2022 Registrations. Early bird registrations are now open for 2022. Apply now.

How to pivot traditional marketing skills into practical digital marketing skills (2021)

marketing skills Image

In a world that is continuously evolving, adaptability is a key characteristic. Adaptability is the ability to constantly adjust to new conditions. Since the Internet was first introduced, there has been a massive change in marketing. Businesses are no longer only using older, traditional ways to advertise their products or services. They are having to radically shift towards a more modern way which is being driven and fueled by digital technology.

In order to remain relevant as a marketer, those with a background in traditional marketing have had to pivot their skills to make them valuable resources again, but this time in the digital marketing space. Those who are not adaptable or who have not begun upskilling in this space will struggle to remain employed in years to come. Knowledge in digital marketing is no longer optional.

 

Traditional marketing vs Digital marketing

Traditional marketing generally refers to any type of marketing that is not online. That includes print, broadcast, direct mail, phone, and outdoor advertising like billboards. From newspapers to radio, this method of marketing helps reach targeted audiences. Traditional marketing is not only one of the oldest forms of marketing, but also one of the most researched. Marketers lean towards this method because it is tried and tested. Everyone encounters some sort of traditional marketing in their lives, whether it is reading a newspaper or driving past a billboard.

In contrast, digital Marketing provides marketers with a live platform to reach out to a larger target audience across a more diverse range of demographic groups, unlike traditional media. Today, most businesses are willing to allocate more than 60% of their marketing budgets to digital marketing, because of the great opportunities for advertisements offered by the digital media world. With a basic website, any business (no matter its size) can have a starting point for their digital marketing. This is the first platform they use to create awareness of their existence to their potential clients. A website is essential as many believe if a business does not have one, they are not established or able to compete. A website lends credibility and professionalism to a business. The website then opens up new ways for communicating including social media marketing, direct emails and newsletters among many others.

marketing skills image 2

How to pivot your skills from traditional marketing to digital marketing

Digital marketing offers a wide variety of options for you to specialise in once you decide to take the leap and transition your career. The diversity of options is what makes the digital marketing world so unique as pretty much anyone can find a career path suited to their personality and skillset. Here are some examples of different paths in digital marketing:

1. Digital Marketing Manager

A digital marketing manager has the relevant knowledge on the latest marketing strategies and tools. They are responsible for driving the business communication strategy into action and running digital marketing campaigns, right from coming up with a concept to the execution and reporting afterwards. Managers also often work closely with supporting an entire marketing team to make campaigns go live.

2. Content Strategist

The fundamental function of a content strategist is to develop a content strategy based on business objectives and the needs of the target audience. A content strategist is meant to handle the company’s content requirements and come up with a content strategy to deliver on communication objectives.

3. SEM and SEO Specialist

A search engine marketing (SEM) specialist or a search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist is responsible for managing organic and/or paid campaigns on search engines. Along with that, the job description often includes handling or overseeing display ads on Google. The specialist has to manage everything related to these campaigns, including strategy, budget, execution, and reporting (usually in conjunction with an outsourced agency or freelance specialist).

4. Email Marketing Specialist

An email marketing specialist has to take the lead with strategies related to email campaigns. The primary duties comprise running an end-to-end email marketing campaign, managing the database, and coming up with email messages relevant to specific audiences and the industry.

5. Social Media Manager

The role of a social media manager is to administer social media accounts. The prime responsibility is to come up with eye-catching and engaging text copy along with visual designs, including video, images, infographics and more to increase engagement and followers on the company’s social media pages and drive traffic to the website.

Upskill yourself with a relevant course or certificate

Upskill yourself image

Now that you know some of the possible career paths you can develop to pivot your marketing career, it’s time to equip yourself with the latest digital marketing knowledge and skills.

IMM’s industry-leading Applied Digital Marketing Certificate will teach you how to develop a digital marketing strategy and how to apply digital marketing skills through practical activities and assignments.

What sets this certificate apart from other digital marketing certificates is the practical nature of this course. Every bit of theory you learn will be applied and developed as a marketable skill for future job prospecting. Upon completion you will be armed with 10 different skills-based certificates as well as your own portfolio of work.

We developed this certificate after researching the needs of the industry. You will be able to study online from anywhere in the world, in your own space, at your own pace, guided by our industry experts. With our practical and business-relevant material, you will be given the latest hands-on digital tools to help you deal with real-world digital marketing scenarios.

For persons who already have experience, this course is your fastest route to obtaining hands-on skills in digital marketing. Visit the link to find out more about this one-of-a-kind course, or to sign up today! https://shortcourses.imm.ac.za/online-course/applied-digital-marketing-certificate/

Remain relevant

Once you have chosen your desired career path to transition into, and completed a relevant certificate or course, you cannot become complacent.

This industry is constantly changing, and you should therefore always be learning. Don’t allow your skills to become outdated. It is important that you ensure that your digital marketing skillset remains updated with the latest tools, tricks and trends in the industry. The best way to ensure this is by continuously adding knowledge to your arsenal. Keep looking out for new updated short courses on topics that are relevant to you.

If you are looking for online short courses designed by industry experts, visit: https://shortcourses.imm.ac.za/online_courses/marketing-advertising-short-courses/

Conclusion

Despite the benefit of possible full-time marketing opportunities, gaining the knowledge of digital marketing can also open several other opportunities in your professional career. It will allow you to be able to start your own business and market your product or service, fulfilling your dreams of owning a start-up. You will also have the opportunity to become a freelancer, as your Applied Digital Marketing Certificate would have equipped you with the relevant skills for freelance work including copywriting, content management, search engine optimisation, website design and much more.

