What is a Modern Career in Marketing Like? Q+A with a Digital Marketer

— Lantera Staff

If you're under the impression that digital marketing is all targeted ads and #sponsoredposts, you're in for an exciting (and interesting) awakening. While social media marketing is a major player in the modern landscape, the realm of digital marketing extends so, so far beyond a hashtag. 

To be a good digital marketer, you not only need great interpersonal skills (yes, face-to-face negotiations still exist!), but it's also essential to understand data in order to make informed predictions. These predictions lead to smart decisions, which lead to an increased ROI, which leads to increased revenue and a happy executive team!

Explain like I'm a child: what is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is a method to amplify your brand's voice on the web. Whether on Facebook, Instagram, the affiliate network, email marketing, or on Google, digital marketing is a way to introduce your brand to people who just might love it!

What drew you to your field?

The interconnectedness marketing has with all other areas of business (sales, finance, design, development). Marketing is about amplifying a brand’s voice and getting heard in competitive landscapes and platforms. It takes a combination of content creation, analytical skills, and diligence to execute a campaign well.

How is digital marketing today different from the Mad Men era? Is there still a human element to it?

The relationships you have between people who work for different platforms is very much human. The networks are all still created and filled by people. So I’d say meeting new people, understanding the possibilities of new technology, and leveraging technology fundamentally comes from the people in your network, and what they expose you to.

As far as evaluating the efficacy of a digital marketing campaign goes, there’s very little “human” interaction that goes into that. You analyze whether or not a campaign is performing pretty much objectively, based on the data; you can compare your data to benchmark information and you can set goals for yourself that reflect what your objectives are from a CPC, ROI, revenue, or scale perspective, knowing that there are certain relationships that are naturally going to be inverse ones.

What's your favorite part about your job?​

I love the people I get to interact with. I feel as though I kind of live the dream, job-wise. I get to have a variety of interactions every single day. No two days look alike; I make decisions tied to top-line revenue that have to be agreed upon by major stakeholders. It’s a central role, one that is interconnected with seemingly every other department. A lot of visibility  and weight are usually attached to the role depending on the size of the marketing budget as well.

What’s a not so glamorous part of your job?

The amount of sheer work (boring, repetitive, task-oriented work) it takes to launch a successful marketing campaign. You’re going to have to prioritize — there will be too much to do, otherwise. There are also a million ways to cut corners on the job, but the best way to go about things is always pushing yourself to be better, and you can only do that if you put forth your best effort.

To create a campaign, you have to create a brand idea; request assets from Creative if you’re a part of a company, or make them yourself if you’re part of a startup; request copy or write copy yourself; set a budget; predict how much you can spend; predict your runway of advertising; test between different creative assets and copy; test with different audiences; analyze the data; eliminate erroneous spend; rinse, repeat.

There’s also an endless list of ways to improve. I think the sexy unicorn of marketing is the “technical marketer” — one who can understand email marketing, a bit of design, a bit of development, a bit of data science, CRO, and how all of those things tie together. Learning is difficult because it takes a kind of humility to be a student. As a marketer you’re a perpetual student.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

At Lantera, we work with a hybrid business model – we have a consultative arm and an education arm. I have a daily call with one of our clients at 9 AM, which usually starts my day. After that, we have our company-wide standup, where we review the basics (what we’re working on, and if we have any blockers). Then I usually check our KANBAN board (a project management technique borrowed from development teams) and start working through the tasks on my plate.

My day varies from email marketing management (sending campaigns, evaluating campaigns), affiliate management (managing a company’s program, adding publishers, negotiating commission increases or decreases with existing publishers), project management (creating and refining strategy for clients), data analysis (answering a question like “how do we reduce our shipping rates?” with strategy and a guideline), managing PPC campaigns, digging deeper into data science (woohoo), trainings, and more! 

What kind of personality traits or qualities do you think make for the best digital marketer?

Someone who is analytical, interested in exploring new tactics, collaborative, and fun!

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