IN THIS ARTICLE
- What Do Marketers Do?
- Common Types of Marketing Jobs
- About Marketing as a Career
- How To Land the Marketing Job You Want
- FAQs About Digital Marketing Jobs
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If you’re considering a career in marketing, it can be difficult to choose a specialization that suits your skills and experience, something that’s only complicated by the field’s rapid growth. Thanks to digitization, there are now more roles than ever, from creative content producers—such as copywriters and videographers—to more business-focused roles, such as strategists, analysts, and digital marketing managers.
In this article, we’ll give you a comprehensive overview of the areas of expertise you’ll find in a marketing team, the roles and responsibilities for various positions, and also discuss the digital marketing skills, attributes, and “nice-to-haves” that will ensure your success in these careers.
Ready to learn more? Then let’s dive in!
What Do Marketers Do?
Marketers increase company growth and sales through the promotion of the brand, its products and services. This is achieved through a mixture of paid advertising, sponsorship, content publication, search engine optimization (SEO), social media campaigns, community building, direct marketing (email, SMS, instant messaging), influencer and brand collaboration, and numerous other direct and indirect outreach and publication methods.
To achieve this growth, marketers plan, manage, and oversee promotional marketing campaigns and design long-term strategies that align the goals of the business with the desires of their target audience. In addition to implementing various best practices in their marketing strategy, marketers forecast digital trends, delegate tasks to in-house team members and freelancers, and consult subject specialists. Once a marketing campaign is live, the marketer will test, review, analyze, and report on its success in order to continually improve a brand’s reach and its impact on audiences.
Related Read: What is Digital Marketing?
Common Types of Marketing Jobs
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the creation and implementation of a social media strategy or marketing campaign for a business or brand’s social media channels. Through the posting of compelling, optimized, and eye-catching content, social media marketing reaches new users, builds trust and brand authority, boosts a company’s online presence, turns potential customers into customers, and customers into brand advocates.
An organization’s social media marketing efforts are overseen by the social media marketing manager or social media marketer. They create marketing plans and campaigns for each of the business’s social media channels and collaborate with content producers to create, schedule, measure, and analyze posts. A social media marketer needs to be well-versed in social media trends, know its audience’s expectations on each platform, possess general digital management skills and have a strong awareness of the competition’s strategy.
Whether they’re working as part of a larger social media marketing team, or are the sole social media professional on a marketing team, a social media manager has a range of tools at their disposal to coordinate their responsibilities. Sprout Social, Tweetdeck, Post Planner, Hootsuite, and Feedly are just a few examples of how to schedule, track, review, and report on social media posts and campaigns.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become increasingly important over the last decade, as marketers have realized the extent to which search engines guide users towards the digital content they’re seeking.
SEO is the creation of content that focuses on specific keywords that a brand’s target audience searches for in Google, Bing, and other search engines. Marketers optimize a brand’s content by employing these keywords so that the brand ranks highly in those users’ search results. In order for a piece of content to rank, it should also comply with other criteria specified by that search engine’s algorithm. These other qualities include the length of the text, readability, article structure, the quality of the prose, the relevance of the subject, and the value to the reader.
SEO specialists research and identify the keyword strings that are popular in their industry, and use that technical knowledge to guide the blog, social media, or website content produced by their team. SEO specialists should be the first to know about any updates to search engine algorithms, be abreast of consumer search trends, and know the keyword strings targeted by their direct competitors.
The recent boom in online text, video, image, and audio content consumption has created a huge opportunity in the marketing industry, in the form of content marketing. Through the production and publication of high-quality content, marketers and brands build solid and lasting relationships with their target audiences. Once this trust exists, those users return to the brand when seeking related products, and frequently become loyal and repeat customers.
This move towards content production has increased demand for content marketers, strategists, and producers—namely copywriters, videographers, and graphic designers. While content marketers and strategists plan, oversee, and manage their content strategy, content producers execute individual content production tasks according to their briefs.
Content marketers also perform content audits, analyze and predict content and digital trends, manage freelance content creators, and monitor their competitors.
Even with its comparatively long history, email is as popular as ever. With over 300 billion emails sent per day (according to 2021 records), companies are increasingly using email to boost their marketing strategies and reach users via their inboxes.
