Internet marketing is an important business. Mastering internet marketing means reaching out to all target market, improving brand awareness, and generating traffic, leads, and sales, if it is done successfully. Because of its importance, many business owners, big and small, will benefit if they hire an expert in internet marketing to do this job.
Internet marketing expert is proficient in not only in skills that directly affect marketing activities of a business such as engaging customers, convincing them, and make a closing on sales, but also in skills that – although seemingly doesn’t affect sales – but give more value to the company in the long term period – such as envisioning and executing marketing strategy, building brand, until read the trend and handle a team.
To be proficient in internet marketing, you can take formal route, in which I mean to register yourself for a formal education in the subject of internet marketing. Many universities and business schools offer marketing program – either for undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate. Learning all the necessary knowledge and skills before you enter your first job will give you advantage over those who don’t.
However, when it comes to real job, often the factor that counts is experience. Experience is also a process of learning, only in different form. With experience, you gain insight and sharpen your skill as problems arrive.
The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter whether you gain proficiency from formal education or from experience. The important thing is to possess the proficiency itself.
In what are you should be proficient at that can lead you to be an expert in internet marketing? Let’s look at the list below.
- Marketing goal setting
The goal of marketing function as a whole is – according to Investopedia – to match a company’s products and services to the people who need and want them, thereby ensuring profitability. The specific strategy for each company will be different, depending on their stage and circumstances. A marketing expert for local business of plumbing for a town, for example, should know how many media channel he should use to ensure exposure to at least 50% of the townspeople. Setting an unrealistic goal means set up the company for a failure, while setting goal too low may jeopardize a company’s potential.
- Reading trends
Marketing is highly susceptible to trend, and proficiency to not only read, but also anticipate trend is important. Without ability to read and anticipate trend, a marketer won’t be able to see what people needs, and can’t communicate how a product can fulfill what people needs. The trend in marketing for the past decade is social media. People use social media to communicate what they want. Marketers who read this trend can use social media marketing to reach out to these people and present their products to answer their needs.
- Copywriting and content management
With easily accessible information in internet, customers are getting smarter. When they buy a product, they want to maximize its value. People want to buy a safe and reputable product. Content is how marketer can communicate a product’s value, safety, and reputation to customers. Therefore, proficiency in copywriting and content management is crucial. Marketer must know what kind of content their customers want and what kind of content can lead to engagement or sales.
This skill is still related to copywriting and content management. Good content will not impress future customers if they don’t know it exists. SEO ensures this content to be searchable and easily accessible for customers, since all they have to do is to type their problem in search engine, and not having to memorize certain address page of a company website or blog. Even if the content is made by other people, internet marketing manager should possess at least SEO skill to check and make sure all of the content is search engine optimized.
- Problem solving
In the uncertainty in the world of marketing, there is one thing that is certain: problem will arrive, sooner or later, big or small. There are so many scenarios in which marketing problem may occur – mismatched goal with strategy, untimely campaign, ineffective advertisement, zero sales, you mention it. Thankfully, the ways to solve those problems are just as unlimited. It just needs creativity and toughness.
To help you developing problem solving skill, don’t be afraid to fail. Make a habit to approach a problem in scientific way: identify the problem, observe the situation, give treatment, then evaluate if the treatment solves the problem, or have no effect, or even exacerbate it.
- Analytical Mind
One of the major advantage of online marketing compared to more traditional channel is how the data and metrics can be obtained easily. To take advantage of this, a marketing expert should possess analytical mind. He or she should learn intimately what a statistic means, where it is derived from, and what implication it brings. He or she should be able to compare the data over a period with company’s goals and objectives, as well as analyzing the reason behind the success or failure to meet them. He or she should also be able to compare the data with competitor, find if there is any area in which the company is lacking compared to the competitor, or superior against it.
An internet marketing manager will learn all the above skills as he or she experience internet marketing directly. Of course, there are many other skills he or she should have, like leadership, communication, and teamwork. However, those skills are not exclusive for internet marketing manager only, but to all level of workforce.
Being proficient in the areas above will set you apart among your colleagues, since it means you know how to handle your job and therefore can contribute your value and effort to market your products and services. Being proficient in internet marketing means you can be an expert in this job, and virtually every company or individual will need expert to run its business.