I still remember the excitement about IT/Software in the late 90s and early 2000. Surely, that was one of the best times for people to enter into IT industry. Even those who joined the GNIIT program at that point in time could accelerate their career and moved to a respectable positions within a few years.
That’s exactly the phase Digital Marketing industry is undergoing today. The Wave associated with this industry is so strong today that it’s undoubtedly the best time to be part of this fast-growing industry. Being part of this industry for the last 18 years, I believe these are some of the top reasons to build a rewarding career in the Digital Marketing industry in 2022:
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Over 20 Lac Jobs in Digital Marketing by 2020: According to a combined study of CII & KPMG, over 20 Lakh jobs are expected to be created in the Digital Marketing space by the year 2020. While this number would include various kinds of Careers in Digital Marketing, the demand for a few profiles including technical & analytics skilled professionals is always going to exceed the available talent pool.
While a large number of brands and agencies don’t advertise for jobs related to Online Marketing, there are over 1.82 Lacs jobs on Naukri.com updated on a daily basis. The number of jobs in 2019 on Naukri.com on an average day was 18k+. This marks a substantial increase in the number of jobs just within 3 years’ time.
Interestingly, ‘Social Media Marketing’ alone has over 22k jobs associated with it. I thought of comparing it with other popular industries and noticed more than 7000 jobs for ‘big data’. And in the last couple of years, this trend has only increased and will surely continue to do so.
A Digital Marketing professional earns between Rs 15,000 and Rs 4,00,000: Given the increasing gap between demand and supply of Digital Marketing professionals, a Digital Marketer commands a much higher average salary compared to other industries. A graduate with no work experience can expect a monthly salary of Rs 15- 20K and a Head of Digital Marketing in a large brand or agency can earn Rs. 2.5- 3 Lacs per month*. The median salary of a Digital Marketing Professional is Rs. 404,777 p.a.
Here’s a rough range of Salary associated with titles earned by Digital Marketing Professionals based on their educational qualification and professional background. This doesn’t take into consideration exceptional educational background (e.g. IIT/IIM) or professional experience. Professionals working in high growth startups or (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google) earn over Rs 1 Crore annual salary at a senior position.
India will cross 700 M Smartphone Users Mark by end of 2020: According to a study by Gadgets 360, an NDTV Venture, India will cross 530 million smartphone users by 2020 and according to economic times, India will cross 800 million smartphone users by 2022.
With over 4.6 billion Internet users (as on Apr 25, 2022, by Internet Users in 2022 report by Statista), over 55% of the world’s population is online. India crossed 566 million internet users mark on December 2018. 80% of these users (i.e. 400M+) have come online through a Mobile Phone.
India took over 10 years to move from 10M to 100M Internet users. It took 3 years to grow from 100M to 200 M and just 1 year to grow from 200M to 300M. Facebook alone has over 241 Million users in India. With over 370 million active smartphone users in 2018, India already surpassed the US to become the 2nd largest smartphone market. India has the world’s second-largest internet population. It is also the biggest smartphone market after China.
With growing e-commerce platforms and increasing use of social media sites like Twitter, and Facebook, the number of internet users is expected to rise in the coming years. Reports have forecasted that by 2021, there will be about 635.8 million internet users in India. McKinsey also stated that internet users in India will rise by 40% and smartphones will double by 2023.
Update: According to a news update by TOI, India will cross 730M Internet users by 2020. Interestingly, over 75% of new user growth will come from Rural India driven by Mobile Phones. India will continue to remain the fastest-growing country in terms of internet user growth.
Digital Media Spend in India to cross Rs 19,000 Crores by 2020: According to Economic Times, Digital advertising to grow at 32% CAGR to reach Rs 19,000 crore by 2020. The primary factors for this growth include the growing penetration of smartphones and lower data tariffs.
Indian E-commerce Industry to cross US$ 250 Billion by 2020: According to research firm RedSeer Consulting forecast, the Indian e-commerce industry which is currently pegged at $53bn would cross $100 bn marker by 2020.
Based on your interest, you can choose to work in either of the following 3 kinds of organizations as a digital marketing professional. The kind of work and variety of job profiles make a Career in Digital Marketing even a bigger opportunity.
