Category Archives: Brand Messaging

The Impact of the Digital Marketing Manager – Part One

Digital marketing managers wear many hatsThe internet and digital marketing had a tremendous impact on Enterprise marketing, public relations, and sales departments. Traditional marketing was required to provide ROI. Public Relations became MarCom and had to quickly adapt to social media marketing. Sales fared the best as they turned over all lead generation to marketing and passed along lead quality accountability.  Being a digital marketing consultant for over ten years sure had been an exciting ride and it’s not nearly over yet. I have been brought on as a consultant, contractor and as an employee. I see it all from the inside and can confidently state the major impact that the digital marketing manager has had on all sizes of organization. In this  article, I’ll cover the large Enterprise organization and the many departments that digital marketing has and continues to affect.

Wearing Many Hats

With the immediacy of communications and information, digital marketing permeates across many channels and requires specialists to aid those department’s traditional tactics.

Sales – Digital marketers are now filling the role of Inside Sales. The titles are new: Demand Generation, Growth Hacker, Lead Strategist, but the job is the same: bring leads to the sales department. This requires knowledge of the target customers and their needs. Digital marketing needs to present their company as the solution to the customer’s problems without knowing when or how they will research solutions. That presents the we must be everywhere problem of budgeting and channel selection. Additionally, the digital professional in this role needs to navigate the often choppy waters of sales and their egos. Marketing has the data to prove what is working, but often key salespeople have the ear of executives and it’s challenging to meet your goals without proving them wrong. Finessing this divide is by far the most challenging part of the digital marketing role as it supports sales. 

Traditional Marketing – Teams of marketers have worked successfully for years writing content, designing collateral, producing presentations and positioning the brand. With the prominence and success of digital marketing these channels are now required to measure their impact and attribution to sales. This isn’t always easy. Digital marketing is agile in it’s ability to easily provide a bucket for leads generated from each of these channels. While they themselves are not digital, the content can send prospects to micro-sites within the main website, landing pages or special offer pages. Those captures can easily be attributed and measured. And when closed-loop analytics is included down to the closed revenue level, attribution and ROI is easily reported and channel spend can be better divided.

Public Relations – Words like messaging, branding, awareness play are now the new verbiage of the PR professional.  Diminished are the relationship management aspects that PR professionals were prized for and now social media agencies have taken their place. Without a solid handle on what each social media platform can provide and how it meets the brand awareness goals, PR is relinquished to internal MarCom tasks. I personally know many PR professionals who were forced into MarCom by their companies as social media stayed in the hands of digital marketing. But, messaging needs to be cohesive and MarCom and social media need to work together very closely. If the business has any regulatory element they will become paralegals by default in working with the compliance department. And you just thought you needed to Tweet!

Operations & Analytics – Depending on the size of the company, the marketing operations could roll up under IT or internal engineering and the analytics very often reports to finance. These are not marketings usual partners. Given the size and scope of marketing automation systems, CRM and analytic measurement methodology and modeling, digital marketing managers are usually a lesser concern for these other departments. Networking with these people is new, but important to getting all the fields and data flowing into a constructive dashboard. It’s rare that when the systems were being evaluated and implemented that someone from each of these organizations was involved. That leaves data integrity holes that the digital marketing manager needs to fill without disrupting current data flows. It’s tricky business. The complexities of digital marketing and all the departments digital marketing managers need to work with can be daunting. Hence why few marketers return for Masters degrees. Tactics change so fast and each engagement is so unique it’s wiser to learn the basic tactical skills and to keep reading and learning. Attend conferences and webinars where others share best practices and case studies. That’s where your ideas will reside.

The complexities of digital marketing and all the departments digital marketing managers need to work with can be daunting. Hence why few marketers return for Masters degrees. Tactics change so fast and each engagement is so unique it’s wiser to learn the basic tactical skills and to keep reading and learning. Attend conferences and webinars where others share best practices and case studies. That’s where your ideas will reside.

Next week, I’ll address the digital marketing manager’s challenge at the SMB level and where they can be effective.