Case study

Senior digital search manager — Rachelle

Rachelle loves working in the exciting and fast-moving sector of digital marketing and proves you don't need a marketing degree to get in

How did you get into digital marketing?

During university, I started a fashion blog which turned into a real passion for digital publishing, social media and the power of online communities. I ended up doing some freelance copywriting and brand campaign consultancy, which really got me into the world of digital.

After graduation I applied for a range of entry level marketing and digital roles and on the basis of my freelance experience got my first graduate job as a digital media executive for a Scottish spa company. This really helped to progress my knowledge and business confidence quickly.

I moved from that job to my current company, DigitasLBi, starting as a junior digital account manager and have since been promoted twice.

Start your own blog and install analytics and webmaster tools to get some hands on experience

Do you need a marketing degree?

I'm a sociology graduate, so I'd say no. Many people in the industry have business and marketing-related degrees and this was often the preferred discipline in job advertisements.

However, I always applied for these jobs anyway and promoted my experience and transferable skills, rather than my degree subject. I think it's important to show you've got key transferable skills in analysis, communication and strategic thinking.

What are your main work activities?

I'm mainly office based and typically work 9am to 5.30pm, though this can be longer when there are important projects going on or tight deadlines to meet. I spend a lot of time answering emails from both clients and internal colleagues who need my input. These can range from a client asking for advice, to an account director asking for a report.

As well as communications, I'm responsible for client deliverables. These are things that are required to bring together a digital strategy and they may involve me analysing a website's content, pulling together performance reports, planning content with creative teams or advising on the digital aspects of a client's offline marketing plans.

I spend a lot of time in meetings or on conference calls and I travel once a month to visit clients and present updates, results and future plans.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

Since I started in my current company, I've been promoted twice into more senior levels. I'm now responsible for larger scale clients and am expected to have the confidence and experience to tackle this effectively.

I'm also responsible for supporting more junior team members; offering direction and advice.

I'd like to progress into a team leadership role, taking responsibility for a small team and overseeing accounts. I'd like to experience the different challenges of working on the client side.

What do you enjoy about digital marketing?

The work is always varied and I'm largely responsible for planning my own time and work, which means I never get bored. It's very satisfying being able to plan and execute a digital strategy and see the results come through.

Digital is very new, exciting and ever changing and because you can learn so much through hard work and determination, progression is very much in your own hands.

What are the most challenging parts?

Because digital is so new to many traditional marketers, there's often a bit of a battle to bring clients up-to-date and convince them to try something new.

Any advice for someone wanting to get into digital marketing?

Start learning and experimenting with digital now - read blogs, take notice of industry updates and start your own Wordpress blog. Install analytics and webmaster tools to get some hands on experience.

Attend digital industry networking events - many of them are free and there are lots available.

Don't just apply for advertised jobs - make speculative applications to companies you're interested in and follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Find out more

See what jobs are available at DigitasLBi.