3 Reasons It's Time to Get a Digital Marketing Degree
It’s no surprise that career opportunities in digital marketing are on the rise. Just about everything is done online, so that’s where you’ll find people. And the job of any marketer is to put people in contact with what a company has to sell. What’s changed is how marketers utilize digital channels in successfully implementing marketing strategies and tactics.
“One of the exciting challenges in digital marketing is keeping up with audience trends, and knowing consumer demographics and their usage patterns, says Janine Jacques, program chair of New England College of Business’ Digital Marketing Program. “Digital marketers use this information to leverage the power of mobile devices, social networks and the many interactive applications of the web.”
We asked Jacques to tell us why now is the time to consider getting a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing or a continuing education certificate in digital marketing. Check out what she had to say below.
1. Digital marketing knowledge is more valuable than ever.
Given the growth of all that is digital, it is no surprise that there is a dearth of talented professionals with digital marketing expertise and creative talents to fill the growing number of positions.
Until the last few years, most companies were reluctant to dedicate resources to managing social media. I remember having lunch several years ago with a friend who worked for a large legal firm in Boston. She laughed when I told her that I teach social media marketing.
“You got a Ph.D. so that you can teach people how to surf Facebook all day!” she said.
Fast forward five years, and she stopped laughing when she realized her competitors were using digital and social media to find new clients, building new relationships and increase revenue. Her social media platforms, once managed by the receptionist, are now managed by a dedicated employee.
It’s not just large businesses that are worried about their digital presence, it’s every type of business — small, medium and large. Small businesses hire consultants which opens up opportunities for independent contractors or entrepreneurs who wish to launch small boutique-style digital consulting firms. Medium and large businesses hire full-time staff and are changing the composition of their existing marketing teams to include more digital expertise.
2. There are no digital marketing experts — yet.
If you ask Siri, she will tell you that it takes 10 to 20 years to become an expert at any given thing. Since digital marketing hasn’t been a marketing strategy for businesses for that long, then I would argue that there are no experts. Instead, the digital marketing community has adopted an inclusive ‘learn together’ culture. We love to share ideas and help each other.
3. Digital marketing + web analytics + big data = increasing income and more opportunity.
While the good news is that the future looks bright for digital marketing professionals, your next question may be, “What is the opportunity for growth?”
First, it is important to recognize the future of digital marketing and traditional marketing. Digital marketing focuses on the online platforms, and traditional marketing focuses on mediums like print, television, radio and direct mail. However, over the next 5–10 years we will see a convergence of digital and traditional into one single term: marketing.
During this same period, the role of marketing professionals will change from the Four Ps (price, product, place, promotion) to the new data-driven marketing professionals who peer into digital data streams to find critical answers and predictions for the future of a business or industry.
It seems that expert reports corroborate this theory on the role of marketing professionals in the future. For example, Salary.com suggests that marketing research and marketing analysts are among the 11 fastest growing jobs in the United States. Combine that with the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which recognizes the marketing manager among the highest paid occupations in the United States and among the highest job growth (18 percent growth between 2014–2024).
The Future of Digital Marketing
Data-driven market professionals who understand digital marketing are in high demand for midsize and large companies. However, understanding digital marketing may also help those who wish to start their own ventures.
New digital business models require little barriers to entry, but they do require a strong (and sustainable) marketing strategy. Take, for instance, companies like Uber, the world’s largest taxi company (that owns no taxis); Airbnb, the largest accommodations provider (that owns no real estate); or Alibaba, the world’s most valuable retailer (that holds no inventory).
These companies demonstrate the power of the evolving digital world we now experience. If you understand the power of marketing, you can be on top of this new world and maybe even come up with a great idea and launch a new business model of your own.
If you don’t have an idea, just wait until the Internet of Things takes full stage. In the near future, connected devices and products will become fully integrated into everyday activities. When consumer products communicate status and consumption data ubiquitously over digital media channels, marketers’ dreams will be realized. Years of consumer behavior, market research and predictive analysis will be replaced with actual streaming data.
So, if you think digital marketing is fun and interesting now, just wait – it’s getting better!