A digital marketing career can be extremely rewarding and versatile. Every day is different and requires you to have a variety of roles—from data analyst to project manager and beyond—especially in an agency setting where projects and clients are constantly evolving.
The best part of the digital industry is the opportunity to embrace these various personas on any given day. While some days you might be focused on wearing one hat, the next day you may wear all five. If you’re looking to start a digital career or get more involved in your company’s digital strategy, there are certain attributes every digital marketer needs to have to be successful in the industry. Here are the five personalities of a digital marketer:
#1 The Data Geek – A large portion of my day (and the day of most digital marketers) is looking at the data and analyzing its importance to a campaign. You may hear a digital marketer spout off industry terms such as “click-through-rate,” “cost-per-acquisition,” and “sessions.” These mumbled metrics are important and provide key indicators of a successful campaign. The data geek persona loves to get their hands in the platforms pulling metrics, reading data and—most importantly—understanding the impact of the campaign based solely on a string of numbers that all correlate in a given time period. If you’re a digital marketer, you love numbers, and seeing how all of the dots connect.
#2 The Narrator – A narrator is someone with the gift of storytelling and explanation; digital marketers are often responsible to explain the data and digital progress to a client, someone who probably doesn’t know much about the digital world. This is an important attribute because digital marketers need to be able to paint the picture of the strategy – why we choose certain platforms, what the data means, why their investment in digital will help deliver measurable ROI, etc. Being able to translate digital into ROI is crucial for every new business meeting, client call, internal huddle, and training opportunity. Being conversational and making it easy to understand is key.
#3 The Student – Have a yearning for learning! Digital marketing is growing at a rapid pace, making it necessary to stay on top of the latest trends. There is so much to learn and your career can grow as fast as the industry if you’re willing to constantly embrace your inner student. Reading digital blogs, learning about platform updates and new features, renewing certifications, and staying “hip” to social trends and channels will keep you ahead of the game. A good way to learn is to take a few crash courses and obtain certifications such as AdWords and Google Analytics to help keep you in digital good graces.
#4 The Collaborator – Here’s the ultimate shout out to our creative colleagues – us digital marketers could not do our job without the designers, videographers, web developers, and all other creative team members that make digital possible. Simply put – the success of our campaigns draw from the expertise and collaboration with our creative counterparts. We can’t drive traffic to an undeveloped webpage or launch campaigns without precise great creative that engages the target audience. If there was ever a perfect marriage in the marketing world, the creative team and digital team would be soulmates. We need their creative input to launch a campaign, as much as they need our digital guidelines to understand what to produce. If you’re hopping on the digital band wagon, make sure you come prepped and ready to collaborate on a daily basis!
#5 The Innovator – There are multiple options for launching a digital campaign and integral elements in each. For example, Facebook has 14 campaign objectives to choose from, 13 available placements for ads, 6 ad options, and multiple ways to target an audience. So what? It means as digital marketer you have a lot of decisions to make and you must become an innovator in your practice. You must embrace every campaign for its uniqueness and decide what type of platform, campaign and ad will generate the most optimal outcome for that project. Without variety and constant innovation, digital campaigns can become stale and limited. It’s time to put on your Edison hat and wait for that light to flicker on.
Being a digital marketer is fun and exciting with plenty of twists and turns. We hold the key to endless opportunities on the internet. You know that bathing suit you looked at online and thought about buying that keeps stalking you and made its way on your Instagram timeline? That was us. It’s a digital marketer’s world – we’re just living in it.