We’ve all had that dream.
You know, the one where you’re heading somewhere important—a big presentation, a date, school. You get there, look down, and realize you’re naked.
That’s what entering the marketing profession without a solid knowledge of search and digital marketing is: knowing what you’re heading into, only to realize (too late) that you’re completely exposed. Your training, tools, and knowledge of the field make up your body of work. Digital marketing is how you dress for success.
Since no one takes a naked professional seriously, allow me to introduce you to digital marketing pants.
Pants-Free Didn’t Work for Me
Disclaimer: Until quite recently, I functioned in the professional world completely pants-less. That all changed when I took an internship at Direct Online Marketing (DOM) and began working with DOM’s fearless leader, and founder, Justin Seibert.
It takes a certain courage to start up a digital marketing company in a market where nothing of the sort had ever existed. (DOM is the oldest and largest company of its kind in West Virginia.)
DOM’s first customers were based overseas or spread out across the nation. Then something spectacular happened: Local businesses started inquiring about this digital marketing firm, right in their own backyard.
Turns out, there is a demand for digital marketing in West Virginia. And why shouldn’t there be? There are businesses here, businesses that want to succeed. And digital marketing enhances that chance, whether the business is down the street or across an ocean.
Seeing is Believing
In just a month here, I have seen DOM work with organizations spanning the entire business spectrum, from colleges and universities to law offices to the export industry. I’ve learned that technology is not only changing the world; it’s changing how we work in the world.
Sure, I had heard of PPC, Search Engine Optimization, and the like—but it seemed to me that the whole endeavor of digital marketing was just for tech companies and computer geeks.
Boy, was I wrong.
Last week, I had the privilege of sitting in on a social media training course that the DOM team presented at a local university. The goal was to help the university increase student retention and better target their ‘ideal’ prospective students (saving time and resources—now that’s what I call a ‘win’).
Digital not only wears the pants in the marketing industry, digital is the pants of the industry.
And the survey says…
Nothing quite lends credit to a bold statement like facts.
So, without further ado, the CMO council predicts that digital ads will lead the way for global media growth in the next four years, and that by 2018, internet advertising will be poised to overtake TV as the largest advertising medium.
Gartner Digital Marketing Spending Report (2013) performed a study that found that 50% of digital marketing activities are outsourced. That means there’s a whole lot of naked companies and organizations out there, paying someone to wear the pants for them.
That’s not all…
A year later, in 2014, the Online Marketing Institute interviewed 750 ad agency executives from Fortune 500 companies found that “[t]here’s a vast gap between the digital marketing expertise needed by organizations and the talent actually available to them at every level.”
Outsourcing marketing work? Currently not enough talent in the Fortune 500 pool to keep up with technological advances in marketing?
Do you hear that?
It’s opportunity knocking.
All you need to do is complement your marketing skills with digital powers, then *BOOM*, you are fully clothed, and exactly what these Fortune 500 companies are looking for.
Put Your Pants On!
We’ve established that digital marketing weaves the pants to cover your body of marketing work. Your schooling is what composes that marketing body.
As marketers, our career field evolves (almost) as quickly as technology. We need to supplement our body of academic knowledge with the reality of technological advances. Thanks to my education (MS in Marketing and Communication), my marketing body is pretty solid. What my body lacked was the power of pants, which would permit me to go where I needed to be.
To find your pants, research the vast field of digital marketing.
Go to events where you can learn about digital marketing, check out any speakers in your area, take an internship, and watch videos of experts in the field giving inside advice. You will be shocked to discover (or at least, I was) the diversity of the field. It’s not just for the tech savvy and analytical geniuses; it is also for social networkers, artists, passionate writers, and those who thrive on creativity. When I realized I was a naked professional, I did my research, took an internship, and finally found my pants (which are quite comfortable, thank you).
Your dream job is out there waiting for you…will you arrive appropriately dressed?