Hi. I’m a digital marketer. And yes, I do understand nuclear physics.

You know how people ask you what you do for work? For most people, it’s a pretty standard reaction.

“I’m an accountant.” — Got it. You manage money
“I’m a personal trainer.” — Totes. You help people get in shape.
“I’m a digital marketer.” — …*blank stare*…

And that’s just generally your family.


If you work in corporate land like I do, try explaining what you do to other departments.

“We should discuss how automation can support this.”
“No worries. Let’s optimise for conversions and we’ll pace the budget.”
“Can you send me that asset as a vector and I’ll update the comps?”
Most days, you’ll get this reaction from at least two people.

If you’re anything like me (a creative nerd with a penchant for sarcasm and a desire to acquire as much data on people as possible so you can compile a black book of secrets and dirt and eventually take over the world), you love all things digital, and digital marketing seems like a natural career path. But first, you need to prepare yourself.

No last minute sass. Get yourself ready.
  1. Be prepared to be everything to everyone, do it with a smile on your face, and be amenable.

For some reason, because you combine knowledge with computers and various other mobile devices, you will inevitably field questions about any and all issues that relate to items which run on electricity.

At times, this can be a little frustrating. You might think to yourself, “where in my job description does it say I need to help you figure out iMessage?”

When they’re freaking out because something isn’t working, or they’re frustrated because they don’t understand something, you become their go-to.

Additionally, if you look at what you do on the daily, you’ll realise that ‘digital marketer’ requires you to be a multi-faceted chameleon.

Web developer, graphic designer, photographer, advertising specialist, media planner and buyer, SEM manager, community manager, copywriter, asset management specialist, PR exec, proof-reader, finished artist, BD, legal eagle, brand manager, stakeholder engagement guru, sponsorship coordinator, event planner…

You’re in a position where you can influence the entire marketing mix because digital is now ingrained in every touch point.

When you find yourself working outside of your remit, just smile and deal with it. You should feel good about the fact that people look to you as a font of knowledge. And the more that you can do to teach and educate people about the world in which you work, the better.


2. Know that most people won’t understand half of the words you say.

Huh?

When you try to explain the technical aspects of what you do to those outside the field, they basically hear you speaking Swahili and interpret your words as “nerd nerd nerd nerd money, nerd, I’m spending your budget, nerd.”

Smile, and try and explain things as though you’re talking to a 3-year-old.

That’s not meant to sound reductive — and you should never be reductive or condescending — but consider your audience. How on earth is a finance specialist supposed to understand your programmatic display proposal?

Strip it back and avoid jargon.


3. When things go wrong or something doesn’t work as expected, be prepared to use your unintelligible witchcraft and creative genius — AND YOU BETTER HAVE A LOT OF IT!

One of the great things about digital marketing is the the level of transparency you have on your performance. Almost everything has a metric attached. You can see what’s working and what’s not throughout the entire sales pipeline. Translating that data into actionable intelligence is the tricky part, and it’s something that takes experience and keen intellect to be able to deduce.

Is that image not hitting the mark with your target audience? Should you cut that video by a few seconds? Is your copy engaging enough? Why did email A perform better than email B, and how can you replicate that it’s success in the future?

Get it right and you’re a superstar. Get it wrong and people will wonder why your spending their money and not delivering results.

Just remember one thing. Don’t be a afraid to experiment. Try something different. Something new. It’s better better than resting on your laurels and watching a campaign slowly die.

But at the end of the day, you’re pretty fucking sick at what you do. Be the boss bitch you know you are everyday. Your confidence will be contagious.

Remember: when all else fails, just ask yourself, “what would Rihanna do?”
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