In the previous article, we covered how marketing has changed in focus from print media to television, and eventually to digital media, and how the nature of the work is changing due to the increased access to constant information in the form of digital feedback.
With these changes several new roles are being created in digital marketing agencies.
Behind any solid marketing campaign is a marketing strategist. Marketing strategists spend a considerable amount of time analyzing data in order to identify the ideal methods for attracting new customers. They will often work with data analysts to help identify the ideal target customer and will work to guide campaigns in a direction that would most appeal to this individual.
Marketing managers are similar to marketing strategists but coordinate campaigns together with others, such as sales engineers, advertising companies, and finance staff, making sure that a strategy is correctly implemented. They tend to oversee marketing strategies from beginning to end, and along with marketing strategists, gather data for future (and current) efforts.
Much as in the old days of advertising and marketing, designers are crucial to creating appealing graphics and sales materials to help attract business. Designers these days are far more technically-oriented and must have strong abilities using various new technologies and tools. They also may know details about psychology behind color combinations, and various artistic layout choices.
Particularly within the realm of modern SEO, it’s important to be able to create new copy to meet the changing demands of search engines. While in the earlier days of the internet (pre-Google) it used to be possible to game search engines by simply planting keywords throughout a site or loading the metatags with synonyms, this changed with Google who values content above all else. Now, in order to be taken seriously, genuine content is a necessity for most websites. For this reason, there is now a large need for more quality content, and therefore a need for more copywriters.
Within the digital world, it is essential to have qualified developers and programmers who can handle the organization of this vast amount of content. Newer tools for dynamically generating content, and also to produce it in ways that are actually appealing for consumers, require a high level of expertise.
We have entered the era of “Big Data” where we now have access to enormous seas of information about consumers. To be able to understand what it all means requires specialized expertise. Data analysts are those who process this data and translate it into usable information. Working with developers, analysts can detect patterns and with the use of Machine Learning identify target markets in places where they may not have been able to spot before.
New Business Tools
A whole new series of tools have been created to make it possible to perform this advanced, real time market analysis, and running of campaigns. There is a wide range of functions that are handled by software.
Customer Relationship Management tools, or CRMs are now becoming crucial. Marketing firms can take data about individuals gained through customer service interactions and convert them into data that can be extremely useful for running marketing campaigns. These provide everything from event planning modules, to email campaigns, and all these tools provide a set of analysis tools, for identifying successes of various campaigns.
Beyond simple CRMS there are new tools that integrate deeply with campaigns, and can bring in statistical data, and enable marketers to set goals and benchmarks. Individuals can now be tracked by specific interests. In many cases, actions tied to specific individuals in some advanced CMSs allow automatic grouping and sorting of individuals into target markets.
Testing and Analytics tools
With the increase in the availability of data, digital marketing agencies will constantly test strategies in the real world, using a series of sophisticated analytics tools.
These tools evaluate web traffic and make it possible to identify which areas are most effective and which ones may need modification. Unlike in traditional marketing, because of the digital world it is possible to quickly make changes to tactics in-stride.
With this data, marketing firms can
- Identify best platforms for investment
- Balance between marketing activities and results
One of the common methods is to tie these together with some of the aforementioned Integrated CMS systems to quickly create new sites for the purpose of A/B testing, where two similar campaigns are run simultaneously, with a careful eye on the analytics to see whether subtle differences will make a difference in response rates.
Analytics tools used for this purpose can include:
One of the biggest changes with Web 2.0 came the growth of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. Users now, of their own free will, voluntarily provide detailed information not just about their likes and interests, but also their social connections, political interests, and buying patterns. The data that can be gleaned from these areas is tremendous, however for it to be be effectively utilized requires a great deal of attention.
Beyond this, many people live much of their social lives on these platforms. These give marketers the opportunity to interact directly with customers. Those companies that ignore this do so at their own peril. Even if they don’t use Social Media, their customers do. People find it is very easy to complain online about a bad experience with a product. For this reason, it’s important to treat social media as part of the customer service chain. Responding well in these forums can do a tremendous amount of good for a company if they become seen as responsive or even “cool” by their customers. Simply willing to play in the game is a big step forward.
This said, social media management is a full-time job, and for larger companies, may require entire teams to keep up to date on all of the social media mentions of their brand. Modern digital marketing companies work hard in this realm to make sure that the best image of your brand gets portrayed to users.
Can some be marketing be done in-house?
After reading this, you likely have come to the conclusion that it makes sense to hire a professional digital marketing agency. The level of complexity involved with handling each aspect of a successful marketing campaign may take too many internal resources.
You may, however, wish to handle some responsibilities in-house. This does make some sense, but it is important to divide up the responsibilities in a way that makes the best use of talent and resources. For instance, it makes sense to hire a professional outside company to design your website, however regular content updates, such as blog posts, or occasional new pages, may best be handled by in-house staff.
Social media marketing is one of the trickier areas. While managing a social media campaign effectively requires a specialized skill set that you may only find in digital marketing agencies, there are some aspects which you should consider handling in-house. You may wish to hire an outside company to do some social marketing, however answering customer-service related questions are almost certainly better handled by those who understand the inner workings of your company. (Again, not answering these can be perilous for your business. Not only are you missing out on potential sales, public opinion could go south quite quickly if responses are not handled promptly).
For other marketing activities, you may wish to create your own content, but have an external company handle distribution (such as PR releases, etc.). For email campaigns, you may wish to switch this and have the external company create the content while you handle the mailings (so you can handle any customer service-related inquiries).
The internal team can create marketing themes, material, but cross-platform and online marketing can be handled by an outside company. The external company should also compile market research, such as keyword choices, social media platforms, and identification of niche markets.
The complexity of digital marketing requires professionals. While there’s a considerable amount that can be handled in-house, it’s always wise to bring in experts who understand the nuances.
When you consider the sheer amount of work involved to effectively run an integrated marketing campaign, it’s best to work with Mabbly, where we can handle all of the complicated part of the marketing process, while your business focuses on what its best at – creating your products and/or providing your services.