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Modern career in marketing

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Alyssa Walker :
Among the plethora of reasons to study marketing and ways to channel your creativity and discipline, marketing offers you one key thing: flexibility.
Every company, every brand, and every name out there hoping to make it, needs marketing experts. You can be one of them.
With a degree in marketing, you can work nearly anywhere - in nearly any field you choose. Like big business? Go for it. Want to work for your favorite charity or nonprofit? They need folks who know marketing, too. Like start-ups? Find one, and apply your marketing brilliance. Want to start your own? You have the know-how.
Let's take a closer look at how you can build the career you want with a degree in marketing.
The latest trends in digital marketing
Marketing today relies on 'new media.' What's new media?  It's digital media and it's everywhere. You need to understand how it works, how people access it, what they access, when, and why and then you need to capitalize on it.
Does your company have a digital marketing strategy? If not, start with a digital marketing plan and make the case to your superiors that a digital marketing strategy will change the trajectory of the company for the better.
Many companies use digital marketing, but have no overarching strategy or goal.  While this can be mildly effective, having a strategy in place can integrate some of what your company already does - and grow it.
The value of a strategy lies in the competition.  Without a strategy, those companies that have one will outpace you, and you'll lose whatever edge you may already have with customers.
Optimize your company - from website to product to service -by incorporating a digital marketing strategy into your daily lives.
Besides digital marketing strategies, knowing your audience helps. While not a new idea, there's a new trend out there in audience land: the age of 'instant.'
For folks who grew up surrounded by social media, and technology, there's an expectation of instant communication and instant entertainment.
Your digital marketing strategy needs to be able to respond to the baseline expectation of 'instant.' How?  See below.
What do you need to succeed?
1.    Creativity
You're no longer competing in solitary industry environments with little competition.  You're competing everywhere. Why? Digital media is everywhere, and it's competitive.
To stand out and cut through the marketing clutter of the digital world, you need to rely on your creativity.
If you don't feel particularly creative, fret not. You can boost your creative confidence by tackling a project that requires creative thinking. Go for it.
2.    Practical Experience
Read as much as you can about digital marketing and then try it. Start a blog on something you care about (read about writing for the web first), and then market it.  Get a few loyal readers. Then? Get an internship, a real one.
How do you do that?  Scour the internet for start-ups looking for help with digital marketing and contact marketing agencies.
The beauty of an internship is this: you can prove your value in the digital marketing world by understanding how it works from the ground up. Be ready to do lots of digital grunt work, like liking Facebook pages and following Twitter accounts.
By doing every bit of digital marketing from the menial tasks to implementing a digital strategy, you're well on your way to becoming a digital marketing guru.
3.    Digital Skills
None of this will work without them.
Digital skills include data analysis, web development, social media and performance marketing, online learning, and coding.  If you're looking to work in a specific field, arm yourself with a wide range of digital information relevant to that field and make yourself a niche expert.
Where should you study?
One school has adapted to this trend of new media in digital marketing: Bologna Business School.
Their one-year long Master in Marketing, Communication and New Media program offers flexible training in addition to internship opportunities and career development.
The degree focuses on developing solid marketing foundations that center on the creation, management, and performance analysis of social media content - and gives students the tools to ascertain companies' needs and translate those needs into strategic marketing plans.
The Master in Marketing, Communication and New Media at Bologna Business School gives students the personal and professional development they need to kick-start their careers in digital media.
How does the program work?  Students take courses in English for one calendar year - they have two semesters in the classroom, followed by an internship with an innovative company.
If digital marketing is the path you intend to travel for your career, the Bologna Business School's Master in Marketing, Communication and New Media has it all: expertise, flexibility, location, and commitment.
(Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family).

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