If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either a marketer yourself or someone who knows one. If not, then maybe it’s time to consider becoming more involved in the field. After all, it’s never too late to learn; you can always teach yourself a thing or two.
But before you begin, it’s important to note that there’s a difference between marketing and digital marketing. The former is any kind of advertising or marketing that takes place in a physical space (think magazine ads, banner ads, and billboards). The latter is all the activities that happen online. Even social media, which is a mix of both online and offline activities, is considered part of digital marketing.
The Evolving Role of Marketing
Over the years, marketing has shifted from a “brick and mortar” role to a digital one. So much so that today it’s impossible to escape digital marketing if you want to be considered in the game. But the distinction between marketing and digital marketing isn’t always obvious. If you’re not sure where to place your focus, here are four roles that marketing traditionally plays and how they correspond to the evolving world of digital marketing.
If you’re a product marketer, you’re probably already doing a lot of the things that used to fall under the banner of marketing. You have a clear idea of what product you’re selling and you research the benefits and feature sets to make sure that your product sells itself. You understand how people benefit from using your product and you use that to convince potential customers to try out your offering. Sounds a lot like traditional marketing, right?
But here’s the catch: As marketing evolved, so did the way products are marketed. Back in the day, a marketer would select a product to promote and then brainstorm ways to pitch it to potential customers. They might design a slick ad to run in a magazine or brainstorm ideas for a viral campaign to promote a product.
While those methods still exist, marketers are generally more involved in the research and development of products than ever before. And as a result, the role of a product marketer has shifted to focus on the entire marketing process, from ideation to measurement.
If you’re a brand marketer, you know all about your brand identity and how to communicate it to customers. You might even have a design team working on creating new logos, packaging, and website designs to represent your brand. You also track the performance of existing brand assets, like ads, to understand how customers respond to them and if they need to be updated or replaced. But brand marketing doesn’t just cover the design of your logo and the ads you run. It includes all the PR, social media, and other similar activities that help to establish your brand in the marketplace.
Essentially, a brand marketer is the person responsible for getting the word out about your brand and encouraging customers to try it out. Sometimes this involves running ads, other times it can involve getting involved in social media campaigns, or even holding seminars or webinars to educate potential customers about the benefits of your brand.
If you’re a creative marketer, you probably focus on creating unique and eye-catching campaigns, products, and designs for your clients. You don’t just focus on ads, you might even develop an entire marketing strategy, from creative to content, around a particular product or service. Your designs might even be integrated into the product itself, whether it’s a web page, an app, or a piece of clothing.
Creative marketers are often called on to come up with innovative ideas for campaigns, so they have plenty of room for experimentation. However, since the industry is cyclical, you’ll usually find that clients come back for more creative work once their first campaign has been launched.
If you’re a digital marketer, you’re probably responsible for ensuring that all the digital assets, like websites, blogs, social media accounts, and mobile applications, tied to your brand adhere to brand standards, engage with users, and convert them into paying customers. You also manage online marketing performance, set budgets, and measure results to ensure that you’re maximizing your digital marketing efforts and minimizing wasted spending. Sounds a lot like a traditional marketing job, right?
Well, to an extent…
Even though most of the responsibilities of a digital marketer are similar to those of a traditional marketer, the way you achieve them differs. Back in the day, a digital marketer would focus on developing websites, creating content, and getting social media signals to drive traffic to these sites. Nowadays, the role has evolved to include managing the entire digital marketing process, from idea to delivery, including analytics, content, and social media.
The takeaway from this is that while the responsibilities of a digital marketer have changed, the skills you need to succeed have not. The ability to research and analyze data is still essential, as is the ability to communicate effectively and prove your point with evidence.
If you’re interested in exploring the world of marketing further, you might want to consider these four roles as a baseline. From there, you can branch out into any areas that interest you and which you feel you’re better suited for. Maybe you’ve had a career in journalism and want to explore the field of PR or maybe you’ve always been interested in social media and want to get into marketing. Either way, you can take the first step on your journey to stardom by registering with a reputable marketing agency.