Although I started my marketing career in public relations, by the summer of 1996, I was optimizing websites. Since then, I've been building and managing teams of digital marketers. After working with hundreds of employees and literally thousands of clients, I've learned a good deal about what it takes to be a successful digital marketer.
Unfortunately, too many marketers jump on the "digital" bandwagon looking to make a quick buck or be more popular at the high school reunion. Then they find out it's not as easy as setting up a Twitter account. In the following article, I've outlined 50 reasons you should quit your digital marketing job and find another way to earn a living (or impress your former classmates).
On the other hand, if you invert the following statements, you'll know which attributes and beliefs are essential to being a successful digital marketer.
Digital marketing, in general
- I sincerely hate change.
- Digital marketing is difficult to accurately measure, so cut me some slack!
- I do not feel that a keen understanding of overall business objectives is important to my efforts.
- Honestly, I think traditional marketing only gets in the way of what I'm trying to do in digital.
- Investing time in reading industry blogs, publications, and books; listening to webinars and podcasts; and attending industry seminars, conferences, workshops, or networking events is a colossal waste of time.
- My boss and/or clients are stupid and don't understand why I need more budget to get my job done.
- Renting third-party email lists is bombproof.
- I only need to know search engine marketing or social media, but not both.
- It doesn't really matter where a lead comes from, as long as I hit my numbers.
- These Gen Y kids really get digital. I just let them do their thing.
- Customers are generally misinformed and don't know what they're talking about online.
- If you think about it, you can boil down digital marketing strategies into a simple formula.
Search engine marketing
- The only reason Panda or Penguin would affect my business is if they escape from the zoo and stampede my office.
- Getting a top position in search results is all about keyword-stuffing as well as cheaply outsourcing content and link development activities.
- Nobody uses Bing or Yahoo for search, so I only invest in Google AdWords.
- Google+ is a complete waste of time.
- Landing page testing isn't worth the effort, as it doesn't make that much of a difference.
- I get plenty of in-store visitors, so why would I need to promote my business via local search?
- There is no easy way to target my prospective customers in search, especially at a local level.
- I don't click on PPC ads, so why would anyone else?
- What's this you say about Bing and Yahoo merging ad platforms?
Social media marketing
- I only spend time on all of these social platforms because I have to for work.
- Social media is an unavoidable nuisance and should be outsourced to a "guru" or agency.
- Social media is all about sharing company news and doing contests to increase my fan base.
- Facebook is for consumer brands, and LinkedIn is for business-to-business brands.
- My latest strategy is to promote our corporate Facebook profile address in our print and broadcast advertising, instead of our website.
- It's all about Facebook "likes" and Twitter followers!
- To save time, I just post the same content to all of my social profiles.
- Video marketing is too expensive and time-consuming.
- We're not spending time on YouTube because people only use it to watch videos about cats and people getting hit in the groin with footballs.
- I don't have the time or resources to create an image strategy on Pinterest or Instagram.
- We can ignore online reviews because nobody reads them.
- My business has not been affected by negative press or customer reviews.
- Social media should be done by the youngest person in the office because they grew up with it.
- Facebook and Twitter work for all products and all audiences, all the time. No research needed!
- No one reads or uses forums or blogs, so we don't waste our time with either.
- Content should only be created when employees are done with "real" work and have nothing else to do.
- Transparency is a bad idea in social media.
- Social media is a fun way to interact with fans, but it doesn't have any real value.
- Social media doesn't generate any revenue!
- Social media is going to generate a ton of revenue!
- I'm investing in MySpace because JT is bringing the sexy back.
- I use my smartphone primarily for making phone calls.
- Everything digital is automatically mobile-friendly nowadays.
- Mobile marketing is too expensive and complex to create a viable ROI.
- Anyone with a smartphone can access my site if they want, so there's no need to optimize it.
- I prefer to text my tweets from my feature/flip-phone.
- I prefer not to remind customers to review us online in case they had a bad experience.
- QR codes are the next big thing in mobile marketing.
- I just joined Foursquare!
If any of the above statements resonate with you at face value, consider staying away from digital marketing as a career. If the above statements seem to be outlandish, naïve, or just plain ignorant, you might well be on your way to a successful career in digital marketing. For an explanation behind the aforementioned statements, please read the articles below. Lastly, feel free to add your own statements to this article in the comments section below.
Recommended reading for aspiring digital marketers:
"Get Beyond Click and Conversions" (six requirements for a value-added SEM vendor)
"Carrying case" image via Shutterstock.