Email marketers work closely with a copywriter and other content producers to cultivate the right language, tone, and messaging for their audience. Their goal is to get their email noticed and opened while competing against the thousands of other emails crowding a user’s inbox.
Although the content of each email is key, arguably a larger part of the email marketer’s role is strategy. Email marketers spend the majority of their time planning email marketing campaigns. This includes designing email funnels and sequences that guide users through the customer lifecycle and bolster a user’s faith in the brand.
Brand marketers grow a large base of loyal and repeat customers for a business or brand. They achieve this by planning a long-term strategy that promotes a brand’s identity and mission in public-facing communications, with the hopes of raising a brand’s profile in its particular field. When done effectively, users become advocates or even brand ambassadors, rather than just customers, and promote the brand through their own personal networks.
Brand marketers concentrate their efforts on the four pillars of marketing: visibility, trust, awareness, and recognition. A brand marketer is also responsible for developing this strategy and overseeing its execution. With an eye on long term growth, the brand marketer’s overarching goals include:
- Building a brand identity and image
- Raising awareness of the brand
- Ensuring a brand’s recognizability
- Nurturing brand loyalty with the brand’s customer base and communities
- Discovering and supporting brand ambassadors
- Encouraging tangible engagement with the brand
Product marketers pitch a new product to the general public by communicating its existence and benefits. Their ultimate goal is to drive demand for a product, service, or brand. They build awareness through selective messaging and positioning their product before its launch.
To ensure that the right audiences are aware of a product and its benefits, a product marketer asks themselves these questions:
- Who is my audience for this product?
- How and where will I find them?
- How will I communicate this product to them?
- What is the story that will demonstrate its value?
To answer these questions, product marketers work with a product manager to conduct user, product, and market research. They create a coherent story of how the product solves a user’s problems, and work closely with content creators to produce compelling marketing and advertising copy that helps users fully understand the product.
The product marketer collaborates with the heads of marketing to devise a launch plan, with each action step identified for different members of the marketing team.
A data analyst (sometimes known as a digital marketing analyst) analyzes and interprets market statistics to improve a company’s marketing strategies.
Analysts help their business make data-backed decisions about which products or services to sell, which customers to target, and which prices best serve the company’s purpose. Using data analytics techniques, they study market conditions, consumer behavior, and the company’s competitors to provide insights and guidance to the marketing and business teams, with the ultimate goal of helping the company boost its sales.
Their key responsibilities include competitive research and analysis, data analysis, data collection, sales funnel analysis, and reporting.
Paid (SEM) Marketing
Sitting between the digital marketing manager and the SEO specialist, the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) specialist implements techniques and strategies to funnel users to a company website through paid search advertising campaigns, organic search ranking (in collaboration with the SEO specialist), and other Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing activities.
An SEM specialist tracks metrics such as conversion rate, return on investment (ROI), cost per click, click-through rate, and quality score. These metrics together paint a clear picture of an SEM specialist’s efficacy in making the company website visible and finable.
Because an SEM specialist spends a great deal of time executing organic and paid search marketing campaigns, recruiters will expect deep knowledge of the Google Marketing Platform as well as its tools, such as Google Ads and Google Analytics.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a strategy for increasing the number of visitors who perform the desired action on a webpage. For example, a user might buy a product, sign up for a newsletter, or download a product guide. A website’s conversion rate is important because it’s much cheaper to convert the visitors you already have, rather than to try to attract new visitors. For this reason, many digital marketing departments have a CRO specialist, who is solely responsible for the CRO of the site.
In order to boost a webpage’s conversion rate, a CRO specialist implements numerous techniques to build trust with their audience, enabling users to make an informed decision about their purchase. CRO specialists boost conversion rates by employing several methods, including clear links and effective navigation, chatbots, limiting a page’s CTAs, detailing the value of a product or service, and well-written blog content.
With online content consumption at an all-time high and content marketers increasingly recognizing the impact of tailored content, the demand for skilled digital marketing copywriters has soared.
Copywriters produce high-quality text for promotional, marketing, educational, instructional, or advertising purposes. This content can have a number of different functions. It can persuade, inspire, entertain, educate, or inform a reader with the end goal of increasing brand awareness or selling a product.
