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Mothnersaurus!In an article by blog extraordinaire, Steve Rubel, he lists that three current Internet careers will soon go the way of the dinosaur. The endangered dispositions are:

  1. Social Media Consultant
  2. Online Advertising Sales
  3. Digital Talent Agent

It’s not so much that Mr. Rubel believes that there will be no use for these professions, however, he feels that those being recruited to manage these tasks will begin to be replaced by those who can simply incorporate the online aspect into a broader role covering all media.

Maybe it’s my mortgage talking, but I’m not so sure that Mr. Rubel has thought this all the way through. The idea that companies would prefer to hire a media consultant, advertising salesman or talent agent (rather than a “social,” “online” or “digital” version of the three) doesn’t strike me as incorrect, but it does strike me as a bit myopic in terms of defining corporate needs. Although I agree with Mr. Rubel’s claim that the online realm is transitioning from the domain of the tech-savvy and avant-garde into what he called the “new norm” of business, I would counter that depending on the needs of a given corporation, specific focus may still be required for the online sphere.

Depending on the priority a company will or must place on its online investment, it is conceivable that the three careers in question could continue to grow, rather than go extinct. Focusing on the Online Advertising Sales career–as this career is essential to my livelihood–I would argue that the proverbial meteor is not on the way. Here at Wpromote, we come across myriad businesses, many of whom do significant advertising through traditional media and many of whom rely solely on the Internet as a form of gathering new business. Assuming that companies like the latter set, that drive sales and leads predominantly from online sources, are not going extinct–and Mr. Rubel makes no mention that they might be–there would essentially be no point in hiring an advertising manager with a broad range of experience across several different types of media. In fact, it behooves these companies to hire a specialist in the online world, as the efficacy of their advertising relies so much more on the ability to stay abreast of new developments in the online world than on new developments in the world of advertising in general.

If 90% of your widget sales come from Google and if traditional media (magazines, radio, TV, etc.) have proven too expensive, too risky or ineffective, you would be better equipped to achieve success with an Online Advertising Guru in your corner than an Advertising Veteran whose experience and knowledge is spread out over several different types of media, many of which are irrelevant to your business.

I agree with Mr. Rubel that the line between advertising, media consultation and talent finding and the online versions thereof is becoming more and more blurry by the day for many firms, perhaps for all of the world’s largest, most powerful firms. However, the majority of businesses out there are small businesses and their needs should not be ignored so cavalierly. For many of them, the Internet, unlike traditional media, has provided an opportunity to compete with the big boys, and as more small businesses come to believe that their best chance of competing is in the online world, more and more online specialists will be in demand.

Perhaps this is why online sales jobs continue to climb, which Mr. Rubel does point out, though explains away in a manner that I would describe as a bit too hasty. Mr. Rubel is a brilliant man, to say the least, but sometimes, if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s just a duck, no matter how much some of us would like to believe it’s a dinosaur.


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