You have your website, you have your brand designed and secured with a style guide but now you need to start getting your design out there and ensuring you spread the right message to your potential audience. In the digital marketing arena, there are many who claim to be ‘experts’ and can achieve a page 1 ranking on google or that using certain images and colours over another is the only solution to helping generate the right interest to your product or services. The truth is the digital realm is always changing and not only due to technological advances but also that design trends of what is in vogue and found to be most usable changes regularly, I would even go as far as to suggest that the digital realm is the most fast-changing industry that exists.
It embodies technology, design, fashion, psychology and usability all that change frequently and are highly influenced by our human impulses and so an excellent expert digital marketer needs to be open to change and also the opinion of others.
In this blog post, I discuss 6 ways to spot a good or slightly less good digital marketing expert.
The not so good marketing expert
The digital marketing expert with an ego
They have won awards, gained 20 years experience in their profession and drive a flashy car and all ‘lovey lovey’ with their clients but with others a bit colder, particularly if they have less experience or are deemed ‘less knowledgable’. This is a marketing expert you need to be wary of because all good marketers and designers know that to create a great design you must be open to receiving the opinion of everyone involved thus why the relatively new profession of user experience was created.
When a marketing expert exclaims that what they suggest is the only way to do things and are quite forceful in putting their points across alarm bells should be ringing in your ears loud and clear! A great marketer is a great communicator and great communication allows everyone with an opinion to express it and for it is considered with the utmost respect. Avoid the marketer who’s ego is larger than the overall team’s goals.
The expert digital marketer knows everything
When an expert marketer always thinks their answer is the best one they are disregarding that they are in an industry that changes all the time and that there are more than their taste that matters. As previously mentioned, technology, fashion and design tastes change regularly and what worked 5 years ago might not work so well today.
A new website that is really good at helping in designing great marketing symbols, graphics and collateral is desinion.com. I recently used the site to find out if my design of a specification sheet was the right choice rather than another design suggested by another that was more abstract. After conducting the test and receiving 100 opinions, 75% of the people who voted voted for the colourful and literal photograph of the specification rather than the abstract image.
Another great website is usertesting.com that allows you to get the opinions of others when they use your websites or apps, again a way to ensure that your current marketing tools have all the bells and whistles ensuring you are getting the best solutions possible.
Always right mentality leaves people out in the cold
If you do not listen to the opinions or ideas of others you will stop those people putting ideas forward as often, ideas that may help your business thrive. They know it all is someone no one really wants to work with as they lack the leadership skills of being able to lead others and don’t appreciate everyone’s opinion in the team. Keeping your team from losing motivation in a project is important and respect is a large part of this.
The good digital marketing expert
The greatest digital marketer is always learning, the industry is always changing and you need to stay abreast of new marketing strategies and techniques as well as a good understanding of technological advances and design trends as they appear on the scene. A great digital marketing expert will always be hungry for new knowledge and improving their ability in what they already know to ensure they can provide the best possible solutions for their customers and be able to add these ideas into discussions about marketing.
Great communication is a place where everyone involved in a project is spoken to and their ideas are considered with respect. Great communication creates good team spirit and a willingness to create the best possible work that the team can, feeling that your ideas matter no matter how many years experience you have makes the team feel valued and actually some of the people with less experience can offer fresh perspectives on something done in the same way for many years that ‘an expert’ may not have even considered.
Admit when you are wrong
Lastly, a good digital marketing expert will admit when they are wrong. Experience is all well and good but no matter who we are we are all human and we don’t always make the best decisions, admitting to this and releasing someone else’s idea may be the best choice is an important trait to find in your marketing specialist.
There are certain traits that I believe make a great digital marketing specialist and they are:-
- Great Communication skills
- Always learning and studying tech, design and UX trends in particular
- Open to change and sometimes being wrong
- Admit you don’t know everything
- Respect everyone’s opinions
- Being honest and open about what is achievable
Sometimes we all say we are ‘experts’ to impress the people we meet but I believe it is more important to have the above traits as standard to ensure that not only your customers know they are getting value for money but also that the team you work with feel respected and their ideas are valued. A first idea is a good start but a lot of the greatest design work created has lots of iterations before arriving at the final design. Like Michaelangelo himself said ‘I am still learning ‘ and he was 87, an expert is only an expert if they say so truth is, none of us are, some of us are experienced with too much pride and others are experienced but open. Which one are you? Take the test below