We’ve all heard the saying, “jack of all trades, master of none.” This might be used to describe your neighborhood handyman who is often helping people out with various home improvement projects.
When you have a serious home renovation, however, you don’t call Bill from next door. You need specialists who can get the job done right. My wife and I recently had the pleasure of having our kitchen ripped apart and put back together over what turned into weeks on end. There were problems around every corner, like the duct work running up and down the middle of the wall we wanted removed. Each time we were faced with a challenge, we brought in a specialist to help us solve it. Our house became a popular hangout for HVAC, plumbing, flooring, and electricity professionals.
Everyone understands that the plumber is not the person they want hooking up the electric or installing the countertops. These are all specialized skills that take years of practice and learning to understand and perfect. Specialists are important because they can find ways to solve complex problems. They can do this because they have a deep understanding of their area of expertise. Unfortunately for my wife and me, the HVAC specialist’s expertise meant our kitchen remodeling project would be on hold during his extended vacation.
As digital marketing continues to evolve, we find that there are many different areas in which individuals are gaining deep expertise.
At the heart of any digital marketing initiative is a company’s website. In order to create and maintain an effective site, there are different skillsets that need to be tapped. Designers and user-experience experts will make sure the site is visually appealing and easy to use. Programmers are needed to make sure that it functions correctly and consistently across various platforms and devices. IT professionals are needed to set-up hosting, maintain security, and make you feel inferior. A really good one can do all three simultaneously.
Digital advertising introduces a whole different set of needed skills and expertise. At the core there needs to be an understanding of media planning and buying. Then, within each channel, there are several technical and functional challenges. Google advertising requires a combination of keyword research, bidding strategies, ad copy development, landing page best practices, and account structure know-how. Social media sites each have their own platforms buyers can use to set up and run advertisements. Display advertising and video ads are often purchased through ad technology platforms that allow programmatic buying. Programmatic buying is vastly complex. Many large agencies have created whole departments or subsidiaries containing programmers, buyers, and data scientists in order to effectively target and engage prospects with advertising.
Content marketing has grown considerably over the past few years. The advent of Google and other (lesser) search engines has shifted the balance of power from the seller to the buyer. As a result, marketers are now developing content to draw potential customers to their web properties to engage with articles, videos, whitepapers, infographics and more. The marketer can drive leads and establish thought leadership, while the buyer is armed with the information they need to make an informed buying decision. This is a tricky area because to be effective content needs to be good and easy to find. Achieving both is a challenge. Because of this, content marketing requires design, search engine optimization, research, copy-writing, and video editing skills to name a few.
Once content has been developed and begins to capture leads, marketing automation campaigns can be developed to nurture prospects and effectively generate sales-qualified leads. The process of marketing automation can be extremely effective because it connects specific pieces of content with prospects who have shown an interest in related information. It’s also complex. Platforms such as HubSpot, Marketo, and Pardot are powerful marketing automation tools that require months and years of training and practice to master.
The analytics that are generated from each of these digital marketing activities ties everything together and is yet another specialty within digital marketing. Transforming data into actionable insights requires data science and business intelligence skills, not to mention database management, data visualization, and coding capabilities.
At Mason Digital, we’ve set up separate departments for development, advertising, content marketing, and analytics. This allows us to staff our company to provide clients with deep knowledge and expertise in digital marketing, whether they just need a website or require an integrated digital marketing campaign. Whether your company is looking to accomplish your marketing objectives with internal staff or an outsourced firm, make sure that you’re tapping resources with deep expertise and not generalists with limited knowledge. Even if this requires tearing everything apart and rebuilding it, it might be worth it. Take it from me, our new kitchen is awesome!
Originally published by the Rochester Business Journal