Case study

Digital marketer — Sam Malik

Sam's degree isn't directly related to his digital marketer role but he's still able to use important transferable skills. Find out how hard work and perseverance landed him a permanent job

How did you get into digital marketing?

I studied mechanical engineering at university and after struggling to find a job which was directly related, I signed up to platforms like Upwork and Elance for temporary work. Through these platforms I wrote press releases, articles for blogs and a range of other material. I really enjoyed the digital marketing work so I started sending my CV to relevant companies but didn't have much luck.

I eventually found some freelance work with a tech start-up. I went the extra mile to deliver high-quality work to leverage my way into a short-term opportunity with them. After six months of hard work and achieving good results I secured a permanent digital marketer role with the company.

What's a typical day like?

I have to keep up to date with current digital marketing trends to be able to identify and exploit opportunities. I could be working on ideation for a new inbound content campaign, writing copy or emailing media professionals.

I also oversee the work of my team, managing freelance job posts; doing interviews and PR work.

Since I work for a start-up the responsibilities are broad. I am also responsible for competitor analysis, working on brand awareness and other channels to drive traffic to the website.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Every day is challenging and dynamic so I don't get bored. I really enjoy it when a campaign I am running is successful. You also get to make lots of new friends, including well-known journalists.

I love the feeling of engaging with different people and being able to use this side of my personality.

What are the challenges?

The premium on creativity in digital marketing is incredibly high. You have to constantly think about new ways to reach people and catch their attention, new methods to package content, new ideas - it never stops.

Staying at the top of your game day after day in this respect is very difficult.

Was your degree essential for the job?

Not at all. Digital marketing is an inherently interdisciplinary field, and I work with people from different backgrounds.

I certainly think engineering has been helpful in giving me the ability to structure my work and manage projects. Also, the statistical training I received has made data analysis much easier.

How has your role developed?

I've been put in charge of a small team and have taken more control of the formulation and strategic direction of the company's initiatives, as I hoped.

At some point I'd like to set up my own agency, providing services for the healthcare niche, but I don't think I'm quite at that stage yet.

I plan to stay where I am for ten years to get as much experience as I can.

How do I become a digital marketer?

Try to get an internship or do some freelance/voluntary work, there's great demand in the sector.

Read about SEO and try free versions of industry software tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs and BuzzSumo and mention these on your CV.

Be willing to start at the bottom. See the experience as a launching pad to something more congenial.

Find out more