Becoming a digital marketer in 2021 - The new age skills needed to gain an edge
Digital Marketing has become an impact driver for every major company in today’s world. Undeniably, highly skilled Digital Marketers add immense value to a company’s growth and profitability. Today, businesses are going to great lengths to assemble a skilled Marketing team who can formulate and efficiently execute marketing strategies that build and enhance brand awareness, penetrate new markets, attract new customers, retain existing ones, and overall act as the brand’s voice.
In a world driven by technology, new age Digital Marketers must possess skills that are in sync with industry demands. That said, what are these critical skills that Digital Marketers need to be proficient in to gain a competitive edge for themselves in this hyper-digitalized world?
As such, we must understand that New Age Digital Marketing skills can be segregated into 2 overarching categories – Hard Skills and Soft Skills.
Let’s take a look:
Brand Development/ Branding
In today’s digitally driven world with crowded online markets, certain industry-centric Digital Marketing skills are crucial to business success, of which brand identity and development are at the forefront. In a nutshell, brand identity comprises what the brand signifies, the brand’s values, how the brand communicates its product, and what you want people to feel when they connect with your brand. It is nothing but the personality of the brand and its messaging to customers.
A well-formulated brand identity is easily recognizable – consumers feel a genuine connection with the brand. According to a study, 43% of customers spend more on brands they feel loyal to and for most brands, 65% of their business happens through existing customers. Digital Marketing professionals need to develop their strategies to suit the customer’s connection with a brand. Focussing on brand development will lay a strong foundation for the brand to grow further.
Crafting a strategic approach in terms of content for marketing is another vital skill a Digital Marketer must possess. While marketing content often comes across as self-promotional to the common man, it is quite the contrary. Content Strategy and Content Marketing are specific skills for Digital Marketers to develop to create content and deliver it in a way that captures the customer’s attention and sparks their curiosity and interest. Simply put, Content Strategy isn’t about hard sales; it tells a story.
In a world where data is perhaps one of the most valuable assets to brands, Data Analytics empowers Digital Marketers to garner data-driven insights into customer preferences, behavior, brand development, and more. An abundance of readily available analytical tools has given businesses across verticals the means to predict trends surrounding customer interests, preferences, and behavior.
According to Mordor Intelligence, Marketing Analytics was valued at USD 2.3 billion in 2019 and projected to touch USD 4.23 billion by 2025. Although Data Analytics may appear to be negligible for the Digital Marketing world, it is one of the must-have skills as it allows brands to better understand the customer’s preferences and tailor their services to cater to customers’ requirements more efficiently.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
It’s common knowledge that the world today revolves around technology and AI and ML have become integral parts of our everyday lives as well as business operations. Particularly for the Digital Marketing landscape, AI and ML play an instrumental role in day-to-day functions. Digital Marketing professionals leverage AI and ML-based tools to identify significant trends on social media, conduct customer research, and analyze and evaluate vast amounts of data.
Digital Marketing professionals need to be adept at utilizing AI and ML tools to connect with customers as well as gauge data to improve their products/services. The minimum requirement is to have a basic understanding of AI and ML for aspirants and beginners. For experienced professionals and those who wish to build a strong career in Digital Marketing, increased proficiency is necessary.
As much as technical and industry-centric skills are necessary, soft skills play an equally important role for Digital Marketing Professionals. Experienced and highly skilled Digital Marketers truly understand and connect with their target audience. A nuanced understanding of customers’ primary concerns and requirements stems from a vital skill set – empathy.
Digital Marketers can harness their empathetic skills to gain an in-depth understanding of what their customers seek and craft a marketing campaign that offers the brand’s products and services as a solution. Forging a connection between a brand and its consumers is done by being empathetic.
A large chunk of marketing revolves around the professional’s ability to persuasively communicate with customers. When a Digital Marketer understands how best to convince their target audience to trust the brand and its products, they will automatically reach new heights in their career. However, professionals must also be aware of the fine line between misleading customers and persuading them.
Perhaps a cliché, communication has been talked about widely in any topic surrounding skill sets, but with good reason. A Digital Marketing professional needs to be an exceptional communicator. Communication is one skill set that never becomes redundant and today, every employer values strong communication skills. Robust communication lays the foundation for developing a strong bond with co-workers, customers, as well as building the brand.
The Digital Marketing landscape has evolved greatly in recent years. Both aspiring and existing professionals are required to be highly proficient in the aforementioned skills to build a strong career and progress towards greater heights.