Digital Marketing

The Death of Eureka; just show me the money!

From the time I started this journey of becoming a Digital Marketer, I had to ask a very personal question: what’s the most desired skill of a contemporary Digital Marketer?

Looking from a junior role perspective, I was always asking myself this question again and again for almost a year. Determined to end my anguish, I turned the question into the subject of my dissertation.

The research was carried out in 2012 and though it may sound like long time ago, especially due to the changing nature of the digital field, I’ve realised recently the shocking relevance of my findings two years ago.

Since January, I started the time-consuming task of finding a job in Digital Marketing. I created a checklist of what I wanted in a role and my career goals in order to choose wisely. This is a milestone in my professional life and a huge step to get me closer to my dreams so I carefully evaluated agency-side or client-side roles, company size, location, organisational culture etc.

Well after the “theoretical” part came the hard work:
a) Where do I start looking?
b) How should I sell myself? And especially
c) What types of roles should I apply for? What am I good at?

For the first question, and following my husband’s advice, I identified the recruitment agencies who specialised in Digital Marketing roles in London. I called them, introduced myself and asked them Question C. Most of them were very professional and after assessing my experience, background and studies, they started to direct me into the fields they thought I should think about applying for e.g. PPC, SEO, Account Management, Social Media and Media Planning & Buying.

And here comes the “flashback” of my dissertation findings:

Skills digital marketers

After analysing 250 online candidate specifications for Digital Marketing posts in the major Recruitment Job Boards in the UK, this is the answer to the question “What is the MOST required skill for Digital Marketers?”

Not only is it a big coincidence that my new job is in SEO but also if you see all the skills mentioned above, (copywriting and web design), they all have an analytical, data-driven nature and believe me when I say employers are really looking for numerical people in Digital Marketing.

I had Excel tests, logical reasoning tests and algebra problems in all of my interviews but one! So when applying for jobs and reading role requirements like:

• Highly numerate
• Analytical – ability to work with large data sets in excel
• Good head for numbers
• Meticulous attention to detail
• Superior analytical skills
• Highly data driven

Prepare in advance for some sort of maths test and try to show not only that you know the answer (if you do), but if you don’t, try to find a way to show you’ve tried and you gave it some thought.

Finally, and after this job hunting period, I’ve comprehended the amazing evolution of marketing roles. A couple of decades ago, it was all about the “Eureka” myth and coming up with creative and unique ideas to reach more customers. I’m not saying creativity is dead but definitely KPIs and especially ROI are pretty much everything a company boardroom, and your boss, want to see.

Social Media, Technology

My takings from the Digital Marketing Show 2013

Failing to listen to the conversations in the crowded Content Theatre, I managed to listen to the talk by Kimberley Brind from Oracle: “My Social Journey: The great, the bad and the ugly” in the Social Media Theatre. It was really interesting and therefore I’d like to share the highlights and the key learning bytes:

1. Main challenges for Digital Marketing as a vital division within the companies:

a. Prove ROI: although this has been discussed at length, we know that as marketers this is the weakest link in the area. Also working alongside the sales department in order to probe real added value in each campaign has become the main challenge for all digital marketers in terms of conversions and cash flow for the company.
b. Work in silos: how digital marketing activities can empower the rest of the organisation and boost results is always an underlying question for Marketing managers. Very much related to the previous point, digital marketing cannot and should not work independently but should support all divisions and get ideas from other areas of the company.
c. Culture: according to recent research by Livingsocial, 68% of small businesses are failing to make the most of social media missing out on £554 million each year by not using social media tools fully. Call it a managerial gap, resistance to change or lack of digital skills.
d. Narcissism: corporate narcissism is not only a challenge but a trait that could leave companies out of the game, especially with a constantly changing technological landscape that not only generates opportunities for companies and brands but also threatens some industries and marketing strategies.
e. Content: much has been said this year about how important Content is. Nevertheless, in the most recent research from the Content Marketing institute, only 44% of marketers have a documented content strategy.
f. Skill set: undoubtedly there is a huge skill gap in digital marketing. LinkedIn first suggested that 85% of people who work in social media have been in the industry for less than two years! This alone clearly illustrates the challenge.
g. Change: on a daily basis, digital marketing platforms are evolving; new technologies, tools and even new needs shape the way marketers should solve problems and turn simple reach into profits.

2. Ten key pieces of advice:

a. Key metrics: as studied before in the Google Squared course, focus on Analytics not on reporting. Find the main KPIs and track the performance getting valuable insights to take clever actions from it.
b. Be sales-oriented and know your ROI: put the benefits in numbers and be clear with the financial benefits for the company.
c. Emotional storytelling: everyone knows how powerful a nice story in the media can be. Linking that story to all your marketing touch points is a news story on steroids.
d. Image-Centric Content: A picture is worth a thousand words and I’ll put my neck in the line to say that very soon a video will be worth a million images.
e. Demand generation tactics: for brands seeking to boost sales, receiving mentions and likes isn’t enough; how do you turn good comments into cash flow? Managing the conversion funnel, remarketing and CRM are some useful tactics.
f. Test-refine-Test AGAIN: with the digital evolution and what it implies, testing and refining are constants in the industry. Also the ability to be agile and as seen in Google Squared “Fail fast”, succeed faster.
g. Think mobile: according to the latest statistics, we spend 26% of our time on Facebook on our mobile devices. The multi-screen, multi-channel world has reshaped the way companies communicate and engage.
h. Social relation management: again, likes and follows are just scratching the surface of social media’s potential as a sales vehicle. The key is to develop pertinent content and build relationships with top influencers.
i. Humanising the brand: People like connecting with individuals, not faceless organisations. All this allows the creation of emotional connections or “lovemarks” (emotional attachment with a brand, coined by Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts); undoubtedly great campaigns are built on emotion.
j. Social is organic: business is inherently social and social technologies accelerate this nature and emphasise the need to communicate and express. The question is not “to use or not to use social”, but how to probe the positive effects these activities are having and providing credibility and trust for the industry.