Career Tips for Marketing Students – How You Can Get Ahead In Digital Marketing

This week’s question is from Carmelita Levene – Carmelita was recently appointed head of Social Media in one of Australia’s fastest growing news and lifestyle media companies – So Media Group. Carmelita asked “I’m really interested in the marketing industry and how it polices itself. Like how you show you have skills and knowledge in an unregulated/licensed industry. Or something on leadership and developing skills for those starting out? That’s something I’m also passionate about, helping the next generation of marketers.”

The marketing industry is unregulated to an extent and with every digital marketer doing Perth online marketing claiming they are better than the other, how can you have assurance that the marketer is as skillful as they claim to be? There are three layers to giving you enough information to make an informed decision and today we will cover what these are.

Layer one: layer one is education and mindset to learning. Does the marketer have an education in marketing? Have they achieved a University degree in marketing? A university degree in marketing is NOT essential for digital marketers today as we will see later on however if they have one at least you know they have exposure to marketing fundamentals. To me, of greater importance is their attitude towards self development. You can ask them questions like “how do you keep up to date with the latest trends in marketing?”, “how many hours per month do you dedicate to growing your knowledge base?” – when asking these questions, if the marketer answers instantly, you have a better chance that they are not misleading you and you can absorb their answers to base a confidence level on.

Layer two: layer two is certification. Does the marketer have certifications with Google and Facebook? Google offers Search Ads certification and Analytics certification for an individual, valid for 12 months. The website that Google uses is called Skillshop and anyone can verify through this website that they do indeed have the certification and most importantly, it is valid and not outdated. Facebook has their version called “BluePrint Academy” and within it are nine certifications from Certified Digital Marketing Associate to developer, paid media planners and even a community manager certification. A lot of marketers won’t make the time and go the extra mile to add these certifications to their arsenal, or at least keep them current, so a valid accreditation from Facebook and Google is a good sign. I’m also interested in how they develop their skills – there are many good courses on and even LinkedIn Learning now – both of which generate certification when completed – do they have examples of certificates in marketing courses that can demonstrate their attitude to constantly growing as a marketer?

Layer Three: You can achieve a doctorate PhD in marketing and be a world class expert in marketing theory however if you can’t execute and use the power of marketing to compel, persuade and convince, you aren’t going to be successful commercially. So can the marketer show examples of personal projects that have been popular on social media, have they established a personal brand for themselves or someone else? Have they run a website and built an audience? How? Can we look at Google Analytics or Facebook Analytics and verify this? Over what time period? A steady growth curve over a few years makes it likely this marketer is persevering and more likely to be a great fit.

It can be hard when starting out because employers want experience and graduating students don’t have the experience. So go create. Make your own experience. Engross yourself in marketing, read books, study trends, follow influencers and learn on YouTube and uDemy. Look at what other people in Perth or whatever city you live in are doing and identify areas that aren’t being utilised and then leverage them to your advantage. Don’t complicate things. Marketing is a simple art. Use simple words that people can understand and are catchy in their minds. Remember people make decisions emotionally and then think about them rationally. Good luck with your journey!