Marketing Job Titles of the Future

inbound marketing skillsRemember when digital marketing was actually a sub-specialty in the marketing world? Really, it hasn’t been so long ago. When marketers discovered we could reach more and more people on the Internet, websites popped up for absolutely everything, and web design became a coveted skill. Still, the only way to find a company website was to get the address from the company itself. But then the search engine arrived, and the rest, as they say, is history.

To do it right, though, you have to master various aspects of digital marketing, which means suddenly this sub-specialty became a bona fide specialty (no sub, thankyouverymuch), with its own little collection of sub-specialties. So, if you’re interested in digital marketing, whether to use for your own company or to pursue as a career, what are these sub-specialties you’ll need to master? May we suggest:

1. Social Media Marketing

Too many people believe that social media marketing is as simple as posting to Facebook and Twitter a set number of times per day. In fact, this belief has permeated the digital marketing world and forcibly removed the real importance of this skill. With the firm belief that “anyone can do it,” social media marketing struggles to find its place among the remaining sub-specialties.

If, however, a social media marketer is truly savvy and understands how each of the social media platforms could and should be used to foster brand recognition and brand advocates, this particular sub-specialty emerges as one of the most important pieces of your digital marketing plan.

Before you look for a job (or hire someone to perform this particular job), consider the many different platforms available now and those that are currently emerging. Study the strengths and weaknesses of these platforms and determine how each could be used to reach current and potential customers. Simple engagement posts just don’t cut it anymore. The social media marketer must be quick, clever, witty, and able to think on his or her feet.

2. Content Marketing

Content marketing has a whole new face now that Google’s Hummingbird algorithm has arrived. True content marketers have always understood the importance of the words and images used, but shady practices infiltrated the process and made a mockery of the system. Keyword stuffing on blogs and article sites, guest blogging for link building, and many other sketchy activities all but destroyed the good name of content marketing.

Well, now this sub-specialty re-emerges with a much better reputation. Hummingbird makes those shady tactics obsolete, which means a true content marketer has to know just how to prepare that content so search engines can still find it.

3. Engagement Marketing

Engagement marketing may sometimes be confused with social media marketing, but in reality there is a large difference. While social media platforms can be used to engage with customers, the marketing can’t be labeled “engagement” if there is no interaction between audience and marketer. This means your engagement can actually come from many different sources, including email marketing, your business blog, podcasts, and even live events.

A great engagement marketer understands the different psychographic dimensions of the target audience, making interaction with various buyer personas easy. He or she can switch deftly between witty repartee and serious informational chats in order to reach the buyers on a personal level. It’s a skill not everyone has, and

4. Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is probably the fastest growing sub-specialty on the list. In 2013, nearly one-third of Thanksgiving holiday shopping was completed on a mobile device, and that number is expected to increase exponentially. In fact, if we consider the fact that mobile shopping increased nearly 60% between 2012 and 2013, the potential for 2014 is unfathomable. To reach those customers on mobile devices, you must also have sound mobile marketing techniques.

Some of the top concerns for your mobile marketers include responsive design and page load times. Providing a mobile-friendly version of your website and blog is a great way to keep potential customers right there on your page after they find you. If your text is too small, your images impossible to see, and your links hard to click, customers might close the browser in frustration and never come back. The same goes for sites that take too long to load, so be sure to test all your mobile tools before launching them.

To make mobile marketing easier, apps are a great idea. Hiring developers isn’t always an option, so consider creating your own app through a simple design program. It may not be as sophisticated as some of the more expensive apps out there, but if you’re able to provide solutions to your customers and keep them engaged with your products and services longer, any app is helpful, no matter the cost.

5. Marketing Technology

Creating mobile apps and testing page-load speeds are a part of marketing technology, but they really only scratch the surface. Marketing has become a very automated process, but not always correctly. A large part of marketing technology is creating that automation, testing the software, and instructing marketers on its use. The automation process helps in countless ways, but only if the programs harvest the correct information, provide dynamic experiences for website visitors, and track the activity your site receives.

There are some dangers to an automation process, especially where data is concerned. Protecting that information is crucial, of course, but so is using it correctly. Automation is not always equal to personalization, a fact that many don’t seem to grasp. Only the best and brightest will understand how to make the best possible use of marketing technology.

6. Search Marketing

Finally, the sub-specialty of marketing that makes all previous sub-specialties so powerful. Search engine optimization just doesn’t mean the same thing it did a few years ago. Google, the granddaddy of search engines, keeps changing the algorithm, making it hard for SEO professionals to keep up. This sub-specialty, which really should be its own specialty due to its importance, requires flexibility, quick thinking, and an unblemished moral code—if you want to do it right, that is.

Search marketing relies on a professional’s ability to understand the most important details of the latest search algorithms and how to apply those rules to digital marketing. A strong understanding of Google’s quality guidelines also wouldn’t go astray. Your digital marketing approach is only as effective as your search marketing knowledge, and that knowledge governs the material you use in web design, rich media, blogs, and landing pages. If you can’t be found, what good are these tools, anyway?

We’re firm believers that a healthy digital marketing department knows the balance between all sub-specialties. Now that you have a better understanding of these digital marketing sub-specialties, do you know how your marketing tactics measure up? Have you been giving too much attention to one and not enough attention to another? Sometimes a subtle shift in understanding is all it takes to see big results.

image credit: ambro/