Digital Marketing Agency: There are a number of small, mid, and large digital marketing agencies, that serve their clients by offering various kinds of digital marketing services across SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing, etc. Even a traditional advertising agency is forced to offer a digital marketing service. If you work in such an agency then you get an opportunity to work with multiple clients and enjoy the variety of work. However, you are unlikely to build depth as it would be practically impossible to go deeper for a particular client unless you are working for a particular brand.
A brand leveraging Digital Marketing: You can also choose to work for a particular brand or an organization, who are actively leveraging digital marketing for its own growth. Unlike working for a digital marketing agency, where you enjoy variety, you acquire in-depth expertise when you work for a particular organization.
Digital Marketing Tool/Platform Company: Another opportunity to grow in your career in digital marketing is to work for tool or platform companies such as Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Adobe, and Salesforce. The kind of work and associated learning in these kinds of companies are going to vary a lot and will be quite different compared to working at an agency or a brand. Also, such job opportunities are limited but these kinds of jobs will offer a much higher salary.
In addition to these full-time jobs in digital marketing, one can opt for freelancing/part-time/work-from-home opportunities in this industry.
As shared earlier in this article, based on your experience, your skills (both technical and non-technical such as communication, creativity, analytical skills), and your interest, you can consider the following Job Profiles:
Digital Marketing Executive: At an entry-level, you are likely to join an organization as a digital marketing executive (or maybe an SEO executive, Social Media Marketing Executive, or Search Engine Marketing executive). You are likely to work with a team lead or manager and perform multiple tasks including research, content development, testing, etc.
Digital Marketing Specialist: After acquiring reasonable (i.e. 2+ years) experience in a particular domain such as SEO or SEM, you will be promoted to a specialist position such as SEO Expert or SEM Expert or Community Lead, or Content Marketing Expert. In this position, while you will report to your manager, you will make a lot of decisions independently.
Digital Marketing Manager or Team Leader: With 2-4 years of experience, you will be working as a Manager or Team Leader, e.g. SEO Manager, SEM Team Lead. In this position, you will be managing a team and will directly contribute to strategic as well as tactical plans for the organization.
Digital Marketing Strategist/Analyst: In organizations or agencies where there’s a strong focus on aspects such as SEO, SEM, and Social Media Marketing, there’s a need for skilled professionals for Strategic & Analytics roles. While team leads or managers will continue to head respective teams, these profiles will guide them more like consultants to improve their overall effectiveness. An analyst may contribute to teams across multiple departments as well.
Head of Digital Marketing: As the title says, a Digital Marketing Head is the senior-most profile in this domain. In organizations where integrated marketing campaigns exist, Digital Marketing Head will report to Head of Marketing or CMO, who would be responsible for the overall marketing function.
Since the Internet Marketing industry is still evolving, the above roles are yet to be standardized and may also vary based on the type of organization, i.e. an agency or a brand or a tool provider. Continuous learning and growth opportunities for all the profiles listed above make a great choice for building a Career in Digital Marketing for both students and professionals.
Head of Marketing/VP Marketing/CMO (Chief Marketing Officer): While these are profiles, which are not technically digital marketing profiles, it’s important to note that any marketer who wants to rise to these top positions MUST know digital marketing really well.
Professionals in these positions are unlikely to play a direct role in digital marketing campaigns execution but will play a very critical role in defining integrated marketing strategy, planning resources (both internal and external), defining metrics and analyze performance for continuous improvement.
In addition to the technical skills (e.g. about SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing), the following are the skills you would need to be a successful Digital Marketing professional. To the degree, one has these skills to the same degree one can expect success & growth as a digital marketer.
Creativity: Given the amount of content & conversations on a digital medium, creativity plays an important role in differentiating a brand among its peers.
Analytical Ability: Given measurability is one of the key strengths required, analytical skills are critical to being a successful digital marketer.
Communication Skills: For most of the profiles in this domain, good communication skills especially, written communication are important. In the absence of good communication, one has to rely on an external resource and that’s not always feasible & is inefficient.
A quest for Learning: Given the dynamic nature of digital media, one has to be open and should be hungry to learn newer trends & skills to move ahead of others.
Passion for Digital Media: Digital Marketing professionals who are genuinely passionate about digital media will surely see more success coming their way in terms of the results of their campaign and their career in Digital Marketing growth.
Multitasking: Most internet campaigns involve multiple digital media channels and continuous activities. In order to successfully manage this spread of online marketing campaigns, multitasking is another important skill for any digital marketer.
