An Almost Foolproof Way to Become a Digital Marketing Expert

An Almost Foolproof Way to Become a Digital Marketing Expert
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Patricia Vaz

Last updated February 13, 2017


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Do the names of digital marketing experts like Neil Patel, Seth Godin, Ann Hadley, and Avinash Kaushik ring a bell?

If so, you have the drive and the passion to exceed as a digital marketing specialist.

But you’re not sure how. And to add to that, you don’t have a degree that can strengthen your position against others who do have it.

So, how do you transform from an unknown person to a voice of authority in the world of digital marketing?

1. Why a digital marketing specialist is most sought-after in 2016


So, what makes a digital marketing specialist’s role exciting in the first place?

According to MarketingProfs, there is a growing demand for digital marketing experts because:

  • Companies need to allocate higher budgets to digital marketing departments to achieve more accurate targeting
  • There’s better clarity about ROI for social media
  • There is an increasing pressure to shift resources to mobile advertising
  • Companies need to adopt the latest technologies

Digital marketing – the present and the future

Digital marketing is going to assume greater importance in the near future as it is going to integrate many new technologies that will change the way customers interact with products or services.

Present state and future of digital marketing

Data-driven functions through artificial intelligence and the internet of things will enable marketing to focus on tailoring their services to each customer’s preferences.

Data source: https://econsultancy.com/blog/66509-how-will-digital-marketing-evolve-in-the-next-10-years/

2. Traits and Skills required to become a digital marketing expert


11 Skills required to become a digital marketing expert
         

3. Why you don’t need to be a college graduate to become a digital marketing expert


Most of what you learn in digital marketing is through learning on the job and not in college. Here’s why

  • Learning digital marketing lingo by interacting with your peers is easier and more fun than learning it from a college textbook. Check out this guide to learn the different digital marketing terms.
  • There are real life examples and opportunities that often go unnoticed in a standard college learning environment
  • Textbook information is usually outdated and difficult to relate to in the current context
  • Your expertise is accumulated through learning, implementing, and reworking
  • The constantly evolving world of digital marketing needs you to be updated on a daily basis, which can happen when you get involved in it regularly

This can come about in two ways

  1. Learn everything about digital marketing from courses, mentors and peers
  2. Read these case studies and try to see what worked and most important learning from failures

The core structure of the digital marketing team and the individual experiences can collectively impact whether the digital marketing program is planned elaborately or only covers the basic needs outlined by the organization.

It might not be a perfect fit, because there are multiple factors that play a role in the execution of digital marketing. Primarily:

  • The category or industry and its customers have different needs
  • The target market differs and hence the message should meet the different language and cultural barriers
  • Budget constraints can act as main barriers
  • The core structure of the digital marketing team and the individual experiences can collectively impact how the digital marketing is planned elaborately or only covers the basic needs outlined by the organisation
  • Access to right tools and technology can work or hamper the execution of digital marketing based on its availability

This will have to be narrowed down into establishing what part of the digital strategy is showing results and those that are potential weak areas that can either be worked upon or replaced.

4. How theoretical and hands-on experience go together for a digital marketing expert


For someone looking to find out how to become a digital marketing specialist, the simple answer is this: it can be learned by anyone willing to go the extra mile and learn new techniques and tools required to automate and schedule marketing campaigns..

Theoretical Knowledge

  • Outlines the fundamentals
  • Case studies can be used as an effective tool to understand real life scenarios
  • Issues and mistakes can be corrected or avoided

Practical Knowledge

  • Needs an understanding of where and how theoretical knowledge can be applied
  • Experimentation forms a key part of the execution of the digital marketing strategy

The passion to learn should be assisted by some basic fundamentals that have to be applied in the right context and at the right time.

5. Why theoretical knowledge only works 50% of the time


Theoretical knowledge without practical application will result in these drawbacks for a digital marketing expert:

  • Lack of knowledge to know which strategy works in a particular situation
  • Poor assessment skills in understanding critical areas that need to be addressed
  • Inability to clearly define the current situation and the best approach to come up with a solution
  • Ambiguity in planning and executing the digital marketing strategy without valuable insights by colleagues and superiors

You will need to have practical knowledge, but preparing yourself with the right course is the first step you need to become a digital marketing expert.

Your Turn

Now that you know how to become a digital marketing specialist without going to college, what steps would you choose to become one?

Let us know in the comment section below!

About the Author

Patricia Vaz is experienced in technology and marketing having worked for 5 years in a Fortune 500 company. She now focuses on using her corporate learning in her writing on digital marketing, latest news in technology and at the intersection of marketing and technology for B2B and B2C clients.


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