Marketing vocations

Marketing is to support sales. It is devoted to finding potential customers and funnelling them to the sales team. The sales team will then close deals, converting them to customers.

Marketing involves advertising and promotion, but before such campaigns are produced ideal market places must be discovered. Marketplaces may be discovered with a media channel already linked to them. This saves a lot of time and cost in avoiding reinventing what already exists. It becomes a simple matter of launching a marketing campaign over that existing media link. However it is still a process of hit and miss. The results must be monitored, adjustments made and a relaunch undertaken looking for optimal performance. Those concepts, the research and monitoring are part of a marketing officers vocation.

With the current marketing potential of the new digital platform, a subsection called digital marketing has arisen. The same concepts as traditional marketing still apply, but specialist technology skills are often sort after for optimum performance. An advertising and media campaign involves design and production of media assets—for both traditional and digital marketing channels.

Advertising is a blatant concentrated form of promotion. Promotion can be through advertising, or a more subtle approach of opportunistic name-dropping in social interactions, or in providing community education, how to, explainer or enlightenment services and publications—so popular in today’s online media networks. Marketing supports brand development. A reputable brand may become sort after with customers chasing sales reps. It is the work of marketing to produce this sort after environment.

Current channels of advertising and promotion can be divided into print media or electronic media channels. Print media includes business cards, flyers, catalogues, brochures, letters, memos, newspaper and magazine publishing, displays and printed products. Electronic media is divided between traditional broadcast channels and the digital platform. Television supports one-way audiovisual media. The digital platform supports two-way multimedia—meaning it supports textual media, static visual media as well as motion audiovisual media. Being two-way in virtual real-time, it encourages audience participation and interaction. This opens new opportunities to learn about your audiences and start profiling them.

Part of profiling includes habits of your audiences, including where and when they spend their time, as well as their interests and spending patterns, age and cultural demographics. Advertising and promotion campaigns can be customised to specific audiences. While the same applies to all marketing, profiling audiences is so much faster, easier and more comprehensive through the digital platform.

These are tasks of marketing. Special software is continually being developed to assist in these tasks that requires specialised skills. More so for digital marketing. Google produces a popular set of metrics called Google Analytics. They provide free scripts that are added to web pages to capture event data that can be used to monitor audience habits on the website.

Other metrics include data to help determine return on investment (ROI) and other management specific data. One of the primary goals of the digital marketing manager is to ensure web sites are optimised for search engine discovery. The term is abbreviated as SEM or SEO. Websites built on certain frameworks like WordPress accommodate plugins to extend their functionality, including SEO.

There are several ways audiences find websites. One is to be provided with the site URL, another is through promoted links from other sites, another is through paid and organic advertising and promotion and another is through searches. SEO deals with being found early in search results by various search engines. The number one search engine currently used is the Google search engine. It can be assigned to a browser as the search engine for the browser to use, by the system administrator. It is the browser or a web app that requests webpages. If no URL is provided, the browser calls on the assigned search engine to find sites that conform to the user criteria provided.

All sites found are returned in a list in the browser window for the user to check through, looking for the most suitable one for their cause. Clicking on one from the list will open the site. From a site owner point of view, the idea of SEO, is to make sure your website is found and presented on these lists as close as possible to the top. Search engines use their own custom algorithms to determine how appropriate your site is to the parameters of the criteria being asked for. It has become an important science to digital marketing.

Once found the next big objective of your site is to draw the audience in past the landing page. The objective is to funnel and audience to the sales process to effect conversion form audience to customer. This is where principles of design play their part in site, media and content presentation to give an audience a rich user experience. After that the quality of the message must come through. These principles of design are also a guide to drawing in audiences who discover the site through surfing the web.

In ‘general marketing’ the same principles apply to printed media. Only the SEO technology is unique to the digital/web platform. The advantage of the digital platform is that the more superior audiovisual and multimedia forms can be deployed and sales/financial transactions can be completed all on the one platform, striking while the iron (audience) is hot—so to speak. This actually cuts the sales team out of the conversion and sales process. However in reality, many products sales may require further communication between the two parties, bringing back the sales team.

Marketing is a vocation in itself, but is also made up of many vocations. The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is a marketing vocation. Marketing may call upon personnel from an information and communications technology (ICT) vocation, event management, PR and communications and media vocations. The communications and media vocation involves personnel from the creative industries… These are themselves vocations in their own right. Graphic art and design, photography, animation, video, audio engineering, audiovisual production, writing, illustration and journalism… all vocations here can be utilised by the marketing industry. Web development is part of an ICT vocation, while its maintenance requires ICT skills as well as digital marketing skills. A webmaster’s vocation would be an online marketing, educational, or entertainment (depending on industry) ICT vocation.

New demand for a mix of skills from different vocations have driven the development of new courses to provide these skills. Some vocations are very craft orientated lending themselves to vocational level education such as technical college certificates and diplomas, while others, such as system research, design, management and optimisation might warrant a higher formal qualification.

The ideal prospect to work in a marketing role is one with a range of these skills, as it is not likely that any one single task is likely to provide full-time engagement in smaller companies, particularly those with only one or two websites. Often media assets are rendered using outsourced skills as required. While a graphic designer might be kept busy, they seldom have the skills to take on motion graphics and audiovisual media form production. Content creators are in demand. Traditionally content was primarily textual and graphic. Now the trend is rapidly moving to motion and audiovisual content in digital marketing media. However in 2017, observation of content creator vacancies across employment agencies such as Seek.com and Indeed.com still show the biggest demand is for writers (textual media). Perhaps the industry still has to acclimatise to the fact that content now includes multiple media forms.

It is speculated that a graphic designer with these extended skills will be sort after as this trends picks up. For now most graphic designers will need to rely on working with animators and audiovisual artist to meet these new trends, just as web masters will need to work with both marketing CMO’s and ICT web developers and marketing managers will need to rely on digital marketing specialists to optimise covering all bases as digital marketing with its specialist skills requirements gains prominence.

Back to part 1 of this article: http://gavinldigital.com/dmt-industry/a-changing-vocational-landscape/

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