In this role, adaptability is key, as a copywriter might write banner taglines in the morning, rewrite landing pages after lunch, and produce a white paper addressing common customer questions in the afternoon.
The copywriter role isn’t limited to the marketing team. Depending on the size of the organization, copywriters are also found on editorial, product, and corporate teams. Within smaller companies, a copywriter might jump between different teams and tasks, whereas in companies with larger budgets, they can focus solely on the needs of their immediate team.
Public Relations (PR)
Public relations ( PR) concerns itself with the public’s perception of a brand. Despite brands managing their own public images via social media channels, blogs, and communities, PR is still the most cost-effective way for a brand to expand its audience and is a powerful tool in boosting a brand’s industry reputation.
A PR officer or specialist manages a brand’s reputation and inspires interest in the business, its products, or its services. They do this by generating positive press coverage, maintaining relationships with influential journalists and publications, and by creating and pitching stories about the company to journalists.
Influencer marketing is a relatively new, albeit increasingly important, technique in digital marketing. It involves brands collaborating with high-profile and industry-relevant social media influencers, who promote a brand and its products on their own social media channels.
Influencer marketing is essential to a marketer’s toolbox, as users’ purchasing decisions are increasingly influenced by the role models they follow on social media. Unlike celebrities, whose followers typically belong to a much broader spectrum, influencers cultivate niche, enthusiastic, and loyal audiences in specific fields. If a brand wants to market to this audience, they can collaborate with an influencer who has already built a relationship of trust with their desired audience.
Influencer marketers need to be great communicators and foster long-lasting, professional relationships with influencers. Working within strict time constraints and budgets, they need to be extremely organized in planning their collaborations. A love of research is a big plus in this role. An influencer marketer will need to be armed with a deep knowledge of both the brand and its users, the communities they are active in, and the influencers they follow. A large part of the job is spent analyzing human behavior and interactions on social media, which proceeds to craft a plan that utilizes influencer relationships in promoting the brand.
User Experience (UX)
A relatively new field, there’s some confusion about what User Experience (UX) means, and how its principles and best practices can boost marketing performances.
UX designers study how users interact with and experience a product, system, service, or brand. They also investigate and try to understand a user’s perspective, and how different elements of product interaction—such as ease of use, functionality, efficiency, and sense of enjoyment—can be improved or enhanced by the UX team.
With the goal of improving the user’s experience, UX designers improve a product or webpage’s usability, language and messaging, navigation, response time, and customer service. They perform extensive user and market research to learn about how users experience the product or website and the typical customer journey. They do this by conducting interviews and surveys and performing tests. Other responsibilities include creating user stories, personas, storyboards, sitemaps, prototypes, and wireframes.
About Marketing as a Career
What Is the Job Outlook for Marketers?
With users spending more time online than ever before, businesses need skilled marketers to attract and engage audiences. This has led to a huge rise in the number of marketing jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for marketers is set to grow by 10% between 2020 and 2030, with approximately 31,000 positions expected to open up year on year across the U.S during the decade.
It doesn’t end there. While the Covid-19 pandemic saw huge job losses in multiple sectors, marketing roles skyrocketed during this time. A study from LinkedIn found that during the first year of the pandemic, around 381,000 marketing job openings were posted on the professional networking site, with marketing job posts increasing an impressive 63% between January and June of 2021 alone. Within the field of marketing, skills and experience in digital marketing were in particularly high demand.
Does Marketing Pay Well?
As with every kind of career, marketing salaries vary, and are dependent on several different factors, including location, job level, size and type of company, and an individual’s experience in the field.
According to Salary.com, the average annual salary for a marketing manager in the United States is $109,637, while the annual salary range typically falls between $95,531 and $129,082.
However, given that there are so many variables, it’s worth looking at some salary comparison sites yourself and entering your exact location, desired role, industry, and experience level.
What Are Some Common Marketing Career Paths?
A typical career path in this field might begin with an entry-level job on a marketing team, such as a social media coordinator, marketing specialist, or account coordinator. This kind of entry-level role usually requires less than two years’ experience, and the individual would be expected to assist in numerous marketing administration tasks, in addition to their chosen specialization.
A managerial position is typically the next step in a marketing career path, with job titles such as a social media manager, community manager, or brand manager falling into this category. Requiring three and four years of experience in the field, marketing managers oversee campaigns and nurture entry-level staff members.
