This is a guest post by Emily Pope, Content Producer for General Assembly, an educational startup that offers full-time immersive programs, long-form courses, and workshops on the most relevant skills of the 21st century. Say hi @GoEKP. Join their newsletter to receive updates on the latest in business, tech, and design.
The past 15 years has brought on a major shift in the way businesses invest their marketing dollars. No longer are they relying solely on traditional media outlets like television, billboards, or radio to sell their products to the masses. Instead, they are following consumers online, communicating with them more directly through websites, apps, social media, and digital display advertising.
Today, marketers need to understand how potential buyers are consuming information, when, and on what devices. Understanding human behavior and psychology has always been important for marketers, and digital marketing makes more data available to monitor and interpret consumer behavior.
This online shift changes the nature of marketing, along with the skills that modern digital marketers need to master in order to stay relevant in an increasingly digital world.
1. Marketing Analytics
Analytics are a crucial part of understanding online consumer behavior as well as tracking and optimizing marketing campaigns. Services such as Google Analytics allow you to track website and app performance, measuring key metrics such as unique visitors, pages per visit, and conversions to help you identify what’s working and optimize for success.
2. Data Visualization
Similarly, you must be able to communicate that data in a clear and concise way that is both visually appealing and simple to interpret. This is essential when sharing your findings across departments, especially with higher ups who often control the marketing budget.
Data visualization helps you demonstrate the significance of data by placing it in a visual context that others can easily understand. You can do this using an array of tools such as Excel, Google Spreadsheets and Charts, and Visual.ly. I highly suggest watching this TEDTalk on “The beauty of data visualization” by David McCandles.
3. Web Design
Thoughtful design is essential for effective marketing. A web designer needs to have the unique ability to combine creativity with seamless user experience. Conversely, marketers must be able to recognize exceptional design and talented designers as a crucial piece of their overall strategy.
If you’re working for a small company or startup, you may not have the luxury of working with an in-house designer. In that case, it’s helpful to learn web design so you can make quick fixes and develop your own marketing collateral such as landing pages, and email templates.
4. Social Media
Social media enables you to share your brand’s story and connect with consumers in real-time on a more personal basis. A successful social media marketer combines creativity, intuition, and a deep understanding of fan behavior. For instance, what kind of content encourages fan engagement? How often should you post on which channel and at what time?
Pro tip: Check out Buffer’s scientific guide to posting to social media and sending emails at optimal times.
Nailing a social strategy takes constant iteration and attention to detail, and can involve a myriad of tools for listening, publishing, and advertising.
5. Project Management
As marketing teams become more robust, it’s crucial that managers have the ability to plan, organize, and control their resources and procedures to lead a diverse team and achieve their business goals. If you’re new to managing a team, consider finding a mentor(s), or taking courses on the subject. Your style will be unique to you, but it does not hurt to pick up a couple of best practices and learn from other people’s successes and mistakes.
As businesses continue to follow consumers online, it’s essential for modern marketers to understand the digital landscape and learn how to develop, track, and optimize online campaigns that speak to the consumer. What other skills have you learned that are essential for marketers in today’s digital landscape?
Subscribe to Marketing + Monitoring Weekly
Get hot blog posts, insanely useful resources, and funny gifs every Friday.