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8 Vital Skills For Every Digital Marketer

As a digital marketer, this evolution is fascinating, and there is never a dull day in our industry. In our journey of helping brands reach out to their target consumers, we are continually learning and rediscovering our profession

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From waiting for the newspaper every morning to accessing real-time information on the phone, our content consumption patterns have changed forever. We listen to recipes on hand-held devices, ‘stream’ video content from applications and buy from online stores. Our consumption behaviour and expectations have been changing and will continue to change as long as there is digitisation and technology development. As a digital marketer, this evolution is fascinating, and there is never a dull day in our industry. In our journey of helping brands reach out to their target consumers, we are continually learning and rediscovering our profession.

I remember an instance from the past few months when I was interviewing a candidate. The candidate mentioned to me that he is looking for gaining experience of working in the digital marketing industry. In an industry where the industry and ecosystem (technology, consumer behaviour, and client expectation) are changing at a breakneck speed, the definition of experience will not be limited to the specific technical skills or any other skills, what you learn today can get outdated in no time. While this is exciting, it becomes crucial to keep up with the pace at which the industry is transforming and continue learning to be successful in this industry.

I would say this is what drives the first and vital skill required for getting hired in this industry:

1. Unlearning and relearning – a constant process

In Steven Covey’s bestselling book, he talks about a habit that reflects the same ideology with the name of the habit being ‘Sharpen the Saw’. Continuously upskilling oneself and building on existing skillsets (technical as well as soft skills), results in being more aligned with the rapidly transforming and evolving industry.   In order to keep up with the pace of this industry and really succeed, it is essential to have a learning attitude and an ability to quickly learn about new things, developments, innovations, techniques, etc.

2. Combining the Right Brain and Left Brain

Digital marketing requires a combination of right brain and left brain. Digital Marketing is very much measurable. What the right brain adds in terms of creativity, the left brain can complement it and enhance the power of that creativity. Using both halves of our brain (as punny as that statement is) can help each of us accelerate our growth and deliver better results.

3. Understanding your Customer’s business and Industry

Given the number of terms that are thrown around on a daily basis like CPC, CPL, CMP and many more that are used by digital marketing professionals, it is easy to get lost.   Hence, it is important to understand the core proposition of the client and their products/ services. Being in tune with the dynamics of a client’s industry can also prove helpful when it comes to creating measurable digital marketing strategies.  

4. The customer’s customer

Understanding the customers’ customer will go a long way in implementing the best digital marketing strategy. To do this, one needs the understanding of the customer’s customers - the ultimate person who takes the decision about buying/ not buying the goods and services provided by your client. Take it a step further and purchase/utilise your client’s product/services to get a feel. I, personally, have a habit of purchasing the products/ services offered by the clients I work with just to get a feel of the entire customer journey. This helps profoundly while designing a customised digital strategy for our clients.

5. Follow up and Coordination

A successful digital campaign requires a huge amount of coordination across various stakeholders not just from the agency and client but also with publishers and some third-party players. The deadlines for these campaigns are sacrosanct. Those who are able to thrive on uncertainty and manage to coordinate well to make things happen and successfully execute the activities planned are sure to be rare assets in the Digital Marketing industry.

6. Deciphering your customers’ digital assets and analytic skills

In today’s digital world, it’s not hard to find data on different target audiences. Analytics systems like Google Analytics provide data about demographics, interest, behaviour, as well as some other custom parameters and dimensions of customers. A good understanding about how to set and analyse data can be a great skill as this data can be a treasure trove to understand the performance of different channels and consumer behaviour using various goals and funnels.

7. Understanding Tech Platforms

Adwords, Facebook, Third Party Mailers, Native, Programmatic, DMP, Marketing Cloud, etc., are various platforms that are essential for better execution of digital marketing campaigns. You don’t need to know all of the platforms but knowing a few of them is a must.

The digital marketing industry is changing rapidly and hence, you need to be tech-savvy and continue to excel at the usage of the platform that you are an expert in. Also, it is essential to keep reading and learning about any new updates in the industry to keep up your status of being an expert at what you do best.

8. Social Media Understanding

Human beings are social animals, and we have special skills to be a part of the society and work for bigger goals. Social Media in the current format is a new phenomenon. However, the urge to adhere to social norms and be socially active is an innate need for every one of us. If we understand this and can utilise this behaviour to promote the brand efficiently, we can be great employees.

Here’s one bonus skill that I would like to add. Something that can really help you in the long run -

9. Data Engineering / Sciences and Love for reading insights from data

Digital marketing industry is expected to see a rise in machine learning related technologies. Personalised messaging with creative at scale is already being used by a lot of marketers. Data consolidation at one place to create the right digital strategies is not just an impressive tool but will be critical in a few years time. This will attract some skills related to data engineering and data sciences. Digital marketing industry will see a huge influx of people with these skill sets. Obviously, people who work on this skill set and keep their game strong are sure to succeed in this industry for a long time.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Prasad Shejale

The author is Co-founder and CEO of Logicserve Digital. He is a lover of all things digital. For him, digital is a huge universe with abundant possibilities of using every tool and platform for the benefit of end customers. Prasad is an expert in product innovation & management, data modelling & predictive analytics and has been an influential leader in scaling up business ventures.

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