Careers in Digital Marketing
Dr. Sheetal Kapoor
The newest and fastest growing channels for communicating and selling directly to customers are digital. The internet provides marketers and consumers, opportunities for much greater interaction and individualisation. Digital marketing involves online, social media and mobile marketing activities and programs designed to engage customers or prospects and directly or indirectly raise awareness, improve image or elicit sales of products and services. Mobile marketing is a special form of online marketing that places communications on consumer’s cell phones, smart phones or tablets.According to a research around 1.5 lakh jobs are expected to be created in India in 2017 in the area of digital marketing.
The main areas of online marketing communications are websites, search ads, display ads, e-mail, social media, blogs, viral marketing and mobile marketing. The variety of online options means companies can offer or send tailored information or message that engages consumers by reflecting their special interests and behaviour. Globally and in India also digital marketing is showing much rapid growth as compared to the traditional media.
The new digital era enables brands to selectively target their customers that may potentially be interested in their brand or based on previous browsing interests. Businesses can now use social media to select the age range, location, gender and interests of whom they would like their targeted post to be seen by. Furthermore, based on a customer’s recent search history they can be ‘followed’ on the internet so they see advertisements from similar brands, products and services.This allows businesses to target the specific customers that they know and feel will most benefit from their product or service, something that had limited capabilities up until the digital era.
The presence of digitalisation is being witnessed in all types of sectors such as retailing, manufacturing, banking, insurance, tourism, telecommunication, airlines, etc. Around 43% of World’s population makes use of digital communication and in India 30% of the population are internet users. According to a study India will have over 500 Million Internet users by 2017 and 80% of these users (i.e. 400M+) will go online through a Mobile Phone. India took over 10 years to move from 10M to 100M Internet users. It took 3 years to grow from 100M to 200M and just 1 year to grow from 200M to 300M. Facebook alone has over 110 Million users in India. India has already surpassed US to become 2nd largest smartphone marketing. Moreover, number of smartphone owners has already overtaken desktop/laptop users in India.
Digital marketing offers plethora of career options in different kinds of organisations. The kind of work and variety of job profiles make online marketing career even a bigger opportunity. These include:
Digital Marketing and Advertising Agencies: These days traditional advertising agencies are also offering digital marketing services.There are a number of small, middle and large digital marketing agencies, who offer services such as Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing etc.
A brand leveraging Digital Marketing: There are job opportunities available for individuals who want to work for a particular brand or an organization, who’s actively leveraging digital marketing such as web designers, bloggers, e-mail marketing.
Digital Marketing Tool/ Platform Company: Another career opportunity in digital marketing is to work for tool or platform companies such as Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Adobe, twitter, youtube, etc. The kind of work and associated learning in these kinds of companies varies a lot and is quite different compared to working at an agency or a brand.
In addition to these full-time jobs in digital marketing, one can opt for freelancing/part-time/work-from-home opportunities in this industry.
Thus based on an individual’s experience, his technical and non-technical skills such as communication, creativity, analytical skills and his interest, the following Job Profiles are available in Digital Marketing:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): At an entry level an individual can join an organization as a digital marketing executive. In this case he is required to work under a team leader or manager and perform multiple tasks including research, content development, testing etc.the task of SEO is to improve the ranking of web pages and their visibility on various search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Optimizing webpages is a very vital aspect of Digital Marketing.
2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM): To increase the visibility of webpages is through sponsored placements and advertising. SEM specialists should know how to run campaigns, how to purchase traffic through paid search listing to maximize visibility of web pages on search engines.
3. Social Media Marketing (SMM): Social Media allows companies to establish a public voice and presence online. There are three main platforms for social media (a) online communities and forums (b) blogs, (c) social networks such as, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others. Popular blogs help in creating influential opinion leaders. A good digital marketer should know how to harness the power of social media to market the brand image of the company.
4. Email Marketing: E-mail allows marketers to inform and communicate with customers at a fraction of the cost of a direct-mail campaign. E-mails are very productive selling tools. As it is important to engage customers and leads with the brand, many organizations send periodic newsletters, email campaigns, autoresponders to its subscribers in order to keep them updated with new products/services added or anything worth sharing. Since e-mails have to be timely targeted and relevant companies hire personnel for this purpose.
5. Mobile Marketing: More and more people are nowadays using smartphones among all age groups. Mobile marketing provides instant updates, promo offers and information of customers’ interests. Mobile apps nowadays can perform useful functions such as adding convenience, social value, incentives and entertainment.
6. Web Analytics: Web Analytics is a very interesting aspect of digital marketing which involves traffic analysis, business and market research and enhancing the website traffic. For instance, Google Analytics gives a great insight into how your website is working. 40% of content marketers in India make use of infographics and visual media.
As the digital buyer penetration in India is projected to increase to 70.7% in 2020, the future belongs to digital marketing. Websites, Social media, blogs, and e-newsletters would dominate techniques for sharing content by the marketers. As the brands realise that customers’ feedback, comments and content are extremely valuable and huge job opportunities would emerge for those who are net savvy.
The author is Associate Professor, Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi. e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: Courtesy Google