Check out our 3-Day Full-Time HTML & CSS Online Live Masterclass for RM300 / USD75 Only!

What is Digital Marketing?

Learn what Digital Marketing actually means to you and for your future!

Zoe Lim
April 29, 2020

What is digital marketing?

We have all heard about marketing, which is synonymous to "buying and selling", "promoting a product", "increasing awareness" etc. For digital marketing, it is simply marketing by leveraging digital technology.

Just some quick examples: those days we have billboards, today we have website banners. Those days we have magazines, newspapers, TV, radios to reach out to the masses; today we have Facebook, Instagram, Google and much more.

Today, in the digital world, there are so many platforms and tools you can utilise to gain traffic and find your customers.

The benefit of digital marketing:

  • Affordable. Compared to the old days of marketing, you can easily start promoting your products with just a 100 dollars.
  • Accessible. You can access not just people in your area but around the world.
  • Targetable. You can now target a specific audience. It is made possible because everyone leaves their digital footprint on the internet, making it easier for us to know their true intention and interest
  • Testable because you can easily take down and relaunch your advertising initiatives if it doesn't work. If it does work, you can easily scale your marketing budget.
  • Trackable and Measurable. You can measure if there are real ROI (return on investment) as you can track your leads all the way to purchase.

What are the examples of digital marketing?

  • Paid advertising
  • Website Optimisation
  • Email marketing
  • PPC/ Search Engine Marketing/ Search Ads
  • Display Advertising
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Conversational marketing
  • Tracking and Analytics
  • Content Marketing
  • Referral & Influencer Marketing
  • Funnel marketing
  • And much more....

Here is a list of digital marketing skill descriptions.


In a nutshell, digital marketing leverages on the digital world, digital platforms and digital tools to reach out and to convert a customer in his or her own customer journey.


tablet with staticics

What is the work of digital marketing?

Every customer walks through a journey, from a cold prospect to becoming a customer. Digital marketing's role is to educate, nurture and convert the person from what we call a "Cold traffic" to "Hot traffic". 

Digital marketing is a means to an end, it is a tool for you to easily step in and direct your customer journey.

  1. Gain attention and create awareness for the masses (cold traffic)
  2. Generate warm leads leads
  3. Educate and nurture these warm leads
  4. Remind and remarket to bring them closer to become potential customers (hot traffic)
  5. Convert and close sales to turn them into actual customers (hot traffic) 
  6. Re-engage and retain your customers

You will be utilising a series of digital tools to fulfil the 6 steps above, and that is basically what digital marketing is for.

Is Digital Marketing a good career? Is it sustainable?

Will people stop using the internet? The rise of the internet gave rise to digital jobs. 

  • Today, people are selling online instead of owning physical stores.
  • Today, people are becoming digital nomads
  • Today, when kids were asked what they want to be in the future, they would say "I want to be a Youtube celebrity"

One big commonality for you to be a successful online entrepreneur or a digital nomad or a Youtube celebrity is "Digital marketing".

Will there be a time when digital marketing would lose its importance? Unless the entire internet shuts down, digital marketing is here to stay.

The career opportunities are in abundance, from low value tasks to high ticket gigs. 

I have seen marketers scraping by and finding it hard to survive in this dog eat dog world due to competition. I have also seen many awesome digital marketers (very low profile as well) who stay in different countries every 3-6 months and service clients around the world.

Do you want access to high flying digital marketing careers? You can, only if you are ready to be an expert in the digital marketing field.

Here are some digital marketers whose journey I have followed over the years. They started off as digital marketers and today, they are entrepreneurs, investors, business owners:

  • Andrew Chen
  • Rand Fiskin
  • Brian Balfour
  • Avinash Kaushik
  • Jon Marrow

So, is digital marketing a good career?

Here is a list of digital marketing careers you can check out.

It is a damn good career for those who are willing to hustle and hone their skills because the returns can be enormous, not just in terms of salary but also in terms of lifestyle.

Do I need to be creative to become a digital marketer?

If you think marketing is only about punchy headlines, amazing visuals or beautiful videos, you got it wrong.

