A Reluctant Digital Marketer
I’ve written a business book which I’m targeting at UK audiences — as a first-time author, I’ve got the task of marketing it myself. Not for me the high profile book signings in Oxford Street with queues of adoring fans who’ve slept the night on the pavement wearing fancy dress just to get hold of a first edition — rather it’s me sitting on several cartons full of books in my garage wondering now on earth I’m going to move them.
It’s really alarming to be 55 and suddenly realise that marketing has become very digital indeed — 35% of companies’ marketing budgets are spent on their digital effort, while 83% of UK residents made on-line purchases in 2016. Further, 33% of books are bought via e-commerce in the UK.
So far, so good, but I’d really got no idea how to market on-line and to be frank, social media seemed to be dominated by impossibly cool hipsters, photographed in monochrome, posing in front of graffiti in Shoreditch — a million miles away from the kind of people I envisaged buying my book. It seemed pretty obvious that without some form of training in digital marketing, my wife would still be complaining about those cartons in 6 months time.
The question was how could I address the gap in my skills and knowledge while holding down a full-time job and living a busy family life? The answer came somewhat unexpectedly — I had been studying data analytics and coding with the US MOOC provider, Udacity, for a couple of years; their courses had always been very technical in nature, but rather unexpectedly they introduced a Digital Marketing Nanodegree — perfect timing and seemingly ideal subject matter for a nascent on-line marketer.
I signed-up with some trepidation, but 2 weeks in, I’m happily chatting about customer journeys, buyer personas, UTM codes and social media channel selection. It turns out that digital marketing, while cloaked in mystery by many of its exponents, is rather more structured and less magical than I had imagined. With a bit of luck, I’ll be well on my way to fighting it out with those Shoreditch hipsters in no time at all — unfortunately, Mrs Millar will probably still be complaining about the mess in the garage.