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Marketers - Don’t Get Left Behind in the Digital Rush

The marketing sector is arguably the industry most affected by the recent shift towards all things digital. The industry is moving at an ever-quickening pace as technology continues to evolve. Some companies are taking full advantage of this and moving with the times, whilst others are slower to embrace the shift away from above-the-line marketing. If you aren’t in a forward thinking environment and happen to find yourself looking for work (or even worse, out of a job), you may well struggle to find a new role due to not having the skills required by other firms.

The good news is that there are ways you can bring your skillset into the age of digital ubiquity and make sure that you don’t fall behind.

Push Your Boundaries

If you’re not a digital native, there are so many new platforms and channels out there that it can be very difficult to decide what is worth learning to use and what isn’t. In essence, digital marketing isn’t vastly different from traditional marketing. You still have to find your core audience demographics and create content that appeals to them, but instead of finding the right television time-slot or newspaper section, there are now entire channels that host a captive audience almost 24/7.

For instance, if you’re looking to target young people who listen to music, advertising on Spotify or Pandora may produce far better results than advertising on the radio. With Facebook now recording over eight billion video views per day worldwide, and on-demand television services skyrocketing in popularity, online video is another marketing channel that can replace, or at least supplement, an above-the-line option like television.

It’s not just the wealth of new channels that creates new opportunities either. One of the best things about digital marketing is that it isn’t mutually exclusive to traditional marketing. By mixing your digital strategy in with other above-the-line tactics, you can make the best of both worlds and extend the lifespan of a campaign. For example, if you’re running a promotional event, creating a hashtag around the event and getting people engaged through Twitter is a great way to build a groundswell of interest around the event itself by posting short, frequent updates and photos throughout the day.

With all these different new mediums, having an extensive knowledge of what exactly is out there, what you should be using it for, and how you can push it into innovative new directions, is crucial to your success. However, the most important thing you can do is to continue to push your boundaries by constantly researching and trying new methods and techniques.

Advocate Digital Within Your Company

I work a lot with brand management candidates within the FMCG sector, and I’ve noticed that often, the people who are successful at companies where digital isn’t a significant focus are those that use their own initiative to really push forward ideas and facilitate change.

Generally, if an employer can see that digital is a keen interest for you, and it’s something that you have been working on in your own time, they will be happy for you to be involved in opportunities to develop these channels as they arise.

Showing interest and commercial experience is another challenge, but one way we’ve seen candidates overcome this is by volunteering with charity organisations or local community groups to help run their digital marketing initiatives.

However, if the opportunities remain few and far between then it might be a good idea to start looking for a new employer that has a more progressive approach to marketing.

Brand Yourself

If you’re looking for an opportunity with a company that is fully embracing the digital shift and your current company’s lack of digital engagement is holding your personal development back, then a strong and credible personal brand is crucial to showcase your skills beyond that of your current role.

Some of the personal branding initiatives we’ve seen making a significant difference to how a candidate is perceived include:

    1. Authoring a personal blog, which is the most obvious step. For example, you could blog about insights and experiences from your own personal activities, or conferences you attended. Perhaps you could even submit content to marketing publications such as StopPress.
    2. Attending and contributing to conferences. This is not only a way to learn, but also to network. If you can get to a point where you are a speaker, this will help establish credibility for yourself within the industry.
    3. Having a strong social media presence - this is the glue that connects your brand to the world. Use channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn and even Facebook to interact with others and to share your content. To get the most out of these channels it’s important to limit the amount of broadcasting you do, and to instead interact with content from other people and actively work on growing your network. Lastly, we’re sure it goes without saying, but always ensure that anything that could even be considered as negative on your social media profiles is removed or not publically visible.

A Short Note to Employers

Just as employers are becoming increasingly selective when evaluating potential employees, candidates are also starting to be increasingly discerning when it comes to choosing who they would like to work for.

One of the biggest turn-offs for great candidates is a company that doesn’t embrace newer marketing techniques and channels. There are two clear levels of positive branding when it comes to this; employers who actively keep up with trends and best practice, and market leaders who regularly experiment with bleeding edge ideas and push boundaries.

The majority of candidates will consider the former but there is an increasing number of highly talented candidates specifically seeking out employers that will provide unique challenges and constant opportunities to experiment.

We’ve also noticed an increasing number of candidates openly stating the kinds of brands they want to be associated with, and those that they don’t want to work with. Employers that are generally seen as the most attractive have a strong focus on sustainable and ethical business practices and corporate social responsibility.

Summary

Digital media has already significantly changed the marketing sector, but it is continuing to push new boundaries.

As a marketer, take the time to evaluate your exposure to digital in your current role. If you’re not being given the opportunity to develop, take the initiative and try to make changes, but also focus on your personal brand and development, so your skills continue to be relevant and hold appeal to new employers.

If you’re a marketing candidate looking for role that will continue your development, or an employer looking for digital experts, feel free to get in touch.

Annaliese Hohaia

Annaliese Hohaia | Recruitment Consultant

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