A marketer's goal is to fulfil the business objective, which is to create awareness, educate and convert. Digital marketers are more similar to being a strategist for the business.

Is a digital marketing job stressful?

It depends.

For strategist roles, e.g. performance marketing, digital marketers compensation is tied to the performance of the campaigns and it is highly associated with Return On Investment (ROI) and Return On Ads Spend (ROAS).

This could be stressful indeed, similar to being the sales person and chasing targets. Good performance marketers could earn a lot, but at the same time, be stressed about chasing targets.

The other line of work would be the producer roles, e.g. content creators, such as SEO writers, domain expert content creators, social media managers, creative creators. This would be a less stressful path, however, the ones who make a good living out of these would usually be authority leaders or domain experts.

Specialist roles, such as Google Ads experts, Google Analytics experts, may have performance components to it, or they may just purely be the ones to execute strategies set out by the strategist.

Finally, management roles, such as account managers or team leads. You will need to be handling clients as well as the wellbeing of your team. These roles require you to set good expectations with your clients and also have a good understanding of digital marketing. Stress levels are highly dependent on the type of clients you get. :)

Some of the digital media jobs are as followed:

  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing) Specialist
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Specialist
  • Paid advertising specialist
  • Programmatic marketing specialist
  • Social Media Marketer
  • eCommerce Marketer
  • Web Designer
  • Content Producer (video, blog)
  • Copywriter
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Email Marketer
  • Brand Manager
  • Mobile Marketing Specialist
  • Growth Hacker
  • Full Stack Digital Marketer
  • Content strategist
  • CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) Specialist
  • Digital Marketing Strategist
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Client/ Account management

person holding $100 bills

How is the salary for digital marketing?

It depends.

As an employed marketer, you may need to start out small. We call this the learning period.

The goal here is to build your skills and build your name.

There are many people who are able to hit 6 figures annually in just a span of 3 years, however, these marketers are known to be technically sound and employers are willing to pay to get them onboard.

There are also a more entrepreneurial category of marketers. They use their skills to consult companies or start their own side hustle and become a full time hustle.

Here's a true story from a friend:

He was toiling 9-5 as a digital marketer. Outside work, he started his own ecommerce store that hit big. After 1 year, he decided to go full time with his own business and never stay in any country more than 3 months.

Sounds too good to be true? I thought so too, but believe it or not, there are many low profile marketers who are earning a good buck through their skill.

Wow! How do I start a career in digital marketing?

There are 3 parts to digital marketing:

  1. Understanding and resonating with human beings
  2. Technicalities 
  3. Data Driven

Understanding and resonating with human beings

Marketing is all about knowing what people tick. How do you approach them? How do you talk to them? What words to use? What tone is good? What visuals will excite them? What stories resonate with them?

This is such an important skill set but very often underrated.

Technicalities

Every platform, e.g. Google ads and Facebook ads, have their own technicalities, different aspects of digital marketing, for example, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is very technical in nature.

Knowing these technicalities can give you an edge over the others. The more complex it is, the more opportunities you get in getting a good career out of it.

Data Driven

Being data driven is crucial in determining if your campaigns are working the way you want them to work. Learning to read data is expected to be a basic skill for marketers. Make sure you are ready for it.

Read more about becoming a T-shaped marketer to build you up as a holistic marketer!


What will I learn from NEXT Academy's Digital Marketing courses?

We have 2 courses:


Our goal is to equip our students with not just the skillset but the ability to plan and strategize for the entire digital marketing funnel.

Here is the list of digital marketing knowledge that you should know which we cover during the course.

You will be learning from real practitioners who have launched million dollar campaigns and have also built businesses.

Who is it for?

  • If you want to become a digital marketer
  • If you want to start your own business
  • If you want to tap into different mentor's thought processes and their experiences

If this is you, you are at the right place. 

We want to produce amazing digital marketing talents (because we help refer students to amazing job opportunities too), help students in their journey to build sustainable businesses for the long run.

There will be hard work and a lot of learning which may be overwhelming. So long you are willing, we will walk this journey with you.





Ready to learn?

Let's go
a photo of a small valley at night