Overview: Digital and Media Marketing

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Digital and media marketing specialises in the promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. In this article we've outline what you need to know about a career in digital and media marketing, from the skills you need to how you can succeed in the sector. 

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From websites, to SEO, to mobile phones, to emails, to sponsored Facebook posts, digital marketing is aiming to make sure the right brands reach the right people at the right time on the right device in the right way. As a result, there are a lot of different elements and therefore a lot of specialisms within the industry. This is an industry with a niche for every type of graduate. Important to note is that digital marketing is a very analytical field.  Like most areas of marketing, it is not a purely creative sector - although successful marketers do need this – and graduates will have to be comfortable working with lots of numbers and analysing them.

Start to build the skills you need during your university life. Get active in marketing societies and your department online. Perhaps find out how your department attracts students and ask to help out. Use Google to learn about Google AdWords and Analytics and free teaching websites like Codecademy to learn HTML. 

What could I do?

They are typically 2 types of digital marketing – those that ‘push’ customers by taking the product directly to them or those that ‘pull’ by encouraging customers to see out the brand during a purchase process.  A successful marketing strategy usually incorporates both but at an entry level graduates can expect to start out doing one specialism. 

Tasks you could expect include:  writing email copy; working with design team to create content; monitoring campaign results/analysing trends;  drafting campaign reports;  monitoring budgets; assisting with focus groups;  drafting client briefs/pitches. 

Depending on whether you are in-house or in an agency, your work will vary and you can expect to cover a wide range of digital marketing tools in your first few years.

Learn about specialisms within the digital and media marketing industry.

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Where could a career take me?

In keeping with the different disciplines within online marketing, the career paths are rarely linear. Progression will also depend on whether the marketer works in-house, or in an agency. Find out which is for you with our in-depth guide to in-house and agency working.

In an agency, progression normally depends on experience and each rung of the ladder will have more responsibility, bigger projects and a broader oversight.

In-house progression is similar, but the ultimate promotion to CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) or CIO (Chief Information Officer) will need the individual to have an understanding of every type of marketing, as well as a keen commercial instinct. For these c-suite executives, salary can be 7 figures. A graduate will normally have a salary in the range of 18-25k depending on experience and clients. 

Learn more about markting graduate schemes and careers.

How do I succeed in the Digital Marketing sector?

There is no specific degree discipline required for this sector. Graduates will have to be able to demonstrate enthusiasm and passion for the sector.  If you’re serious then a subscription to publications like Marketing Week will really help you get to know the industry.  As mentioned earlier, you will also need to be numerate to work in Digital Marketing.

A way to look to command a higher starting salary is to start to build the skills you need during your university life. Get active in marketing societies and your department online, perhaps find out how your department attracts students and ask to help out. Here's three student jobs that can help you climb the marketing and PR career ladder

Use google to learn about Google AdWords and Analytics and free teaching websites like Codecademy to learn HTML.  And, as always, get as much relevant work experience as you can. If you're looking for a headstart, discover professional marketing qualifications and where they can take you.

As digital marketing is such a new industry, graduates can often be as experienced as a marketing professional, so hunt for new technologies such as devices and websites and become a native before the general populace. Current social media is always changing and new players come to the market and being an early adopter will impress on your CV. For some CV tips, read our guide on how to write a CV.

What skills do I need?

  • Creativity
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Analytical thinking 
  • Time management
  • Team working 
  • Negotiation ability

Learn more about the skills you need for a career in marketing and PR.

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Is a career in digital and media marketing for me?

Here are seven key questions and statements you can think about which will help get your mind ready for your first step on the marketing career ladder...

  1. What current advertising campaigns have caught your eye? And why?

  2. What is the role of print marketing in an age where digital marketing is so prevalent?

  3. What marketing campaigns have you disliked? Why is that?

  4. Have you bought anything recently that you don’t usually? Why was that? 

  5. Ask your friends/family what their favourite brands are and why.

  6. Find marketing campaigns which have had to work on a tiny budget. How were they creative, successful?

  7. Look at design and logos of your favourite brands. Why do you like them? Have they changed over time?

If you enjoy thinking and analysing answers to these questions, then marketing, branding and product could be for you. 

Discover marketing graduate opportunities

Take a look at our latest list of marketing and PR graduate opportunities to kick-start your career.