— November 22, 2017
Digital marketing is more than knowing how to run a Facebook ad campaign or conduct SEO research. It’s a set of skills and a way of thinking that, when taken holistically, can add incredible – even business-changing – insight to an organization, no matter how small.
This excerpt of a guide to digital marketing runs through what digital marketing is, exactly, and what one San Francisco based tech marketer’s day looks like.
What is digital marketing?
“At a high level, digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps.” – Marketo
This quote dives into the ‘how’ of digital marketing – the tactics that power it. What it doesn’t do, though, is tackle the depth of digital marketing. It’s not just a series of tactics; modern-day online marketing involves an entirely different approach to marketing, one amplified by the fact that in a digital world, you can track customers down to their individual engagement level.
As the Financial Times puts it, “Most experts believe that ‘digital’ is not just yet another channel for marketing. It requires a new approach to marketing and a new understanding of customer behaviour.”
This new approach is part analytical, part technology-driven. It involves A/B split tests and embracing new ways of thinking, like the lean framework. It blends lessons from traditional marketing with the modern-day insights earned by startups at the edge of marketing innovation. Let’s see how that breaks down in the typical day of a digital marketing pro.
A day in the life of a digital marketer
Roger works on Springboard’s Growth team, overseeing content partnerships and paid marketing efforts. See what a digital marketer like Roger does each day.
9 am: Roger comes in and takes a look at the analytics data that has come in the day before from Google Analytics. It helps him prepare his priorities for the next few hours.
Google Analytics is a popular analytics tool for digital marketers that allows you to view the amount of traffic and engagement your website draws.
10 am: Roger starts to work through his emails, which include everything from SEO reports on upcoming content to contributor requests and more. It’s time to send a monthly report on key performance metrics to the team’s chief marketing officer. He also checks in on ad campaigns in progress, and tweaks campaigns to increase their efficiency.
11 am: Roger checks in on a Facebook ad campaign with the design team and a copywriter. He brings insights from what has worked before and has final approval on each ad that goes live.
Facebook ads are a major digital marketing channel. They involve dealing with media assets such as videos or photos complemented by lines of text. Marketers will work with copywriters for the text, and designers for the media assets.
12 pm: Roger has lunch with a fellow marketing manager to swap war stories, share insights, and compare notes.
Active marketing professionals are a treasure trove of insights and learning. Networking is one of the best ways to unlock that knowledge.
1 pm: Roger and the team checks in on an A/B split test, where they compared two different versions of the website to evaluate which users found more engaging. The team compares outcomes together, then Roger collaborates with engineering and design on how they can improve the website to reflect their findings.
A/B split tests are a digital marketing tool that sends different user groups to two different versions of a webpage (or email, ad, etc.) in order to determine which version is most effective.
2 pm: Roger checks his email to find another deluge of messages, including requests for performance data, status updates on ad campaigns in progress, and more. He finishes sending off a bunch of updates.
Like most online-based occupations today, lots of the work of digital marketing happens over email. Expect to be in constant communication with people within and outside of your company if you work in digital marketing.
3 pm: Roger interviews a candidate who applied for a Google Adwords specialist role on the growth team.
A dynamic marketing team is always looking for new talent!
4 pm: Roger shares learnings from the A/B test with the rest of the marketing team. They found that displaying images of students who’ve completed Springboard courses increased conversions.
Drawing analytical insights from experiments such as A/B split tests is a large part of a digital marketer’s role.
5 pm: Roger wraps up the day by sending out updates on key campaigns, specifically Facebook ads, Adwords, and LinkedIn ads.
Adwords and LinkedIn are two other major digital marketing channels.
Want to become a digital marketer?
Check out this guide to digital marketing salaries for more insight into careers in marketing.