5 essential digital marketing skills today
Preparing for a job in the marketing world of tomorrow will be much different than it is today. While the basics may be the same, the digital marketing skills and tools you need to analyze, create, and implement marketing campaigns continue to evolve at breakneck speed.
74 percent of marketing executives acknowledge that marketing organizations face a critical talent shortage due to a lack of digital skills. In other words, there is a huge gap between what they need to know and what they actually know. To cope, almost half of the executives said they will focus more on recruiting; 40 percent said they will equally focus on recruiting and upgrading their existing workforce.
This represents a great opportunity. Mastering the skills now will prepare you for that future. These are some of the emerging skills that you will need to master to be ready.
1. Ability to analyze data and extract insights
The growth of digital marketing has created endless amounts of data. Marketers now have more access to campaign performance and consumer behavior. To understand this huge amount of data, tomorrow's specialists will need to master data analysis.
This goes beyond web analytics and site performance. The digital marketers of tomorrow will need to be well-versed in how data shapes and drives the customer experience across all platforms and channels. They will need to master several tools, including Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads Managers, and various ad exchanges. If your company collects additional data from customers, they may need to be proficient in Excel and SQL to run queries against the data and discover insights.
Digital marketers can track this customer journey to provide insight into what works and what leads to conversions. They will be able to see which campaigns are generating valuable customers and which efforts are not generating ROI.
Marketers should be comfortable analyzing data and recognizing business opportunities. It takes a seasoned eye for data management – the ability to take raw data and turn it into business strategies. They will also need to tell stories with that data to inspire action.
Marketing analysts will work with both structured and unstructured data. Structured data, also known as quantitative data, includes facts and numbers that software can collect and sort. Unstructured data, also called qualitative data, includes subjective input about your brand, such as survey responses, blog comments, or social media comments.
2. Organizational and Project Management Skills
Executing multiple digital campaigns can quickly become complex. Building an omnichannel marketing plan includes various technologies and different measures that lead to a lot of moving parts to coordinate. Digital marketplaces must also have the skills of a project manager and bring together disparate teams to move marketing ideas from concept to completion.
Project management skills include leading and directing internal and external teams to manage projects and deliverables. Project managers must have technical skills, but they must also be able to break complex projects into actionable steps. They need to be able to clearly communicate objections and then motivate teams to create a seamless experience.
Digital marketing project managers must manage the workflow process. They must master tools like Trello, Basecamp or Wrike. They will need experience with agile development methods and content management systems (CMS).
3. Automation Knowledge and Appreciation
Marketing automation streamlines and optimizes marketing efforts. It allows companies to target customers with messages and sales through workflows. Online marketing efforts can be customized on the fly to send different messages to different prospects at different points in the customer buying journey. Implementing automation helps the team get more done and also creates a better customer experience.
Marketing automation has enabled more precise messaging and is becoming widely adopted. About 68 percent of marketing leaders currently use automation in some way. The marketers of tomorrow need the skills to develop content marketing strategies and automation throughout the customer lifecycle.
4. UX skills and understanding of the customer experience.
Marketing is no longer just about getting the customer to buy. It now includes the experiences that continue after the sale, including onboarding, communications, and even upselling. Due to this ongoing effort to maintain and increase sales from current customers, marketers need to understand the entire customer experience and provide insights on the best UX and CX.
Marketers must fully understand the customer, their wants, needs, and pain points. Then, they will build a complete customer experience, from increased awareness of the product or service to the entire customer lifetime.
Finally, digital marketers should continue to get feedback from current and former customers about why the product does and doesn't meet their needs. This valuable information can be used in marketing materials to improve the digital experience.
5. Social Media Insights
For many organizations, social media is an effective way to drive website traffic and ultimately sales. The marketers of tomorrow must go beyond the occasional post on social media. Rather, they need to understand paid social media advertising, social chatbots, and how to build engaging communities on social media.
Marketers need to research where their audiences are and what kind of creative will appeal to them the most. They may need to create content in various forms, such as images and videos, and be able to slice that creative into different sizes to fit various social feeds. Lastly, marketers must rely on strong analytics capabilities to ensure that social ads deliver a strong ROI.
In addition, marketers need to stay ahead of the curve and be aware of emerging platforms like Tik Tok, SnapChat, and others. Social media is a constantly evolving space that requires understanding best practices while also experimenting with new ways to share information. This job requires creativity and analytical strategy to measure which social campaigns drive traffic and orders.
Tomorrow's Digital Marketers Are Lifelong Learners
The future of digital marketing skills development will remain competitive and data-driven. Digital marketers will need to continue to be creative in the content they produce, but they will also need the skills and tools to measure the success of each endeavor.
As digital marketing continues to expand, the best marketers will be lifelong learners who are hungry to develop and invest in new digital marketing skills.
Developing your skills is a key part of success when it comes to your marketing activities. Understanding how to create marketing strategies, how to integrate each part of your funnel, and how to report on your results, among many other things, will ensure that you get the results you want.
Other notes that may also interest you:
ECommerce digital marketing strategies to boost your brand
Difference between social media and digital marketing