5 skills digital marketers need to know
February 28, 2017
Digital Marketing is currently one of the most in-demand skills. In fact, according to LinkedIn, digital marketing related jobs claimed multiple top 20 spots in both 2014 and 2015.
Because of its growth, marketing has become an incredibly broad field, with many different disciplines coming under its umbrella. As a result, it’s often no longer enough to just specialise in one area. Digital marketers need to become well-versed in multiple skills to meet the ever-growing demands of modern businesses.
While each industry and individual company does require specific skills, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 you’ll need for any digital marketing position!
1. A basic understanding of psychology
Marketing is, at its core, about communicating the right message to the right people. Whether they know it or not, emotions play a significant role in a customer’s purchasing behavior. It’s up to you, therefore, to understand how to take advantage of this.
You must understand heuristics, purchasing behaviors and patterns, how to map customer journeys and draw out customer avatars. In doing so you will be able to motivate potential customers to not only make a purchase, but also to feel good about their purchase after.
Customer psychology and persuasion are oft-written about topics, so doing some good ol’ fashioned reading are excellent starting points on sharpening up your knowledge! Our favorite books are Influence by Robert Cialdini, and How to Make Friends and Persuade People by Dale Carnegie
2. A solid understanding of web development
From building complex landing pages to implementing deep tracking capabilities into your websites, technologies based on code form the cornerstone of much of what you do as a digital marketer. To not understand how these technologies work would be significantly limiting.
Most importantly, understanding code allows you to work independently and flexibly. It can be incredibly frustrating sitting around twiddling your thumbs, waiting for a development team to make small changes to a website, or to implement a tracking pixel. Having the confidence to get your hands dirty is incredibly valuable (and rewarding!).
3. Data analysis
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for digital marketers is determining ROI. Data and analytics should underpin any decision and eventual action taken by a digital marketer. That’s why all digital marketers need to have a strong understanding in interpreting and gathering insights from a variety of analytics platforms.
Even then, it’s not enough to just be able to collect the data. As the digital marketer, it’s up to you to find the metrics, set the goals that matter, and discard the rest. You’ll need to understand the difference between ‘lagging’ and ‘leading’ metrics to predict outcomes and learn from the past. You’ll need to know how to segment your audience to gain meaningful insights, create custom dashboards so your team can focus on what’s important, and translate all the figures so the right people can understand them.
4. Marketing Automation
As a digital marketer, you’ll have what might seem like a million different tasks. Marketing automation makes working on various projects on different platforms or channels easier and more efficient.
From automatic email sequences that welcome a new customer to webhooks, which send user details to the right email lists, marketing automation allows you, the marketer, to do more with less. It not only alleviates tedious tasks, but will also help you test and refine processes that traditionally a larger team would need to do.
5. Conversion Optimisation
Conversion is the moment you turn a stranger into a customer, or a prospect into a warm lead. Conversion optimization is the process of ensuring the highest possible rate of conversion with any interaction with a customer. In other words, it’s ensuring your business is watertight when it comes to acquiring customers.
A/B testing, multivariate testing and determining the local maxima are all parts of conversion optimization. The process is one deeply rooted in strategy and data analysis, requiring an almost scientific approach: you’ll need to draw a hypothesis, run experiments and then analyze the results.
This might seem complex to begin but every business can benefit greatly from conversion optimization. If done correctly, it can produce incredible results for the business at little to no cost.
These skills that apply to a wide array of industries and businesses, making you an invaluable asset to any team. Regardless of how fast the digital landscape shifts, these skills will always be vital to any industry so you’ll know your time is going to good use!
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