Jan 23, 2017

The Benefits of Building a Digital Skillset for Your Career

by Digital Marketing Institute

For over a decade, digital channels have transformed business. They inform purchase decisions, they influence customers at every stage of the buying cycle, they establish certain organizations at the front of the audience’s mind, and they also have the potential to be irrevocably brand-damaging.

In short, digital is a powerful and inescapable force. Without it, you run the risk of falling behind at both an organizational and professional level.

If you’re considering embracing digital transformation, but want to know more about how it can directly impact your career, we’ve outlined some key benefits of building a digital skillset.

You can achieve more in less time

When you’re navigating an incredibly busy role, within any industry, time is the most precious and scarce commodity. Often, it is thought that an individual’s commitment to their career can be measured by how frequently they work late. However, this isn’t an accurate gauge of how well you perform – it’s about working smart, not working late.

Being able to leverage digital tools will help you to massively enhance your efficiency and achieve more in less time. For example, a project management tool such as Trello will enable you to create simple to-do lists on a daily basis and track the progress of your work throughout the day, helping to you approach tasks in a more structured, targeted manner.

You can achieve more in less time | The Benefits of Building a Digital Skillset for Your Career

If you have taken responsibility for your organization’s social media marketing, using a social media management tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite means that you can take 30 minutes to an hour in the morning to schedule your social posts for key channels including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and won’t have to worry about sharing content for the rest of the day! These tools also have built-in analytics platforms so you can monitor the performance of your posts and use the information to perfectly tailor your posting strategy!

The beauty of digital is that it gives you the ability to automate your workload. Marketing automation serves as a perfect example of how much more you can achieve through digital tools and processes. It’s empowering, adaptable and can expedite a variety of tasks, from sending emails to managing contact information. You can even use it to increase customer engagement through personalization. If you’re interested in marketing automation, you can find out more about what it is and how to use it by reading our article here.

Whatever your role, if you have a sufficient knowledge of digital strategies, you’ll be able to find the appropriate tools to support and strengthen your existing skillset.

You can stand out from the pack

At this point in the digital, it is a well-acknowledged fact that digital tools and technologies are no longer nice-to-haves; they are essential for organizations who want to keep pace with the competition. And when used intelligently, you can set yourself apart and attain an undeniable competitive advantage.

71% of consumers who have had a positive online experience with a brand are more likely to recommend it to others, whilst 46% of customers who complain in social posts expect a response within an hour. For reasons such as this, businesses have begun to adopt social media and leverage it as a customer service channel through which they can communicate with their followers in an instant and effective manner.

Similarly, a lot of brands have started investing in content creation, SEO, Pay-Per-Click advertising, email marketing and other prominent digital practices. The advantages are there, waiting to be enjoyed– what matters most is the extent to which you can harness them.

Focussing on content creation is one of the most important ways in which you can try to set yourself apart from the pack. Whether it’s writing a perfectly succinct product page for the purposes of CRO, or writing an interesting blog article that will help to establish you as an industry thought leader, creative content has the power to build a unique brand identity for your organization, and secure its position as a market leader.

Publishing company Penguin Random House is a brand that excels at using content to engage and inspire its target audience and create a unique brand identity

Publishing company Penguin Random House is a brand that excels at using content to engage and inspire its target audience and create a unique brand identity.

Their Pinterest account demonstrates their awareness of their followers’ needs and interests, as they provide aesthetic inspiration in the form of book covers, articles that provide advice to aspiring writers and coverage of literary genres from sci-fi to fantasy. In offering such a diversity of content, they have also crafted a brand identity based upon providing value and relevant entertainment.

Regardless of the digital channel or practice you choose to adopt, always think of your brand’s Unique Selling Points and the story you want to tell before finding a way to be original and distinct. For more information on how to develop your competitive advantage through brand marketing, you can check out our article here.

You can provide tangible results

One of the biggest shortcomings of traditional marketing techniques is that it’s impossible to measure their reach and impact, and thus calculate an accurate ROI. Though billboards and radio ads can be impressive mediums to incorporate into your marketing mix, digital tools facilitate exact results and allows a level of specificity that you can use to your advantage. If you can precisely measure your performance, you’ll be able to identify the digital practices that are particularly benefitting you, as well as the areas that aren’t working so well.

Whenever a professional tries to gain senior buy-in for a training course, a license for new software or additional budget, the most important thing they can do to bolster their business case is provide facts and numbers. Digital analytics tools not only allow you to optimize your approach, they can substantiate your proposals to help you acquire the resources you need to further improve your performance.

The vast majority (84%) of marketers agree that their understanding of the customer is increasing over time and 64% say that they are using data-driven customer insights to adapt their marketing strategies and influence business decisions.

Digital analytics platforms tools as Google Analytics will give you an invaluable, detailed insight into the users that visit your company website, how they have found it, and how they behave once they’ve landed on it. Social listening tools will tell you more about your top-performing content and trends that may dictate your follower growth, while you can measure the success of paid search campaigns within platforms such as AdWords.

Though it may seem like a consuming endeavour, taking the time to gather data through regular reporting will help you to maximize your personal performance, and benefit the business at a higher level. For more information on the metrics that matter to every business, you can read our article here.

You can future-proof your career

The digital economy is showing no signs of decline, a strong indicator of how important it is to develop a skillset that reflects the importance of digital transformation. According to Accenture, the increased use of digital technologies could add an extra $1.36 trillion to total global economic output by 2020.

The future is indisputably digital. This means that if you want to ensure that you have a place in an ever-evolving workforce, regardless of your industry, you need to adapt your techniques to incorporate digital advancements. Technology influences and informs our lives, both personal and professional, on a daily basis – the more you choose to invest in digital skills and education, the more indispensable an asset you’ll be to your organization.

In the Digital Marketing institute’s most recently published Digital Skills Report, it was reported that over two thirds of marketers in the USA and UK feel they will need to improve their digital marketing skills to remain competent in their current role in the future. For Irish marketers, that figure was 86%.

Digital skills aren’t only essential for staying successful in existing roles – they’re incredibly necessary if you are considering trying to progress your career too. In accordance with this, 67% of marketers in the USA feel they will need to improve their digital marketing skills to progress their career in the future, compared to 59% and 80% in Ireland.

These results show that in order to adapt and survive in a professional setting and ensure ongoing success, you need to nurture a digital skillset.

Are you a digital native or are you just starting to embark upon an upskilling adventure? Let us know about the impact of digital on your career and how you’re navigating these evolutions in the comments section below!

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