How to Build a Career in Digital Marketing

Jason Erickson, Sparks Group
Career Update
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Key Takeaways

What? Digital marketing is evolving quickly and demands marketers with the skills to advance with it.

So what? Marketers must balance skills maintenance and technical knowledge.

Now what? Focus on in-demand platforms, technologies and skills such as social, Google Adwords and user experience to differentiate yourself from a traditional marketer.

​Sept. 27, 2017

Take these steps to define yourself as a force in the fastest-moving field of marketing

As the digital landscape continues to evolve and innovate along with all of the tools, platforms and possibilities it encompasses, the skills required to thrive and achieve the dynamism essential to an impactful and long-standing marketing career have shifted along with it. These changes have been particularly evident in roles at the director level within the UX and digital marketing spheres, where there is unquestionable potential for expansive career growth and the ability to make a measurable impact on the industry as a whole.

Position Yourself for a Rapidly Evolving Digital Space

Master the most in-demand skills and tools. Google Adwords, user interface, mobile design, responsive design and, for larger organizations, full-stack design skills are at the top of the list for employers looking for talent.

Create various digital assets. Hone your skills and strategic approaches around creating websites that are able to unite other assets a company may possess, such as social media channels, to create more impactful environments across technologies and platforms. This is a key priority for organizations in making themselves more competitive overall.

Strategy first. At the digital marketing/UX level, it is critically important to put the user and platform first when developing digital content and technological assets. Particular elements such as screen size, mobile consideration and transfers between phone and computer and the effects this can exert on key customers and communities is essential.

Regional focus is a factor. As cities and their supporting economies, key industries and communities evolve at different paces with separate considerations and priorities, it is important to consider their impact on technology.

The Future of Digital Marketing and UX Careers

Going forward, integrated video and live stream technologies, along with increased automation capabilities and the 2-D/3-D design elements these bring with them will continue to lead the charge in the evolving digital field. To ensure you maintain your advantage, it’s important to keep several tips in mind:

Be a digital asset, and maintain yourself. With the marketing discipline becoming increasingly specialized, it is essential that you decide the direction you want to go in, hone your specific skill set and continue to focus on refining and innovating in that area. Don’t be a “master of none.”

Focus on innovation and staying ahead of the latest and greatest. Certifications are largely losing value due to the frenetic speed at which the market and digital industry is moving. You are best off spending your time remaining abreast of trends, nuances and opportunities within your specific skill area to remain at the front of the pack.

Stay organically committed. In short, do project work on the side to boost your portfolio. With most hiring decisions now based directly on portfolios, they hold as much—if not more—weight than your résumé. Keep this in mind as you grow in your skills and knowledge to be sure that is reflected accurately in your visual materials.

Stay professional and never stop innovating (strategically). It is always advisable to maintain high professional standards and be mindful of the delicate balance of the admittedly embraced “quirkiness” of talent by the market. Let the creativity and innovative spirit flow, but don’t forget to keep your eye on the strategic focus, dynamic opportunity and innovative capability of the digital landscape.


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Author Bio:

 
Jason Erickson, Sparks Group
Jason Erickson is director of Sparks Group’s creative division. Jason brings 15 years of experience with global staffing in marketing and communications, executive-level, federal, health care, bio-medical, government contracting, leadership development, strategic planning, business development, recruiting and divisional startup positions. For more information, please visit <a href="https://sparksgroupinc.com/our-divisions/creative-and-marketing/" target="_blank">www.sparksgroupinc.com</a>.
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