
But digital is really exciting because it enables everyone who is working in the sector to be performance marketers really easily. As we create, send and analyse campaigns, we see not only sales, we can learn a lot about our customers. We learn who customers are, their age, the content they engage with and where or how they buy online.
Be aware of possibilities
When traditional marketing skills and frameworks cross over into digital marketing it all becomes super exciting. And there are lots of opportunities to take brilliant ideas and work on really interesting projects with really exciting teams and organisations. Every campaign for every platform, every single piece of digital content has a person – or team – attached to it and the huge possibilities multiply when you think about the many different places that need content.
Careers in digital marketing come with huge possibilities because this is about so much more than one thin, it is never about one campaign or one product. Digital marketing is recognised as an essential business skill – and a good team are an enviable, commercial asset in 2022. Everyone in the business needs – and wants – to know about digital marketing because these skills are essential to current and future success.
Consumers, products, agencies and in-house teams need a host of people working with them or to outsource to. But marketing isn’t just about selling stuff to consumers: B2B marketing is how businesses communicate with each other charities and CICs invest in digital marketing teams and skills because the ROI on digital is easier to track than traditional offline marketing. The more we want and need to communicate our message, the greater the need for digital marketing skills. And as the workforce develops skills, moves upwards towards the C-Suite of Director-level positions, or as new tech emerges that needs new, niche skills, there is a talent pool that needs to be continually fed.
Be inspired by these amazing digital creators
The brilliant digital Women Skills Guide is here.