Just 50 years ago, the idea of having constant, real-time updates of current events in another part of the world, or a vast social media network exchanging ideas was unheard of. Today, it’s something that people take for granted.
However, with such immense changes to technology and society comes dramatic shifts in the way we do business and advertise it. Marketing, one of the cornerstones of any successful business, is rapidly changing in the 21st century.
Successful marketing is now digital marketing, which is why digital marketing education is crucial in today's job market, for a flourishing career, and for any professional interested in staying relevant.
Marketing is constantly evolving
Just two years ago, the Wall Street Journal, proclaimed that traditional marketing was being replaced.
There was an understanding that the old methods of marketing, such as billboards on roadsides or even 30-second commercials on broadcast television, were losing their effectiveness. That did not mean marketing was dying, far from it, in fact. It was simply an acknowledgment that the most effective means of marketing was no longer the older, established ones.
With online methods of advertising and engaging consumers, digital marketing education is vital. If traditional marketing is no longer working, then what is?
“Analog media” such as television, print, and radio are still alive, but they no longer occupy the same niche in consumers’ lives.
Computers have become the nerve center of most daily activity, whether in the form of a desktop, laptop or the ubiquitous smartphone. In fact, the smartphone is the most popular computing device in the world, with a projected 6 billion phones in use by next year! That’s a huge number compared to the figures for television viewing, newspaper circulation, or radio listeners. So what will digital marketing education cover in this new, digital world?
Targeted marketing is effective marketing
A recent Neilsen study on television programming and marketing revealed a disturbing trend. The 18–24 demographic of viewership shrunk by about 50% in just five years in the United States.
But of course, this younger demographic hadn’t just given up on video consumption. They were still consuming huge amounts of video content; they just weren’t getting it from television anymore. They were watching videos on the internet, primarily on YouTube. In other words, they were seeking out their own kind of content, the type that was targeted at them.
Analog media methods have two major weaknesses for marketers.
1) Analog is passive, and it is low on data collection. A television ad, for example, is like setting off fireworks. It goes up into the air, and it creates light and noise, and all the audience can do is watch it, then go home.
2) The extent of the relationship between the marketing, media, and the audience; it’s entirely one-sided. The audience has no way to interact with the media; they can only consume it. And a marketer has no engagement with the consumer.
All of this means that there’s a lot to learn now for businesses, especially those that rely on traditional or analog media marketing. Continuing to invest in conventional marketing will yield lower, less certain results.
For a new generation of marketers, not knowing how to take advantage of innovative, modern platforms means being hamstrung for relevancy when applying for jobs.
The Benefits of Offering a Digital Marketing Education
An educational institution that continues to ignore digital marketing is denying itself a lucrative market. There is a growing demand for digital marketing skills, from businesses and students.
Developing a curriculum now, while demand is high and rising, will ensure future-forward educators see a substantial spike in enrollment. Getting a digital marketing education benefits businesses that invest in training sessions and courses, students who are looking for employment, digital marketers who want to stay relevant, career changers who want new prospects, and of course, schools that want to increase their profits.
Investing in digital marketing education is a way to future-proof workers who can bring a highly desirable set of skills to the workforce.
For people who are still in school, considering graduation and career choices, the increasing importance of digital marketing means career opportunities.
Unlike other jobs that are vulnerable to automation in the future, digital marketing is something that will always require a human touch. A concentration in digital marketing immediately gives an edge when it comes to applying for jobs in today's digital business world.
For employers, getting existing employees to upgrade their skill set with a digital marketing education is a wise investment. A trusted employee that already produces good results is invaluable to any business, but to help that employees grow is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the bottom line.
Employees feel more loyalty to a company that is willing to invest in their skills and help them thrive, and at the same time, the company benefits from a tried and tested asset with an upgraded, modernized skill set.
Nearly $50 billion was spent last year on digital advertising and the figure continues to grow. Many people already in the workforce are aware of how digital is affecting every industry, and they want to either remain relevant to their companies or get better job prospects through retraining and professional development.
Educational institutions, whether physical or online, can benefit from this influx of established career professionals seeking new professional development opportunities.
A program or course developed to enhance the skills of working people will boost enrollment rates and the number of qualified individuals who can fill open digital marketing positions.
Quality Education Still Matters
Program coordinators or business executives who are looking at their curriculum or training sessions understand that education is always changing.
With new technologies, markets, and industries, there’s a growing need for graduates and employees with relevant knowledge and training in digital marketing. In order to remain relevant, quality education must have its finger on the pulse of the conditions in the marketplace and workforce. Schools need to focus on offering what will get their students meaningful employment while businesses need to provide employees with opportunities to bring more value.
Researching the market and developing a program from scratch or updating an old one takes time. This is why many education and training companies partner with specialists to offer learning content and programs that can fill gaps in their portfolio or boost an existing program to provide more knowledge and value like the University of Westminster.
A valuable digital marketing education (for students and businesses) should not look like a diploma mill. The courses and topics should cover strategies, tools, and trends that prepare students for real-life situations and challenges.
Digital marketing education is an area of professional development that is growing larger with each passing year due to the chaning nature of jobs across industries and departments.
Digital marketing is an ever-evolving field that continues to grow more important.
It’s not going to go away anytime soon, and organizations that can offer education in this field are future-proofing both upcoming graduates and established career professionals who want to broaden their skillset and prospects.