Career opportunities in ecommerce and digital marketing

The outlook for careers in ecommerce and digital marketing has never been brighter.

Just one generation ago, the internet was an obscure network of large computers used only by a small community of academic enthusiasts. Barely a handful of visionaries at the time predicted that someday the World Wide Web would play a major role in our everyday lives. We have since seen it become a global cultural phenomenon, and in the years ahead the Internet will have an even more profound effect on the way we work, live, learn, and shop.

The infinite amount of information and knowledge that the Internet puts literally in the palm of our hands has given rise to the “empowered consumer.” The old school, top down marketing strategies of the past are losing ground as influencers of consumer behavior. No longer can companies dictate what they think consumers want to hear. Consumers have unlimited choices at the click of a mouse or a smartphone keypad. They can also block unwanted messages and advertisements thanks to technologies like DVR’s, TIVO’s and spam blockers. Through Digg, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and a myriad of other social media platforms, consumers are sharing their brand experiences, both good and bad. Online communities built around popular brands are participating in the actual creation of new products.

Like two huge merging rivers, traditional marketing practices that use legacy media such as television, newspapers and magazines are joining up with their new digital marketing counterparts such as the web, email, and social media. While there will always be a place for good old fashioned general advertising (who can imagine television or radio without loads of commercials?), the traditional ad space buying model is gradually being supplemented by a digitally savvy audience-centric world. Companies are responding by paring back budgets in traditional media and pouring more marketing dollars into digital. Increasingly, traditional ad campaigns are offering extended content on the web. Practically every print ad, catalog, television commercial is driving customer engagement online. Even billboard board ads prominently display URL’s. That shift continues to become more pronounced. According to Econsultancy, more than one-third of companies surveyed at the beginning of 2015 expected digital to make up more than half of their marketing budget by year’s end, with ecommerce accounting for the lion’s share.

This transformative shift is creating an insatiable demand for a huge and growing new category of highly skilled professionals: Digital marketers. And that is creating enormous job opportunities and careers in ecommerce and digital marketing.

Brand marketers now have any number of ways to reach customers online, from YouTube videos to Facebook to paid search. Companies are hungry for experts who know digital analytics, mobile, social media, content marketing, ecommerce, SEO, digital advertising, email marketing, and affiliate marketing. The list goes on and on. In my work as a recruiter in this field, I have come across more than 80 distinct job titles in all areas of digital marketing, from entry level online coordinators all the way up to Chief Digital Officer. Even those who work in more traditional advertising role are now expected to have at least a basic understanding of online marketing. As demand for digital talent has grown so have salaries, particularly in red hot specialties like Web Analytics and PPC.

Simply put, job prospects for digital marketers have never been brighter. Jobs in ecommerce, by far the largest of the specialty fields within digital marketing, are seemingly limitless. Some experts believe that mobile growth is on a path to media and advertising domination. Email remains a platform of choice for acquiring and on-boarding new customers. Social media has become a top priority for companies looking to engage in relevant conversations with their customers. The data deluge from all of the “tweeting” and “liking” is putting a new legion of analysts to work to develop actionable takeaways from the mind-boggling amounts of information marketers are collecting. The proliferation of agencies and service companies, which digital marketers depend on for essential behind-the-scenes marketing solutions and technologies, is creating new opportunities at an amazing pace. The digital marketing boom is also opening up new vistas for budding entrepreneurs to create tomorrow’s technology or become highly specialized digital marketing consultants.

Digital marketing even helped influence the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election. By leveraging the social media and collecting and analyzing enormous amounts of online behavioral data, President Obama’s campaign was able to raise huge amounts of money and drive voter turn out, which many political observers believe helped made the difference on election day.

It’s no accident that six of Obama’s key campaign staffers who were responsible for that success had the word “digital” in their titles.

To experience first hand the sheer size and scope of careers in ecommerce and digital marketing, you need look no further than the big online job posting sites, where at any given time you’ll find thousands of job openings in practically every specialty within the digital marketing ecosystem. As a recruiter in this space, I receive a non-stop flow of calls from companies of all sizes and from cities big and small that are in urgent need of digital marketing talent, from entry-level analyst to senior level digital marketing leaders, and I see nothing on the horizon to slow that trend down. In fact, I see that trend accelerating for careers in ecommerce and digital marketing in 2016 and far beyond.

Jerry Bernhart, Principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, is one of the nation’s preeminent and veteran executive recruiters in ecommerce, digital and multichannel marketing, and CRM. With 80 published LinkedIn articles, Jerry is the “voice” of best practices in the recruitment and hiring of ecommerce and digital marketing professionals. Jerry is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Careers in Ecommerce and Digital Marketing,” on Amazon, and participates in many leading digital marketing and ecommerce conferences. Jerry has been recruiting and placing marketing professionals for more than 28 years. Check out Jerry’s other insights on the Thought Leadership section of the Bernhart Associates website.

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