As a digital marketer, you have to wear many hats. You can’t just be a creative person with a flair for writing—sometimes it seems like you have to know it all. Most marketers thrive on the challenge of mastering a range of skills as it keeps things interesting and fresh. With digital marketing constantly evolving, it’s important for every marketer to keep up with the trends and identify new skills to master at every step of their career. At the tail end of 2018, here are 6 trends that marketers should try to master going into 2019.
If you’re interested in learning more about digital marketing skills and tools, check out an infographic, put together by Maryville University’s Business Administration program, which covers 11 modern marketing skills for business innovators to master.
1. Data Analysis
Marketers who are squeamish around numbers can’t afford to hide from them anymore: analytics are a crucial component of any successful digital marketing strategy. Not only is it important for marketers to be able to analyze customer data to predict future behavior and tailor marketing campaigns, it’s also key for market research.
Market research can get messy because it involves bringing different types of data together, both qualitative and quantitative. Marketers need to know how to sift through the different types of data to draw out relevant insights that can be used in later campaigns.
2. Mobile Marketing
No matter how much we love our desktops and laptops, it’s impossible for digital marketers to deny that the future is mobile. Attention is the hottest commodity there is, and it’s in short supply. But a huge amount of Americans’ attention is going to their mobile devices—67%.3 of Americans own a smartphone, and users between the ages of 18-24 check their phones an average of 86 times daily! That’s huge for marketers looking to capture a share of consumers’ attention. Optimizing for mobile is no longer about getting a competitive edge, it’s about keeping up with what consumers want from marketers.
3. Social Media Marketing
Now that a large portion of the United States population uses social media, it’s definitely the place to be for marketers. It’s never been more challenging to get great results from social media, but it’s also not something digital marketers can even consider ignoring. Generation Z, the latest group of consumers, are buying because of social media. About 70% of them have purchased a product or service on social media, numbers that are likely to go up as they reach adulthood. Social media is an excellent way to distribute brand content, engage with customers and potential customers, and provide a valuable type of customer service.
4. Video Production
As digital marketing has evolved, the mediums marketers use to distribute content have changed. These days, it’s all about video. From informal livestreams on social media to carefully-produced YouTube ads, video content speaks to younger generations and can easily prompt an emotional response to marketing campaigns.
Although marketers can’t be expected to become Hollywood-level movie producers, it is important for them to master the basics of video production. Nothing turns a consumer off like a sloppy or poorly-executed video—the opposite of what marketers want.
5. Cognitive Computing
Just like with analytics, many marketers get a little scared when the topic of computer science comes up. And of course, complex topics like cognitive computing take years of study and work to fully understand. However, this technology is about to become very important in the marketing world, and digital marketers will need to understand more than the very basics of cognitive computing in order to leverage its power.
At its core, cognitive computing uses artificial intelligence to process data and assist people in different tasks. For marketers, it could become extremely valuable since it can help remove bias and improve decision-making. One day, cognitive computing could help marketers reduce overwhelm by solving day-to-day problems and automating certain parts of the marketing process.
6. UX Experience
Marketers need to be aware of what a customer is experiencing at every stage of their journey, from awareness to purchase. In order to gain that awareness, they need to understand how UX works, and how different areas of the experience can be improved. Since UX can include everything from a site’s load time to the design of a landing page, understanding how a UX designer would consider all the elements can make marketers more effective.
Staying Ahead of the Competition
In order to stay ahead of the competition, marketers have to move fast. They have to be willing to adapt, learn new skills, and risk failure. A marketer who’s always up for learning will be the most successful—they’ll never stagnate and they’ll always be leading the pack.