The field of internet marketing, commonly referred to as “online marketing”, is focused on advertising and marketing done on a digital basis, using email and the internet. The goal is to use electronic commerce (ecommerce) in order to increase sales. Generally speaking, internet marketing goes hand in hand with traditional marketing efforts, such as magazines, newspapers, television, and radio.
However, as the world is becoming increasingly digital, there have been some big changes into how internet marketing can be defined. Specifically, it is now divided into various specializations, including social media marketing, email marketing, and web marketing. These specializations are then further divided into various topics, such as search engine optimization, website design, ecommerce websites, email list building, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, and so on.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies internet marketers as advertising, promotions, and marketing managers. Their average salary as of May 2015 was $124,850 per year, for those who have a bachelor’s degree. The BLS also predicted that these managers can expect to see a 9% growth in demand for their skills from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the national average. This will translate into 19,700 new jobs.
Because the field of internet marketing is quite broad, and becoming increasingly so, it can be difficult to determine exactly where people can work and what they can do there. That being said, the BLS has reported that there were around 194,300 marketing managers in 2014, and that they worked in the following industries:
- Professional, scientific, and technical services, where 21% were employed
- Management of companies and enterprises, where 17% were employed
- Manufacturing, where 12% were employed
- Finance and insurance, where 10% were employed
- Wholesale trade, where 9% were employed
Indeed.com has reported on some of the most popular positions for internet marketing specialists, as well as on their associated salaries. This report showed that:
- Marketing Specialists earned an average of $53,259 per year.
- Event Specialists earned an average of $40,479 per year.
- Leasing Specialists earned an average of $38,547 per year.
- Affiliate Marketing Managers earned an average of $48,401 per year.
Of great importance to how much people can earn in the field of internet marketing is where they work in the country. The BLS has reported that the average annual salary for a marketing manager in May 2015 was $128,750, with the bottom 10% earning $66,090 or less, and the top 10% earning $187,200 or more. The BLS has also reported that the top five states to be employed as a marketing manager in the country are:
- New York, with average annual salaries of $188,640
- Delaware, with average annual salaries of $173,850
- New Jersey, with average annual salaries of $167,860
- California, with average annual salaries of $164,850
- Virginia, with average annual salaries of $164,160
Payscale.com has reported that the average annual salary for someone with a master’s degree in internet marketing in Florida is $125,000 per year.
Another key factor that will determine an internet marketer’s salary is the company that they work for. Glassdoor.com has reported on some popular employers, and the positions they have available for internet marketing specialists, as well as on their associated salaries. This report showed the following average salaries for Internet Marketing Specialists:
- eBay: $93,173 per year
- Milestone Internet Marketing: $42,343 per year
- Netmark: $32,656 per year
- Canon USA: $53,781 per year
- Pirelli: $38,757 per year
- Vitamin Shoppe: between $48,000 and $52,000 per year
- WebpageFX: between $34,000 and $37,000 per year
- Vertical Measures: between $34,000 and $37,000 per year
- Atomic Design: between $36,000 and $43,000 per year
- Caesars Entertainment: between $57,000 and $62,000 per year
- Cyrco: between $54,000 and $58,000 per year
- MultiView: between $90,000 and $97,000 per year
- Twangled: between $38,000 and $42,000 per year
In order to become a professional working in the field of internet marketing, it is increasingly advisable to have completed at least a bachelor’s degree. While at first, many internet marketers were self-made, it is now becoming a highly specialized field, and universities have responded to this by creating appropriate degrees. These degrees, naturally, are often offered online, although on campus studies do also exist. One example of a well-respected program is the Internet Marketing Bachelor of Science offered by Full Sail University. The curriculum of this program includes courses, such as:
- Creative Presentation
- Psychology of Play
- Business in the Entertainment and Media Industries
- English Composition I
- Introduction to Marketing
- Marketing Research
- Project and Portfolio I: Marketing
- Fundamentals of Web Design
- College Mathematics
- Professional Writing
- Project and Portfolio II: Business and Marketing
- Fundamentals of Public Relations
- Marketing Law and Contracts
- Business Accounting
- Content Strategy, Development, and Marketing
- Web Analytics and Reporting
- Project and Portfolio IV: Internet Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Principles of Online Campaign Development
- Fundamentals of Physical Science
- Affiliate Marketing
- Display Advertising and Email Marketing
- Cultural Studies and the Web
- Mobile and Emerging Technology Marketing
- Digital Entrepreneurship
Because the field of internet marketing is still relatively new in terms of professional standards, it can be quite difficult to find a master’s degree that focuses specifically on internet marketing. That being said, universities are making significant changes because the field is increasingly recognized, and because there is a need for people with graduate skills and knowledge in the field of internet marketing. As a result, some degree programs have now started to be developed by colleges and universities, one of which is the MBA (Master of Business Administration) with an internet marketing concentration offered by Southern New Hampshire University. This degree can be completed fully online. The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Each school is entitled to set its own admission requirements. However, they are usually quite similar across the board due to the fact that these requirements need demonstrate whether or not the applicant has the academic capacity to complete a program at the graduate degree level. For Southern New Hampshire University, it is important to speak to an admission counselor, who will discuss the exact requirements. Submitting transcripts from an undergraduate education is the bare minimum required. Most schools will also look for things, such as:
