Interview: How to get your start in the digital marketing industry

Interview: How to get your start in the digital marketing industry

It’s usually the first rule of SME marketing – don’t let the work experience guy near your company’s social media accounts.  But with more freshmen opting for digital marketing degrees, and more small companies using the social web to reach their customers does this ‘rule’ stand any more?

Next Saturday, May 25, one of Ireland’s leading digital marketers, Damien Mulley, will be hosting a free digital marketing seminar that will help students get their start in the digital marketing world. Speakers from the industry will explain what it’s like to be a digital marketer and how interning in a marketing agency works.

We spoke to Damien to see what the industry is looking for in new digital media recruits.

He says that the industry expects interns and new recruits to have what could be considered ‘traditional’ digital media skills: Facebook, Twitter administration. But using the social web isn’t an indicator of digital marketing talent; those that want to get into the industry need to come with more robust digital skills – writing for the web is vital, some knowledge of SEO is essential.

And, Damien says, some employers expect that their new employees will have experience in developing and supporting advertising campaigns using Facebook and Google AdWords. Even a basic understanding of the processes and terms surrounding these will be enough to set most new recruits apart from the competition.

But with the emphasis on digital skills Damien warns that many students who want to get into digital marketing are not aware of the history of the marketing industry. Many place too much of an emphasis on analytics and data over creative and communication skills.

But the easiest way to get into the digital marketing world is to show your passion for it. Creating a campaign for a family member’s shop or a friend’s band is a great start. Damien recommends that students volunteer to admin the social media page of one of their university’s clubs or socs.

But, above all, know your industry – know who the players are, get insights into their work, and become a digital marketing nerd. Damien recommends,

“Watch the campaigns at the Social Media Awards or Marketing Institute Awards. If you can go to an employer and almost geek out with your interviewer about something in digital marketing, then they’ll want you.

And rare as it is, if you can have an employer or interviewer go “How the hell did you do that?” then you’re getting that job.”

The half-day course will take place Saturday May 25 in the National College of Ireland, from 1:30PM. Limited spaces are available for booking.

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Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).

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