Marketing management, made digital

In 2019, digital marketing is not just a popular activity among brands, it is a vocation brands must engage in if they wish to compete for leads, conversions and long-term customers. Lucky for them (and for you), there are countless new digital marketing management tools, technologies, and trends cropping up around every corner. With a digital device, an internet connection and the right skills, the possibilities of what you can accomplish in the field of digital marketing management and the returns you can reap are near endless.

But you do have to mind the gap. The talent gap, that is.

Digital marketing talent gap

Although digital marketing management is in high demand for all types of brands, with social media budgets set to double over the next five years, 33 percent of traffic from Google’s organic search results hitting the top of the SERPs and worldwide digital ad spent is expected to exceed a whopping $375 billion by 2021, many traditional marketing professionals have yet to achieve entry-level competency in digital marketing skills and digital marketing management skills.

Compound the above with the fact that the modern-day workforce is shifting over to the world of working freelance and an unavoidable and growing skills gap has begun to affect brands’ abilities to successfully harness the power of digital for marketing management purposes. When it comes to digital marketing management, 90 percent of digital marketing managers report falling short on the skills they need to succeed – and only 8 percent of brands feel that their digital marketing management personnel are strong, capable and accomplishing set KPIs.

Become an orchestra conductor

So, what skills does the modern-day digital marketing manager actually require to keep abreast of their team, tools, and outcomes? In a way, today’s digital marketing managers are like orchestra conductors. They need to know all about the different “instruments” in play, as well as how to manage them to create a lively, interesting and engaging symphony that is sure to attract and retain an audience. These instruments, or skills, can be divided into two principal categories – professional, industry skills and soft management skills. Read on to learn more.

Top must-have professional industry skills for digital marketing management

#1 – UX design skills

The experience a user has while on a brand’s website and/or engaging with marketing content is extremely important. A positive experience can lengthen the time they spend on site, how well they navigate the various pages, and how motivated they are to convert. A negative experience can lead them to bounce and even provide negative reviews. As such, a cornerstone of digital marketing management is being able to ensure that the products, websites and other digital marketing content is easy to navigate and use. As a digital marketing manager, you need to be able to identify and guide great, effective and compelling UX design; the credibility of the brand you’re marketing for depends on it.

#2 – SEO & SEM skills

When it comes to digital marketing management, it is not merely enough to possess great search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) skills. You must also be able to communicate these skills and activities to the members of your team. You also need to be able to keep up with the rapidly and dynamically changing worlds of SEO and SEM, which have, thus far, expanded to include “white hat marketing” techniques, like blogging and content writing. Not knowing which trends will get your brand’s content seen at the top of the SERPs is a major digital marketing management faux-pas.

#3 – Content management skills

Content is king, and overseeing the creation and publication of your brand’s content is the highly valuable digital marketing management skill that will ensure users are generated into hooked leads who ultimately convert. But successful digital marketing management requires that this skill be developed further to include the publication of content that has been optimized for the many digital channels; email, paid promotion on search engines and social channels (PPC), etc. You must ensure that the content your team creates is engaging, credible and viral so that potential new and existing customers can’t help but click through and learn more.

#4 – Social media skills

Social media is where brands need to be, in order to reach a tremendous, interested and engaged audience. But there’s much more to social media marketing than simply creating posts and watching them go viral. Key to great digital marketing management is in-depth knowledge of each platform. You need to know:

  • When to post
  • Which platforms to post on
  • Which types of content best engage with your target audience
  • How to leverage paid social media promotion
  • How to utilize social channels’ analytics programs
  • And more.

This way you can more effectively guide your digital marketing team on content creation, the use of dedicated apps and tools, and the latest social media trends.

#5 – Responsive design/marketing skills

These days, consumers are interacting with brands from a host of digital devices – computers, tablets and smartphones. As such, digital marketing management responsibilities have naturally evolved to include ensuring that the content and campaigns produced are clear and convincing, regardless of the device they’re being viewed on. Overseeing responsive design and marketing can be a tough skill to master, but it is also one that is both rewarding and critical to the ultimate success of your digital marketing management endeavors.

