In the early days of the internet, few had an idea of how the emerging technology and adoption could create profit. Established companies such as Pepsi-Cola and Avis, though quick to establish websites, could see little potential in the medium for product promotion. In fact, it was an oddity to see a web URL included in an ad. Back in the late 1990s, marketing ploughed the same media as it had for generations: newspaper, magazine, billboard, radio and TV spots, and the occasional movie placement.
Blacksmiths and stables were strong business propositions over a century earlier, and yet within a generation, they were supplanted by mechanics and car dealerships. And while automobiles first came on the scene as far back as the 1890s, they were novelties; the folk that used, traded and repaired them were a minority. Investing in an automobile was high-tech. It was a sign of what was to come.
It is striking how 100 years later, a similar transformation has transpired in marketing. Within the past 15 to 20 years, savvy geeks who were tinkering about with websites, youtube channels and the like have grown into experts that know how to leverage the web to promote brands, ideas, places, and opinions.
Today’s Burgeoning Opportunities
While today’s graduates missed getting in on the ground floor, there are thousands of positions opening up still because the way we promote products and services has gone electronic. And as with any burgeoning industry, there are many different ways one can work in marketing.
According to Lensa, there are several, marketing, entry-level job types for newbies:
- Training others on how to do SEO, write copy, develop a following
- Trainee assistant positions within marketing teams and PR firms
- Coordinator positions for small startups that need help with Social Media and Digital Marketing
- Placement management for companies selling advertising space
- Event coordination
- Campaign support and management.
And though it helps to have at least an Associate’s Degree in communications or marketing, still there are plenty of opportunities to learn on the job.
Within marketing, there are 2 areas that are growing rapidly, pulling in talent for positions that until recently, did not even have names. The first is Social Media Marketing Agents (SMMA). In this role, an agent looks to bridge the gap between other forms of marketing (including the more traditional forms) with an online presence. SMMAs are generally tasked with either creating, modifying or reviewing strategies that seek to drive attention. They also know how to measure the effectiveness of that form of marketing, and can report the progress of a campaign.
While social media focuses on influencers and the people they reach, another emerging role is that of having expertise in the medium itself. This role, referred to as Digital Marketing revolves around knowing the tools, services and ways that one can optimize paying for advertising.
ViewTheVibe.com talked about these roles in more depth. And what stands out is that, like the grease monkeys tinkering about in 1900, today’s graduates are more comfortable in this digital medium. Having grown up fully emersed in e-Commerce, completing surveys, following influencers, and so on has helped this new generation to be fast-footed and knowledgeable in ways that their predecessors are not.
The Skills Today’s Marketing Jobs Expect
To be strong in either SMMA or Digital Marketing, however, demands one also has strong electronic skills (or e-skills). Over the past few years, more companies have come to expect and want to leverage the tools that are also found on the internet. For example, knowing Microsoft Teams is a must if one hopes to work for a multinational that likely has a Microsoft back office.
There are many other tools out there. But there are a couple of others that come to mind. Slack.com provides both paid and free tools for managing communities working together. And services like ActiveCampaign help automated selling with functions that integrate email, response automation, and CRM. In fact, ActiveCampaign illustrates how the market is evolving, drawing in newbies who given the choice between learning older technology, like MailChimp, would rather invest in newer tools that will be the prime players in the next few years.
Finding one’s career path, for some, is easy. From an early age, there are those among us who dream of being astronauts, rally car drivers, firemen and cops. And then there are some among us who like to both be in the know, and get the word out. Announcing at 12, I want to be in advertising is something few of us would expect to hear. And yet, wanting to be fashionable, follow the latest trends, and tell others about what is available and could help, is something some of us want to do.
And if that last bit describes you, then now is the time to break into digital and social media marketing.