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Digital marketing: graduate area of work

Digital marketing uses new media, such as the internet, to promote companies' products and services. If you have a passion for digital media this could be the perfect career for you.

Digital marketing covers the promotion of products and services using the internet, mobile phones and other digital channels. There are two forms of digital marketing – pull and push, which can be used on their own or combined.

Generally speaking, with pull marketing the user has to find the content, for example clicking on an internet advertisement, whereas with push marketing the company specifically targets users. Examples of push marketing include e-mails and SMS. Tasks involved in this area of work include:

  • working with companies to devise marketing strategies
  • handling budgets
  • liaising with design agencies or departments
  • writing copy for targeted e-mails
  • analysing and interpreting results

Some companies employ their own digital marketing teams but many who work in this area are employed by agencies or consultancies. The work can be pressurised, with tight deadlines, but getting a good response from a campaign you helped devise can be highly rewarding.

Data-driven marketing is a fast-moving specialism within digital marketing. Data marketers find different ways to use customer’s data to tailor marketing to a customer’s needs and wants. These pieces of data can come from a number of sources, including from ‘cookies’ (browsing activity and preferences saved by certain websites) or from location tracking. There is potential for data-driven marketing to have applications in every industry, and there are a range of technical and creative job roles available.

Qualifications required

Employers may favour graduates from business or marketing-related disciplines, but there are still plenty of opportunities for graduates from other areas. One of the main pre-requisites for the job is enthusiasm, so graduates who can demonstrate relevant work experience, such as working to promote a university event via the internet and other means, will go a long way. Work experience could also be gained in the PR or marketing department of a voluntary organisation.

Numeracy is important especially in analysing the results of a digital marketing campaign. Other skills needed include commercial awareness, organisational skills, creativity, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and good teamworking abilities. Postgraduate qualifications can help in this competitive environment – the Chartered Institute of Marketing offers postgraduate qualifications, as does the Institute of Direct Marketing.

Where to find out more

Job vacancies and details of graduate programmes offered by marketing communications agencies can be found on the Marketing Communications Consultants Association website. It can be hard to find vacancies in this area so it is also worth speculatively applying to companies or agencies.

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