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Students' embarking on their career journey – Is Féidir linn

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Working in Digital Media

IRISH TIMES and THE INSTITUTE OF GUIDANCE COUNSELLORS
HIGHER OPTIONS CONFERENCE
WORKING IN DIGITAL MARKETING
SPEAKER: Claire Carroll, Digital Marketing Consultant.
DEFINITION OF CAREER AREA. Digital marketing, advertising, strategic
planning.
TYPICALDAY
Working in a digital marketing capacity on the agency side of the industry is a fast
paced and dynamic experience. Agencies tend to have a lot of processes due to the
nature of the work. Deadlines are typically tight and client expectations are very high.
This naturally means the whole team must work efficiently and be agile and dynamic
to adapt to changes and new briefs.
Because the digital side of the industry is changing at such an accelerated pace it’s
imperative to stay ahead of the game so time must be allocated to studying and
collectively discussing emerging trends, case studies, new technological
developments and how these learnings can be embraced for clients and to make the
agency stand apart.
Agency life usually means long days! You would start at 8.30am and finish approx.
6.30/7pm.
WIP: Most days begin with a ‘Work In Progress’ meeting which looks at all jobs in
production, their status, any issues which may impact the delivery date, considerations
which may affect the budget and margins, and any extra resources which are needed
to get the job completed to the high standard expected. These meetings are there to
keep a steady hand and understanding of work in production but also to manage the
agreed timeline, budget and expectation.
Meetings: Every day will involve meeting with clients to discuss new briefs, evaluate
previous campaigns, discuss brand planning, industry trends, competitor reviews etc.
Internal meetings are equally important and will include kick-off meetings when new
briefs come in, strategic planning, creative brainstorming and reviewing creative
outputs from the studio.
Managing Jobs: This involves managing the progress of a job and liaising with
clients simultaneously. All jobs will have a budget and timeline associated with them
so the daily tasks are outlined however managing clients is where interpersonal and
problem solving skills are essential. Managing a job from receiving the brief to setting
the campaign live is quite an exhilarating experience but demands tenacity and
attention to detail.
New Business: There is also a necessity for new business development so a portion of
weekly time will be allocated to making calls and setting up meetings to get new
business! Networking events and conferences also play an important part in
establishing these opportunities.
SKILLS USED IN THE JOB.
Depending on which area of the agency you are in (ie. Client service or
studio/creative) you will be employing different skills but there are some key generic
skills including:
 Strong interpersonal communication skills
 Problem solving capability
 Decisiveness
 Efficient multi-tasking
 Creative and strategic thinking.
 Analytical capability
REWARDS
From a financial perspective it’s possible to earn a very enticing salary with good
benefits and bonus opportunities. Salaries vary but at the early stages it’s important to
really strive to set yourself apart and exceed expectations for your team, management
and clients.
At a personal level it can be very rewarding as it’s important to remember you play a
significant role in the greater domestic economy. Because the digital revolution is
now upon us there is a great sense of satisfaction that comes from educating clients
and developing strategies that contribute to building brands. It’s also a lot of fun
which is very important to satisfy on a personal level.
Despite the stereotypical perception, the days of excessive hospitality in the ad
industry are over – it’s a tough arena to work in but very exciting with interesting,
diverse and wonderfully creative people.
ROUTES OF ENTRY :
What’s important to remember is that digital is what is facilitating a seismic shift in
how the western world communicates, networks and influences consumer behaviour.
Because of this it’s essential to have a strong foundational knowledge about Business
and Marketing. What are needed are strategic thinkers and leaders for the industry
with a good understanding of business and marketing.
If possible try and do summer internships in agencies during your holidays. This will
certainly lend itself favourably to your graduate prospects. On completion of a degree
course (with a preferred major in the digital area if available) it would be possible to
get into an agency as a Junior Acct Exec and work your way up through the levels to
Account Manager and then Account Director.
There are other routes to consider such as graduate training programs with larger
companies. This type of disciplined experience on the client side can benefit greatly
when interviewing for an agency role.
Consider business degree courses across the NUI network of colleges: UCD, TCD,
UCC, UCG etc.
DIT also provides a range of courses in the areas of business and media etc.
Other courses include:
Fitzwilliam Institute – Diploma in Online Marketing
Dublin Business School – Diploma in Internet Marketing
PRII (Public Relations Institute of Ireland) – Diploma in PR
Digital Marketing Institute – Diploma in Digital Marketing
DIFFERENT JOBS IN THE CAREER AREA
The job options can be quite different in digital. For example, you could consider a
client-side internal digital role (of which there are few in Ireland) or you could
consider working on the publishing side (websites!) which can be equally interesting
and progressive. Another alternative is, as previously mentioned, working your way
up from entry level Account Executive position on an agency team to Account
Director and possibly to Head of Digital.
ADVICE ABOUT CHOOSING THIS AREA
If you are interested in marketing and think you would like the ever-changing digital
landscape and implications of this on consumers and brands then you should consider
this area! The industry needs young, enthusiastic and fresh talent and it is a hugely
interesting and exciting area to be in as it doesn’t stand still. There are a lot of roles
out there which will only expand and develop over the coming years.
Due to the nature of digital changing so quickly it’s important to keep a pulse on
what’s happening.
Some Irish sites to help you with that include:
http://www.digitalmarketinginstitute.ie – Will give good background on what the area
involves in terms of ‘learning’.
http://www.amas.ie – Government agency tasked with researching the digital market every
quarter. Very useful PDF downloads of these updates.
http://www.siliconrepublic.com– For news and updates on the industry with a technical
slant this site is very useful to keep bookmarked.
International sites:
http://www.brandrepublic.com
http://www.adage.com/digital
http://www.theguardian.co.uk/media/digital-media

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