Written by Dylan Langei
Greetings onlookers, I am Dylan. Originally from Santa Rosa, California my parents decided that 360 days of rain better suited our family and we relocated to Bellingham, Washington after a short stint in Orlando, Florida. I am currently undergoing Western Washington University’s one year Accelerated MBA Program, and this past June I earned a Business Administration, Management degree from Western. My professional experience is limited, but I am currently maintaining jobs at both Whatcom Educational Credit Union (WECU) and Western. I have enjoyed five splendid years at WECU, and just began last year at Western as a Graduate Assistant. After graduation I am stuffing a 70 liter backpack and embarking on a journey around Europe for two months. Post my return, a relocation to Seattle is in order to pursue a career in the field of real estate.
Why Digital Marketing?
I chose to enroll in this course as I have discovered a strong passion for marketing while in the MBA program. Digital marketing is an essential component of marketing as a whole, as the movement towards the Internet & electronics is inevitable. Due to this, I would like to expand my knowledge of engaging stakeholders via social media and various electronic devices. I hope to leverage this expansion of knowledge while applying for jobs and/or escalating my position at a company.
I would like to of course become certified in Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Hootsuite, and Inbound Marketing. I am particularly interested in Search Engine Optimizations (SEO) as I currently dabble in web development. In my dabbling I have built myself a personal website and my friend’s business a website. SEO is a facet of web development I have not yet mastered, and is on my “bucket list” if you will.
Soft skills vs. hard skills. Meta-skills vs. technical skills. Which should we soon-to-be college graduates focus on to enhance our personal branding come job searching time? The article Knowledge and Skill Requirements for Marketing Jobs in the 21st Century provides a quantitative study that aims to answer this. Our academic system is an obvious Belieber of promoting the development of technical skills over meta-skills, and many academic studies have supported this belief. However, the areas of marketing knowledge where there were no significant differences between job levels are marketing research, selling, Internet marketing, promotion/advertising, public relations, and merchandising. This means that no matter the marketing position, subject knowledge in these areas are equally as important. Suddenly a silver lining begins to appear. Many recent graduates are well-versed in the use of technology, in which they may leverage to become competent in said skills above. Technology has provided us with tools to master marketing research, selling, Internet marketing, promotion/advertising, public relations, and merchandising. Social media ad campaigns, marketing automation software, and the ability to create viral videos are just some uses to leverage technology and prove acquisition of these vastly required skills. According to Radius, the year 2015 is in the growth cycle of marketing technology. I find this relieving for our generation, as most of us are technologically competent. As technology matures we will mature with it and continue to leverage its advantages to maintain marketing jobs in the 21st century.
Mobile ads will continue to surpass email and social, society will continue to adopt mobile commerce, and social media spending will continue to increase. These are not revolutionary assumptions brought to our attention by US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 to 2016 – but are certainty vital to how marketers are transitioning themselves away from traditional marketing and into interactive marketing. Consumers are beginning to demand relationship management where transactions are not merely a monetary exchange, but a conversation takes place. According to Gravoc, interactivity takes place when consumers can control when they view the products and what type of products they are viewing, the pace at which they review products, and the ability to order or request information directly. Because customers have the Internet to compare products and make informed purchasing decisions, businesses are forced to provide the customers more control. Interactive marketing combats this transition of power that has been given to the customer. Direct sales are becoming too costly and unwanted by consumers. This might just be me, but I always ignore pushy door-to-door sales visits from the CUTCO Cutlery salesperson (except for this My Wonder Cleaner Salesman – he is awesome). Now, marketers are forced to leverage interactive marketing through mobile ads, mobile commerce, and social media to engage consumers in a non-threatening discussion. Consumers feel safe on their mobile phones and computer, and therefore more inclined to make a purchase.
There is an obvious disconnect between what job applicants believe they are qualified for, and what an employer expects from an applicant. It is illustrated in the State of Digital Marketing Talent article that organizations are experiencing significant challenges in locating talent due to inconsistency indicated in performance expectations and an over reliance on subjective referrals. This is because the current job matching services and application forms ignore fundamental components to screen for a long-term employee. Many job applications request a resume, cover letter, and various other ambiguous details. Yes, work history and reasoning behind a person applying is important, but is not enough to conclude prolonged employee retention. Companies must consider components such as; work environment preferences, personality, behaviors, and interests. Establishing these mechanisms within the hiring process will build a more cohesive match between an applicant and the company. Employee turnover is an enormous cost burden on a company as well, equating anywhere from 16-213% of an employees salary according to the Center for American Progress. Businesses need to shy away from such a heavy reliance on resumes, as they only suggest exposure to various experiences but do not always translate to on-the-job abilities. An applicant’s resume could suggest they are completely competent in analytics, but if the work environment is not conducive to their preferences, they may become unable to produce satisfactory work. That is why it is essential to integrate culture meshing criteria in job searching efforts.