The Past, Present and Future of Digital

When it comes to the internet, everything seems to be changing faster than a web-page can load.

These changes haven’t just transformed the internet, they have created jobs that have since become essential to businesses across every field in the current market.

While job titles such as ‘CRO specialist’ may confuse even the most savvy-minded of people, once you get beyond the title, you can see that these roles have actually been around for years (albeit in a slightly different form).

Whether you’re just starting out in digital or have had to adapt to the changes over the last few years, here’s a closer look at where some of the key digital roles came from, how they’ve evolved and where they’re heading.

PPC Executive

PPC Executive

68% of people in PPC are Male

You can expect to earn anything between £18,218 - £38,868

The master of Pay Per Click, this role requires a delicate balance between informed and intuitive decisions to ensure that your marketing is ending up in all the right places.

A PPC executive is astute, making the right connections and spending the right amount of money to get your advert in front of your target audience.

While the days of walking around wearing a sandwich board are long gone, 5 years ago PPC was still a field where people took advantage of the need for online advertising experts, but failed to hire those who would truly understand their brand or the advertising market.

There used to be a stress for numerical understanding and while that is still important, current software is much more detailed and targeted, which enables it to do a lot of the calculations for you.

The field of PPC has grown to such an extent that executives are now involved in the creative stages of campaign planning, report directly to clients on the paid performance and need an excellent understanding of Google Adwords, Display and re-targeting.

The Future

Is mobile. Companies will invest more heavily in mobile advertising and there is the potential that desktop use could soon be a thing of the past. Google will continue to introduce highly specialised PPC adverts for every industry that make it as simple as clicking a button to view a product when you’re searching

The year 3000

It wouldn’t be surprising if we are soon able to see targeted ads on our smart fridge because you’ve run out of Waitrose milk and Tesco want that fridge space back.

User Experience Designer

User Experience Designer

Only 31% of UX Designers are women

UX designers can expect to earn between £18,954 - £50,838

UX designers are the people pleasers, doing everything they can to make sure that your website, software or app is accessible and intuitive to users.

Instead of standing at the door and guiding your customer through the shop to the checkout, UX designers use wireframes, sitemaps and sketches to ensure that your users flow through the website or programme in the best way possible.

Gone are the days of having to choose from different types of persona and deciding who is the best fit for the design of your website or app. Now, clickable prototypes and new software mean that your design can be intuitive to every user and quickly becomes familiar.

There has been a move from schemaorphic design where ‘below the fold’ was the focus, to flat design and a drive for subtlety and simplicity on every page.

The Future

Is a return to the past. Stripping back over-complicated buttons and unnecessary pages, websites will suit the population who have grown up with this technology and find a lot of the online experience intuitive.

The year 3000

UX designers will be challenged to produce websites and apps that appear on holograms, flash-up on self-driving cars and work on the latest Smart TVs.

Director of Analytics

Director of Analytics

Almost 40% of Directors of Analytics are Female

Directors of Analytics have an average salary of £81,366

Directors of Analytics are the paranoid member of the team, frantically checking a business’s data and Analytic software to make sure that the company is performing as well as it can.

There is so much choice because rather than leaving your shop, customers can just hit a button to return back to Google’s search results or take their business elsewhere. It is the responsibility of analytics professionals to keep visitors coming back for more by optimising every business process.

A few years ago, a role in analytics would require you to be a master in email marketing, social media, statistical analysis, maths and Search Engine Optimisation. In 2009 there were roughly 5,000 positions, but now analytics is so vital that each of these areas is now a specialist area in its own right.

Instead of working in isolation, Directors of Analytics are much more involved with development and design to ensure that the site is technically sound, using time series analysis and attribution modelling software.

The Future

Analytics is set to become much more predictive. Those working in this field will need to be even better at reading the signs to protect their business long before an issue arises. Software will continue to develop, enabling analytics directors to provide even more granular data on their business performance.

The year 3000

Instead of tracking conversion rates and rankings, analytics software will be able to determine what mood your customers are in through facial recognition from inbuilt cameras.

The Content Writer

The Content Writer

Women dominate content writing by 62%

Writers can expect to earn anything between £14,692 - £36,842

The content writer or blogger is curious at heart, working tirelessly to turn an idea into a ground breaking article.

Through careful research, articulate writing and some skilled editing, writers and bloggers produce articles, blogs and pages that are designed for their readers.

Gone are the days of being limited to the press or your local glossy magazine. Now writing has moved online and diversified almost beyond recognition as a result.

Instead of writing for an offline audience, content writers have to consider who will be reading their content and make sure that their page, article or blog is optimised for the site it is featured on.

Technological advances have transformed the content role into writing pieces for online videos and even ‘vlogging’ in effect, presenters.

The Future

Will see a drop in copywriting numbers because online content will have to be much higher in quality than what we’re seeing at the moment to be user and Google friendly, every time. Videos will continue to thrive and it will be rare to see a successful website without this interactive content.

The year 3000

Keyboards will be a thing of the past, writers will be able to dictate the main keywords into their watch and it will then automatically convert the idea into a Google friendly piece of content by your trusty AI assistant Siri (who has become almost indistinguishable from a real human.

Public Relations Manager

Women dominate in PR, by almost 80%

PR Managers can expect to earn between £23,591 - £52,480

The Public Relations consultant is the popular person. Talking to anyone and everyone, flaunting their latest story or piece of work and making sure that people love it.

In any campaign, the strategy consultant is involved from the start, planting seeds with newspaper editors, influential sites and people to guarantee that their piece is featured at the top.

Gone are the days of tactical spin doctoring, trying to save a celebrity from scandal. PR has diversified beyond recognition to include online to marketing, SEO and advertising.

Digital PR strategists are on the rise, those who combine best practice SEO with marketing to promote their latest campaign or drive traffic to site. To compete, PR managers must devise their strategy to include SEO, which involves technical skill, an understanding of analytics and excellent contacts.

The Future

Google will evolve to a point where press releases are penalised, so PR managers will have to adapt their marketing in order to make an impact. The online world will become increasingly saturated and this will result in an increase in offline PR and a return to more traditional practices.

The year 3000

The rise of the Google Glass will mean that you can see a PR disaster coming before it happens, literally.

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