Our guide to digital marketing
Rachel Bilson

Our guide to digital marketing

First published date January 13 2015 Amended date January 13 2015

Digital marketing is any kind of potential or current customer engagement that takes place online, via text message or TV channels. It is an exciting place to work, with new technologies and applications being launched daily you need to be responsive, innovative and creative to succeed.


Digital marketing’s ability to target customer, measurability and flexibility are just some of the reasons it is growing so fast.  Did you know that the leading credit card provider in the UK changes their banner ad overnight whenever a competitor changes their interest rates? There’s no way you could do that with a billboard!


Successful digital marketing applies technology to social media channels, websites and apps to target the right potential customer base or engage with current customers. It takes into account the code a website is built in, the words people use to search on Google and the location of customers.


For many large, multinational brands digital marketing is just part of larger approach including print, TV and outdoor advertising. For many start-up companies and SMEs digital marketing markets is the main or sole marketing spend. Most digital marketing courses will teach you how to work for both types of client.


What jobs are there in digital marketing?

People come from all kinds of backgrounds to digital marketing. Some are technology-whizzes, others love data and some are outstanding writers. What they all share is the ability to observe, measure and react.

Jobs may be based in-house at a company or within an agency that serves many clients.  These are just a few roles you may see advertised:


Digital or UX Designer – responsible for designing websites for computers and mobiles that put the customer experience front and centre. Typically some graphic design and front-end coding knowledge is required. This is a key role and good UX designers are in demand and well paid.

Online Marketing Assistant – this person may write copy for the website and emails, report on Google Analytics and monitor campaigns. Good organisational and writing skills are key. If you are looking for a career in digital marketing this is a great place to begin.


Social Media or Communities Manager – a key part of any digital marketing operation, this person will develop a strategy and define the tone of voice, engage influential people and respond to customer issues quickly.


Digital Content Editor – responsible for writing and editing copy, and selecting and uploading images. This role needs a good eye for detail as well as some technical know-how.


Search Engine Optimiser (SEO) – this role will make sure a website is best placed to appear in the top unpaid Google search results. A key role, the person will have a thorough understanding of trends and the ways people find information. Analytic and data-led they will know Google Analytics inside out.


Pay Per Click (PPC) or Affiliate Marketer – PPC is a model of internet marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ad is clicked. This person is an expert in the platforms and rates for advertising on sites that include Google or third-party affiliate sites.


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Executive – This person will typically work with a system that manages a company's interactions with current and future customers.  It may involve segmenting data, writing email communications and measuring campaigns. Salesforce is one of the leading CRM systems in the UK and someone who can use this system won’t be out of work for long.