Digital Marketing and Me

My name is Anika Smith, a business management major with a passion for digital marketing. Post-graduation, I am hoping to find a job in marketing or human resources. I love marketing, and I hope to pursue a career in the field.  For my last quarter at Western Washington University, I am taking a digital marketing course, and one of my tasks is to post in my blog bi-weekly about what we are learning about in class. The digital marketing class is great because it will help me attain three certifications this quarter, and my blog will be a representation of my writing skill.

Welcome to my digital marketing blog.

The primary purpose of my blog is to discuss current trends and topics in digital marketing and various articles I have found online that you might find interesting. I am taking this course to further my marketing knowledge, and to help me get a job in the marketing field. I would love to work at one of the digital marketing firms in Seattle, and to do this, I need to have the skills they are looking for in a potential employee. In this course, I’m most excited to learn more about social media marketing.

Social media marketing is expected to grow moderately over the next few years at a compound annual growth rate of 26%.  Social media marketing is relatively low-cost,  with a large part of the cost coming from paying employees to maintain the page. More interactive marketers believe that social media marketing will increase in effectiveness in the coming years than any of form of interactive or traditional marketing tactics including mobile marketing, online video, email marketing, television, direct mail, and many other channels. In a different study from, it stated that 79% of senior business  marketers believe social media is the most effective channel for business to business brands.

Other interactive marketing trends such as email marketing, mobile marketing, search marketing, and many others are also excelling in addition to social media marketing. Overall, interactive marketing is expected to have advertisers spending as much on it in 2016 as they do on television advertising in 2011. Media is growing, and marketing is expected to grow with it to be more interactive, interesting, and to target specific consumers based on their interests. This is where digital marketers come in to make all these things happen. Something I found surprising is that email marketing is still one of the most popular ways to keep in touch with your audience.

There is talent gap between the skills employers want their employees to have, and the skills employees currently possess. The majority (71%) of organizations believe that their digital marketers are strong in some areas but weak or mediocre in other areas, while only 8% of organizations believe their teams are strong across all digital areas. To me, this seems problematic. I believe that each firm should have a wide variety of people who specialize in different areas of digital marketing. When they see a weak area, firms should have a 1 day workshop in which they teach the ins and outs of the digital marketing skill. Continued education and training is something that firms should encourage and reward employees to do on their own, but also encourage in the workplace. Having frequent workshops, and meetings to tell employees where you would like to see improvement would increase communication, and bridge the talent gap.

For marketing students like me who are still in college, the best thing that we can do is to get certifications in skills that employers want their employees to have knowledge in. Entry and middle-level employees need to possess technical skills in addition to communication and teamwork abilities. Currently, in the marketing curriculum in the majority of colleges, technical skills are left off the required class list. Hopefully in the future, more colleges will offer marketing information system classes, database analysis and integrate technological classes with the current curriculum to help close the talent gap further. I am lucky to attend Western because one of our marketing classes (digital marketing!) we learn technical skills like coding, and how to use Google Analytics. Two weeks from today, I will be able to say that I am Google Analytics certified, and hopefully, by the end of the quarter, I will be able to code as well.

Sources:

Knowledge and Skill Requirements for Marketing Jobs in the 21st Century

Forrester Interactive Marketing Forecast 2011 to 2016

State of Digital Marketing Talent

There is a Digital Talent Gap

5 Findings from the Social Media Examiner 2014 report

79% of Markets say Social Media is the Most Effective Channel for B2B [STUDY]

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