What kind of expertise is required of digital marketing professionals?


Have you ever wondered what kind of skills are required of digital marketing professionals? This made Albert Stoinis think and interested, and he ended up writing a master’s thesis on the skills of digital marketing professionals. The topic is interesting and topical, as little previous research has been done on the skills of digital marketing communications professionals. If you are considering a career as a digital marketing professional, you can find a tip in the results in which direction you should develop your skills. At the same time, however, digital marketing is more popular than ever.  

This time on Rumen’s blog writes Albert Stoinis. He is a graduate of the University of Jyväskylä, Faculty of Information Technology, and the purpose of his master’s thesis is to find out what kind of expertise digital marketing communications professionals need. He now works for a local SEO company. I was interviewed in the spring of 2018 in connection with the topic and had the opportunity to publish the results of the dissertation written by Albert Stoinis. Really interesting and topical theme.
My degree consists of a literature review and empirical research. In an empirical study, I interviewed 15 digital marketing professionals. The group of interviewees consisted of a wide variety of professionals working in different companies and organizations. Among the interviewees were managers, designers, customer service managers and a technical implementer. Interviewees shared their views from their own and / or their team’s perspective.

What did digital marketing professionals think about the skills needed for their work?

The interviews resulted in a total of 38 attributes, skills, and competencies that a digital marketing communications professional should master. Competence is divided into four categories: personal characteristics, professional skills, business-related competencies and technical competencies.

A total of 11 attributes were found for the category of personal characteristics. Self-development is considered to be the most important feature. In addition, attitude, courage, creativity, embrace and broad-mindedness were felt to be quite necessary.

There are 13 skills required in the Professional Skills category. The most important skill according to the results is the content production skills. In addition, the basics of digital channels, analytical skills, image processing skills, visual skills, and marketing basics are really necessary for digital marketing professionals based on the results. 

A total of eight competencies were obtained in the category of business-related competencies. By far the most important competence in this category is business understanding. Budgeting, assessing profitability and measuring results were also considered necessary competencies for professionals. 

Six competencies required in the category of technical competencies. The most important competence is clearly the management of systems and tools. In addition, many stressed the need for digital marketing professionals to understand the basics of programming as well as technology. 

The most important qualities of a digital marketing expert:  attitude, overall vision and the ability to learn and adapt

The interviewees were also asked about the most important competence. The category of personal characteristics rose clearly above the others in the results. Attitude, overall vision, and the ability to learn and adapt were considered important characteristics. Other skills and competencies are perceived to be easier to learn than personality traits. In addition, according to one interviewee, the person already at the recruitment stage influences how the applicant is seen to grow into the role of a digital marketing communications professional.

Important qualities in the attitude were mentioned to be open-mindedness, patience, passion and enthusiasm, among others. An holistic view refers to the perception of the entities and possibilities that can be achieved with digital marketing communications. The ability to learn and adapt includes the desire to develop and learn more all the time, as well as the ability to adapt to change.

Based on the results of the research, digital marketing communications professionals are required to have a lot of diverse skills. It is therefore impossible for one person to master all the skills needed based on the results. Nor does it sound clever in terms of resources that one person should take care of all the tasks associated with digital marketing. Therefore, making a sensible digital marketing requires a whole team of digital marketing professionals with different roles and competencies. Together, the qualities, skills and competencies of different people can cover all the necessary competencies.