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What’s the Market Demand for Digital Marketing Education?

Marketing is a traditional industry as the need to spread awareness, make people aware of products or services has been around for as long as capitalism itself.

In today's economy, marketing has become a very sophisticated, complex, and ever-evolving industry. It’s something that every business in Hong Kong relies on and there's no question in anyone's mind that if you want a successful business, you need a strong marketing presence.

For those in the education sector, this presents great opportunities. As marketing becomes more complex and specialised, it's a skill that needs to be continuously nurtured and cultivated making a comprehensive digital marketing education crucial for professionals across industries

In this article, we explore the evolution of marketing and the growing demand in the marketplace. 

Does Market Demand Exist?

The first question any organisation needs to ask is if there is any kind of sizable demand for digital marketing education in digital marketing? Is there a need in the workforce for people who are trained in this field? While sectors such as medicine, engineering, and law have decades of proven demand, digital marketing is a relatively new field.

Regardless of digital marketing’s age, the answer to that question is “yes.” Even taking the digital aspect out of the equation, the general field of marketing has a sizable spectrum of demand. Public relations, brand management, and of course, traditional advertising like television and radio commercials and print ads are still important parts of the industry in Hong Kong.

When you add the digital component to this equation, the actual demand for marketing jumps up by orders of magnitude. In fact, current estimates say that the demand for digital marketing specialists outstrips the currently available supply, with 56% of the companies in one survey saying they needed people with digital marketing expertise.

With that type of demand, it is simply impossible for the existing job pool to meet current needs. New blood is needed. But where do businesses get it? They can get it from a qualified group of graduates or even their own employees, as long as the person has undergone substantial digital marketing training and education.

Digital Marketing is a Global Phenomenon

One of the most interesting things about the market demand for digital marketing is that this demand is universal.

The list of potential countries with a high annual salary for people with digital marketing training and expertise are:

  • Australia: $44,000 for entry-level positions, up to $87,000 for senior.

  • Netherlands: $38,000 for entry-level, and $65,000 for senior.

  • USA: $35,000 for entry-level, with $64,000 for senior.

But of course, while that’s the top three, there are plenty of other regions like Canada, the United Kingdom, ,Singapore, and of course, Hong Kong, that are placing increased importance on securing staff with education in digital marketing.

But why is this demand growing? What is it about digital marketing training that makes it such an “exportable” skill to so many different parts of the world?

Digital Marketing is Growing in Relevance

The relevance of digital marketing continues to grow, with over $111 billion spent on advertising. By 2019 that figure is estimated to account for 55% of total media ad spend. 

The biggest reason for this growth is the migration of the market. More and more people are spending their time using internet-connected devices like smartphones or desktop and laptop computers, rather than watching broadcast television or free-to-air radio. At the same time, traditional print ad venues such as magazines and newspapers are experiencing contractions in their audience. It’s not that people have stopped consuming media, they’ve simply decreased their consumption of traditional media and moved onto digital, online platforms.

So, the traditional career route for a marketer of joining a large established advertising agency is changing. More and more businesses are taking advantage of the smaller, more approachable and customisable nature of digital marketing. They might choose smaller or more nimble agencies that give them the attention they need. Or managers might bypass ad agencies entirely and hire their own in-house marketers.

More often than not, people now talk about something they saw on Twitter or Facebook, not on a commercial in last night’s latest episode of a popular television series. Digital marketing is rapidly passing traditional marketing in importance and audience reach, and more and more businesses need specialists in this industry so that they can be where the customers are. 

Digital Marketing is Diverse & Education Must Be Too

There’s more to digital marketing than just having an instinct for smart promotion or coming up with an enticing slogan or striking ad concept. Good digital marketing training doesn’t just focus on marketing; it embraces all things digital.

Advertising in the digital era provides massive, global reach, but it is not simple to achieve. The algorithms social media uses to find popular topics, the optimisation of content so that search engines can more easily find it, and the multi-media nature of the digital landscape means that there’s a surprising amount of technical proficiency employees need.

The most compelling sales content in the world does no one any good if it’s hard to find on the internet or created in such a way that search engines actually ignore it. Digital marketing is far from a straight transference of advertising skills to a digital platform. 

It demands an understanding of the parameters of search algorithms, paid ad techniques, what content inspires consumers, and more. As such, digital marketing education, whether from a school or business-developed program, needs to cover these topics and skills. 