Regardless of your chosen path in marketing, businesses recruit marketers who are an ideal blend of the traditional media and digital media worlds. Today still, traditional media does exist and plays an important role in marketing strategy.

If you are a traditional marketer that has been dragging your feet on upskilling into the digital marketing space, then this article should have alerted you that your time to make the switch and save your career is now! Pivot your skills before it is too late.

Don’t let a poor economy stop you from starting a business

startup Image

DILLON LOUW, Digital Content Creator at Digital Content Lab reviews what Netflix, Microsoft and Disney have in common and if its advisable to start a business in a recession.

Netflix, Microsoft and Disney and other highly successful brands were all founded in poor economic times. This goes to show that even though we find ourselves in a shrinking economy, there are feasible business opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs.

Need more evidence? The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. More than 50% of all companies on the Fortune 500 list right now were founded during a recession, or under poor economic conditions.

A closer look at great businesses born during recessions
Uber

Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick originally founded the ride-hailing company as Ubercab in March 2009. The idea itself came after they could not find a taxi ride one night in Paris.
Fast forward a few years and in December 2015, Uber had reached its 1 billionth trip and by June 2018 its 10 billionth trip.
Аѕ of Јаnuаrу 2021, the аррrохіmаtе еѕtіmаtіоn of Ubеr’ѕ net worth іѕ $100 bіllіоn. Furthermore, one of Ubеr’ѕ іnvеѕtоrѕ, Веnсhmаrk, ѕауѕ thе firm іѕ соnfіdеnt аbоut Ubеr’ѕ орtіmіѕtіс future.

Airbnb

Airbnb is a community that was born in 2008 when two hosts welcomed three guests to their San Francisco home. The idea was initially conceptualised during the Industrial Design Conference, where the founders initially focused on providing short-term living quarters, breakfast, and business networking opportunities to persons who were unable to find a hotel during the conference.

Airbnb has since grown to 4 million hosts who have welcomed over 800 million guest arrivals to about 100,000 cities in almost every country and region across the globe.

WhatsApp

Former Yahoo! employees Jan Koum and Brian Acton created the encrypted messaging platform WhatsApp in 2009 as a means for people around the world to message each other quickly. The platform rapidly gained traction in regions that do not have access to the same network capabilities as the U.S.A. because of its ability to operate via Wi-Fi.

In 2014 Facebook purchased the app, which now has more than 2 billion users globally, for a staggering $19 billion.

Netflix

Legend has it that Netflix founder Reed Hastings was motivated to start an online DVD rental by mail service after incurring a $40 fine from Blockbuster for a DVD that was returned late. Ironically, the new-born company nearly crumbled when Blockbuster made the fatal mistake of refusing to buy it out during the dot-com bubble burst of the early 2000s.

Netflix weathered the storm caused by the dot-com bubble by means of its incredible innovative spirit to spearhead the streaming on-demand video service we know today, leaving Blockbuster permanently in the dust. Today, Netflix is worth nearly $34 billion and growing, thanks to the current demand for home-based entertainment.

Three recession-proof sectors
There are three business sectors that appear to be ‘recession-proof’. While the first may seem a little morbid, especially given current times, they all make sense and are worth noting. A start-up supplying innovative solutions to these types of businesses in a recession are likely to succeed as they will benefit from derived demand in these industries. These include:

Death-care services

Businesses offering services related to death, including funerals, cremation, burial, and memorials, tend to be some of the most recession-proof operations. The reason for this is that death-care services will always have a steady stream of business regardless of economic conditions. According to Business Insider, South Africa’s funeral industry is estimated to be valued between R7.5 billion and R10 billion.

Education

South Africa’s education system is under massive pressure to upskill individuals and get them ready for the job market. South Africa is experiencing a skills shortage in several of its business sectors which emphasises the need for service providers that offer efficient, affordable and accessible adult education. The education industry has faced massive challenges as a result of COVID-19 lockdown and has had to adapt processes in order to survive. Industry Leaders like the IMM Graduate School where students have experienced no disruption to their academic year and have seen increasing interest in South Africa and the rest of the African continent for their online distance learning education offering.

Security

Despite poor economic conditions, the private security sector has also been booming of late. Private security is an estimated R45 billion industry showing a growth rate of 15% per year. There has been an alarming increase in the crime rate over the years and private security firms are taking advantage of this to expand their operations.

Services industry in the spotlight
What appears to be clear from the above examples of recession proof businesses is that each of these fulfil a basic need; the need to bury our dead, the need for education to increase our earning potential and the need to keep ourselves safe. All of these as well as the many businesses that were founded in a recession appear to have one other thing in common – they are all services businesses. And furthermore, those least impacted by COVID-19 are delivering an online service; Netflix offering low-cost entertainment from the safety of your home and WhatsApp offering low-cost communication via their platform no matter where you are.

It could therefore be concluded that businesses that start up in this current economic climate must consider offering a low cost, online service that is easy and safe to access while fulfilling one or more basic needs. If you can figure that out, perhaps you will be the next big brand that started up in the 2021 recession.

In the meantime, prepare yourself and sign up for one of IMM’s programmes in Marketing, Business or Supply Chain. Start topping up on your knowledge and skills so that when that big idea comes along, you are ready to act.

If you would like more information on what the IMM Graduate School has to offer you, follow the link to our website https://imm.ac.za/.