- A personal statement
- Letters of reference
- A resume
- GMAT/GRE scores
- Proof of English proficiency for non-native speakers
Schools are allowed to establish the curriculum for a particular degree program as they see fit. This is why it is very important to study with an accredited university, as this guarantees prospective employers that your degree included courses that meet the minimum requirements for the profession. The curriculum of the MBA in Internet Marketing offered by Southern New Hampshire University takes a double focus, one of which is on the business skills required for an MBA. At the same time, the curriculum includes courses that focus specifically on internet marketing. As such, the curriculum of the degree includes:
- Strategic Internet Marketing
- Websites and Search Engine Marketing/Search Engine Optimization
- Online Marketing Channels
- Mathematics and Statistics for Business
- Economics for Business
- Financial Reporting and Analysis
- Business Law
- Human Behavior in Organization
- Business Environments, Innovations and Entrepreneurship
- Accounting and Financial Analysis
- Leading in an Organization
- Marketing and Strategy
- Ethics, Corporate Culture, and Social Responsibility
- Finance, Economics, and Decision Making
- Government Impact on Business
- Operations Management and Technology
Completing a higher education, particularly with regards to a master’s degree, is very expensive. Firstly, you have to invest a substantial amount of time. While this required investment in time can be reduced to a certain degree by studying online, you do have to realize that it will require quite a substantial amount of time to finish a degree. The second major investment is, of course, a financial one. Fortunately, the college or university of your choosing will be able to signpost you to financial aid, and they may also have scholarships and grants available that you can apply for. At the same time, there are a number of external scholarships that you may want to consider. Examples of these are the:
- Andy and Julie Plata Honorary Scholarship, to the value of $2,000.
- Austin Alliance for Women in Media Scholarship, to the value of $5,000.
- Carl Gerhardt Scholarship Program by Allegra Marketing-Print-Mail, to the value of $1,000.
- CBC Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship, to the value of $3,000.
- CME Beef Industry Scholarship, to the value of $1,500.
- Colorado Restaurant Association Education Fund Undergraduate Scholarship, to the value of $2,000.
- Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals, with varying values.
- DECA Student Scholarships, with varying values.
- Don F. Lowe Scholarship, to the value of $2,000.
- Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship for Outreach and Health Communications, to the value of $5,000.
- EDSF Board of Directors Scholarships, to the value of $5,000.
Generally speaking, applying for scholarships means that you have to meet certain requirements. For instance, you may need to study at a certain school, take on a certain concentration, aim to work in a certain field, demonstrate financial need, have a minimum GPA, belong to a certain minority group, be a member of a professional organization, or be of a certain gender.
It is not actually required to become certified to be able to work in the field of internet marketing, but it is recommended. Through certification, you are able to demonstrate that you are committed to your own professional development, and to the advancement of the field in general. That said, obtaining a certification does require a further investment of time and money, and you often have to maintain certification through continuous education credits. Nevertheless, most people would agree that this is a very worthy investment, as it opens a number of career doors. Some certifications that you may want to consider in the field of internet marketing are the:
- AMA Certified Professional Marketer
- Bing Ads Certification
- Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer
- DigitalMarketer Certified Content Marketing Specialist
- DMA Certifications, with the most important one being the DMA Certified Marketing Professional
- Google AdWords Certification
- Google Analytics Certification
- HootSuite Certification
- HootSuite Advanced Social Media Strategy Certificate
- HubSpot Certifications, with the most important one being the HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification, although the HubSpot Certification and Contextual Marketing Certification is also considered very valuable.
- W3Schools Certifications
If you want to pursue an internet marketing career, it is recommended that you become a member of relevant professional organizations as soon as you decide to pursue this particular profession, even as early as when you start obtaining your bachelor’s degree. This is because professional associations and organizations often offer scholarships and grants that you could then become eligible for. More importantly, by being a member of such organizations, you will always be at the forefront of new developments within your field, ensuring that your skills and knowledge are always up to date. Additionally, you may find it easier to obtain certain certifications and continuous education credits. And perhaps the greatest benefit of being a member of a professional association or organization is the fact that you can build a professional network that can help you further your career.
Associations in the field of internet marketing that you may want to consider include the:
- Internet Marketing Association: Digital Marketing
- American Marketing Association
- eMarketing Association (eMA)
- AIMS_Assoc of Internet Marketing & Sales
- Web Marketing Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook – Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm
- Master of Science (MS), Internet Marketing Degree Average Salary by Employer Name. (2016, Jul. 2). Retrieved from http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master_of_Science_(MS),_Internet_Marketing/Salary/by_Employer
- Internet Marketing Specialist Salaries in the United States. (2017, Apr. 18). Retrieved from https://www.indeed.com/salaries/Internet+Marketing+Specialist-Salaries
- Internet Marketing Bachelor of Science. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.fullsail.edu/degrees/internet-marketing-bachelor
- Optimize Online Strategies by Earning an MBA in Internet Marketing Online. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/masters/mba-online/mba-in-internet-marketing