The digital media director position is a relatively recent one. It has only existed since computer-based media and advertising became a viable market during the mid-1990s. Since the job is still so new to many, the actual responsibilities of a digital media director vary from place to place. Common jobs include overseeing teams of media creators and planners, working with clients on digital media projects, and developing new digital media advertising formats.
A digital media director typically has a college education, but there are a wide range of fields that can lead someone to this position. It is common for a person with this job to have a degree in standard or digital marketing. He or she will likely have the background to organize and create the campaigns as well as the business sense to run a department. Less common positions leading into this profession are graphic design, search engine optimization, and webpage creation and programming.
Most digital media directors head either their own department or their own section within a department. Depending on the size of the organization, this can have many different meanings. They may have a full team in larger firms or a single assistant in smaller ones. Smaller companies often require the director to handle his own accounting while larger firms do not. Company size and configuration also determines whether the director is the main contact with digital clients.
Regardless of whether he is on his own or in a team, the most common job of a digital media director is overseeing the creation digital content. This content is typically advertising for the parent company or client. It is usually destined for an online release and may include music, a graphic presentation, or interactive media.
Due to the quick changes in this specialty area, it is important for a digital media director to stay ahead of trends in many different industries. As a result, another common job is predicting trends in the online marketing world. Companies may create campaigns targeting trends and groups that don't exist yet, banking on the accuracy of the director's predictions.
Two items in the media director's tool belt are viral marketing and interactive advertising. These areas work well through online releases and both marketing strategies rely on the public doing the majority of the distribution. With viral marketing, the director creates something that will make people want to show it to others. One person will show it to all of his friends, then they will show it to all of theirs, spreading the advertising like a virus.
Interactive advertising involves giving people instructions to perform a task, find an object, or solve a riddle to learn a clue. The clue leads them to a new task, making the advertising campaign into a game. Campaigns like this were attempted in the past, but it wasn't until the market became saturated with media-capable cell phones and social networking sites that they became truly effective.