Imagine hitting “publish” on your first digital marketing campaign. The landing page is ready, a call-to-action box has been added, social media posts have been scheduled, and a carefully crafted email has been sent.
You smile with satisfaction at the skills you acquired in planning, organizing, curating, and editing this content. Along the way you even discovered a key insight from the analytics that resulted in identifying an entirely new growth segment.
You learned and, at times, struggled, but you refused to give up. You did it. You successfully started your career in digital marketing and have already distinguished yourself as a tenacious learner. Your trajectory is set to become an ever growing, highly competent marketer.
What if this really described you? Are you interested in digital marketing but unsure where to begin? Then this is for you!
Keep reading to learn how you can position yourself as an indispensable marketer in an industry experiencing both remarkable growth and a talent deficit. The tools are here. The time is now.
Editor’s note: Most of today’s post comes from our ebook, Breaking Into Digital Marketing.
Marketing, Then and Now
The story of marketing has transitioned from the old days of a traveling salesman with a briefcase to the industrialism of mass media broadcasts to an age of digital connection and individualism. Even what we call “interruption” advertising—mass media designed to interrupt our train of thought and capture our attention—has undergone a digital makeover; cold calling and direct mail marketing are now joined by popups and intrusive banner ads. Mass media broadcasts—standardized messaging distributed via TV, radio, and even spam emails—still exist, but they don’t carry the same impact due to the technology so many of us use day in and day out. We’ve got DVRs that let us skip TV commercials, spam filters to keep unwanted mass emails from our inbox, and browser extensions to block popups (not to mention mp3 playlists and internet radio subscriptions that allow us to bypass advertising between songs). It’s no longer a guarantee that consumers will be reached via mass market advertising.
A new kind of marketing is emerging—one that takes the emphasis off the company and places it on the consumer.
Some call it inbound marketing, or permission-based marketing. Inbound marketing empowers brands to build relationships based on trust and enabled by technology. Think about the difference between a spam email and your favorite podcast. One, you filter out and never see because it’s a noisy interruption. The other, you anticipate because it adds value to your life. And that product, your favorite podcast, exemplifies a shift from sales to marketing. From interruption to permission. From outbound to inbound. (Tweet this)
This change is not so much about digital marketing as it is marketing in a digital world. Consider the exponential growth in social media, mobile apps, and even car infotainment dashboards over the past few years. Today’s world operates in the connection economy where relationships—enabled by technology—matter more than ever. Building trust is paramount.
Understanding Customer-Centric Marketing
Businesses can cultivate trust-based relationships with their market by creating compelling content. “A significant 58% of marketers stated that original written content is the single most important form of content [for social media marketing], followed by original visual assets (19%),” according to Michael Stelzner in his 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.
Inbound digital marketing works because it is customer-centric. Marketers are putting away their megaphones and conversing with consumers one-on-one instead. This kind of marketing finds the right people and interacts with them on their terms. It solves problems for the consumer. Permission-based marketing is art of crafting a true brand experience. (Tweet this)
Statistics overwhelming validate the efficacy of inbound marketing. “…In 2014, more than twice as many respondents cited inbound (45%) as their primary source of leads versus outbound (22%),” Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2014 report stated.
The fusion between technology and marketing has taken the wildest dreams of marketers of 10 years ago and turned them into reality. Before the twenty-first century, it was impossible to conduct personalized business at scale. Now it is not only possible, it is essential. “The ability to find people, to talk specifically to them, to judge them, to rank what they’re doing, to decide what to do with your products… (it) changes every business globally,” reflected Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google.
Some technology solutions were created over a decade ago, such as Constant Contact in 1995, Google AdWords in 2000, and MailChimp in 2001. However, over half of the 2,000+ marketing technology solutions available today were launched in 2014. These digital innovations span a vast array of the industry’s more recent needs, including:
This list reflects the areas of expertise businesses must develop and incorporate in their marketing in order to succeed in today's technology powered connection economy. These are just broad areas, though—the potential skills a marketer could acquire within each area are extensive.
Finding Your Integral Place
Tomorrow’s skilled marketers understand the why behind their marketing (client needs, company solution, and the story tying both together) and how to execute campaigns (channels, tools for automation, etc.). (Tweet this) Then they use that understanding to curate the what for their creative campaigns. They are hybrids, incorporating elements of traditional marketing with current-day analytics and cutting-edge technology.
Unfortunately, talent—or rather, a lack of talent—restricts us from maximizing our available resources. Technology has grown exponentially while talent has only developed marginally, if at all. A lack of skilled marketers leads to severely under utilized assets and ultimately lost revenue. The marketing industry will face an even greater talent deficit as innovation continues to accelerate.
Unless more hybrid marketers launch.
Could you be the next hybrid marketer the industry so desperately needs? It’s time to find out. Take the next step and get your copy of Breaking Into Digital Marketing, which will detail your next steps toward a rewarding career you’ll love.