You come across a plethora of people who brand themselves as Digital Marketing folks and you get interested in hiring them after you hit up a conversation. You’ve heard about them from your friends and you’ve read about them somewhere. They have built a personal brand and you are on the verge of getting hooked on to the bait. The question is, are they your ideal digital marketing leader? Let’s delve into what you should expect from a prospective hire for this position. These aspects come into play in addition to marketing and branding, that are a given for someone writing this blog post.
Oh yes! Digital is as much about technology and as it is about marketing. The question you must ask is – Does my prospective hire understand the evolving technology landscape that is shaping the present and future of digital marketing? It is not expected of the prospect to code a page or app for you but what you should expect is that this person knows about the opportunity cost of going for a particular technology or platform, to enhance your digital marketing presence.
They should have worked, hands-on, with a technology team developing web and social apps, websites and mobile apps.
It is imperative for an organisation to understand the importance of ‘knowledge of technology’ to build their digital marketing strategy.
An honest question deserves an honest response. What association does your prospective hire have with content creation, strategy, planning and editing? The benefit with digital as a marketing platform is that it gives you a targeted reach and tangible numbers. The problem with digital as a marketing platform is that it highlights and amplifies your copy errors in a short span of time. A digital marketing leader should know the importance of ‘formulating a content plan” before embarking upon creation of a digital asset or running a campaign.
They should have worked, hands-on, in the process of creating a content strategy and developing content for the brand in question.
The content that you put out is a reflection of your brand. Identify your brand’s voice, if you have not, till now.
Creative is different from copy when you talk about digital marketing. They work in tandem with each other but the creative aspect of your digital marketing footprint is as important as your content strategy. Are your users getting an optimal user experience? Does your user interface enhance the user experience or hinder it? While the guidelines for UX and UI work within blurred lines, the bottom line is that the user should not get overwhelmed with assets on your digital marketing property. A digital marketing leader must understand the importance of content and creative going together with technology.
They should have worked, hands-on, with creative professionals and must understand that 2 and 2 do not make 4 and that they can make 5 as well.
Are you able to connect the dots with technology, content and creative, coming together over a layer of marketing? Good!
Social media helps get your message out to the masses and to your prospective clients. Contrary to popular belief of ‘veterans’, the social media space keeps evolving and at times, makes it harder for digital marketing folks to achieve what they have set out to achieve. Does your prospective hire know that there is life beyond Twitter and Facebook? Does a blog figure in their comprehensive brand and product marketing plan? A digital marketing leader must know how performance marketing and social media come together to give a comprehensive reach to a digital marketing strategy.
They should have worked, hands-on, creating and running performance marketing campaigns in the recent past and should be aware of the metrics that can be defined and derived from these campaigns.
Are you of the thought that social media is not just about some random person faffing around (although, you can find many of those) and is more than that? Good!
In my opinion, a discussion with a prospective hire for the position of a digital marketing leader ends when they say that data analytics does not matter. The foundation of digital marketing is based on tangible numbers. If you are not tapping into those numbers to derive insights and improve your product, app, website or social properties, you are just not paying attention! What are your users looking at? What kind of content are they consuming the most and at what time of the day? Is there a specific geography that you must tailor your content for? A digital marketing leader must have answers to these questions and more.
They should have worked, hands-on, on analytics tools and should be able to gain implementable insights from the numbers that they see.
Don’t you wish that the person responsible for spending your money on campaigns and building digital marketing properties would have a clear perception of analytics? Good!
This is the most important aspect of a leader’s trait. Is the prospective hire a team player? Have they built teams or have they been responsible for an exodus of team members under their leadership? Leadership is not about getting work done, it is about getting quality work done from a team that believes in you and would be there to get stuff done. A digital marketing leader should be human and not someone who “brandishes their job title” at the drop of a hat.
They should have worked, hands-on, with people and should have nurtured teams. They should understand that each person is different and that each person performs under different conditions.
Do you believe that a high employee attrition rate hurts your brand and work? Good!
While these are a few of the many traits that would make a great digital marketing leader, they are also the most important ones. If you agree with me on the aforementioned points of view and are looking to hire your next digital marketing leader, let’s connect on LinkedIn or chat up on Twitter. Let’s go build that awesome digital presence together!