Digital marketing skills are very important for the success of your career
The digital marketing industry is one that requires significant skills. Previously we have reported on the digital marketing skills gap across the UK, Ireland and even in the US. Studies have shown that only 1 in 5 digital marketing employees have the qualifications and skills to effectively do their job.
For some businesses this is a massive problem and it is costing them heavily. According to some figures, the UK is losing £2 billion annually from the lack of digital marketing skills.
To combat this there is only one option: to train current and future staff in the required skills necessary to fulfil their jobs. Because there is going to be a high demand for those with the skills in the short term; there is a need to concentrate on the essential skills first before moving on to a broader range of skills.
Each position within the career path of a digital marketing professional will require different set of core skills. At the entry-level of the career path, employees will need to possess more ‘frontline’ skills that can help an organisation to implement campaigns. However, those looking to secure senior positions will be looking at more management, organisation and strategic skills.
So what are the essential digital marketing skills required for different positions?
Digital Marketing Executive
A digital marketing executive is the likely entry point for most in the industry. From here, successful employees can move on to specialise in a certain niche area of the digital marketing industry as they progress through their career. Alternatively, they could wait and move directly into more senior positions.
Digital marketing executives have a wide range of responsibilities. Therefore, those who want to apply for these roles need to have a broad range of skills. Social media is one of the most highly sought after as businesses can gain a significant amount of customer information and generate leads from this marketing avenue. Research has also shown that there is a 27% skill gap between those who possess such skills and the demand for those individuals. Learning Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn best practices can therefore offer you a good chance of securing your first position.
Those entering the digital marketing industry should also look at their writing skills. The majority of digital marketing tasks centres on creating content whether that is blog, email or social media copy. This is why many of those who enter the digital marketing industry have a humanities based education (i.e. English, Business, etc).
Content is essential for establishing authority within your industry and supporting your company’s lead generation activities. Therefore, having strong writing skills can provide the best return for your employer.
There are several courses out there which can support digital marketing with these skills. For instance, there is the Online Writing For The Web Course and the Online Social Media Training course. Both of these will improve the chances that you can secure a job within the industry.
In addition to these implementation skills, many businesses are also demanding that their new employees have soft skills. Nine out of ten job failures are because of bad attitude or behaviour. Soft skills include communications and flexibility. These can’t be easily taught; however, it is essential that you try to obtain these skills.
Obtaining digital skills help you climb the career ladder
Digital Marketing Manager
A digital marketing manager is often the next stage on the career path, unless you want to go down a specialised route. To achieve a manager’s position it would be highly useful if you can obtain a Digital Marketing Diploma. Taking one of these courses needn’t take an excessive amount of time and some can be completed within 6 months.
Adding a diploma to your list of qualifications will support the general effectiveness of your team management. As you will likely be leading a team with a wide range disciplines and personalities, good employee management skills are required. Part of these management skills should also be how to develop a strategic marketing plan.
To help develop these strategic marketing plans, you may find it beneficial to learn more disciplines such as PPC and SEO. Having an understanding of these areas will greatly benefit you and your employer as they have a clear understanding of the needs and abilities of each marketing platform at their disposal. This knowledge can then be utilised to align all the digital marketing efforts of your business.
Finally, good management teams need to be able to analyse the results of the campaigns they are managing. Data analysis is actually one of the common skills missing from digital marketing. According research there is a 37% data analysis skill shortage yet 76% of marketers believe this is one of the most important skills to have. Improving your analytical skills can give you a real edge when it comes to applying for any digital marketing positions.
Chief Technology Officer
The final step in the digital marketing career is to become the chief technology officer. This is where a lot of the physical work is no longer part of your daily routine. Instead there is a focus on the developing of plans to improve the awareness of the brand online and the financial management of the department.
Again strong analytical skills are required in this job role as is knowledge of some of the latest technological advances. For instance, you should know about and have an understanding of the emerging mobile marketing practices. However, this is again a very common area missing from many employees with some companies reporting that 29% of their employees lack this skill and knowledge.
With the rise of mobile internet browsing, emails being opened on mobile devices and mobile shopping, it is important that if you are looking to gain as much knowledge as possible about this platform. Then you can look for ways to implement it within your company’s marketing strategy.
Finally, as a CTO, you will be required to attend meetings and give presentations to other senior members and staff in your department. There are several skills required for this including: public speaking and motivation. Without these you will not be able to convince those you are speaking to that you are providing the right information or your plans should be followed.
How Can Businesses Support Their Employee’s Career Growth And Benefit?
Training helps you improve your digital skills set.
Businesses should play a key role in the training of digital marketing employees. There are many options available for businesses that are both highly effective at teaching the core and peripheral skills of the employees and are cost-effective.
For instance, providing the business’ employees with a professional qualification such as a diploma can cost as little as £79 a month per employee. This will provide staff with the knowledge to implement best practices into the campaigns they are managing that will result in a better return on investment.
In addition, businesses should consider offering their staff highly effective coaching and mentoring services. These are perfect for businesses that have very specific objectives that they want to meet as the service can be tailored to those.
The coaching is a short-term option that often lasts between one and three months. It focuses on teaching the employee the key competencies they need to perform better in their position and return the best results for the business. This is the perfect option for those who have a team that is relatively new to digital marketing and need to be trained from scratch.
However, the major benefit of coaching is that it can quickly and inexpensively raise the level of talent within the organisation and allow the staff to implement successful campaigns during their training.
Mentoring is the longer option and concentrates more on the building of skills that staff already possess. This is perfect for those who have already got some of the basic skills or qualifications needed for the digital marketing industry.
It is also a good product for those who are running campaigns continuously and might need ad-hoc support as they come across problems. Those who have been mentored have seen a vast improvement in the results of their online marketing campaigns.
Digital marketing skills are varied and require a significant number of technical skills such as writing, social media, mobile marketing, etc as well as soft skills like leadership, communication and flexibility. Many of these skills can be trained very easily and quickly.
If you are looking to get your first step up on the digital marketing career ladder there are many options available. You could start with courses designed to enhance your knowledge of a specific digital marketing skill or you can earn yourself a professional qualification such as a Diploma which can be completed within six months of starting.
Taking one of these courses will allow you to be seen as a frontrunner for any job you apply for as there is a general lack in digital marketing skills in the current marketplace.
If you are a business looking to gain more from your online marketing efforts then you need to consider looking at training your staff. Providing a professional qualification is neither expensive nor disruptive to your business. For just £79 per month per employee you can provide them with a Diploma or you can provide them with further opportunities to upgrade their skills with coaching and mentoring.
Whatever option you choose, you will see a marked improvement in the skills, productivity and results of your online marketing department.