Change Is a Constant, So Frequent Updates Are a Must

Perhaps one of the most important points to keep in mind about digital marketing training is that this is not a static discipline. New technologies are always developing, so there’s always a cutting edge to the technical side. One example is the algorithms that Google uses to rank content. These algorithms are being tweaked regularly, so what works well in 2019 may no longer be as important or as crucial in 2022. Marketers need to realise that education isn’t over once they get their degree. Digital marketing is in a constant “arms race” as better techniques and tools are invented.

But even more crucially, fashions change. If digital marketing had been as important 15 years ago, marketing experts would have been focused on MySpace. Today, marketing focuses on Twitter and Instagram, as the dominance of Facebook gradually erodes in favour of the platforms preferred by millennials and Generation Z.

In other words, new social media platforms and algorithms will come and go. That means there will always be something new to learn or a program to adjust to. As the demographics change, and new technologies emerge, so too will new digital marketing possibilities for people willing to experiment, innovate, and gain the first-mover advantage by pioneering these spaces. 

Digital Marketing Is a Growth Industry

Developed nations have moved past the point of being industrial-based, manufacturing economies. The forces that move modern nations are services and technology. The growth of the internet has made digital marketing not just a local concern but a global one as well. Digital marketing will continue to grow as the audience, the market, and businesses increasingly put their attention on the digital space.

Unlike some professions that are threatened by automation, digital marketing is something that machines simply cannot do. There’s a certain amount of “future-proofing” built into this career that ensures that students looking to graduate and enter the workforce will have viable career tracks open to them.

For professionals already established in their careers, digital marketing education is needed to keep up with competitors. Companies can add value to existing employees by expanding their skill set and providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the company and to help the business maintain an important marketing presence in a changing digital landscape - a good start will be enrolling them in a practical digital marketing course.


“The skills are in demand and businesses are wanting to power their marketing efforts by strengthening their digital marketing offering” – Mark Ashbridge, General Manager of The Left Bank

Digital marketing is not going to go away. In fact, digital marketing is only going to grow in importance for all businesses. The demand for people with digital marketing training is already at the point where there’s a deficit of qualified personnel. 

Organisations and educational institutions that have the foresight to develop strong programs and train people in this area are a critical need.

Source: Digital Marketing Institute

How to Become a Successful Content Marketer

Content marketing is no longer a new strategy that only in-the-know marketers think about it. Instead, it is the one marketing strategy every business needs to incorporate if they want to remain competitive, and one that digital marketers should excel in if they want to have a better career. That is true across industries, businesses, and organisations of all sizes. 

However, very few companies in Hong Kong know how to do it, and even fewer know how to do it well. That provides a world of opportunity for the savvy Content Marketer. If you are interested in becoming a Content Marketer, there are a number of skills you can focus on to help get your resume up to snuff. 

An Exciting Role

Content marketing focuses on creating valuable online content that will remain relevant to consumers. It is intended to attract customers and retain an audience that will become dependent on the information. Content can refer to any form of information including blogs, articles, videos, social media posts, images, white papers, case studies, and more.

Content marketers develop a content strategy with the goal of arousing and maintaining interest in a brand, product, service, or even a cause. You can hold a position within an organisation to create content specific to their needs or work for a content marketing service and provide content for multiple clients. At the heart of the position, you will require excellent writing skills but also have a keen understanding of consumers, online habits, analytics, and a general understanding of the many platforms used in the industry.

Your career can blossom into many different areas depending on your own personal goals. However, the growth rate in the industry allows you to set lofty goals, with 51% of companies forecasting they would require an executive to oversee their content marketing in 2017. That is a 42% increase from 2016, and these numbers will continue to rise. It is a clear sign there is room for promotion in this industry, something backed up by the state of content marketing this year.

Productivity: Proving Your Worth

Content marketers are under the gun to remain productive, providing valuable content that people can use. According to John Rampton, founder of the production tool Calendar, just about anyone can produce content, but very few can do it effectively. "Companies and individuals who do content marketing haphazardly usually find it ineffective, and often give up," says Rampton. A career in content marketing can be lucrative if you can prove to be a productive content provider.

The skills required to remain productive include:

  • Idea-Driven: Content marketers must have an arsenal of ideas. You must be able to provide a plan that continues to generate new ideas for topics and subject matter that will keep your audience engaged.

  • Planning: Planning the what and when of content is just as important as creating the content itself. You have to understand how much material is enough, so you keep your audience interested. Your readers should never feel put upon to read your info. Your plan needs to include the topics you will cover and when you will post your content, and you must follow through with the program you've laid out.

