What Do Digital Marketers Need to Have a Sustainable Career?

May 3, 2021 by

What Does a Digital Marketer Do? | DMI

Digital marketing is a broad field that is growing in demand and usage across various business sectors. There’s virtually no segment of business or industry that is untouched by the need for a new, better approach to marketing online. And so it is that people are embarking on this journey to learn to market successfully to online users, analyze information generated by actions taken, and make the right decisions for the benefit of their employer.

Just like other parts of the broader information technology space, it’s rapidly changing. As such, it’s impossible to keep up with it all. While a basic Computer Science qualification may be the initial entry point to working in the field and being accepted, professional certifications and master’s degrees in specialist areas of IT are often necessary to get ahead.

Here is what digital marketers need to succeed and have a sustainable career.

An Ability to Embrace Rapid Change

Younger people are often thrilled to come across new concepts and ideas. However, for people who are a little older, they may find it more difficult to keep evolving. Digital marketing is a segment of the business world that is always transforming, so it’s necessary to embrace change. Trying to object to it or even build up resentment towards it won’t work in their career because, if anything, the speed of change is accelerating. Therefore, digital marketers must be nimble. This ability is highly sought-after by startups and other companies that know they must keep up with technological change.

Not Sticking to a Single Platform or Technology

Many digital marketers are heavily investing in the Apple ecosystems with MacBook, their iPhone, the iCloud, and more. That’s fine, but not every company is similarly invested. The majority of available software is accessible on either a Windows system or a Mac, with many also offering Linux versions. Furthermore, systems have recently become more agnostic with new solutions being offered as an online SaaS without installable desktop software at all.

Therefore, it’s best if the digital marketer is well versed in using both a Mac and a Windows system, so they don’t come unstuck when looking for a job. Playing catchup on basic technology platforms will not be looked upon favorably by prospective employers.

Up their Game with a Master’s Degree

To be taken more seriously in digital marketing, it’s sometimes beneficial to undertake additional studies or grasp educational opportunities along the way. Otherwise, there’s a significant risk of falling behind technologically and existing skills becoming redundant. Ultimately, the result can indeed be redundancy for employees who simply cannot keep up with today’s technology in their field.

With digital marketing analytics training, the idea is to delve deep into branding, story creation, promotional campaigns, and digital marketing in all its various forms. While it’s possible to only work as a social media manager, studying for a master’s covering data analytics and a range of digital marketing analytics training concepts, allows the marketer to specialize at a larger company or to cover several areas for an SME.

Understand Branding and What it Means

A marketer may never deal directly with brands. They may eventually find themselves managing pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns rather than crafting a completely new promotional campaign. However, it’s still necessary to appreciate brand marketing, the protection of the brand image, and how this intercepts with advertising campaigns.

Certainly, companies and clients look for a reasonable return on their investment (ROI) into PPC campaigns. The ROI must be sufficient to cover the advertising cost, the product itself, and leave a healthy profit margin too. Yet advertising mustn’t mislead or create a false impression that can otherwise damage the brand behind the advert.

As such, people who work in paid advertising as a specialist digital marketer must appreciate the bigger picture and not just look at what wording or imagery on an advertisement will get the highest response rate. While running profitable ad campaigns is the end goal, there is more involved and put at risk than that alone.

A Natural Storyteller?

There is certainly a case to be made for digital marketers needing to be natural storytellers. Now certainly, not every marketer is going to have the “gift of the gab” or be able to spin an interesting story out to a successful ending that applies to the marketing space. However, it’s a feather in their cap if they can.

Digital Marketers are Creative

There’s a great deal of creativity that goes into roles within the digital marketing space. While people tend to think more about the ‘digital’ bit and less about the ‘marketing’ bit, marketing is where the money is surely made (the digital is just the medium).

Is a Digital Marketer a Salesperson in Disguise?

Marketing involves selling to a degree. It’s idealized around the promotion of an idea, a new concept, a product, or a service to get other people to buy into it. Even when using social media to promote a company and its collection of brands, there is still a degree of selling or marketing spin involved here too. Companies want to look good, not make public snafus, and put their best foot forward. And digital marketers often help them to do just that.

A Head for Figures

To understand what’s going on with consumers, including visitors to the site, it’s necessary to also have a head for figures. So, creative natural storytellers must conversely also be data-oriented? It seems like a tough ask because it’s two different skill sets at play, but the data is important too.

In an age of big data, companies realize that they now can capture a considerable amount of consumer and product data than in years past. Included in this is analytical data captured from website visitors, social media usage, and a host of other areas.

It is up to the data analysts to look at the data and make sense of the noise. A useful analysis of information collected can provide insight into customer behaviors, preferred products, and innovations that they respond well to.

Understanding SEO and How It’s Applied

Search engine optimization, broadly speaking, is a role where the marketer will endeavor to rank a website higher in Google, Bing, and other search engines than it otherwise would.

Every digital marketer can benefit from a reasonable knowledge of how SEO is performed. Current best practices are exactly that. Some will be on the borderline of acceptability and subsequently be considered a black hat or a gray hat tactic that’s ill-advised. Other SEO practices are safer to use, and for companies concerned about the risks, they are the ones to stick with and nothing else.

The busy digital marketer must know the difference between current best practices and those to avoid. Many will benefit from a sense of history in SEO too, including past Google updates that ran roughshod through e-commerce companies that failed to toe the line. These provide a necessary perspective on what can happen when you don’t follow good practices; going a darker route runs the risk of a manual penalty from Google.

A Willingness to Work Remotely

It has long been the case that digital marketers are often recruited but only ever work remotely. This has been something of a boon for people who wished to be a digital nomad and travel the world. However, it has also been useful for those that aren’t a fan of the office environment or the office politics that often comes out of them.

While working remotely isn’t a requirement, it’s far more common in digital marketing because most of the software tools can either be downloaded or are a SaaS. Therefore, there’s nothing much in the physical realm that requires their presence in the office.

The remoteness can make the work lonely at times, so people who don’t work in an office environment need to find ways to manage or mitigate that.

Results-Driven Environment

Digital marketing is about creativity and productivity. It’s a result-driven work environment, so anyone looking for an easy ride or to coast through the day until 5 PM should look elsewhere. Indeed, sometimes the hours get longer when there’s a rush project on and it’s all hands on deck. A certain degree of flexibility with working hours on either side is useful to handle the “hurry up and wait” aspect of client work that sometimes occurs.

Closing Thoughts

To have a sustainable career, a young mind is useful. It can be a young mind in an older body, but flexibility and an unending willingness to be adaptable matter most in this career. Being a natural storyteller in a digital setting is a helpful trait to be sure of. However, also having a head for the analytical side of things is extremely sought after by businesses because there’s money buried in the data if you can find it.

For people who choose to enter this field, they may begin as a generalist but later it’s likely that they’ll specialize in the role that speaks the most to them. That way, they can have the greatest impact and leverage their skillset well at the same time.

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