Blogger Newbie In The House

Hello blogger world and digital marketing lovers! I’m Carli, a brand new blogger and a junior at Western Washington University studying Business Administration with Marketing Concentration. I am a bubbly blond and lover of all things colorful, creative, and chocolate related. My love for marketing began in high school when I was the promotional manager for our small student store and has blossomed in college as my education and marketing experience has grown. My attraction to marketing stems from its integration of creativity and business; I strive to be a business women that conquers the corporate world while also holding on to my creative roots that make me the person I am. If I were to pick my dream job it would be joining the marketing team at Make a Wish in Phoenix Arizona and not only helping to make the lives of those children a little bit brighter, but also learning their compassion and love for life despite their terminal illnesses; what an honor it would be to know some of those kids.

I am taking digital marketing because of its overwhelming presence in the marketing industry and the massive potential it brings to organizations and agencies alike. Our world is growing digitally and to be a successful marketer it is absolutely essential that we grow with it. That being said, in this class I hope to learn the passion behind digital marketing because it is something I do not currently posses. I have a great appreciation for digital as a marketing field, however I hope to learn the love that some marketers have for it. In addition, I hope to learn the best tools to utilize digital marketing and advance my technological skill set with digital marketing techniques.

Knowledge and Skill Requirements for Marketing Jobs in the 21st Century:
Of the three articles that we read this week I would definitely conclude that the article written by Regina Pefanis Schlee and Katrin R. Harich on knowledge and skill requirements for marketing in the 21st century is the one that spoke to me the most and put in perspective where my marketing skills (both technically and conceptually) are compared to where they need to be when I near graduation. Regina and Katrin’s article was a very thorough and statistically backed report/analysis on the technical skills, meta skills, and conceptual marketing knowledge that is needed at different job levels in different areas throughout a marketing career. Regina and Katrin posed the following research questions: do entry level positions and lower level marketing jobs require more technical skills over conceptual knowledge, do middle and upper level positions require that employees have more conceptual marketing knowledge than technological skills, and lastly do these skills that are needed differ in the various metropolitan areas. The two questions that I was most interested in were the first two because during a summer internship I experienced a corporate environment that fell victim to the “technical skills are viewed as being more important for entry level positions” idea, so I was curious to see how job requirements for other corporations stacked up against my personal experiences. To my surprise the findings said, “The conclusion that upper management jobs require fewer technical skills is most likely incorrect.” With the exception of MS office and Outlook there were no statistically significant differences across the board. The other piece of this technological puzzle that I found very interesting was the discussion that some upper level managers (or those seeking upper level positions) are having difficultly because they do not have the technological skills required to do the work that the position demands. I found this tid bit intriguing because one would think that as you move up through a company into those higher level positions, your skills would continue to grow; however what seems to be happening is as marketers move up they are becoming distanced from these resources. This will be a mental note that I will keep in the back of my mind as I begin my career; to not grow away from technology but rather grow with it. The last aspect of this article that I wanted to hit on was the suggestion that Regina and Katrin make about integrating “technical skills into the marketing curriculum” and the issue that these skills are needed, yet not greatly emphasized in school. As the authors were speaking about skills such as SPSS, SAP, CRM, Analytics etc, I began to think about the technological skills I am gaining at Western and whether or not I would be confident using those programs in the workplace. My answer to this was mixed; I feel as though Western has done a good job of teaching me these skills and introducing me to these programs, however I would feel more prepared to use them if they were part of the curriculum across the board instead of just in a single class. My curiosity about marketing technology concentrations also drove me to research other schools and how they integrate technology into their marketing programs; one interesting prospect was Georgia Tech and an entire class that they offer on Customer Database Management. You can check that out here and also read this insightful article written by Regina and Katrin here.

State of Digital Marketing Talent:
Given the conversation about technical and conceptual skills needed for 21st century marketing, the next article I wanted to address is the “State of Digital Marketing Talent” article. In short sweet and concise terms, this article addresses the “talent gap” that exists in digital marketing skill. Employers have ideal skills that they would like their digital marketing teams to possess, yet they are not seeing these skills in college graduates or current digital marketing team members. In addition there is a lack of specialists and it is becoming increasingly challenging to locate the talent. The main area of this article that I want to touch on also happens to be the key source of frustration that I found as I was reading this article from a students perspective; the lack of effort that employers are putting into digital marketing “skill acquisition and training.” On page 17 the author states, “However, like large enterprises, agencies and consultancies primarily rely on suggested readings and websites (53%), putting the responsibility for self training squarely on the shoulders of the employee.” This statistic was one I wanted to comment on because the majority of this article is spent discussing the importance of digital marketing skill and the dissatisfaction that employers see in emerging and existing talent. It is clear from the article about knowledge requirements and the US Interactive Marketing Forecast that our marketing world is completely trending toward digital and interactive mediums, yet employers do not want to spend money on resources to improve this “talent gap” that exists. Another aggravating area of this article was the discussion that 31% of our marketing agencies rely on the “digital team leader to handle training” yet this is the same digital team that was being criticized for not having the proper talent; why are agencies using digital team members as a solution to their training and talent problems when those team members are not seen as having enough skill themselves. While I appreciate the main emphasis of the article on the necessity for talent in digital marketing, I also applaud the authors for calling out larger enterprises and agencies on their lack of funds and effort that they are contributing to the cause. As a student, another frustrating statistic presented in this article was agencies are 43% less likely to have interns, yet 36% of organizations complain of “not being able to hire students that have the experience required.” Don’t take my word for it, read the article here and form your own opinion.

Forrester Interactive Marketing Forecast 2011 to 2016:
The last article that I want to touch on that further emphasizes my frustration from the digital marketing talent article is the “US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 to 2016” article that provides several graphs, statistics, and analysis on the trends in interactive marketing and the great importance that this subject holds for the future of marketing. Written by Shar VanBoskirk, the article explores search and its piece in the interactive marketing puzzle, SEO, SEO technology, display ads and how marketing usage of them is back, mobile marketing, email marketing and its somewhat lower spending yet still prominent use, etc. The most intriguing section of this article that I wanted to comment on and add too is the conversation about social media only growing “moderately” and accounting for a mere “7% of interactive marketing spend by 2016.” As I read through the reasoning behind the moderate growth on social media, I had mixed answers as to why it was only growing moderately. Was it because social media is a lower cost investment? Or is it because social media is not going to be utilized as heavily in the future. On page 12 of the article the author states that “marketers are gung ho about social media investments” and this is what I would expect, but as a novice digital marketing student I could be wrong. This statement about moderate growth in social media and the questions it raises for me is a clear and concise reason as to why I want to take digital marketing. Prior to reading this article, I would have predicted that social media would be growing rapidly and would be one of the largest areas of digital marketing and it very well may be, but I want to know for sure. I want to know the most important aspects of digital marketing beyond just what the statistics say. Overall I appreciated the content of this article because it provided a statistical insight into what interactive mediums are showing the most growth and why it is crucial to trend toward digital and interactive marketing. As I was reading about the mobile marketing section of the article and saw that “advertisers will spend to create user centric mobile ads” I took to the Internet to find some companies who were doing just that. Nordstrom’s, the retail store that is no stranger to us all, was using mobile marketing to promote its social media channels and “boost” customer knowledge of the brand; click here to get the full scoop and also read about mobile marketing efforts from Disney and Panera Bread. Click here to read the Forrester Interactive Marketing Forecast.

All of the statistics and quotes used in this post came from the following sources:
Knowledge and Skill Requirements for Marketing Jobs in the 21st Century
State of Digital Marketing Talent
Forrester Interactive Marketing Forecast 2011 to 2016




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