In an increasingly technological age, marketing professionals look to digital platforms to expand their current customer base and delve into new markets by utilizing the advantages of digital mass media. With access to an international, interconnected market, companies can reach a far greater number of prospects than ever before, and get immediate feedback on their efforts, through tracking web behavior and digital analytics. With this increased exposure comes the need for lightning-fast responses to prospect and customer interactions, as well as reliable ways for measuring the impact of marketing campaigns.
At the same time, marketers face the challenge of determining the appropriate balance between their digital and non-digital (e.g. print, TV) campaigns.
While there are many challenges associated with marketing in a highly connected, multichannel world, integrated technologies have created new marketing career pathways and opportunities that stem from the traditional print, television and radio marketing mediums. These changes mean that marketing careers are increasingly accessible to professionals with a wider variety of educational backgrounds, including public relations and communications. With social media playing an important role in public perception, for example, many of the skills used to manage celebrity appearances or corporate relationships are now also used to influence the way brands interact with their customers.
As companies find new ways to engage with a modern audience that has become extremely discerning in their consumption, marketers have had to shift focus to engagement, storytelling and transparency. Everyone, from those in entry-level marketing careers to professionals with decades of experience, must manage many more platforms and adapt their strategies faster than ever before.
How Marketing Careers Have Evolved for the Digital Age
How Marketing Careers Have Evolved for the Digital Age
In the past, marketing was concerned mainly with print ads, and focusing on specific groups of potential customers. While targeted ads continue to be used, they have evolved with the advancement of technology. In the late 1990s, the first ads to employ data tracking to better understand when, where and how traffic was generated were developed. From pop-up ads of the early 2000s, the tracking and mining of data has been developed alongside predictive algorithms that have given rise to advertising that tracks web behavior across different platforms. In an engagement-focused society, the ability to anticipate and respond to client interactions and perceptions has become more important to a company’s success, whether through market research or artificial intelligence-fueled analytics.
Marketing careers have changed in scope and responsibility as the need to understand how to effectively and persuasively communicate across platforms and cultures has grown. This is especially true for established companies whose previous methods are no longer working as well as they once did. For example, the story of Burberry, the luxury fashion company, exemplifies an established brand that has changed its creative direction in order to engage new audiences.
After facing years of slumping sales as recently as 2016, Burberry has adopted a new approach that has led some industry observers to see it as a success story. The brand’s most recent campaign involved partnering with a streetwear company through Instagram and Snapchat under the direction of their new Chief Creative Officer, Riccardo Tisci. As a result, Burberry developed new logos and graphics for the first time in over twenty years and shifted its focus to direct social media engagement. This has bolstered its reputation with a younger demographic and helped the company reach new customers.
These types of marketing overhauls are fueled by demographic research, analysis of current and emerging markets and an understanding of what a target audience is looking for, representing the collective expertise of numerous marketing careers.
Career Opportunities in Marketing
From more traditional print ads to social media and other online platforms, marketing is both analytical and creative, and success requires professionals who are skilled with demographic research, crafting the customer-facing company voice and creating the right messaging for product and service promotions.
Some of the key components of a successful career in marketing include strong research skills and the ability to understand how and why customers engage with the company’s content in the way that they do. From social media managers to SEO specialists, these professionals must have the ability to understand the psychology of their target audiences, the analytics behind customer behavior and how to use those insights to build and optimize marketing campaigns. While these marketing careers don’t represent an exhaustive list, they do showcase the variety of roles you can pursue with a bachelor’s in professional communication studies.
Marketing Job Titles and Descriptions
|Marketing Job Title||Average Salary|
|Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Manager||$129,380*|
|Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Director||$88,848|
|Market Research Analyst||$63,230*|
*Median salary reported instead of average
Sources: PayScale.com and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Brand Manager and Digital Brand Manager
A brand manager is responsible for crafting and managing an organization’s public face. It is their job to ensure that every piece of marketing released is consistent with the company’s message, voice and style. A digital brand manager has the same duties but focuses specifically on digital platforms such as websites, social media and digital advertising.
This includes helping to make sure that organizations properly adapt to technological changes while still maintaining the company’s established story and voice. Brand managers and digital brand managers must have strong leadership and communication skills. They will usually report directly to the VP of Marketing and, with multiple positions reporting to them, they need leadership skills to develop their team and guide the work that their reports do.
The average salary for a brand manager is just under $70k per year, with the ability to advance to higher level marketing careers, such as VP of Marketing, Senior Product Manager and even Chief Marketing Officer.
Search engine optimization (SEO) specialists are responsible for formatting and creating quality content on websites and in digital marketing campaigns so that they rank as high as possible in search engines. These professionals must research the keywords and topics that are most relevant to search terms on websites like Google. An SEO specialist is responsible for analyzing, reviewing and implementing changes on websites and digital marketing materials to improve online distribution and engagement.
SEO specialists may be a part of an established marketing team or may be brought in as consultants to evaluate and optimize a website or particular set of marketing materials.
Entry-level marketing careers that begin with SEO optimization have the opportunity for a lot of upward movement, depending on a person’s specific area of focus. If their interest lies specifically in search engine optimization, those in entry-level positions can advance to SEO manager or SEO director. If they are more interested in marketing as a whole, they have the opportunity to move towards marketing and digital marketing manager positions.
SEO directors and managers oversee an organization’s SEO strategy at a high level, which includes responsibilities such as content mapping and keyword research, planning new SEO activities, tracking performance and developing reports for other stakeholders.
Similarly, advertising, promotion and marketing managers have a high-level view of their organizations’ strategies and help guide the direction of campaigns. The scope of these roles can vary dramatically depending on the organization. For example, some advertising managers may be focused on a specific geographic region in larger brands.
As experts in quantitative and qualitative methods, marketing analysts use predictive modeling and appraisal methods not only to understand what has worked in the past, but to understand what adjustments can be made to optimize marketing strategies for the future. They are responsible for researching potential markets and evaluating campaigns in order to make insightful recommendations. This information is then utilized by other members of the marketing team to adjust and focus their priorities to ensure upcoming campaigns are as successful as possible.
They must have a solid understanding of business management, communication and consumer psychology in order to understand and communicate their findings.
The median annual salary for market research analysts is roughly $63k, and the demand professionals in this marketing career is expected to increase by 23% through 2026, a rate much faster than average.
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