ViewPoint: Why leave digital marketing to an intern?

You’re lying in a hospital bed and two doctors come along. One tells you that you need surgery and that this new young junior doctor will perform it. Oh and it’s his first operation. He’s an intern, you see. Has to start somewhere, doesn’t he?

Well yes you would be thrilled to hear that now, wouldn’t you?

So why do some many companies entrust the most public marketing communications with their customers (digital and social media) to interns??

OK a bit of a leap from surgery to updating a Facebook page but you get my point, I hope.

Here in Ireland, I see a load of job adverts for ‘digital marketing executives’ and they make me laugh most of the time.

Roughly 70% of the these digital marketing/content jobs are for ‘interns’. That is people who won’t get paid for their work Or they get a €50 allowance on top of their social welfare benefit payment. Of course the intern scheme is sold as giving someone the opportunity to get experience that they wouldn’t otherwise get. And of course, work for more or less nothing.

Now I consider digital marketing and content marketing to be pretty important in the promoting your product or service. But it’s obvious that many companies don’t. Otherwise, why give this valuable role to someone who is a) inexperienced and b) unpaid? They are not exactly committed to doing a great job now are they?

Many companies have leapt headfirst onto the social media and digital marketing bandwagon over the past couple of years. But many don’t have a clue as to why and even what they are doing with it. A few years ago it was about having a web site (and many still struggle with that). Now they have to have a Facebook page. Why? And what do they do with it? And more so who can look after all this without it costing a fortune?

Aha! An intern. Perfect. We can have all that social media stuff and won’t have to pay (much) anyone to do it. Some poor sod can be an intern and learn on the job. And then companies say that their social media/digital marketing stuff isn’t working and is a waste of time. “I’m glad we didn’t pay a large salary for a Digital Marketing person as it obviously doesn’t work.”

You think!!!

Spare me please. As someone looking for a new role I am not competing directly against these people but in one way I am because they are lowering the value of the many web related content and marketing type jobs. Some companies do place a value on good digital and content marketing. But not enough of them do. And that has a negative impact on everyone in the business creating great online content.