How These 5 Rocking Skills Have Helped My Career

“Be Curious and Never Stop. Fight-on!”

I have spent close to 5 years working as a digital marketer and have been fortunate to be involved in large complex projects. Some of these projects required little to no technical knowledge, while others were far more demanding. With that said, it is within these years that I have learned that it is up to your curiosity and the time you dedicate to hone your skill set that will allow you to take your marketing projects and ideas to the next level.

These 5 rocking skills have helped me boost my creativity, conceptualize abstract ideas, augment my “hands-on approach”, and helped differentiate deliverables and strategies. Give them a try!

“Sometimes the little things you do can make you a hero in your team”

1) Spice Up Your Design Taste

How it applies: At some point you will be asked to work with an agency to design a landing page, an email template, ad banner, or some sort of interface.

Here’s your chance to rock design: Lead your agency with a vision. Come up with examples of work that inspires you and your team. Explore the latest design trends, the best applications, and what is driving excitement with your audience. We hold the power of knowing what our audiences love and we often fail to voice that through contracted agencies. By having an understanding of the latest design trends we can take our ideas to a whole new level. We can make our design creation process a lot more effective, interesting, and fun.

In large organizations you run the risk of having similar designs. Especially when they are bound to branding guidelines. Be different by getting out of your comfort zone and explore the new cool trendy stuff. At the end of the day your agency will help adapt your project to meet your company’s brand guidelines.

How to get started? Read Medium and browse Dribble to see what is new in conceptual modern design.

2) Understand Ad Platforms

How it applies: At some point you will find yourself budgeting, planning, and strategizing your next paid content, app, search and/or social media campaign.

Here’s your chance to shine: Are you aware of the pricing models, segmentation options, retargeting, and delivery formats that can help you leverage your budget effectively?

Ad platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and others offer different ways to reach your audience. Some platforms cost less than others and still produce awesome results. Discovering those ad gems takes time, testing, and curiosity. To find the right ad platforms start by understanding your options as well as what is possible to distribute per ad platform. This knowledge will give your digital marketing strategy a lot of flexibility especially when you are looking to reach a global audience.

How to get started? Start by playing with G2Crowd — Types of Digital Advertising Platforms and compare what is available for you in the market. There are plenty of choices that can expand your brand reach.

3) Show Some Love for Analytics

How it applies: If you have a website, you have data. If you run a campaign, you have data. If you tweet, you have data. If you send an email, you have data. We encounter data every day at work.

Here’s your chance to shine: There are countless types of metrics available to marketers from web, email, social, video, content, the list goes on. What happens when you put all of these together? Does your final report add up? Are the key performance indicators clearly defined? Do they make sense to leadership?

This is one of the biggest needs and challenges for marketers on a daily basis. Despite of having large data governance rules for internal reporting (including automation), there is plenty of room for manual error when we pick and choose to leave metrics outside reports. Your challenge is to not just know what you are analyzing, but understand what it means and how each metric can impact other metrics. As you become more familiar with understanding metrics, you can facilitate your work process as you partner with internal teams to collect important data points for your next presentation. When you are able to pick a few metrics, tell a credible and awesome story, and bulletproof your presentation, you may be the analytics hero of your team.

How to get started? Get started by reading Avinash Kaushik’s blog. You can also browse HBR and KissMetrics for guides and articles that can quickly get you up to speed.

4) Embrace Coding

How it applies: If you create email templates, deploy landing pages, work with analytics tracking snippets, and even social media software you can benefit from knowing some basic languages.

Here’s your chance to shine: How many times have you emailed your contracting agency to make a word change? Add spacing? Change a few colors? Insert tracking codes? How long do you usually wait for this? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, days? Unfortunately, this slows your momentum and can quickly eat your marketing budget (monthly retainers, per hour, etc).

Learning a coding language takes practice, but it is not impossible. You will spend more time asking questions than coding. Oh, but wait for the joy that you will experience when your code works or when your page loads beautifully. It only takes time, dedication, and curiosity. It is an investment in your career. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will realize the benefits and the more applications you will see in your work place. The best part of learning a new languages is that your communication and process with your agency becomes fun, interesting, and also very rewarding.

How to get started? This is the biggest question when someone wants to start learning to code. Here is a breakdown as to how each language can impact your projects:

1) HTML/CSS — Easily email templates, landing pages, and web pages.
2) Javascript — Understand tracking code snippets and also develop web apps to facilitate tasks at work.
3) SQL — Manipulate databases and analyze data.

I highly recommend you explore Coursera, Code.org, and CodeCademy. These sources have some of the best tutorials, explanations, and coding exercises.

5) Understand How Your Software Works

How it applies: It is common to see large organizations running close to 3–6 different software that support their marketing operations.

Here’s your chance to shine: What happens when an individual leaves a team? What happens when you find out that you are paying for options not in use? In what ways is each software helping you? Can you extract more power from each software for your marketing operations?

As you explore your current software, click and play with what is available to you. Get familiar with modules, what they do, why they are important, and how they affect the overall purpose of the software. As you ask questions, you may find opportunities to make changes, improve processes, and even recommend additional uses that you would have never imagined possible.

Marketing software is incredibly powerful, but to make your ideas a reality you need to understand how the tool can be customized to help you achieve your goals.

How to get started? Take initiative and get some free trials for software you find interesting. Play with them. Try to break them. Test them. Record your experiences. For your current software, get on the phone with your Account Executive and ask questions. If you have an idea, share it. Let everyone know. G2Crowd is one of the best sources to know the latest reviews and experiences for enterprise marketing software.

Invest in your career, be curious, and take the lead. We have entered “The New Era of the Hybrid Marketer.”

About Me: Digital Marketing Manager @WiproDigital, @USC Alumnus,@RealMadrid Fan, Gamer, Traveler, Runner, & Foodie from Mexico City. Opinions = my own. Twitter: @BryHwang.