Dec 2, 2017

Traits of a Successful Digital Marketing Professional

by Digital Marketing Institute

It’s no secret that success in the world of digital marketing requires a special kind of person because digital marketers need the skills, knowledge, and experience of a variety of different professionals. Digital marketing is a career that combines traditional marketing, web design, SEO, social media marketing, content writing, and much more, so the traits required to succeed are many and varied. Many of the traits of a successful digital marketer pertain to things like being independent and self-motivated to work and to learn, but it’s also necessary that you be able to work as part of a team, lead others, and communicate effectively with clients, coworkers, and the public. Here are some of the other key traits you need to succeed in your digital marketing career.

The Ability to Self-Start

Remember back in high school or university when you got paired with other students to work on projects, and you always dreaded being partnered with the ones who were notorious for not following through with their portion of the work? Well, those types of people would never succeed in digital marketing. Digital marketing is a field that often offers a great deal of professional freedom, so if you can keep yourself motivated and on track, then you'll find lots of doors opening for you in this business. For one thing, many digital marketers end up working for themselves or for a firm that grants them autonomy, so you alone will be responsible for managing your own time and projects. Unless you can keep yourself motivated, you'll find it difficult to stay on track with your work.

Loving a Challenge

Because of things like ever-evolving technology, consumer habits that are always changing, and the increasing sophistication of both the internet and its users, the world of digital marketing is in a state constant of flux. There are always new things to learn, new arts to master, and new hurdles to overcome, and it’s an absolute must that you love puzzles, tests, and all the other things that make life both interesting and challenging. Furthermore, every project in digital marketing is different, so you have to be willing to think on your feet, be creative, and be ready to look at things from a different perspective in order to achieve the goals your clients are trying to reach.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Another consequence of digital marketing being ever-changing is that it requires digital marketers to be equally willing to change and adapt. Flexibility, therefore, is an essential quality in a digital marketing professional, because you always have to be prepared to adopt new practices, update your skill set and knowledge base, keep up with industry best practices, and stay current with the latest technologies and trends. A great example of how things are always changing in digital marketing is the Google algorithm. The algorithm is always being updated, and every time they release a new version, it changes the way digital marketers and SEO specialists approach their craft.

A Passion for Learning

As you may have guessed, lifelong learning is an absolute must-have quality for anybody interested in digital marketing, because the field is always evolving, as is the technology that informs it. There are many ways you can keep up to date with the latest information, tech, and best practices, and they include:

  • Attending conferences
  • Building a strong network with other digital marketing professionals
  • Keeping apprised of industry news, including when and what the latest algorithm changes are
  • Taking refresher courses on important topics
  • Learning new skills, like web design and creation, copywriting, and statistics

Another reason the love of learning is so important is that it makes you curious, and that means you'll be more willing to take minor risks when it comes to pushing the envelope and testing new practices.

The Desire to Help Grow Other Businesses

The main goal of digital marketing is to help businesses gain exposure, find new leads, build their brands, increase conversions and sales, and grow their companies. In today’s world where people rely on the internet for things like researching products, choosing a business to deal with, and making purchasing decisions, it’s integral that a company have an online presence if they want to succeed, and digital marketing professionals must have a passion for making this happen. Not only do you have to want to help other people grow their businesses, but you must also be dedicated to their success because their triumphs are also yours.

Communication Skills

Digital marketing is all about communication: it’s about disseminating messages, building relationships, and establishing trust, and none of this can be accomplished without excellent communication skills. The key here is being able to take a message and convey it to an audience in a way that’s clear and concise, but also interesting and relevant. This requires being able to see things from another person’s perspective, being able to communicate ideas in a way that will make sense to others, and having a knack for knowing what others will find entertaining and worthwhile.

Leadership and Management

Like most industries, digital marketing is a multifaceted field that requires many different skills and qualities. Because of this, digital marketing professionals often work in conjunction with others who have skills that complement their own, such as an SEO expert teaming up with a web designer and content marketer. As such, it’s essential that you be able to lead and manage a team to make sure things get done properly and on time, and that often means delegating tasks, dividing projects, and making sure everybody stays focused and on track, all while keeping the client apprised of your progress. A related trait that digital marketers require, therefore, is the ability to collaborate and work well with others, because digital marketing is a team effort rather than a solo endeavor.

Trustworthiness, Reliability, and Dedication

Similarly, because digital marketing requires you to work with both other professionals and clients, it’s integral that your partners and clients be able to trust you. In order to gain that trust, you must be a hard-working, dedicated, and reliable person who goes the extra mile to get a job done, who can complete projects on time and according to plans, and who doesn’t give up when things get tough. Project managers and coworkers need to know that when you get a project, it will come back perfect; clients need to know that when they trust you with their business, they're going to get their money’s worth. Similarly, you must be dedicated to the pursuit of digital marketing excellence in general, and that means staying on top of the latest news and best practices so you can always offer top-notch services.

Strategic and Analytical Thinking

The final trait of a successful digital marketer is the ability to think strategically. Like traditional marketing, digital marketing is about taking a goal and figuring out how to help a client achieve that, and this requires the ability to analyze situations, data, and opportunities to determine the best course of action. For instance, if a client wants to increase leads and conversions, it could be your job to evaluate their current efforts, see what's lacking and where, and come up with a comprehensive digital marketing campaign to produce the results the client is looking for.


Digital marketing doesn’t require a great deal of specialized knowledge, but the key is that you have the traits necessary to make it in this competitive but highly rewarding field. Most of the technical knowledge and skills can be learned, but the traits and qualities that are required for success can't be acquired in the same way. Successful digital marketing professionals all tend to have a love for learning, are self-starting individuals who are driven and passionate about what they do, and who can work independently, lead others, and work well as part of a team. Finally, being a successful digital marketer means caring about the successes of others, because digital marketing wouldn’t exist without the businesses who rely on you to help them grow and succeed.

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