Digital marketing has quickly risen to become the focal point of marketing efforts for many businesses, as well as the only marketing effort for small businesses. Leadership plays a key role in many ways, including getting buy-in for digital marketing strategy, coaching and mentoring others to use digital marketing tools, and leveraging data into actionable recommendations.
It’s an exciting time to be in marketing. The Internet has opened new ways to engage and retain customers. That’s why many who seek to earn a master’s degree choose an MBA with a concentration in Digital Marketing.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing involves the use of digital channels to send advertising and marketing messages to consumers. It’s most frequently associated with the Internet, but it also includes email and devices such as smartphones and tablets.
The facets of digital marketing are numerous. The term “search engine marketing” (SEM) alone covers issues such as search engine optimization (attempting to get a site to rank high in search engine queries), website design, landing pages on a website, calls to action, and the psychology of color.
Social media is part of digital marketing. So are the collection and analysis of data generated by social media signals and website visits.
Role of Digital Marketing Leadership
Leadership in digital marketing, just as with any other career field, can cover a lot of ground: personnel management, budgetary issues, and continual assessment of the systems that support the marketing team.
However, here are three issues as they relate specifically to digital marketing.
This is where top-notch communication skills are a must. As pointed out by CMSWire, this involves communicating strategy to employees. It also involves openness with information and allowing employees to make their own decisions based on the information you’ve provided.
The other major part of buy-in is getting upper management to understand the value of digital marketing. Marketing managers get “push back when trying to move forward with a more robust digital marketing strategy,” reports the American Marketing Association. Digital marketing efforts must become part of the company culture, and that requires marketing leadership armed with data, solid recommendations, and excellent communication skills. It also requires flexibility, as changes in the field continue to come at a fast and furious pace.
Coaching and Mentoring
Leaders in every area do well to identify and foster talent, but it’s especially important in digital marketing. The competition for quality marketers is intense. That’s why many companies decide to hire outside consultants to handle marketing efforts.
That’s good news for holders of an MBA in Digital Marketing, as it provides more employment opportunities. But mentoring those you lead gives you the fastest, most effective way to build a talented team without having to go outside the company to find new people.
At this point, the issue in marketing is not collecting data; it’s knowing what to do with it. That involves the work of data scientists who create software that collects and categorizes data and the analysts who extract meaning for it. But it takes someone with marketing skills—one who understands market trends and consumer behavior—to both identify areas where data analysis should focus and have the skills to make recommendations on what that data shows.
That means having a combination of business, marketing, and digital skills, something an MBA in Digital Marketing can give you.
These aren’t all the reasons digital marketing leadership skills are important, but they are all critical reasons. A master’s degree offers graduates advanced skills in these areas. It makes them more employable. And for those with an MBA in Digital Marketing, it can open the door to the top jobs in the field.