CIC - Spring 2019

Digital Media – Building Connections in Real Time

Digital media is the art of engaging consumers with a unique mix of creative content and technology to build a memorable experience.

Successful digital media connects with and entertains its users while also delivering its message in a unique and memorable way.

John Hoeschen is the President of Zero Din Marketing Solutions Ltd., a digital marketing firm based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. “The future of business is digital media. I believe we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface where digital media is concerned. As a very basic example, if you own a business and you don’t have a website you’re seriously limiting your marketing potential. A strong social media presence is also essential in today’s competitive environment. The vast portion of our demographic are tech-savvy, relying on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get information and stay connected. Digital billboards allow companies to continuously change up their message in the outdoor advertising field.”

Even industries like finance, health, government and education that have had more traditional marketing practices are increasingly turning to digital media to form and maintain relationships with consumers. Telemedicine is bringing specialists to remote areas via videoconferencing, and digital patient records make it easier and more convenient to obtain care. Governments can communicate with vast numbers of citizens during crisis situations with emergency alert notification systems. And digital learning is transforming global education by connecting educators with students from all over the world.

Dr. Mandeep Pannu is a Lecturer and Researcher in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensic at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia. She explains, “In today’s world we are surrounded by technology. It is used to store, manipulate, create and distribute information. There are various emerging technologies related to websites, emails, mobile and wireless devices, online banking, online news, online learning and electronic games that impact our everyday lives. Technology is not only used in hardware and software, it also contributing to applications such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Twitter.”

Successful digital media makes it fun for users to connect. Losing weight or learning a new language can become like a game with an interactive design. Knowing where your customers are located, called geolocation tracking, can help a company relate to customers on a truly local level. Live video is one of the newly emerging forms of digital media. A company can present its message and then receive immediate feedback from customers and answer their questions in real time. Social listening tools are being developed to monitor social media accounts by searching for certain words and phrases, and monitoring @mentions, comments and hashtags. Social listening tools make it easier to address customer concerns, monitor reviews, and use customer feedback to launch new products or services.

Effective digital media specialists must be able to work within a large team of diverse personalities. Creating digital media requires an entire group of experts including artists, writers, technical professionals and marketing specialists to make the user’s experience unforgettable. Communication within the team is essential and a project leader with experience and knowledge of each aspect of the team will make the project develop smoothly.

Digital Media college courses educate students about working in multi-skilled teams and developing their creative business skills. Students acquire these skills not only through learning in the classroom but also by industry placements during practicum periods through real-world experience.

Digital media specialists may find employment in the following industries: Entertainment, Marketing, Advertising, Technology, e-Commerce, Government, Sports, Environment, Non-Profit, Television and Publishing. But more and more, the sky is the limit as increasinglyindustries become digital.

Good Digital Media specialists must be creative thinkers with digital design skills, have a knowledge of behavioural psychology, an understanding of social media strategy, and excellent written communication abilities.

In Canada the average salary for a Digital Media Specialist is about $64,799 per year or $33.23 per hour. Entry level positions start at $51,126 per year, while the most experienced can earn up to $76,513+ per year.

Dr. Pannu predicts, “The need for IT professionals will increase because in today’s digital world, computers and IT are getting into almost every aspect of our life. According to analyst firm Gartner, there will be 20 billion Internet connected devices to be deployed by 2020. IT professionals will be required to fulfill the demands of all those emerging technologies.”

By Jackie Fritz