  • Focus: In order to write excellent content, you need focus. Your plan has to be followed up with scheduled time where you sit down and write. Be wise with your time management, and you will find you get your writing completed to plan.

  • Delegation Skills: Understanding when it's time to delegate is vital to help keep your plan flowing. If you are too busy to write, then outsourcing or hiring a writer makes good sense. That is how many a content director or VP has been born. They saw the need for growth, addressed it, and made it happen.

  • Distribute Wisely: Your content is of no use to anyone if it can’t be found. Your role must also include a plan to get your content noticed. That involves many avenues from working with other thought leaders in your industry to leveraging your social media accounts. Most of all you have to understand SEO.

The Skills of a Successful Content Marketer

Content marketing is continuously evolving. Although you have your basic skills as a writer, telling a story is just one aspect of the job. Successful content marketers share the following abilities:

  • Techie Tendencies: If you can combine excellent writing skills with technical skills, you will have an edge over the competition. A good start is to become familiar with common platforms such as WordPress. You should also look for courses in SEO, HTML, Google Analytics, CSS, demand generation, and coding. Being able to answer questions and understand a discussion about all or a good variety of these areas will come in handy when you are interviewing for content marketing positions. There are plenty of online courses you can take to add tech skills to your resume. You can also create accounts such as Google Adwords so that you can get some practice.

  • Creativity: A well-rounded person makes an excellent content marketer as they can approach the work from many different angles. Creativity is the driving force behind content even in the driest of industries. You must be able to engage people using a combination of creative approaches that are both visual and text-based.

  • Branding: If you can come at content marketing with some brand development under your belt, you will be offering a more strategic aspect to your skills. That works in hand with creative skills and can help you show potential employers that you offer more than just writing skills. It will also assist in planning out the content strategy.

  • Research: The only way to create content is to research, research, and research some more. But research serves another purpose. It teaches you how other people will be seeking the info you are providing. Every search you do for your own content is a lesson learned in SEO. Your research skills will prove that you know how to create content your customers need, as well as how to identify pain points that can be solved with the content you create. You also need research skills to investigate your competitors as well as how your own products and services are used and needed by consumers.

  • Creating Your Own Brand: Creating an online presence of your own goes a long way to showing potential employers what you can do. Having active social media accounts will help profile your skills. Your LinkedIn page is particularly important. Posting industry related blogs and other posts will help set you up as an industry expert. Showing you have followers of your own speaks volumes of what you can do for your employer's social media pages.

Your Day as a Content Marketer

A content marketer’s job will vary greatly from company to company. However, there are a few common roles and duties most content marketers share including:

  • Strategy: In most positions, you will develop a content strategy and set measurable goals to ensure your plan is working. You will determine the type of content you (or your team) will create, where and when it is published, and how it ties into the company goals.

  • Identifying Targets: In order to generate excellent content, you must understand your audience. Empathy is important, so you can understand where your audience is coming from and answer their questions.

  • Research: This will take up a lot of time as you have to investigate trends, identify opportunities, and look for holes in the content your competitors are providing. Because content must be unique to be successful, it is often a good idea to be working with your sales team or customer service department to get information that is specific to your own customers’ needs. And of course, you will also spend time researching keywords to ensure your SEO is effective.

  • Planning: An effective content marketer uses a content calendar and plans to keep on top of their tasks. You will prepare the subjects you wish to cover, schedule them strategically on your calendar and ensure you are not overusing the same information too often. Rotating information, repurposing older blogs and looking for new ideas are all part of the plan. You can also switch things up with a mix of video, editorial, blogs, memes, and infographics.

  • Brainstorming: A good content team spends plenty of time brainstorming to continue to generate the best quality content. It is a creative process that keeps the juices flowing and keeps people passionate about the subject they are addressing.

  • Writing & Editing: Depending on your level, you can expect to put in quite a bit of time writing, or at least editing content. You will either do it yourself or oversee a team of writers both in-house and freelance whose work will require review. If you do have a group of writers, you will also assign work and manage workload.

  • Analysis: You will assess metrics for everything you post to help ensure your plan is working. You will review data and adjust your content based on what you learn. That is to ensure you get the best ROI from your plan.

Final Thoughts

Content marketing is still a relatively new career providing ample opportunity for growth. Whether you are a writer, a recent graduate or are looking for a career change, content marketing is the perfect solution for the self-starter who is creative at heart. If it sounds like what you want to do, you should see how your mindset should be before sending out resumes to get your foot in the door.

Source: Digital Marketing Institute