One Thing You Need to Know About “Digital Marketing”
Have you ever heard someone refer to themselves or someone else as a “Digital Marketer”?
It’s not an uncommon job title, especially for small companies that employ one or two generalists to handle all of their digital channels.
However, I consider the title to be pretty misleading. Digital marketing isn’t just one thing. Digital marketing is any marketing that includes the internet or an electronic device. That means emails, social media, SEO, PPC, affiliate marketing, online PR, and more are all covered under the umbrella of “digital marketing.”
It’s a field where many different personalities and talents can thrive, and there’s more to it than you may think when you hear the term “Digital Marketing.”
What is (and Is Not) Digital Marketing
In the most direct terms, a person who works in digital marketing is generally in charge of driving lead generation and/or brand awareness through one or more digital channels (both free and paid), including the company’s website, blog, social media, advertising, search engine rankings, and email.
That’s pretty vague, right?
That’s because digital marketing itself is a pretty general term.
Depending on the channel they’re working with, two different digital marketing professionals may have vastly different objectives, skills, and tasks. For example, if you’re a social media manager, one of your objectives may be to increase your brand’s following by 20%. Now, that doesn’t exactly translate to, say, an SEO specialist who’s focused on increasing organic traffic to the company’s website. Those are two completely different goals with completely different strategies.
Basically, digital marketing involves a specialized set of technical and creative capabilities based on the channels you’re working with, which is why the field is so diverse with so many different and wide-ranging roles.
Jack of All Trades, Master of None
In smaller companies, it’s not uncommon to find a single generalist who manages many of the digital marketing strategies we’ve described. The problem, however, is that there are only so many hours in the day! At a certain point, when there is too much to manage, you have to sacrifice depth of involvement for width across several different channels.
That’s why most people who work in digital marketing specialize in just one small component of this huge, wide-ranging field. More often, you find people who refer to themselves as SEO Managers, Content Marketing Specialists, or Marketing Automation Coordinators. (For a laugh, ask a Content Writer about UX Design, or vice versa, and watch them flounder.) Often, it takes years of building and managing various campaigns for different clients until someone can really become an expert in just one of these skills. It would be extremely difficult and time-consuming to become an expert in every single one of them. (And, if someone says that they are, treat them with extreme skepticism.)
Not to mention, due to the “digital” component of digital marketing, changes are being made constantly as technology advances. Best practices from 3 years ago may be irrelevant today, and today’s best practices may be irrelevant in another 3 years.
Time to Get Real
If you’re looking for a professional to help you with one or more aspects of your digital marketing strategy—and especially if you’re interested in building or renovating your entire strategy—find the people who will be real with you.
No one person is an expert in every field. That’s why large companies or agencies (including Michaels Wilder) employ many different people from different professional backgrounds. We have people who thrive on creative projects. Other people have a knack for tech. Some are on the cutting edge of every technology and trend. Others have been in the game since email marketing was brand new. Although everyone is expected to have a handle on the big picture and how each component contributes to the overall strategy, each person brings a unique perspective that is informed by a diverse mix of experiences.
None of us will pretend to know everything. We’ll bring in other members of the team depending on what you need.
Need some content written? Cool, I know a guy.
Looking for an experienced videographer for your ad? I can hook you up with someone fantastic.
You don’t need a jack of all trades. (In fact, I’d caution against hiring someone who claims to know everything.) What you do need, however, is someone who can build a comprehensive strategy and delegate the various components to a team of skilled and specialized people.
My advice? Don’t be fooled by the know-it-alls. Get a skilled team who will work together to bring all the pieces together into one harmonious strategy.