Tapping the power of digital media
Log on to the web and attractive advertisements scream out at you. Beat the ambush and you are immediately waylaid by more subtle plugs on various online communities, forums, blogs and even social networking sites.
Instead of cribbing at these besieging promotions, why not hop onto the bandwagon of the new-age career of digital marketing.
Given today’s era of increasing web usage, growing internet penetration and social media ubiquity on the one hand and saturation of traditional marketing mediums on the other, digital marketing offers the perfect playground for businesses to reach audiences worldwide.
Digital marketing comprises the internet, email, mobile and other related channels that form the primary way people interact and communicate today. The high-impact, flexible, targeted, measurable and economical power of digital media has big and small companies alike scampering to exploit the novel, attractive and creative features in an attempt to both reach out to the customers and also mine untapped markets. Statistics reveal that companies that use internet marketing get up to 1300% profit as compared with traditional marketing! Little wonder then that digital media forms a lion’s share of most marketing campaigns – be it publicity, sales leads, community relations or customer service.
As a career prospect
The dynamic, upcoming industry of digital marketing is fast-gaining momentum as a promising career choice, especially among the youth. Helping companies stay ahead of the curve by utilising the commercial perspective of modern digital media is taking the world by storm. This massive marketing platform is poised to become the most sought-after profession what with its fascinating, stimulating and rewarding aspects.
As Rachna Gupta, Founder Director, International Institute of Creative Marketing opines, “The industry has already grown over $1 billion worldwide in the last three years and is expected to continue its upward trend. No marketing budget, plan or strategy is now considered complete unless it includes a digital component.”
Yet, it cannot be perceived as simply moving traditional marketing methods to a digital platform.
The work here is two-fold – building an online presence to up the brand awareness quotient as well as monitoring the public image, consumer insight and relationship with customers.
Digital marketers develop fine-tuned strategies for product launch, promotion, brand building, increasing sales or public relations. The tools for spreading the message are varied – targeted advertisements, search engine optimised articles, initiating conversations, participating in discussions, links, comments, polls and so on. They also tactically leverage different social media tools like Facebook, Orkut, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, etc. for everything from creating a buzz about the product/service, getting people talking about the brand, generating leads/inquiries, powering traffic to websites and building fan loyalty. Digital marketing strategies have to be well-integrated into the overall marketing mix. Measuring the success/reach of digital marketing efforts with metrics like e-mail delivery statistics, search engine results, site visits, users’ clicks on links and related benchmarks is imperative.
Traditional marketing education, IT or mass communication background or experience in advertising/ sales/ brand building gives a foothold in the digital marketing industry. Yet, professional certification in digital marketing per se imparts thorough understanding of digital technologies and applications for improving customer engagement. Business schools have also started incorporating digital marketing modules in their marketing programmes.
Again, the field is changing dramatically and quickly. It is essential to keep abreast of constant changes or risk becoming obsolete.
Digital marketing demands tech-savvy individuals who can easily absorb new technology. Basic knowledge of web design, social media and web-related software is requisite. It also calls for a creative streak, analytical bent, good communication skills and willingness to spend long hours glued to the web. The work (completely different from merely browsing the web or connecting with friends) is demanding as it delivers real-time results and is measurable with more ease and accuracy. Being a nascent profession, employers look more for aptitude than experience!
Exciting job opportunities beckon in digital marketing solutions companies and in-house marketing/ social media departments of big organisations. For instance, HP-India created a job profile just to administer their Twitter and Facebook profiles!
Individuals can even opt to set up their own marketing firms or go the freelance route.
Roles and designations vary from company to company. Interesting positions are cropping up like interactive marketing specialist, social media strategist, audience acquisition manager, communities manager, social media coordinator, SEO strategist, social media web developer, web analytics manager, etc.
Trained and qualified digital marketing experts are in high demand everywhere as more and more companies are shifting their focus to digital marketing strategies. Being a new professional discipline, there is immense scope as well as ample room for everyone. Nidhi Makhija of Experience Commerce says, “The industry is so new and many opportunities lie undiscovered. There’s vast scope to grow either into a digital planner or as a business development executive. These are just stepping stones into higher positions – Account Directors and VPs of Business Development.”
Another plus point is the hefty pay packages as big companies allocate huge budgets for digital marketing. Freshers can easily earn Rs.2 to 3 lakhs per annum with prospects of exponential growth in the future.
To sum up, the future of marketing lies in the digital medium and making technology work for brands will surely rule the virtual world!
Author : Payal Chanania
Source : The Hindu