Almost every day, someone asks me the same question:
“What do you do, man?”
And I always reply with the same, pre-packaged, answer:
“I’m into Digital Marketing”.
Anytime those words come out of my mouth, I feel freaking stupid. I literally find myself hoping that the interlocutor doesn’t know what Digital Marketing actually means.
Because it means everything and nothing at the same time.
In the same way, I could’ve said: “I work on the Internet” or “I’m into Business”: those are not proper answers, they don’t tell what I actually do.
In this article I’d like to write down, once and for all, what Digital Marketing is and which roles are involved in it.
I take the view that Digital Marketing is probably the most meritocratic environment you could ever find: it doesn’t give a crap about your gender, age or how you look.
It’s merely interested in what you know and can do.
It’s merely interested in your data.
So let’s say you’re 15 years old and are able to entertain an audience of one Million people? That’s perfectly fine.
And maybe you don’t have a master’s degree, but you’ve already started a 6 figure business? Well, I want to hire you.
In Digital Marketing, it’s all about delivering value and choosing the right channel through which to hand your content to your audience.
While in small business everyone has to be strong in each subject, big companies (legitimately) split tasks in smaller parts.
Describing each singular role isn’t easy at all: there probably are more than one hundred roles.
So, I’ll divide Digital Marketing in six big categories, which include all the jobs.
Let’s cut to the chase.
- Account: Account Directors lead a client account (or set of accounts) within an advertising agency, ensuring they are profitable and growing. They take responsibility for the delivery of quality creative work that meets the client’s needs and addresses their business problems.Instead, Account Executives and wider account management teams are the bridge between the client and the agency. Account Executives are responsible for ensuring the smooth running of client accounts. They need to develop effective working relationships with client contacts, and assist with all the key functions that go into creating the agency’s advertising output.They get involved with solving problems, drafting internal and external communications, and documenting progress.
Account Director – Board Account Director – Business Director – Account Executive
- Strategy: This is a very complex field. Imagine “strategy” like a huge engine: each employee is part of this engine – everyone works to make it more efficient. Although the whole performance depends on each gear’s job, the piston-cylinder assembly is the core component of the process.Metaphorically, strategy’s piston-cylinders are Strategists and Directors. The difference between them is very small: Directors possess knowledge of everything in the project, and manage other professionals. Strategists have a very strong background, and usually you can tell them from their innovative approach. In my vision, a Director could be a Strategist, but a Strategist couldn’t be a Director.Roles Involved:
Digital Marketing Strategist – Creative Strategist – Social Media Strategist – Digital Marketing Director – Creative Director – Social Media Director
- Content/Creative: Without content, the Internet wouldn’t make sense. And Social Media has made content even more crucial: this is what happens online every sixty seconds. It includes graphics and text content creator.Moreover, Google seeks to optimise its users’ experience over and over. So, they put a big emphasis on great, original and valuable content.
“Do you want to get on our first page? Then your content has to bring value to our users.”
Here comes the importance of a blog on company’s website: for instance, have a look at Coca Cola’s and Disney Park’s blog.
It goes without saying that an Optimisers’ work is essential for this category.Roles Involved:
Copywriter/Content Writer – Graphic Designer – Blogger – Content Creator – Production Artists – Web Designers – Associate Creative Directors – Designer
- Analytics: They have to interpret and synthesise numbers and data that have been collected. If you’ve never seen Google Analytics, you can’t even imagine the amount of data it gathers each second.Being able to read this data and take action based on it is very efficient in every realm: you can tell which link in the chain is working weakly towards your success, and what to implement it with in order to improve its results.Analytics requires knowledge from statistics, IT and marketing. It is tough, yet definitely worth it: as time goes by, it becomes more influential.
Analytics Manager – Business Analyst – PPC Search Manager
- Optimisation: “The best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google”.
We very often read words like SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SMO (Social Media Optimisation). These beautiful abbreviations, which would make my grandmother shiver, could bring your website at the very first position of Google results.Google currently splits its results between paid ones and free ones: paid ones are placed at the first two results (note the “AD” sign) whereas free ones are the others.
Whenever you hit the search button, search engines analyse a Trillion pages on average. Google takes care of its users by filtering results by a lot of features. Needless to say, if you want to succeed in the marketplace, you HAVE to get at least on the first page.Roles Involved:
SEO Specialist – SEM Specialist – SMO Specialist
The action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. It includes working on Marketing Mix’s Ps (have you already read my article about pricing?) and much more.
This is probably the field which relies more on others’ work.Roles Involved:
Marketing Manager – Product Marketing Manager – Paid Marketing Manager – Public Relations/Media Relations Manager – Marketing Operations Manager
These are, in very broad terms, the categories which Digital Marketing consists of. These same positions are also known with different names depending on the Agency or Company, but this summary is quite complete. I could’ve also included Human Resources, Research and Web Development, but those can be found in every field, not only in Digital Marketing.
As you can see, all these roles require skills and backgrounds that are small and curled in on themselves. That’s why what you do is so hard to explain to someone who isn’t into this realm.
And to be honest, I find this veil of secrecy definitely cool!