After six or seven years in the field, you’ll be ready to pursue a more senior marketing position, possibly as director of public relations, director of marketing research, or director of marketing analytics, to name a few. Using the resources and research gathered by their team, marketing directors are responsible for big picture thinking and developing long-term strategies.
A Vice President of Marketing requires leadership skills and is typically offered to individuals with up to 14 years of experience in the field. Their roles include bridging the goals of different departments, strengthening the product and internal processes, and hiring key members of staff.
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is the most senior marketing position. In addition to being responsible for directing all major marketing strategies, the CMO is also the marketing team’s representative among company leaders. This individual manages the overall marketing budget and is accountable for the ROI of marketing initiatives.
Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing
With inbound marketing, a marketer creates a strategy that is tailored towards a user’s specific needs. The marketer’s goal is to build a solid bond between the brand and the user, solve their major challenges, empathize and identify with them, get them excited, and offer valuable content. When inbound marketing is successful, a user is naturally drawn to a brand and its services.
In contrast to inbound marketing, outbound marketing is less subtle for promotion and messaging. Rather than solving a user’s pain points or bringing them value, outbound marketing pushes messaging onto the user through consistent and sometimes relentless advertising, promotional materials, PR, and outreach. As opposed to enticing users, outbound marketing interrupts users, trying to get their attention with television advertising or cold calling.
How To Land the Marketing Job You Want
Take a Course
Due to the huge demand for marketers, there’s a wide variety of in-person and online courses specifically designed to help you get the skills and experience you need to land your first marketing position. Whether you choose a part-time evening course at your local college, an online course from a reputable provider, or a full-on degree in marketing, you’ll find that a course will give you confidence, skills in the latest tools, best practices, and technologies, while helping you build a network of like-minded career changers and professionals.
Get a Certificate
When you start applying for your first marketing position, a professional certificate is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to your career choice. With a certificate in a relevant marketing program, bootcamp, or course, employers will see that you’re dedicated to learning as much as you can, staying abreast of changes in the field, and that you have invested your time in improving your skillset.
Find a Mentor
A mentor can guide you as you progress along your chosen career path, offering advice and tips based on their own experiences. This person might be a former teacher, an old colleague, or someone who inspires you in your field. Having a mentor is a huge advantage when you start looking for your first marketing position, as they can help you avoid mistakes, introduce you to professional acquaintances, and give feedback on your CV, portfolio, or interview style.
Build a Portfolio
It may seem counterintuitive to build a portfolio as a marketer. After all, you’re not a designer, so what can you present? But your portfolio is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of marketing. Your portfolio might include marketing projects you’ve planned and managed, reports of your social media growth statistics, evidence of communities you’ve started and nurtured, or anything that demonstrates how you implement your ideas to produce surprising results. This is another feather in your cap when you start interviewing for marketing positions, as it demonstrates your commitment, passion, and knowledge.
Related: What Does a Digital Marketer Really Do?
FAQs About Digital Marketing Jobs
Which Marketing Job Pays the Most?
The CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) is typically the most senior, and therefore most highly paid, job in marketing, operating at the same level as the COO (Chief Operating Officer) and the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) at a company. According to PayScale, the average annual salary for a CMO in the U.S. is $175,572.
What Marketing Job Can I Get With No Experience?
If you don’t have any marketing experience, focus on the transferable skills you can bring to a marketing role, such as task delegation, empathy, or time management. Even without a background in marketing, you can land an entry-level position in the field by demonstrating interpersonal skills at a job interview. Look for the following positions: account coordinator, social media coordinator, project coordinator, and marketing coordinator. If you have some general office experience, you could also apply for marketing team administrative assistant roles within larger companies.
Do I Need a Degree To Get Into Marketing?
You don’t need a marketing degree to work in marketing. Although some individuals go down that route, this is a career choice that values hands-on experience and innovative ideas, and you’ll be unlikely to see marketing positions requiring a bachelor’s or master’s degree on any job boards. Marketing is also a field where you’ll find that many of your transferable skills are in demand. These include excellent verbal communication skills, project management, research, and a desire to learn new tools and methodology. Though this may not be exclusive to the marketing arena, it will give you an excellent foundation to launch your marketing career.
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