10 Signs You’re Ready For a Career in Digital Marketing [+ Tips]
Diving into an unfamiliar field can feel intimidating, so it's understandable that you'd look for signs you're ready for a career in digital marketing. We rounded up some common sentiments that may indicate you're ready for the jump, plus critical digital marketing skills you need to develop over your career.
Looking for signs you’re ready for a career in digital marketing? Consider clicking this post the first sign!
We’re not kidding: You’re taking the extra step of researching to confirm your interest in the fast-paced world of digital marketing. And why wouldn’t you? Digital marketing professionals are in-demand, and even candidates with zero work experience can find success in it.
Still not convinced you’re ready? Find the signs you’re ready for a career in digital marketing on this list. Then, discover the skills digital marketers develop over their careers, and ways to kickstart your own journey into digital marketing.
While reading this list, you should remember that you don’t need to hit all these signs. One or two might be enough to confirm that you’ve got what it takes to start your digital marketing career. If you need a better feel for this topic, we’ve included related links at the end of this post.
10 signs you’re ready for a career in digital marketing
1) You want a fast-paced career
Digital marketing is fast! Especially now, when much of digital marketing is driven by digital innovations and quick response to client and audience needs. The latter, client and audience retention, is a pretty big part of digital marketing, as it reduces churn rate.
Churn rate is the pace at which customers stop interacting with a business. It’s when the audience moves away from a brand, subscribers cancel their subscriptions, or customers stop purchasing goods. Digital marketing helps increase customer satisfaction, which can increase customer loyalty by 29.3% and reduce churn rate.
A crucial part of reducing customer churn is paying attention to marketing data. This brings us to our next point:
2) Quantifiable results motivate you
Data allows teams to create marketing strategies that actually lead to, well, leads! Paying attention to the numbers also tells teams what works, what needs to be fixed or scrapped, and what can convert audiences into customers or stay loyal to a brand.
It’s not just us saying this either. Google notes that 92% “of leading marketers believe using first-party data to continuously build an understanding of what people want is critical to growth.” From the same study, about 33% of marketers believe an improved understanding of customers will help them achieve their marketing goals in the next three years.
Reaching those goals isn’t possible unless you’re highly creative—and motivated.
3) You want a career that’s creative and competitive
Let’s say Brand A sells cars. That’s their whole business ethos: we have cars, and we want you to buy them. An average person might think that showing off their fancy features and cool silhouettes is enough to sell them.
But you, as someone interested in digital marketing, know that this isn’t enough to convince a discerning customer. This is where creativity comes in! Former Honda head of European marketing Martin Moll says of creativity:
“It is rare you see marketing that is purely data-driven. If it’s too rational, people might get the message but they won’t buy into it.
…A prime example in the automotive sector is that people will focus heavily on reliability as the primary reason for purchase, but actually they won’t go out looking for messages about reliability. That doesn’t sell and doesn’t create desire.”
Figuring out how to create that desire is one of many problems you must solve as a digital marketer.
4) Problem-solving is one of your biggest strengths
If solving problems brings you thrills, you’ll never have a boring day as a digital marketer. That’s because problem-solving is one of the consistent skills everyone agrees should be developed by digital marketers. And for good reason!
From generating leads to converting an audience into customers, and demonstrating to key stakeholders their return on investment on the campaign you worked on—there’s always something to fix or improve in digital marketing.
Keeping on your toes will help you get ahead in this active environment.
5) You like a dynamic work environment
Let’s face it: some jobs are static. You always do the same tasks again and again, day in and day out. That’s not a bad thing! Consistency is key in any industry, and in sectors like manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, it’s a must.
Even digital marketing has elements you need to replicate every time. But what makes digital marketing exciting is that it rides on constantly changing technology and consumer tastes. Marketing tactics that worked a year ago might not produce results now—in fact, strategies deployed just months ago might not generate the same results!
This rapidly changing environment comes with another challenge:
6) Learning new skills and keeping up with trends excites you
As said above, the dynamic nature of digital marketing means there’s always something new to learn or keep track of. You’ll bring knowledge from the past to understand how new trends work, and assess whether or not they’re a passing fancy or here to stay. Skills work the same way!
Just look at SEO. In a decade, Google and other search engines changed their algorithms so much that popular SEO tactics could harm a page now. For example, keyword stuffing may help pages rank, but it’s considered a black hat tactic that search engines disapprove of.
So if you’re a quick learner, persistent, and diligent, you can keep up with the rapid pace of digital marketing. But not everyone in your team can keep the beat. Some might need more time to catch up, or require more explanation.
7) You’re patient and collaborative
In that case, you’ll need to be patient and collaborative. Digital marketing isn’t self-contained—it touches every part of a business.
In small businesses, the digital marketing team will handle social media, promotions, PR, marketing, data research, website design, content creation and management, and more. Bigger companies will have separate departments, but the digital marketing team must reach out to ensure their campaigns have good data and align with the company’s interests.
Patience and a collaborative mindset will help you navigate this network. Your coordination and understanding can also uncover inefficiencies in business-wide processes.
And as you can imagine, this kind of coordination requires a LOT of time.
