People today are in a position never before seen in history – with the advancement of technology, we have the world at our fingertips. We receive billions of data from our phones every day. With all this new technology and digital capability, the world of marketing has changed. Digital marketing and promotions, specifically, are crucial factors that help determine a business’s survival and success.

In this modern digital landscape, new skills and professions are created, while traditional ones vanish or are modified. To keep up with the times, businesses have to be agile and create a digital marketing team that will be up to the task of competing in the traffic of the digital world. A study conducted by UPS has shown that 59% of companies are planning to hire digital marketers within the next 18-24 months, further evidence that more and more companies are realizing this shift in competition for customer attention.
When you first conceive of forming your own digital marketing team, it looks and sounds easy. After all, what’s worked in the past can work digitally, too. You think, the location may have changed, but the ways of getting there, and the objectives remain the same… Right? But the reality is, it’s much more challenging than that. Because potential customers are hit with so much more information all at once, the competition for sales is fiercer than it has ever been. If you have no idea what you’re doing, your presence will remain undetected and your efforts will fall by the wayside.

If you’re a small company, and you don’t have the budget to hire a fully functioning digital marketing team, you may have to hire people who can fill one or two hats. Most marketers have a working knowledge of all areas of marketing, and can last for a few months while taking on more roles. However, as your business grows, you’ll need more marketing specialists to concentrate on their areas of expertise. This will optimize your team’s productivity, efficiency and growth.

With this, we’ve highlighted the essential roles you’ll need to fill in order to compete and have a fighting chance in the digital arena.

1. The Marketing Strategist or The Planner

The Marketing Strategist is like the captain of the ship – the overseer of your digital marketing efforts. He has a good grasp of your company’s overall business strategy, how this aligns with your marketing efforts, and an understanding of the buyers you are targeting.

The Marketing Strategist:

  • Is a great planner and organizer. He’s in charge of creating a project calendar, and is skilled at seeing a project through, from contemplation to completion.
  • Is a natural communicator. He serves as the bridge between management and the team, and has impressive presentation skills that help communicate what your plans are, in order to garner support for your labors.
  • Works well with analytical marketers to manage budgets and expectations, and in making sure that efforts align with objectives.

2. The Relationship Builder or The Social Media Manager

Your relationship builder should have a strong online presence, and may even be a strong social media influencer himself with a lot of followers. He’s built up a network of industry contacts, and is tasked with putting your team’s social media strategies into action.

With social media gaining more importance in building relationships online, he should have his finger in the pulse of trends and shifts in social media demographics. The Relationship Builder works with the consumer in mind – he is the mouthpiece of your company, creating a persona that your target market will follow and love.

The Relationship Builder:

  • Makes a good event planner or public relations executive. He has a natural charm that helps him foster and connect with other people.
  • Has great social media presence, able to identify and is able to build useful contacts in the social media world.

3. The Data Analyzer

The Data Analyzer looks over the data and works with the team to gauge how well your marketing efforts are working. He is a problem solver and decision maker who helps The Marketing Strategist plan and budget properly.

He must have a thorough knowledge of your marketing goals, and a familiarity with the tools needed to measure the results of your social media, video, and written content. The Data Analyzer will then share the results with the team and work with them in creating content that connects well with customers. This way, you’re ensured that your efforts are focused, and your time and money aren’t wasted on endeavors that are not bearing results.

The Data Analyzer:

  • Is measured and responds well to data, statistics and facts that will show how marketing activities impact the company’s bottomline.
  • Is concerned with returns on investment, generating leads and monitoring progress.
  • Is methodical and makes sure you don’t go beyond budget.

4. The Creative or The Content Creator

With only seconds to grab a customer’s attention, The Creative is a vital role in your company’s digital marketing efforts. He always has the user’s experience in mind, and is mainly responsible for communicating your brand’s message. He certifies that all your digital marketing content have one voice – from social media, website images, copy, videos and digital ads. He works with The Strategist and The Social Media Manager in creating on-brand content that is focused on grabbing attention, convincing and converting customers.

The Creative:

  • Is great with words, images and ideas.
  • Can create videos, write copy, and blog posts.
  • Should be skilled in both verbal and written communication.

5. The Technical Specialist or The Techie

To round out your five fundamental roles is The Technical Specialist. He is the technical implementer of your digital marketing promotions, and is in charge of creating templates and giving body to your campaigns. Since digital marketing largely occurs in coding, The Techie needs to be well-versed in HTML or CSS. He needs to have the pulse of your digital campaign, and keeps up-to-date with changing digital trends and technologies.

Most times, having a skilled Technical Specialist can be your secret to success, as he brings the team’s vision to life. Since your digital presence can make or break you in this competition, his contributions cannot be underestimated.

The Techie:

  • Finds and fixes bugs in your website.
  • Creates interactive content.
  • Ensures and improves usability and user experience.
  • Ensures site speed.

Now, the question is, is a digital marketing team really necessary?

Digital marketing platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google, have continued to gain importance and momentum. Your company’s presence and ability to compete in these areas are vital to influencing sales, interest and profits.

Traditional marketing roles are still important of course, but generalist marketers cannot sustain the competition in the digital arena long-term. No matter the size of your company, it is worthwhile to create a specialist digital marketing team either in-house, or from scratch. Each specialist will be able to concentrate on his role and in guaranteeing that company investment is funneled in the right resources and avenues.

With the ease of maneuverability online, customers can effortlessly shift from one product to another, comparing and contrasting prices and benefits in order to make an informed choice. This, more than anything else, determines a consumer’s decision to purchase, and from there, directly to company success. The contribution of your digital marketing team, individually and as a whole then, can never be dismissed nor undervalued.