#6 – Analytics and tech tool skills

Analytics is the gift that keeps giving. It is the tool or repertoire of tools that can inform your digital marketing management activities and make your – and your team’s work life exponentially easier and more informed. In the digital era, not acquiring analytics skills and learning which tools and techniques can provide you with actionable insights that direct digital marketing management decision-making, is a dire mistake. Master the realm of analytics and discover how tracking and analyzing data can help your team overcome perilous marketing obstacles and plateaus.

And, because the world we live in is truly tech-driven, understanding and knowing how to use the latest tech tools to optimize your team’s productivity and results are now par for the course with respect to digital marketing management. There are tons of free tools and platforms that you can introduce your team to, like Hootsuite, Canva, and Buffer, as well as plenty of paid products that are worth looking into adopting. All you need to do is stay on top of the latest tech tool launches, decide which to integrate into your digital marketing management activities and watch as your – and your team’s loads begin to lighten. The true challenge here is prioritizing, and understanding which of the endless number of tools out there, make a good investment for your business.

Top must-have soft management skills for digital marketing management

#7 – Distributed experts managements skills

Digital marketing management involves many of the skills required of a project manager. It is up to you to maximize the efficiency and productivity of your entire team, in order to promote timely and satisfactory results, which can be a particular challenge, when your team is made up of freelancers working remotely from around the world.

As such, your job might at times feel more like that of a symphony conductor than that of a traditional project manager – you need to be able to possess advanced management skills and control every aspect of every project and task, while still excelling in delegation, and doing so with supreme leadership capabilities. And, if you can harness technological innovations, like automation, to further streamline your digital marketing management endeavors and relieve some of the load placed upon your team’s shoulders, you will find that you’ve saved your brand time, money and resources that can be re-allocated towards other, more pressing business tasks.

#8 – People skills

Here too, your distributed experts management skills will inevitably need to come into play. Despite the fact that digitization has changed the face of literally every aspect of the world we live in, including interactions between brands and their customers, customers continue to demand a personal brand experience, much like they’d receive upon visiting a brick-and-mortar shop. To accomplish this goal, digital marketing management must include stellar people skills, towards customers and employees alike, or run the risk of disengaging those who create your digital marketing content, as well as those who consume it. In short, successful digital marketing management must include:

  • A deep understanding of your brand’s target audience
  • Proficiency and use of customer retention management (CRM) software, for organizational and re-marketing purposes
  • High-level employee management, to assure brand goals remain aligned
  • The ability to control your team, while remaining an agile team player

#9 – Team building/motivational skills

How can you build a team and keep them motivated, when each team member works independently and remotely, as is often the case in the digital age? Answer: it’s not an easy task, but it is still an absolute must.

The role of the digital marketing manager additionally includes fostering a sense of teamwork and motivation among your brand’s digital marketers, to ensure that important tasks are satisfactorily completed. As such, digital marketing management requires tapping into the unique soft skill sets your team members possess and leveraging them to create a competitive edge for your brand. Talk to them regularly, through open lines of communication; find out what makes them tick, what sets them apart, and how they can feel valued while on the job. What you do with this information and how you keep your team focused and on-task, well that’s completely up to you. We hear that incentivization is particularly effective.

#10 – Partner networking skills

The role of digital marketing manager not only includes responsibilities pertaining to your team and the products they create, but it also involves serving as a company liaison between your business and relevant partners and clients. You’ll need to be able to court potential clients, present your team’s capabilities in the best possible light and make bids for contracts and partnerships (and hopefully win them). Here too, you will need to be able to utilize your top digital skills to best scout, learn about and network with potential new and existing partners. Your social presence, particularly on channels like LinkedIn, is of utmost importance. After all, you are representing your brand’s entire digital marketing department.

Mayple matches brands to digital marketing managers who possess the skills they need to succeed

Mayple is bridging the digital marketing management talent gap by making sure brands are paired with vetted, best-fit talents who’ve acquired the skills needed for this dynamic, future-forward position. Mayple aligns brands’ business goals with digital marketing management experts’ known skills so that consistently high levels of service and top results well within reach.