Networking: As shared earlier, Quest for Learning is the desired attitude in any digital marketing professional. Networking skills (especially online) play an important role for any digital marketer to stay abreast of the latest trends & techniques in internet marketing.
Comfort with Technology: While knowledge or experience of technology is not required for a digital marketer, one’s comfort with technology and associated changes is another important element for success in online marketing.
Willingness to Experiment: Digital Marketing is an evolving field and there are no defined rules for success. One’s willingness and ability to experiment in digital marketing also play an important role in determining the success of such campaigns.
Since your Personal Brand can play an important role in your success, leverage relevant soft skills to demonstrate your competency in digital marketing to continuously grow in your career in Digital Marketing.
You will find this infographic about finding your dream digital marketing job in 2022 useful.
Here is a list of various resources you could be interested in related to building a career in Digital Marketing. Let me know through the comments sections if you have a suggestion for any other important resource I should have listed.
Job Sites: You should check the following online marketing internship sites – LinkedIn, Naukri, Shine, iimjobs, Social Samosa, Jobswitch, Digital Defynd. You can also check Top Digital Marketing Jobs and apply for a suitable one. If you are interested in working with a Digital Marketing Agency, you should check this list of Top Digital Marketing Companies.
Internship Sites: You should check the following digital marketing internship sites – Letsintern, Internshala, Twenty19
Freelancing Sites: You should check the following digital marketing freelancing sites – Upwork, Guru.com, Freelancer.in
Books: Since internet marketing is a dynamic field, there’s no book that is about tactical aspects (e.g. digital media channel related) that remains relevant beyond a few months. However, we recommend you to read these 10 Must-Read Digital Marketing Books which cover foundational skills to be a successful digital marketer.
Tools: Check this Top 10 Digital Marketing Tools list for most recommended tools. You should also check these Digital Marketing Tools Guides for tools related to specific aspects such as SEO Tools Guide, SEM Tools Guide.
Webinars: You should check these over 100 Digital Marketing Webinars led by Industry Experts.
Discussion Forum: If you need any support related to internet marketing, you can ask your query at Ask Digital Vidya, your online digital marketing helpline. You will find a number of community members and digital marketing mentors including myself committed to helping you grow through digital marketing.
Given the number of questions asked on this blog, I thought of creating a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for your benefit:
Do I need to know technology to be a successful Digital Marketing professional?: This is one of the most frequently asked questions about a career in digital marketing. To be successful as a digital marketer, you don’t need to know technology. However, if you know the basics of HTML, it will be useful.
How important are communication skills?: For most positions e.g. Social Media Marketing, SEO, SEM, Email Marketing, good communication skills especially in written English is necessary. Here’s a list of the top 25 grammatical mistakes one should avoid by HubSpot.
Should I look for an internationally recognized Digital Marketing certification?: Given the fact that this industry is still evolving and hands-on/practical skills are most important, one should not worry too much about the kind of certification. For the same reason, industry certifications like HubSpot Inbound Marketing, Google AdWords & Analytics don’t carry any significant weight.
Do I need to be a graduate?: While your educational qualification may play a role in terms of your career in digital marketing growth, especially in large corporations, it’s not a major factor for success herein. Interestingly, brands & agencies who ask for an MBA as a pre-requisite for digital marketing profiles actually end up missing some great talent.
Should I specialize in areas such as SEO/SEM or learn entire Digital Marketing?: At the current stage of the industry and for the reason that various digital marketing avenues contribute to the success of others (e.g. Social Media plays a role in improving SEO rankings), I don’t recommend you start your career in Digital Marketing by looking specialization.
I am already an SEO expert. Should I learn other aspects of digital marketing?: For the reason mentioned above, a digital marketing professional such as SEO/SEM/Social Media Marketing/Email Marketing expert must broaden his/her horizon to be able to rise to senior job roles in this particular industry.
While above-mentioned statistics and trends speak about the opportunity of building a rewarding career in Digital Marketing, what’s fascinating is the excitement related to job profiles in Digital Marketing. Here’s a cartoon I’d created to capture the same:
You will also find this recording of my session on Career Opportunities in Digital Marketing during Career Cafe show on Lok Sabha TV useful.
Are you excited to build a rewarding career in Digital Marketing? Master Digital Marketing through our Digital Marketing Certification course. Start with our upcoming free online orientation session on Digital Marketing for Career & Business Growth.
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