Employers will look for certain qualities in digital marketers

It’s an exciting time to be a marketing professional.

Imagine that digital marketing is the opposite of many careers where you attend school or receive training and then perform the same job for the rest of your career. How many careers can be measured and instantaneous? How many careers allow you to experiment with cutting-edge technologies? How many careers will enable you to try something and then try something completely different the next day? How many careers let you take part in a variety of projects and campaigns for clients that are constantly changing?

Digital marketers had a great year in 2013, and 2014 is set to be even better.

Employers will place more emphasis in 2014 on the eight qualities listed below when they are evaluating candidates. These include social networking and email.

1. Adaptability

This is the one at the top. Never before have companies faced such uncertainty and risk. Within a few short months, they can go from being the market leader to a follower.

Employers are looking for employees who can deal with workplace changes, complete projects without much direction, manage multiple priorities, and endure stress.

What was once a crazy experiment could become the most anticipated one the next. Businesses can experiment with new ideas and test out new features of their websites to get instant results.

Digital marketing is a field where businesses need adaptable marketers. The only thing that will never change in 2014 is change itself, so be prepared for more change in 2014.

2. Data Collection and Analysis and Conversion into Actionable Knowledge

Big data is getting even bigger. Digital marketers sift through mountains of data in order to better understand consumer behavior and identify new opportunities. These insights are then translated into integrated marketing campaigns across all channels with clear, measurable goals. Advanced analytics is used to determine the best media and audience for achieving the goals and the value of those audiences. They optimize based on results to give more of what works and less of the rest.

3. Creative Thinking

Others might call this “thinking outside of the box.” BusinessDictionary.com defines creative thinking as “a way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective that suggests unorthodox solutions.” Whatever you want to call it, few professions require this more than digital marketing. New technologies are being developed at a breakneck speed.

Although it’s not on every job description, employers will make this a priority in 2014.

4. Get Comfortable with Technology

Employers are looking for candidates with a strong understanding of the technical aspects involved in digital marketing. This does not imply that you have to be a coder; programmers are the ones who do that. The technology in digital marketing is like a tailwind for pilots. It always pushes you forward. And the best digital marketer (like good pilots) knows how to use it. Knowledge of technology can also lead to greater collaboration between IT and marketing. In 2014, you’ll use it more.

5. Intellectual Curiosity

Digital marketers will continue being trailblazers in 2014. They are the first ones to bravely venture into areas where no other marketer has ever gone. Mark Goldblatt has done extensive research on the topic and believes that what you already know isn’t as important as what it is you want to learn. You’ll notice that the “what,” “how,” and “why” are all given more attention. Understanding why certain tactics work and others do not and how to improve the next time around is even more important.

6. Thirst for Knowledge

Digital marketing, by definition, is a lifelong learning exercise, and 2014 will bring plenty of new things to learn. Digital marketing is a career that you should abandon the moment you stop learning. The technologies and solutions of today may be obsolete tomorrow. These innovations also make it difficult for learners to stay informed with media options such as blogs, videos, RSS feeds, and social networks.

7. Bridging the Business and Technical Divide

These are the people I refer to as “technomarketing hybrids.” Are you able to comfortably stand with both feet in different buckets – marketing and technology? The technology behind pixels is the key to everything you do in the digital marketing world. This theme will be more prominent in 2014.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of being able to bridge the divide between IT and business and communicate technical ideas clearly and effectively to non-technical people. Those who are able to bridge the gap between business and IT and communicate technical ideas clearly and effectively to non-technical people will have a distinct edge over others in the coming year.

8. Business Acumen

When people think about business acumen, most think of senior managers or executives whose daily actions and decisions have a direct effect on the company’s performance and operation. However, business acumen is more than a leadership competency.

All employees should understand that their actions have an impact on the bottom line. Employers expect that candidates, even for lower-level jobs, can connect their daily responsibilities with departmental goals.

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