What Is the Future for Marketing in the Media Industry?

Media Industry
Credit: Getty Images / Christopher Futcher

Like any business, the media industry evolves in cycles. In the past, there have been few job openings at media companies, but now, as content converges and more media companies are looking for ways to branch out and reach larger population bases, there is an increase in the availability of highly coveted marketing positions. However, the availability of new technologies and new developments in the media industry have created a demand for new kinds of marketing experience, cultural knowledge and skills sets that candidates must be aware of if they wish to vie for such a position.

The volume of marketing jobs tends to ebb and flow with the economic cycle. Today, we are at the top of the business cycle and marketing jobs are plentiful across a variety of industries. Even the media industry, which traditionally has not provided much career potential for marketing executives, is opening its doors. In fact, the media industry is currently exceeding more mature industries, such as consumer packaged goods, in career opportunities for marketers.

When searching for a marketing position in the media industry, it is important to know that the industry is highly heterogeneous. Because of this it can be difficult to identify what sort of marketing jobs are most prevalent. Marketing opportunities abound in a variety of niche specialties. For example, an e-commerce company might be interested in hiring marketing professionals to support customer acquisitions or product development, while a magazine might need marketing support in circulation.

Candidates should focus on where their skills and interests lie before pursuing marketing positions at media companies so that they can adequately match their qualifications to a specific marketing function.

Marketers should also be aware of the competition that they will face when pursuing a position at a media company.

Typically, marketers must have a plethora of solid experience and a vast understanding of the media industry and the specific changes impacting the industry they are looking to work in. Marketers should already be familiar with how to communicate their messages across a variety of mediums and how to connect with a large customer base. Convergence has significantly blurred the lines between print, internet, television and radio. Messaging that used to be tailored for one outlet will now have to be adjusted for a wider audience. Further, the accessibility of the internet has created a very diverse and global customer base, so marketers should build their awareness of different cultures and respective sensitivities.

Marketers will also need to enhance their skills in digital marketing, as many media companies now want marketers to have at least 10-15 years of online marketing experience. Because the internet industry is relatively young and has not always valued marketing as much as other functions, there are few marketers with this much internet experience. However, for those who can enhance their internet marketing skills, or have the experience, the demand has completely outstripped the supply.

There are currently two areas of internet marketing that offer the greatest growth potential: search engine marketing and advertising sales marketing.

The career potential for marketers in the media industry is anticipated to keep growing. Should the economy dip, this may change slightly, however the media industry is fairly resilient and the continued conglomeration and convergence will ensure growth for years to come. On the whole, the media space is a welcome environment for ambitious marketers who will continue to enjoy good career prospects and interesting, meaningful work.

Rick Linde is a Partner at Battalia Winston International, a leading executive search firm. With more than 20 years of executive recruitment experience, Rick is a top recruiter in the marketing, sales and media industries.