How to kick start your career in online marketing

Online marketing is among the most rapidly-moving job choices in the digital world, but there’s a lot of competition for some of the plum roles. So how do you make your mark? Here are four suggestions:


Keeping up with the latest industry moves is essential. New research and methodology arrives on the internet every day – indeed, Marketing Land’s Drew Conrad says that he never tells aspiring marketers to read books, since they are almost always out-of-date before they hit the shelves.

Compiling a list of the latest statistics is useful for preparing a pitch, or to have at hand for writing pieces designed to appear in industry magazines. Sign up to newsletters such as ClickZ, Right Relevance, and Inbound. It’s also worth asking and learning from more general sites such as Quora, which could also aid with overall business strategies and technology.

Consider taking an online course – here are a few suggestions from

Pinpoint your target

What do you really want from a marketing career? There’s nothing likely to get your application for a job turned down than giving the impression that you want to do ‘something in marketing’ but not knowing exactly the specifics. PR, content creation, SEO, data, adwords, social media, coding… the list of skills that could be needed in the online digital world goes on.

If you’re really not sure, reach out to people who work in the field and ask them about the pros and cons of their career. Aim to become an expert in one or two disciplines, with a good knowledge of the others, and keep abreast of the new trends. For example, according to research from the Internet Advertising Bureau, online video took a 19% share of the display market in 2014, and in 2015 is likely to be even bigger.

Smarten up your maths

The online marketer needs strong mathematical understanding in their arsenal. Collection and interpretation of numbers and the ability to predict and explain future likely trends and how your brand or agency is best-equipped to produce results, are mandatory skills for any budding marketer.

If you’ve progressed in a career based on print or TV marketing, then it’s time to embrace the world of clicks, impressions, and KPIs. The good news is that there are a wealth of online videos and tutorials that can bring you up to speed relatively quickly. A strong knowledge of Excel is a must.

Get job-hunting

The good news for the aspiring marketer is that the roles is constantly growing, and expanding. You could work for a charity or an agency, a media company or a heavyweight brand. Locations to look for a marketing job are LinkedIn, The Guardian, Indeed and many more, but don’t preclude looking at company websites themselves. There are some excellent opportunities to be found (for example, BGL Group).

LinkedIn is not just a source of job opportunities, but also an excellent avenue for advice and networking. In this great piece from director of marketing James Dahline he pinpoints several ways of getting involved with companies before you’ve even got a job, such as offering help at events and enlisting the help of mentors.


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