8) Planning and time-intensive tasks don’t bother you
Planning is king in digital marketing, and it will take time. If you’re the type of person who’s unbothered by this meticulous process, then congratulations—you’re a shoe-in for digital marketing.
That’s not to say that every digital marketing campaign takes a long time to take effect. Short-term digital marketing strategies that allow businesses to accomplish goals in a day or month exist. However, even those require bursts of time-intensive planning!
So whether you’re planning short or long-term strategies, you need mental fortitude to stay in this industry. Trusting the process also helps, and is the only way you can see the impact of your labor.
9) You see the impact digital marketing has on everything
“Ubiquitous” means “existing or being everywhere at the same time.” It’s a perfect descriptor for marketing, as you constantly encounter it anywhere you go. And with customer experience being the biggest driver of growth, there’s a bigger emphasis on being where customers are.
As an observer, you’ll notice that while digital marketing is everywhere, the most successful campaigns efficiently and effectively communicate their messages to their intended audience.
10) Effective communication is important to you
That kind of communication is at the heart of digital marketing. You’re not just delivering data to an audience, you’re making sure the audience understands what you’re trying to say. Late Chicago Daily News and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Sydney J. Harris put it succinctly:
“Take the two popular words today, information and communication. They are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”—For the Time Being (1972)
And with that, it’s time to learn the skills digital marketers use to effectively communicate with their audience and customers.
Digital marketing skills
Keep in mind that you won’t be expected to master all these skills. This is especially true for new digital marketers! What’s also true is that knowledge of several marketing disciplines and mastery in one will make you a t-shaped digital marketer, which can help you stand out as you progress in your career.
1) Digital marketing
Learning how digital marketing works is fundamental for every budding digital marketer. This includes understanding basic digital marketing terms, such as conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), inbound and outbound marketing, brand positioning, and more.
Digital marketers also need to learn how to create SMART goals, measure data, optimize conversion funnels, and tactics used to produce results. One important tactic is:
2) Social media marketing
The rise of ad blockers and use of social media platforms has made social media marketing an indispensable tool for digital marketers. In fact, customers are six times more likely to purchase a product if they see a photo of it on social media. More importantly, 87% of people say social media helps them decide what to buy.
Figuring out how to use social media to engage customers, create a loyal audience, and generate sales will play a big part in your digital marketing career.
3) Paid advertising
Although businesses are looking for ways to improve organic traffic and sales, paid advertising still plays a big role in digital marketing. How big? $144.8 billion from 2007 to 2024 in internet ad spending kind of big!
Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns in particular are still essential for small to medium businesses. So if your heart is set on digital marketing, you should at least know what PPC and paid options are available for your client or employer.
Another core skill of a digital marketer is:
SEO’s effect on businesses is undeniable. For starters, 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search, which in turn generates 2x more revenue for B2B companies.
Aspiring digital marketers on Acadium know the importance of SEO. In fact, 78% of our apprentices this week alone are looking for experience in SEO, paid ads, and search ads! That’s why we’ve covered SEO a number of times, and even featured an apprentice who found success in SEO:
- Search Intent – Why is it important for SEO?
- How to Become an SEO Specialist: A Complete Guide + Tools
- How Amrita completed two apprenticeships and became an SEO professional
5) Email marketing
Email marketing’s been around for decades—44 years, in fact! Nowadays, email marketing is used to invite audiences to events, notify customers about offers, summarize weekly content, and deliver product update news without taking users out of their inboxes.
Delivering this kind of personalized, direct content has huge benefits. Every $1 spent on email marketing can generate $42 in return, and SMBs can rely on it to acquire (81%) and retain (80%) customers.
Email marketing is also relied on by 9 out of 10 marketers to distribute their content.
6) Content marketing
Distributing our posts through email newsletters is part of our content marketing strategy.
Quality content marketing leads to audiences sticking around a website or social media page longer, generating leads from organic search results, and building brand authority and awareness. On our part, we’ve seen hundreds of sign-ups from our content through our blogs, Google searches, and social media links.
And, not to brag, but part of why our content works is the way our site is designed.
7) Website design
One of the best parts of Acadium’s blog is its website design. It’s readable, adaptive, and accessible. That kind of great web design affects content marketing plans. After all, your audience might choose to read lower-quality blogs over your high-value work if they can’t access it!
Even if you won’t handle the technical details, it’s important to understand web design. Work with the web design team to speed up load times, which can lead to a whopping 8.4% to 10.1% increase in conversion rate. You can also offer suggestions that your audience will find helpful, attractive, or both.
8) Marketing analytics
Now, to make those suggestions in the first place, you need to pay strict attention to marketing analytics. You’ll remember from the section above that meticulous planning can create successful short and long-term marketing strategies. That kind of planning can’t happen unless you can gather and interpret data from your audience, campaigns, competition, and industry.
9) Public relations (PR)
As a digital marketer, having basic public relations skills is a must. PR’s focus is brand awareness, crisis management, and managing brand reputation. With that definition, you can see why PR and digital marketing work together—good PR elevates digital marketing campaigns, and bridges their efforts into real results.
10) Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is mutually beneficial for a business and their customers. It lets customers, including budding digital marketers, make money anywhere. On the flip side, it’s an effective way to market a service or product, and encourage affiliates to continue their patronage of a business.
11) Influencer marketing
Lastly, influencer marketing leverages the existing audience of influencers or organizations with acknowledged expertise in their field. As you’ll find out, you can’t just pick a random influencer with a huge following for your campaigns.
Digital marketing teams carefully vet influencers to ensure their goals and target audiences align. In Acadium’s case, that involves partnering with marketers like Gina Wicentowich to help candidates get a job in digital marketing with no experience.
1) Critical thinking
Remember when we said that problem solving is a big part of digital marketing? Critical thinking allows you to solve said problems. It’s also a core transferable skill, meaning you’ll find work in any industry if you can prove that you’ve honed this skill.
“They (employers) want to know you can think critically. That critical thinking will get you a job and will get you very far in your career.”—Gina Wicentowich
Note that like any other skill, critical thinking can be developed. Harvard Business Review recommends these three simple steps to improve this skill:
- Question assumptions
- Reason through logic
- Diversify thought
2) Customer relationship management
A pattern emerges when you read through this post: customer satisfaction leads to high conversion and retention.
CRM strategy and software simplifies the process of gathering data on how leads and clients interact with a business. Aside from that, CRM is used to nurture relationships with leads. Data culled from these functions are used in new campaigns that better serves their customers, in order to capture more prospects
Even the best planned marketing campaigns may have unexpected results. When this happens, flexibility allows you to make the necessary adjustments to keep the campaign on track and recapture your audience’s interest.
Businesswise, a flexible digital marketer is also better in dealing with ornery clients. When feathers are ruffled at work, they’re also better positioned to restore team cohesion.
4) Creative sense
Whether or not you have a direct hand in crafting created assets, having a keen creative sense ensures:
- Only the best content is positioned for your audience
- What your team publishes is aesthetically in line with your brand
- The content makes sense and aligns with your intent
While some hone their creative sense their whole life, you can nurture your creative sense later on in life. In marketing, you develop it through courses, evaluation of one’s creative thinking process, and consistency. This kind of thinking also applies to improving your:
5) Interpersonal skills
Your ability to empathize and communicate will build and strengthen your professional relationships. Customers to co-workers will be easier to reach if you’re easier to interact with. And as mentioned, your interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence can be developed, even by candidates who’ve had difficulties interacting with others in the past.
Now that you know about these skills, how do you go about learning them? Moreover, how do you leverage them to get into digital marketing?
How to get into digital marketing
1) Courses and certifications
Traditionally, the answer is to get a degree in marketing. Having credentials will definitely help you get noticed. However, to avoid student debt and specialize in your education, the next best thing is to enroll in digital marketing courses.
Courses educate you in the basics of a given skill and provide an avenue to improve your technical proficiency in it. If it’s a course on a skill you already have proficiency in, it helps you improve your performance by refreshing your knowledge base. Plus, a spiffy new certificate looks good on your CV, no matter what.
2) Remote marketing internship
If you’re a student or a candidate with spare time, why not look for a remote marketing internship this summer? These opportunities place you in a training position in the industry you want to enter in the future. Since you’re there on a trial basis, you’re also in a position to determine if this career path is truly for you.
3) Prepare your credentials
We have a robust set of guides that can help you with this step. In essence, you’ll want to prepare a CV, cover letter, portfolio, and a social media presence that shows you can apply digital marketing principles in day-to-day situations:
- How to Write a Digital Marketing Resume that Gets Interviews [with Template]
- Get a Marketing Job with a Video Resume
- Write an Entry-level Social Media Cover Letter That Gets Interviews
- Entry-level Digital Marketing Cover Letter [+Template]
- How to Build an Impressive Social Media Portfolio
- Create an Impressive Online Marketing Portfolio
Once you have everything set, you can look for a job that fits your preferences. However, if you feel like you need more experience, and courses and internships are not enough, there’s a great alternative.
Feel like you’ve seen enough signs, and that you’re ready for a career in digital marketing? You can start by signing up for an apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships place you in a real-world business under the guidance of a mentor to acclimatize you to the day-to-day digital marketing activities. Working hands-on will help you gain digital marketing skills and social proof (testimonials), proving your knowledge. What’s more, half of the Acadium mentors hire their apprentices, so you might even find your first digital marketing job here!
As promised, here are posts to help you learn more about starting a digital marketing career from scratch:
- How to Get a Job after College with No Experience
- Why Digital Marketing Is a Great Career in 2022
- The Complete Guide to Starting a Career in Digital Marketing
- Launch Your Digital Marketing Career: How to Stand Out as a Candidate
- So You Want to Become a Freelance Digital Marketer
- 2022 Average Digital Marketing Salary in Canada: Entry Level to Six-Figure Jobs
- How Much Do Digital Marketers Make? State-wise Salaries in USA, 2022
Five years in journalism, two in proofreading, and eight in freelance ghostwriting. Creating content that's entertaining, informative, and actionable shapes my writing. When not scrutinizing my copy, I'm likely watching hockey.
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