A key conversation was started in the Digital Marketing Meetup group about career paths for digital marketers and how to get good digital marketing jobs in Nigeria recently.
Here are my thoughts from research, experience and speaking to some friends. What to expect?
A brief explanation of each role, steps to take, academic qualifications and professional bodies you may need to join to be better positioned for good digital marketing jobs.
It is based on my research and opinions so please feel free to add your thoughts, examples, and your own path.
1. Brand Manager/Marketing Manager/Head of Comms Path
Here you get to become a C-suite and oversee marketing. Do take note that you will need a mix of both digital and offline marketing tactics. This is where PR and advertising pros have an advantage over core Digital Marketers.
If you are also into PR, consider this route. Two of my former colleagues did a CIM program, one of them now works with a top tech firm. A piece of advice, it is best you have media relations if you want to grow in this field.
How to Get Brand Manager/Marketing Jobs?
If you want to go abroad, consider something in marketing, brand management or international business or an MBA. If you want to stay local, LBS is your best option.
Professional Courses/Bodies Require?
2. Product Marketing/Manager Path
They are responsible for creating products, pushing it and are the brand — consumer product connectors. In Nigeria, PMs are big in the tech scene, but other industries need their expertise. The best route is to work in a tech space.
How to Get Product Marketing/Manager Jobs?
Academics: Do a master’s in digital technology/business or digital transformation or product management course.
Training/Certifications for Product Marketing/Manager?
Project Management, Scrum and Agile.
3. Data science/Data based Path
This is looking like the future, but you will need a head for understanding codes and co. The community is growing in Nigeria with Bayo Adekanmbi leading it.
How to Get Data Science/Analytics Jobs?
- Get into the Data science society in Nigeria via DSN or Utiva.
- Take online courses on Edx, coursera
- Watch YouTube videos.
- Practice your learning where you are currently based and grow from there.
- Training/Certifications for Data Science/Analytics Jobs?
- Consider a MSc/Phd outside Nigeria (please do not do any data MSc in any Nigerian university, you’ll only be wasting money)
Professional Bodies for Data Science?
4. Digital Agency Entrepreneur Path
This is the route you can/may use to create and own your own digital agency.
How to Become Digital Agency Owner?
Start a side hustle, get recommendations for more jobs, pitch to SMEs and scale it until you feel you’re confident to play with the ‘big boys’.
N.B Most organizations are making their Digital Marketing in-house now, so you will need to develop competencies in high-value areas.
Do an MBA or go for course. Create a website and start growing influence like Ken Ndubuisi or John Obidi and me, Jude Akhabue.
Bodies: DMM group, connect to influencers
5. In-Agency/Within Digital Career Path
This route means you grow in an agency or organization while still being within the digital marketing field — so head of digital marketing role.
How to Navigate In-agency Path?
Get a DMI or advanced digital marketing skills certification (Facebook blueprint, advantage Google ads exams etc) — become damn good at what you do — switch or change agencies/or stick to one agency and grow in it (perhaps become a shareholder) — find a way to remain relevant via knowledge sharing.
Professional Bodies for Digital Marketers in Nigeria?
DMM group, ADMARP
6. Digital/Tech Entrepreneur Route
Here, you simply go and build your own business.
How to Become Digital/Tech Entrepreneur?
- Find a problem, create a product, use your DM skills and network to scale.
- Academics: do an MBA or the rely on real experience aka street MBA
- Network, go out to events and connect, startup enablers etc
Jude Akhabue is an experienced digital marketing specialist. He focuses on product management, paid advertising, social listening, and influencer marketing. He can be reached on LinkedIn. Connect with Jude here.