October 2019 will mark my first year full-time in Digital Marketing. It has been the best decision of my life hands down. After spending over two years in traditional marketing and business development, I knew my real calling was in Digital Marketing. I did a quick classroom course back in 2018, and through that got myself into Digital Marketing.
I had no clue what I was entering into. But this one year has been the most exhilarating. It is rightly said, only experience can really teach you. And in this blog, I want to highlight some key things I learnt. These will stay with me for a lifetime.
Marketing hasn’t changed, it has evolved…
Initially, I was of the view that Marketing and Digital Marketing are totally different. Only to realize this was NOT TRUE at all. To become a quality digital marketer, you have to be an excellent marketer. The basics of marketing have not changed. Understanding your audience, user segments, market research, all of these have been in marketing since its inception and continues to do so today.
Here’s my point, understand the heart of marketing and you will position yourself as a quality digital marketer.
Decide what kind of Digital Marketer you want to be…
This was inspired after I had a meeting with my CTO one Friday. There are usually a couple of types of Digital Marketers in the world of Marketing.
— Jack of all, master of none.
— Jack of all, master of one.
— Jack of all, master of most.
You need to identify yourself with one of the three buckets mentioned above. In the ideal world, a digital marketer does everything. But let’s be real, that is close to impossible. From what I notice, the industry is heading towards hiring specialists (Facebook Ads, SEO, Email Automation) than generalists (Digital Marketing Specialists).
If you’re carrying the tag ‘Digital Marketing’ and are not specialised in anything, that is a dangerous place to be in. A good digital marketer is someone who has a really good understanding of skills across the table but highly specialized in one or two of these disciplines. In other words, today, the ‘T-shaped marketer’ is what people are looking for.
Identify yourself in the bucket and you will be ahead of the game.
Experiment. Experiment. Experiment.
If you are a person that believes it’s your way or the highway. Then I’m sorry, Digital marketing might not be for you. You will have to learn to experiment. And do so a lot! I remember when I first came in, I had no clue where to start. I had to figure it out. Here is where you will have to dip your fingers in everything. I realised after a few days what worked and what didn’t work for us. For example, E-Mail marketing didn’t work at all, because of our target audience, so we scrapped it after the first month. Is it blogs, paid marketing channels, SEO, Social Media, E-Mail marketing?
Try, test and conquer… That’s the approach one must take when you’re in digital marketing.
Be Adaptive to Change
This is so important! I do not know how to stress this point enough. You cannot go about thinking you’ve got it all together. If one campaign is successful for a while, it can turn tides next week. That is the level of adaptability one should have in digital marketing. I remember the time in AppBrowzer where there was one platform giving us most of our revenue. One fine day, our account got disabled. We had to make a decision, act quickly and shift to another network.
It was an important lesson for me personally, I was so used to one way. But we had to change and adapt to a newer platform. In this field, changes occur frequently. Especially with regard to SEO and Google algorithms. It is important to stay up-to-date and make the right changes to be ahead in the game.
Here’s what I can confidently say, if you don’t change, then Digital Marketing will force you to change. Be adaptive, you will go the long haul.
Last but not least, Keep LEARNING…
The playing field is changing by the hour. Users are more demanding than ever. Competitors are constantly staying ahead. In light of this, it is so crucial to keep learning.
Reading blogs, listening to podcasts have helped get an enhanced perspective. I’m pretty active on LinkedIn, connecting to my peers and reading what others are sharing. It has helped me gather information from thought leaders in marketing and digital marketing. I have also benefited by attending community events like – Growth Folks, a community/group of Growth Hackers, Marketers, Digital Marketers, and Marketing Enthusiasts having a simple yet common mindset — to grow.
Bottom line — Never stop learning!
Digital Marketing is ‘THE’ thing right now. According to a recent post I read on LinkedIn Digital Marketing is the top 2 most wanted talent just after software developers. Even when we hear about an economic slowdown, this field is thriving! However, the quality is lacking overall. I have talked to hundreds of HRs and industry experts, they all validate my point. Just because you do a course is not enough. There has to be substantial real-world evidence to prove your output.
Hope you’ve been benefited from this short read. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below.