Digital Marketing: A Viable Career Path in the Modern World?

Digital Marketing: A Viable Career Path in the Modern World?

In today’s digital environment, marketers face a complex and demanding environment that requires them to master a variety of skills across multiple disciplines.

Known as T-shaped marketers, these people are expected to have a broad understanding of the many components of digital marketing while also having deep knowledge of one to three specific areas. These components include digital strategy, content marketing, social media management, e-commerce, email marketing, paid traffic acquisition, optimization and testing, data analytics, search engine marketing, copywriting, and community management.

This diverse skillset allows marketers to adapt to rapid technological advancements and changing consumer habits, making their role more important than ever.

Local Market Challenges

Digital marketing in TT faces significant challenges due to two main factors:

Firstly, many local organisations have not yet embraced or fully understood the digital space as they lack the necessary infrastructure to implement effective digital marketing strategies.

Secondly, the education system does not adequately cover the majority of essential digital marketing skills, resulting in a large workforce that is ill-prepared for specialist roles.

As a result, job sites are dominated by generic titles such as “digital marketer” and “social media specialist”, with other key specialisations not recognised as clear and comprehensive roles.

Mismatch between the Job market and job descriptions

This also explains why published job descriptions for digital marketers often lack consistency or a clear understanding of digital marketing.

These job postings often require applicants to have a wide range of skills, such as digital marketing, graphic design, animation, and even videography.

Furthermore, the position may absurdly require unrelated tasks, such as waiting tables, answering phones, or doing heavy lifting, which means unrealistic expectations for free time.

Such job ads often specify advanced knowledge of Adobe Suite, Final Cut Pro, and After Effects, indicating a serious misunderstanding of the focus and scope of the position.

One example is where a digital marketing job requires you to work in a warehouse and be part of a picking and packing team when orders come in.

This is a clear indication that companies don’t believe marketing takes time, or even have free time for other unrelated marketing tasks.

Differences in compensation

According to the HRC compensation report, the salary outlook for marketing professionals at TT is depressing.

It shows that there are only 57 managers in the marketing department with monthly salaries between $19,000 and $34,000.

This means that most marketers earn less than $19,000. The general range for most non-executive positions is between $5,000 and $11,000.

Carib is an exception, offering junior marketers compensation of $15,000 to $18,000.

Since these positions require advanced degrees, the compensation does not seem attractive enough to pursue a career in marketing.

A recent job advert for a digital marketing role at a major TT conglomerate called for a wide range of expertise, from content creation and social media management to SEO, video editing, photography, animation and data analysis. Despite the extensive expertise required, the position only offered a salary of $11,000, highlighting a huge disconnect between expected responsibilities and the compensation on offer.

Global Opportunities

Given the salary difference and limited number of positions, it may be advantageous to seek international opportunities. For example, an entry-level social media job in the US can start at around $45,000 per year, or around TT$25,000 per month, highlighting the economic benefits of working in an international market.

Is this a viable career?

A career in digital marketing is undoubtedly rewarding, but the current job market and salary levels make it limited in feasibility in TT.

If you are passionate about entering this field, consider expanding your skills beyond basic skills such as social media marketing into more lucrative areas within digital marketing.

Salaries for these positions are often higher abroad, so it may be worth pursuing international opportunities or attracting clients from wealthier countries.

This approach takes advantage of TT’s low cost base, making it economically attractive for foreign companies and more lucrative for local professionals when paid in a stronger currency.

Extend your skills beyond the basics by mastering advanced digital marketing disciplines. Take advantage of global opportunities and strive to earn in a stronger currency.

This strategic approach not only improves your specialized skills but also maximizes your earning potential, especially in international markets where your skills may fetch greater value.

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