A new marketing specialty, known as digital marketing, is emerging as businesses recognize the need to integrate their current traditional marketing programs with the faster growing areas of mobile technology and social media.

Here in Baltimore, this trend is evidenced by online job listings in almost every industry segment, both private as well as the federal government, including health care, design, engineering, broadcast and legal.

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This new area is originating from the marketing area in some universities, corporations and from the technology side of the operation in others. In each, the goal is to capitalize on the vast potential of the digital marketplace.

It is estimated that by 2016, 91 percent of the U.S. population will own a cell phone, and of these, 61 percent will be smart phone users. Thus, mobile technology becomes a vital avenue through which a company or product may position itself in real-time with its customer base if it has an effective digital marketing program in place.

This marketing career potentially has many components; listed below are a few of the generic items. Each company will certainly tailor their program to fit individual needs; and since this is a new specialty and tied to the ever-changing technology of the Internet, expect two things: a fast pace and rapid change.

Website development:          

Developing effective and engaging web presence, inbound marketing campaign

Search engine optimization: 

Managing the effectiveness of  the search results of a website

Social network marketing:

Utilizing sites such as Facebook to communicate about a product or with an audience

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Open source collaboration:  

Working with others to develop new products

Viral marketing:

Creating videos that support brand message and which also become immensely popular

Web analytics:

Managing marketing data to support sales efforts

Brand support:                     

Tracking data re:company brand & presenting trends, making recommendations based on web analytics

Many universities located in Greater Baltimore offer individual courses in digital marketing; and, a few are developing programs around this new specialty. While this listing is not meant to be exhaustive, a few include: Stevenson University, a new undergraduate digital marketing program, Johns Hopkins University, an online graduate degree in media theory, persuasion, and research in the contemporary digital media environment, and Montgomery College located in Rockville, Md. offers an on campus course in digital communications management and social media marketing,

Susan Brown originally spent many years in banking/finance before confronting her addictions. She has now been in recovery for 20 years. Her current interests, in which she has several certifications, are metaphysics and the healing arts. She has written for Examiner.com since 2009 and also writes for Om Times.

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