It’s not as difficult as being President of the United States, but digital marketing is hard work. Most people think we just play on social media all day and create a few web pages. I wish that was true. Digital marketing is a fun career choice but can be very challenging due to several factors.
- Digital marketing is in a state of constant change. Search engine result pages (SERPs) change more than 75% on a daily basis. New social networks and tools pop up every few days. Just when you think you’ve figured it out Facebook announces privacy changes or Instagram changes its terms of service. Whatever the state of flux what works today, may not work tomorrow.
- Educating others as to what’s important. For those that don’t live, eat and breath digital, there’s a large knowledge gap. A big part of my day can be spent educating others as to why certain aspects of digital marketing are unique and important.
- You have to play the long and short game. Even B2C ecommerce sites that can show quick conversions from email, paid search and social. But they still have to consider where there brand will be positioned a year from now, 5 years from now, etc. B2B with longer sales cycles know this well enough but again you have to educate your co-workers that
- It’s hard to find quality relevant data. Yes there are tons of stats on Mashable, Techcrunch and other news blogs on conversion rates, open rates, etc. But many times they are aggregated across millions and billions of sessions, users stats, log files, etc. Finding relative comparative benchmarking data is challenging and can be expensive.
- You have to be a part time geek. Not just someone that loves technology but you have to understand how the web and other digital platforms work at certain levels. Digital marketing works when the underlying infrastructure and technology support the goals and objectives of the campaign. Without a robust framework and platform the best campaigns can quickly fail. Understanding how the pieces work together is critical for success.
- You have to test on many browsers, operating systems and mobile devices. Sure your website, app, email looks great on your computer but what about the person in the cube next to you on an older browser. Or your CEO that is on his iPad. Or your customer that still uses a Blackberry. At some point you have to cut bait and fish but the testing and revisions are important and time consuming.
- Traditional marketing is still important. The old rules may not always apply but lessons learned from past campaigns can provide insight into how people may respond to your campaign. Marketing is not about selling, it’s about creating interest, awareness and demand for your product. The selling comes afterwards.
- There are many digital channels and associated strategies. Do I create a mobile website or mobile app? Are microsites the best strategy for a campaign. How much organic and paid search do I need to reach my goals? Add in video, social, email, content marketing, and whatever is around the corner. Not every digital channel is applicable for each campaign, but each must be considered and reviewed.
Brian McDonald started Square Jaw Media to document strategies and techniques he had used over his experience working in marketing and communications since 1990. During this time Brian wrote about many of the exciting Raleigh social media events where great knowledge was being shared and tries to share some of the tips and tricks. . Read Brian's full bio.