Hiring a marketing specialist for any industry is a hard task, but it’s even more so when for a small business. This is because digital marketing has become so specialized that we really can’t expect a single person to be equally proficient in every single area, or to realistically handle every single task that would come their way if they were to take over all digital marketing duties, including planning an executing each campaign. But what knowledge is required for digital marketing?
The issue with jack-of-all-trades marketers is that, while they can be a smart investment, it depends entirely on the environment they will be working in. Depending on the size of the company and the scope of their efforts, they might find all their responsibilities too overwhelming and cause their productivity to go down. On a small company or business, however, they can shine if they have the entrepreneurial spirit to drive growth. After a certain point, they can assume a leadership role and be able to manage specialists with specific abilities.
Here are the 7 key skills that your digital advertising specialist should have!
1. A/B Testing
Also known as split testing, this is a method of comparing two different versions of a webpage or app to determine which one performs better according to your project goals. This is done by showing each of them to random users and measure how well they perform using different metrics. You need a digital marketer with proven experience running A/B tests, ad copy, audience segmentation (geographical and otherwise), and landing pages, just to name a few. Having one will seriously reduce the overall resources poured into a project and offer better results in the long run.
This one should be obvious, but it’s worth explaining in depth. While we don’t recommend that you make your ad specialist multitask, you definitely want someone who can manage multiple projects that are running concurrently without losing effectiveness or efficiency. They should be able to always maintain priorities, meet deadlines, and never lose focus despite being faced with a fast-paced or task.
3. Critical Thinking & Adaptability
Marketing trends and digital ad platforms are not the same as they were a year ago, and they definitely won’t be the same a year from now. Your possible hire should be able to identify emergent marketing trends (as well as dying or short-lived ones) in order to adapt and adjust their strategies. This also means that they should be able to analyze a problem and solve it in quantitative terms as well since many aspects of digital ads is a numbers game.
4. Design Platforms & Skills
While this may sound like a lot to ask of someone, you really want someone that has enough proven experience with Adobe Creative Suite, particularly Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Even if you already have (or are planning to hire) a dedicated in-house designer for your team, the extra experience won’t hurt, and should at least dominate the design principles and requirements for desktop and mobile layouts.
5. Media Buying
Since your jack-of-all-trades ad manager will be working all of your campaigns, you need someone that already has experience developing, testing, and running different media campaigns so they are viewed by their intended audience. In other words, your ad specialist needs to know your audience extremely well so they can choose the channels where the target audience will definitely see your ads. Otherwise, all the effort will be for naught and the campaign might even have to be redrawn.
6. Leadership & Project Management
This is a set of skills that is only a priority if you have a team instead of depending entirely on a single person. They need to be experienced leading a team in a fast-paced environment and coordinating those efforts with the expectations of clients or your own growth projections for the year. Remember that a good manager is not one that’s constantly pushing team members to do their jobs or demanding results all the time, but one who can work alongside them and bring out the best of each team member.
Your candidate should be experienced in collecting and analyzing the right metrics for the project at hand, and always looking to optimize their digital strategy and tactics according to the results. This goes hand in hand with the analysis and research of how effective will certain measures be in order to reach a certain project goal or your business objective. In other words, they need to have a naturally inquisitive and analytical mind that asks, “how can we improve here?”.
After reading about all of these digital marketing core competencies, you might think that hiring a jack-of-all-trades marketer might be a short-term solution, and you’d be mostly right. Sometimes it’s better to just leave out that part of the job for specialists in businesses of your size.