By Sunil Sood, Chief Business Officer – Executive Education, Times Professional Learning
1994 was when the first clickable banner ad went LIVE. Digital marketing has moved from being just an optional strategy in advertising and marketing to assisting marketers and entrepreneurs in promoting their businesses. It is due to the technology-driven shift brought out in economies across the world that it is impossible for brands to circumvent without a digital marketing plan.
In essence, digital marketing borrows its basic principles from the traditional marketing playbook. Like traditional marketing, digital marketing also involves communicating with individual consumers and understanding the kind of content that resonates with them.
For those looking to make a career in the field of digital marketing, it is important to keep up with the ever-changing nature of the skills that are required. To become a successful digital marketer, it is not just enough to know the basics of email marketing, SEO, and social media but acquire a combination of hard and soft skills that are poised to create positive disruptions in the future.
Below is a list of four digital marketing skills that recruiters will be on the lookout during this year.
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1. Data Analytics
While data analytics may appear to be a separate domain, it is important for digital marketers to possess a basic understanding to make effective decisions. The study of data patterns can help businesses determine the right target audience while the demographic details can help determine which channels must be selected to reach out to audiences effectively. In addition, knowing query languages such as SQL — a standard language used to store, manipulate, and retrieve data in databases can also give candidates an edge and help them to stand out with base-level digital marketing skills.
2. AI and Machine Learning
AI and Machine Learning are re-shaping every industry and while they may seem like highly technical skills, digital marketers are already using them in some form or the other. Identifying trends on social media or conducting advanced customer research, AI technology is already being deployed to understand target audiences. For example, the power of machine learning is being harnessed by giants such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) who, in 2018, used ML and text analytics to study online conversations and understand what fear parents had about vaccinations for children. Hence, it is essential for digital marketers today to understand and leverage AI and Machine Learning for more effective outreach.
3. Video-Making Skills
Visual content is fast becoming a staple for marketers across the board. Slick and stylish videos can quickly grab the attention of the audiences and form an important part of digital marketing. With the advent of TikTok and Instagram Reels, a new ecosystem is evolved around video content and companies can leverage them according to their requirements. A lot of organisations hire agencies or develop in-house teams to make videos content. Bootstrapped startups also look for digital marketing professionals who can also double up as video creators. Video creation has a lot of elements – from understanding social media platforms, content research and operation of editing softwares such as Premier Pro. Once mastered, it enables candidates stand out with their skillsets.
While this might seem like a deviation from the cohort of skills, empathy is one of the most undervalued skills that a digital marketer could possess. Empathy forms the basis for all human connections, and for any marketing campaign to be successful, it must be able to transcend and speak directly to consumers. Empathy enables a digital marketer to understand what motivates a target customer to buy a certain product, and gain insight into consumers’ primary feelings, concerns, and desires. In essence, empathy will enable a marketer to understand from a consumer’s standpoint. Armed with this attribute, a digital marketer can create unique campaigns to forge connections between a brand and its target audiences.
The pandemic has accelerated the transition towards everything virtual and companies are increasingly relying on digital marketers to help their products stand out in a heavily cluttered online world. Recruiters, today, are not just looking for candidates who meet the baseline requirement but are on the lookout for those who can bring additional abilities to the table. Times Professional Learning (TPL) offers digital marketing programmes taught by domain experts and developed by industry professionals keeping in mind the requirements of the industry to give learners hands-on experience. It will enable candidates to improve employability and obtain skills to shine in today’s competitive job market.