The importance of digital skills for marketers

The world of marketing is constantly evolving and has now firmly entered a digital realm. Look back just a few years and numerous marketing trends and job titles simply didn’t exist. Digital marketing specialists are now actively sought by organisations across the board to help grow their online presence, brand awareness, website traffic and online conversions.
By utilising the principles of direct marketing, while also harnessing the power of new, digital media, businesses can create impactful customer engagement and encourage personal, real-time dialogue which is fully measurable.
Even marketing professionals in more traditional marketing jobs are now expected to have an understanding and appreciation of online marketing channels. So, if you’re currently looking for a new marketing job, could it be wise to brush up on your digital knowledge and expertise?

Digital marketing and the skills-gap

A report* published by Econsultancy revealed that, although businesses recognised the importance of digital marketing to their success, they’ve struggled to develop effective processes and find the resource needed to maximise their digital potential. Only 43% of respondents rated the digital knowledge in their organisation as good or excellent. Although 87% said digital training was a high or medium priority for the digital marketing team, 61% said that digital training remains a low priority for their company in general. This could indicate a lack of connection and commitment to digital initiatives company-wide.
Many marketing teams are currently undergoing restructuring, as senior managers look to further embrace digital channels and populate their teams with the specialist knowledge required. This can bring with it hiring challenges. In this comparatively new field, it can be tricky for employers to find marketing professionals with the skills and proven track record to add immediate value.

Time to expand your expertise?

If you’re looking to move roles, or move upwards in your current organisation, digital marketing expertise could be helpful to your progression.
As the digital revolution charges on, demand for these skills will only increase going forward. Referring back to the Econsultancy report, businesses are particularly keen to find resource in social media and community management, content marketing, mobile marketing/apps development and web analytics. Recruiters often find that top talent in these areas is difficult to come across.
Even if you’re not seeking a purely digital role, a strong understanding of the rapidly changing online environment and increasing channel complexity could make you a desirable marketing candidate in any field. Employers may look favourably upon a sound understanding of where digital marketing sits in an overall marketing strategy and the opportunities it can create.
Any exposure you can get to digital marketing initiatives in your current organisation could prove an excellent addition to your CV. Equally, the IDM (institute of direct and digital marketing) runs a wide range of highly applied, up-to-the-minute courses for individuals wishing to improve and expand their digital knowledge. Courses cover a number of relevant areas, including campaign planning, SEO and PPC, copywriting and content marketing.
*Digital marketing: organisational structures and resourcing 2011