It used to be a huge and risky challenge to establish a new marketing agency. However, thanks to the rise of digital marketing, it is now possible to set up a fully operating marketing agency with a single skilled individual or a small team. Companies are spending more and more of their total marketing budget on digital adverts, making digital marketing an industry that has a huge amount of opportunities. Please refer to the embedded PDF for further information about the many different types of digital marketing.

James Hopkins is the Director of QV Marketing, a company that helps local business owners to acquire more customers and achieve greater profits through digital marketing. Digital marketing is a fast-paced industry that changes constantly, bringing new opportunities with each change. Starting a new and successful digital marketing agency does not rely on previous experience or formal qualifications. Instead, it requires a creative and analytical mindset, an eagerness to learn, and the ability to work in a team.

Traditional qualifications are not so highly prized due to the fact that the industry moves and changes at an extremely fast rate; as such, the topics that are taught through a university syllabus may already be obsolete in the real world of digital marketing. The best practices and strategies change frequently in the industry, which is also extremely varied, with each employer looking to find a range of different skills from their digital marketing team.

The key elements of digital marketing include email marketing, search engine optimisation, search engine marketing, pay-per-click advertising, web design, copywriting, marketing automation, content marketing, apps, mobile marketing and SMS, growth hacking, digital advertising and web analytics. Whilst there is some crossover between each of these areas, they are very separate skills – and as such it is advisable to gain knowledge in several of these areas.

Digital marketing is an agile career choice, meaning that it is possible to start on one path and finish on another. Pivoting into a new sector is quick and easy, with only a little training required to up-skill or change lanes. It is also possible to build on existing skills whilst learning new ones.

Fitting different skillsets together ensures a variety of career options and opportunities within any number of industries or specialities. A successful career in digital marketing does require a keen interest in the industry, as it is important to keep up-to-date with the latest developments and trends; embracing the idea of continuous learning will ensure that employers – either current or prospective – will find you to be invaluable.

Whilst having technical knowledge is essential, at its core, digital marketing is about communicating with people. Digital marketers must be able to get an audience to listen to what they are saying. To do this, they must understand how best to use their tools, what the strategy behind each tool is, what the right message is, when to deliver it, and which channel is most suitable.

Digital marketing is an industry that encourages and enables creativity and experimentation. Elements of the industry such as copywriting, design and video/audio production are essentially creative pursuits. However, across all areas of the industry there is room for creativity. Dreaming up new ways to market a product, conducting A/B testing, finding ways to improve customer service and to find new audiences are areas that allow for experimentation and creative thinking, which makes a career in digital marketing an exciting and ever-changing challenge.