Marketing and Advertising present a very complex environment. Marketing experts have to surround themselves with people who have expertise in each part of the marketing cycle and the various mediums where marketing and advertising are placed. Within the digital space there are a lot of unique media and marketing systems used by today's experts. Below is a quick summary of some of the higher level parts of the digital marketing ecosystem for those who may be beginners and are trying to understand the moving parts.

marketingFor the digital marketers out there I have to wonder; do we have to know all this stuff really well? Digital marketing expertise is hard to find in our current marketplace. For smaller companies who may not have the budget to bring on a full team of marketers to represent these different facets its going to be difficult to find someone who has a moderate to deep understanding of all of them. As far as making yourself a strong asset in the job market is it better to be widely versed or deeply versed in one or two different media?

I would say both. For the large and small players in the game there is a need for leaders and marketing managers who can talk all the talk and form high level strategies based on a working knowledge of all the aspects of the ecosystem. And that isn't limited to digital. Getting experience and training around traditional ad platforms like TV, radio, outdoor, and print is also key. Within the best organizations however there is also a need for people who are more deeply versed in one specific vertical or medium. Depending on where you currently are in your career in the digital marketing or more broad marketing spectrum in learning and building a track record, you may choose to go niche or broad. Pick your poison and drink it often!

Email

Email isn't dead. Ranked number one in a recent study among US marketing professionals as the highest ROI medium of digital advertising, email marketing is a critical component of any company's strategy no matter the size.

Social

Understanding how to create utility and engagement in the social space is as much an art form as any other marketing medium. Often considered a low cost to free solution, social marketing is a place to invest resources and expertise in order to build short and long term results.

Mobile

Speaking here more specifically to SMS and MMS marketing, retailers and big brands can leverage the number one most responsive communication tool to connect with consumers and drive them to action.

SEO

Currently 70% of online ad budgets are allocated to SEO. This moving target marketing method is about optimizing one's site to make it rank better on the organic algorithms of major search engines like Google. Its half cat and mouse games with the search engines and half an issue of creating truly valuable content and utility in a way that is compatible with technology best practices.

SEM

I prefer to use the term Paid Search but SEM is the term most often used to refer to the practice of buying paid ads (generally pay per click) on search engines like Google based on the location and keywords used by the searcher. The ultimate compliment to SEO efforts.

Display & Rich Media

Generally referring here to banner ads, streaming audio, and video pre-roll sold direct to site, through an ad network, or through an ad exchange while using a high number of data and profile targeting filters and parameters to make sure the ad is being shown to the right people at the right place at the right time at the optimal price.

Data and Analytics

The key need to look at the large amount of data coming from owned, earned, and paid media and advertising across all these various media and come up with key insights that strengthen future marketing efforts and products.

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