Technology has rapidly transformed the marketing industry. Reuters reports that digital marketing spends in the US and UK alone is it 52 billion. That’s a 44% increase on the previous year. And the 2018 marketing trends report by McKinley found that while all other marketing functions are saturated there is still a big gap between the demand for digital marketing at 59% with active supply at 19%.
What does this mean for any entrepreneur, business owner or professionals in the field of marketing? Digital marketing is not only smart career move but I dare say it will be a required skill even if at a very basic level for every single business owner – yes, I just said it – and if you combine the right set of skills you can become one of the most in-demand business professionals in the world.
That said, let me give you a cheat sheet on how to stay ahead in the industry. Here are five skills that are really going to help you up your digital marketing game into 2020 and beyond!
Humans are complicated emotional creatures. In fact, according to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman 95% of our purchase decisions are made subconsciously. As a digital marketer, mastering the ability to compel and persuade the subconscious mind through online touchpoints is super powerful. You get this by having a firm grasp of digital psychology.
This relatively new field combines psychology and behavioural economics to better examine consumers’ online behaviours.
I see a huge focus in marketing on ‘WHAT’ of the customers while overlooking the ‘WHY’. As an Anthropology graduate with a massive understanding of human habits, behaviours, thought processes and cultures combined with 5+ years of experiences working directly with business owners, entrepreneurs and my hand on digital marketing, I can confidently say the bottom-up approach is the way to go. Yes, there’s always a WHY to the WHAT!
Even if you haven’t actively studied this discipline, you have probably been exposed to some of its principles. Here’s an example to see it in action, Amazon uses price anchoring against the recommended retail price to make their prices seem relatively cheap and appealing. Despite the fact that actually, most of the competition will sell lower than the RRP.
This has been referred to as the only channel a business truly owns. As markets become more and more saturated and consumer’s choice becomes more abundant, customer experience is one way that any business can utilize to stand out in the crowd. Put digital psychology in action to understand ‘the why’ of your customers and glue them by serving their deepest need(s). Here’s a practical case I encounter a lot, I am in the virtual service-based industry. I often encounter business owners who have been disappointed in the past individuals who overpromise and underdeliver. Those who think working virtually is a ‘make money quick scheme’. They charge the client’s hefty fees and deliver peanuts.
Whenever I meet clients who are very skeptical and not decided yet they’re crying out for help – right then, I always know there’s more to the story. 85% of the time, they’re usually scared of making the same mistake of bringing on-board a bad fit yet they’re faced with the reality of the inability to weed through. I make the process easier by leveraging free discovery calls to discuss expectations, scope, previous experiences, among others. The secret to successful working or hiring virtually is building trust so that’s exactly what I am to do with these calls and constant strategy calls to solidify the relationship.
As an Oracle report found, 86% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience and 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. Marketers in the digital age need to shift their focus from selling products to selling experiences, and ensuring that those experiences are great at every touchpoint.
So yes, you want to stay at the top of your digital marketing game? Sell the experience!
I’m using Front-end coding as a representative of techy skills out there. I think if you can master some of these technical skills even at a basic level, you will be able to help your clients truly set up their business to thrive in the digital transformation era. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you start building websites, mobile applications e.t.c.as a digital marketer. NO! I am a huge propagator of niching in your area of genius in this case I’m talking digital marketing. I just don’t want you to be left out when basic conversations are happening because you have zero knowledge of what’s going on in the technological world. In fact, as a digital marketer, your clients would truly appreciate if you are their eyes out there and point out when they need to tweak or reposition any of their technologies to match their brand.
Video marketing is fast becoming the most powerful content marketing format. According to HubSpot, 87% of businesses are now using video for marketing.
Social Media Today found that 90% of consumers claim that a video will help them make a purchasing decision. To stay at the top of your digital marketing game you really should gain a solid understanding of how to utilize video and implement a solid video marketing strategy.
Video marketing is effective in several ways e.g. increasing social engagement, reach and shares, building authority and thought leadership, improving SEO and converting and increasing sales. Video marketing tools are becoming increasingly abundant and accessible. There’s also a wealth of free information presented through videos on platforms such as YouTube that you can take advantage of to learn.
In an age of data-driven marketing, digital marketers without experience of digital analytics will soon become irrelevant. Avinash Kaushik, author and digital marketing evangelist for Google defines digital analytics as the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your business and the competition to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers and potential customers have which translates to your desired outcomes.
Going back to the “why” of customer behaviour and the importance of digital psychology, once that’s taken care of, get into digital analytics is about the “what”, and you really need to understand both. It helps you make more effective and data-driven decisions and make predictions on when and where your customers might appear in the buying journey.
It drives continuous improvement. Digital analytics can help you identify things like which digital touchpoints are effective and which can be improved: the customer acquisition cost achieved for different online channels and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and content.
Now, the most common, popular and powerful tool for digital analytics is Google Analytics and they generously offer it free of charge. A good place to start.
The reality that marketing is one skill that anyone can wake up one morning and claim is inevitable.
Most of us at one point or another have been in a place of negotiating and trying to convince someone into our ideas or suggestions. Yes, you will often hear marketers say I have excellent negotiation skills and can convince anyone to buy.
Honestly, I think in the world of business today, marketing is not just about negotiation and convincing. Most consumers have a general idea of what they’re looking for. Your role as a marketer is to show your client that you truly understand their needs (digital psychology), the value you’re bringing and how that will change their life/business, your strong understanding of the game by leveraging numbers (digital analytics), experience in different aspects of the digital marketing world and terms (video marketing) and allow them to make a decision based on the wealth of information you have provided.
This could be biased because I personally shy away from people who push their products/service into my throat without offering value or addressing my pain points but I know we have all had those experiences where we feel we’re being “conned” into buying.
If you’re ready to stand out among the crowd, invest and build your craft by mastering some of these skills. And don’t shy to showcase your skills or hold back because of some standards set – be bold, be authentic, be you. Add value, that’s the new name of the game in the world digital marketing.