As a business leader, you may feel confident that your marketing team has a handle on your company’s digital marketing strategy. Yet you should think long and hard before deciding to allow your marketing team to lead the charge in this area on its own because it already has so much to concentrate on, from direct mail pieces and traditional print advertisements to email communications.

Having a marketing expert is not enough to ensure that your company will be able to initiate effective online marketing campaigns to achieve its goals for business growth. Instead, forward-thinking companies should consider working with a true specialist: a digital marketing guru.

Go-To Guru

A digital marketing guru specializes in figuring out the best methods for communicating your business to a broad audience and creating a repeatable process to market your company.

An effective manager goes beyond just managing the online components of your marketing mix. Additionally, he or she considers the best way to integrate digital elements with traditional media, such as public relations and print campaigns. In this way, your expert can help you and your marketing department strategically uncover the core metrics that represent the success of your company, spend effectively to optimize those metrics, and maximize the automation of your process.

What’s more, a digital marketing pro has deep expertise in key measurement tools and can help your company develop a social presence to advocate for your brand more effectively. The best digital marketing experts don’t work in a silo. Instead, they coordinate the implementation of the marketing plan among all constituencies, from sales and customer relations to human resources.

Behind the Role

Though it may be tempting to tap an insider if your team lacks a comprehensive understanding of digital, it might not be enough to anoint someone on your staff as your guru of digital marketing; it can be difficult to have the expertise or bandwidth required alongside a typical slate of marketing duties. Digital marketing takes more than a cursory knowledge of online marketing trends and goes far beyond social media expertise.

This high-level specialist not only understands marketing basics and planning, but he or she also has extensive knowledge in key areas that affect the online marketing landscape, including social media, SEO, search engine marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and pay-per-click advertising.

Your expert’s job in surveying this landscape is not to favor one of these tools over another — like insisting that Twitter is the only platform a brand needs — but to consider the big picture of online marketing options. A key function of this role is to help provide “a clear digital roadmap for the brand” through the noise.

Here are three areas where having a digital marketing master can impact your business for the better:

• Measuring return on investment and growth: A digital marketing guru helps ignite the dry powder in a company in a controlled, reliable manner. Once your brand starts to gain traction and has money in place, your business needs to see ROI. The right marketing expert will put a process in place and uncover the correct metrics to measure real growth in the company.

When you wing it with your digital marketing strategy, you could end up lacking the measurable results that you need to justify utilizing the strategy in the first place. A digital marketing master should be able to determine expectations for ROI for each element of the campaign and, ideally, provide milestone reports that assist with future planning.

• Revealing changes in market and customer behavior: Even traditional marketing isn’t static, but when it comes to digital marketing, fast-moving is an understatement. A digital marketing guru is charged with staying on top of what’s changing in your marketplace and with your customers, whether that means tools and tactics, new channels, or buying behaviors.

Based on a close, consistent analysis of market and customer habits and trends, a digital marketing specialist can help your company parlay those insights into better-targeted leads, campaigns, and strategies — and, ultimately, higher profits.

As digital marketing consultant Pritesh Patel explains, a digital marketing manager has the ability to react quickly in real time — for example, to change an online ad to reflect the results of analytical findings.

• Allowing more time to focus on the big-picture strategy: The best digital marketing masters complement a leadership team, facilitating the team’s ability to focus on managing other parts of your brand’s strategy.

To achieve this, leaders should avoid getting tied up in the day-to-day tweaking of digital campaigns, especially when they lack expertise. Instead, they can channel their energies toward other strategic priorities by handing the digital reins to their guru. By focusing on what they do best, they’ll devote their time to the company’s larger strategic initiatives.

If you’re still in doubt about your digital marketing initiatives, re-evaluate your company’s marketing efforts and remember the complexity of the marketing universe in which we’re now operating. Digital marketing adds to the complexity of reaching the right customers at the right time by throwing in needing the right technologies on top of everything else.

Any size enterprise in any industry can greatly improve its ROI, customer analysis, and leadership focus by creating a true relationship with an expert in digital marketing. It’s a strategy that can bring positive results to every business.