Marketing is a continuous process, not a destination; and “set it and forget it” is an idea that is well past its time. Every campaign and every program that you put forth across all channels within digital marketing has to be constantly improved. This also means that those of us working within digital marketing, whether you are a full-time marketing professional or you’re an owner of your own business, must be able to change and adapt with this fluid environment.
To cope with the wide array of knowledge necessary for the role, we often use the term “T-shaped marketing skills.” This basically refers to having modest knowledge in a broad array of skills, and deep knowledge or ability in a smaller set. For example, if you have extensive expertise in email marketing and copywriting, then that would be your middle “core” skill, and you’ll look to maintain a secondary amount of knowledge and information about the other topics.
However, since your core “T” strength is email marketing, you’ll probably never be as versed in social media marketing, as someone is who devotes their entire career towards that topic. Likewise, a field as fluid as search engine optimization will likely be better covered by an SEO expert whose core focus is search engine optimization.
What this means for small businesses is that there’s a fundamental choice each organization has to make with regard who manages their marketing. The answer to this question has to be based on the expertise and the skill set of your team, along with your budgetary constraints.
A vitally important question that has to be answered as quickly as possible is this: Can we, or should we, execute our digital marketing campaign in-house, utilize outside resources, or have a mix of both? Without a confirmed plan, your entire marketing focus could be slowed down without the right people or the right resources in place.
If your organization has people within their selected skill sets who have an interest in digital marketing or maybe even a background in marketing, it’s important to ask the right questions to identify whether or not they might be a good fit for digital marketing. The digital marketer has at least six major qualities that are necessary to be a good fit for the role.
These qualities include:
- Have an analytical sense.
- Are very well rounded.
- Are perseverant.
- Are disciplined.
- Enjoy constant improvement and evolution.
- Can manage adversity.
These questions will help you identify potential candidates for digital marketing. Whether it’s the business owner or the most junior member of your team, these qualities are exceptionally important for successful digital marketers.
As I’ve talked about previously, digital marketing is a dynamically changing and rapidly growing part of any business. Having the wrong person involved within your digital marketing team can lead to a lack of success and a great deal of frustration.
In addition, this is not an area of business that is typically defined by a clear roadmap. A digital marketer has to be able to not only have a pragmatic approach to all things marketing, but they also have to be extremely creative.
This begets the question of whether a left-brain or right-brain individual is a better fit for digital marketing. It’s my opinion that the rare person who is nearly identical left- and right-brain is typically the best fit in this position, especially for the small business where the marketing team must wear many hats.
That’s not to say that an analytical or a creative person can’t be a successful digital marketer. But for a small and medium-sized business organization that typically requires team members to manage multiple areas within digital marketing, there’s a need for those who are both creative and numbers driven.