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Your Career With (& Without) Digital Marketing Expertise

Expertise in digital marketing may make or break your career today. As for tomorrow however, unless you’re looking to become an avocado farmer, being analogue in a digital world could well prove to not be your smartest career move.
The signs are already clear. What’s the biggest marketing talent shortage today? Senior executives with digital experience.
And it’s going to get worse.
According to the Australian Digital Skills and Salary Survey:
More than half of businesses surveyed anticipated hiring more digital specialists over the coming 12 months. Currently, 30% of the digital talent in Australia are, in fact, expats.
In other words, we’re not growing enough local digital talent to keep up with demand.
Why?
Researchers are quick to blame either the education sector for not adequately preparing students or the business community for not developing talent – and skills – to meet industry needs.
Attention marketers looking to advance your career: the same survey saw an increased demand for some very specific digital marketing skills: programmatic advertising, performance media and marketing, social media and content, search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and data analytics.
Digital marketing experience and expertise can help to propel your career forward in ways other than just looking good on your resume. The ability to understand and leverage digital platforms and strategies will help you to justify budgets, quantify customer engagement, improve business processes and boost profits/ROI. Compelling skills for most potential employers.
So, what’s behind this seismic change?
Digital is an essential component of marketing.
According to recruitment company Hays Sales & Marketing, the way digital marketing is evolving is set to keep growing, and employers are set to take notice and prepare for its growth.
Peter Noblet, Senior Regional Director of Hays Sales & Marketing said “As the business landscape shifts, marketers must evolve with the times to fully connect with their customers and drive business growth.”
 “As marketing becomes more technology-based, harnessing and mastering ‘big data’ will be key to achieving competitive advantage. If companies are to remain market front-runners, they need to integrate their digital and social marketing channels into one customer journey. To do this, they require candidates with integrated offline and online channel experience.”
So, you need digital and online channel marketing experience. The downside is that marketing education in Australia tends to be very broad and is still in the process of evolving to meet these digital demands.
Formal education isn’t necessarily the answer, however. Consider further developing your skills in the digital realm through industry conferences, online workshops or through mentorship with another professional who may have more senior experience.
The other option of course is to do what several of our clients have done which is to volunteer to be the ‘digital contact’ within their organisation. There’s no better way to get digital experience than by jumping in at the deep-end; particularly when none of your peers are willing to move out of their own comfort zones.
The bottom line: digital skills aren’t just important for your employer, they’re important for you too. A background in digital marketing will prepare you to connect digital campaign efforts with business revenue and growth, making you an essential member of your team.
To keep up, the business world is looking for talent abroad.
Over the past few years, the education sector in Australian has looked overseas for cues on how to further educate their marketing students. There are reports of institutions looking to the UK for marketing direction.
The good news is that we Australians have a good track record for quickly adapting to new market trends. Australia has one of the highest social media and internet penetrations in the world, but we haven’t been fast to adopt this trend in business—yet.
For a current or future marketing leader looking to shape his or her career, it will be key to build your digital marketing business case from overseas trends and case study success modelling. The research suggests that once you do, you’ll find the support you need:
According to Ethos BeathChapman, compared to other countries across the region, Australian marketers reported stronger support for digital marketing from company leadership. In Australia, 44% of senior managers provided very strong support, which compares to just 29% a year ago.
As leadership becomes more open to adopting digital strategies and programs, a key part of your job is to build the business case for your organisation to implement them, as well as to invest in your education in the digital marketing arena.
The business case for digital is sound; as long as it’s integrated with traditional marketing.
The good news is that integrating digital with traditional marketing means that you don’t need to learn your job all over again; you’re simply adding to your existing skill sets.
As of right now, however not many marketing leaders in Australia feel prepared:
According to an Economist Intelligence Unit survey on digital marketing, most marketers lack the skill sets needed to understand and glean insights from digital data. 82% of marketers state that career skills have changed, with 37% indicating they don’t have the skills required to analyse and understand the vast amount of data available to them.
With data, you can move mountains. You can attribute revenue to certain streams, refine your audience targeting, and reach potential buyers in real-time. Adding an analytical mindset to your arsenal of marketing skills is the most important thing you can do to move your career forward, and ensure the success of digital marketing in your organisation.
Digital marketing will (not) go away if you ignore it
Even now, on the verge of 2017 – some 22 years after the notional start of the commercialised internet – many companies and the people who run them are pretending that the world hasn’t changed.
The problem, of course is that it has. And if you don’t embrace the now not so new digital changes, your career may prove to be very ‘interesting’ in the future.
Having said that, prove me wrong! Perhaps being a digital luddite may just work for you and your career. Just like it worked for the marketers who said that new fangled radio, television and, heck, even computers wouldn’t catch on.
You never know though, you may turn out to be the smart one and prove all of us digital zealots wrong. If not, well, get out the shovel, pull on your boots and start planting those avocado seeds!
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The Impact Digital Readiness can have on Your Career

For organisations, money solves lots of problems. Glittering office blocks, sumptuous ad campaigns and offices dotted around the world are testament to that.
But there’s one problem money doesn’t solve, and that’s lack of intent. Without the will or incentive to evolve, invariably very little changes. Even if it needs to.
Sure, there may be some tinkering around the edges but that’s about it. If you want to place a bet, back the status quo every time.
This is why the digital marketing preparedness of many organisations lags so badly.
It’s understandable in many ways. Successful businesses often take decades to build processes, service/product offerings and of course a customer base. Most of which was achieved before or without the internet.
The only complicating thing is that while you and your competitors may not have changed the rest of the world has.
Of course you know about the digital revolution; you’re part of it for goodness sake! You live on email, post and comment on Facebook regularly and you have a symbiotic relationship with your mobile phone. You have adopted and adapted.
Now it’s your company’s turn to have strategic digital connectedness as a fundamental part of its DNA.
Easier said than done; if it was easy everyone would be doing it. It’s possible though and the supporting evidence for doing so is overwhelming.
Your opportunity, perhaps the biggest one of your career, is to help to transition your organisation to one of digital readiness. To ensure that data is captured, organised and utilised to better serve and sell to your customers. To ensure that every marketing campaign has digital interactivity as a central component and that it integrates with all other promotional elements. To ensure that senior management understands why digital is so important to the future of the organisation and is not something to ignore or pay lip service to on a PowerPoint slide.

Imagine looking back in five years’ time as the person who fundamentally changed your organisation by transitioning it to being digital ready and active. It would look pretty good on your CV, wouldn’t it?
Sure there are many people ‘doing’ digital within organisations but, through no fault of their own it’s usually being done as an add-on.
If you are ambitious, being at the forefront of the digital evolution is the place to be.
 
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