Digital marketing

Promote a company’s products and services using online media and data-driven strategies
Ivy Simon
Editorial Writer
Promote a company’s products and services using online media and data-driven strategies

Digital marketing is the practise of promoting a company’s goods and services through online platforms like social media, email, search engines, and websites. It also involves using data collected from online platforms to support and improve marketing strategies and campaigns.

Digital marketing work has two broad forms – pull marketing and push marketing. These can be used individually or combined to varying degrees. Pull marketing is when the user finds digital marketing content and engages with it (e.g. online ads, search engine results, online content, etc.), whereas push marketing is about specifically targeting users with marketing content (e.g. marketing emails, SMSes, push notifications, etc.)

Digital marketing professionals also gather and analyse customer data from a variety of sources (e.g. customer relationship management (CRM) systems, social media platforms, and website analytics)  through the course of their work. This data can then be used to refine existing marketing initiatives or create more specialised and successful marketing plans catering to the unique requirements and preferences of various audiences.

Life on the job

Though the exact scope of digital marketing work may vary depending on your employer, you can generally expect all digital marketing roles to comprise a combination of the following responsibilities:

  • Planning and executing digital marketing plans and campaigns in order to support business goals
  • Developing and publishing digital content, such as blog postings, social media posts, email marketing, and online ads
  • Managing social media accounts, answering online enquiries, and keeping an eye on feedback and ratings online
  • Tracking indicators like website traffic, conversion rates, and online user behaviour to analyse and report on the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns
  • Coordinating with cross-functional teams such as sales, product development, and customer support to make sure that marketing initiatives are effectively coordinated and integrated
  • Liaising with content creation and design staff (whether in-house or external) for necessary digital marketing assets

Some companies employ their own in-house digital marketing teams, but many digital marketing professionals are also employed by marketing agencies or consultancies.

The work can be very high pressure, with tight deadlines and significant expectation for results. You will however, get a lot of immediate gratification for your work, as it can be very satisfying to see user responses to a campaign you devised play out in real-time.

Required qualifications and skills

Given the data-driven nature of the work, employers generally favor candidates with backgrounds in business, math, or marketing-related disciplines. However, candidates from other disciplines also have good chances if they can demonstrate a working understanding of what digital marketing involves.
Candidates stand a better chance of landing the job if they can show past experience or a working knowledge of the following areas:

  • Practical experience with analytics platforms like Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics, as well as knowledge of how to process data with Microsoft Excel.
  • Understanding of digital marketing techniques such as search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing.
  • Knowledge of website content management systems (CMS) like Wordpress, and basic web development technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Strong written communication abilities. You must be able to promote products and services effectively in your language of choice.

It may be worth taking additional courses to upskill yourself in order to demonstrate to potential employers that your knowledge of digital marketing is up-to-date. Some areas such as SEO are particularly prone to change, with search engines tweaking their ranking criteria for sites all the time. Make sure you can show potential employers how you are continually improving and upgrading your knowledge of digital marketing best practices.

Don’t neglect your soft skills too! Employers especially value candidates with good organisation and time management skills, interpersonal and teamwork skills, and strong commercial awareness. Being able to demonstrate that you are good at working with numbers is, unsurprisingly, key as well.

Having relevant work experience is still the best way to break into this area of work. Be on the lookout for internships, work placements, or voluntary opportunities where you can promote an organisation or their products and services online. Digital marketing work is very hands-on by nature, so actually trying it out for yourself is a great way of finding out if you are a good fit for this line of work.