Joe asks, “I am currently considering a specialization in e-commerce or social media. At the same time, I’m open to any field in marketing as long as I can gain experience. What advice do you have?”
At the end of the day, marketers need to consider three key factors in choosing their career paths. Learn what the key factors are, how to evaluate them in your own career, and consider your options ahead.
Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.
Listen to the audio here:
- Got a question for You Ask, I’ll Answer? Submit it here!
- Subscribe to my weekly newsletter for more useful marketing tips.
- Find older episodes of You Ask, I Answer on my YouTube channel.
- Need help with your company’s data and analytics? Let me know!
What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today’s episode, Joe asks, I’m currently considering a specialization in e commerce or social media. At the same time, I’m open to any field in marketing. As long as I can gain experience, what advice would you offer for someone who is changing out or or looking at at becoming more of a specialized marketing specializations? a really good idea, because marketing has gotten to be too big of a field to just be a general marketer unless you work in like a startup environment where you have to be a little bit of everything, but the world and what companies value today really is specialization and expertise being really good at something now,
in terms of what to specialize and
accounting for a job and marketing is all about. It is essentially a b2b sale right? You are selling your services to a company
And then that company will hire those services to do whatever it is they need you to do, even if it’s a b2c company, that sale process is a b2b process, which means that you need to provide really four or five values to that company. You have to be able to demonstrate to a company that you can save them money, save them time, make them money,
help the person who’s hiring you demonstrate their value, aka help them not get fired or reduce or mitigate risk. Those are really the things that when you’re a hiring manager, marketing or otherwise, those are the things that you’re looking to actually hire for.
At the end of the day you have what you do has to fulfill one of those roles. When you look at the different subsets of marketing through that lens
in terms of where you should spend it. shouldn’t spend your time is helping a company helping a company do those things so
We look at something like e commerce ecommerce for example is very much bottom of funnel
let’s you know make the sale, let’s get the sale let’s let’s improve the conversion rates let’s make some money, right? So there’s a very much a, a, a an easy direct connection to make some money
when you look at something like social media social media is as evidenced by the number of books and and talks and things about social media ROI is harder to prove the value of social media it’s not impossible. Yeah, with really good attribution and analysis. You can draw a very good line between the work the social media practitioners do and the eventual outcomes as long as you’ve got great data and great attribution tracking and great analytical capabilities
that there’s a lot of value in that as well. So when you look at the different disciplines within marketing, ask yourself how does this discipline
Save money or save time, or making company money or prove the value of a hiring manager or help reduce or mitigate risk. For example, within even social media, things like crisis communications and reputation management are essential skills and you can specialize in those things specifically that falls in the category of reducing mitigate risk. If you are really good at helping somebody mitigate the risk that they’re they’ve they’ve incurred, you will have a long and fruitful career as it were. So what are the other things you could be doing a little bit there’s email marketing, social media, as you mentioned, there’s content marketing, there is general online marketing they are is marketing, analytics, marketing, technology, marketing automation,
what should you What should you do then becomes a question once you’ve identified How easy is it to draw a line between that and one of those five core benefits is which of those
thing to do actually enjoy doing e commerce is very different than social media on a day to day level, it is substantially a different type of work. It is much more technical. Typically it is
much more procedural meaning like there’s a, there’s a clear defined set of processes that you’re doing, hey, we’ve got these 500,000 items we need to get into the store. We need to set pricing set, sk use
deploy sales, get things listed in Google product manager, and so on so forth. So there’s a there’s a very clear
recipes and not a huge ton of surprise. So if you like that kind of work, that might be something that aligns well with your interest.
Conversely, crisis communications and social media is
every day is different, every day’s a new dumpster fire
depending on the organization you work for. So if you like that variability, if you like talking to
actual people, if you like
unpredictable situations and taming chaos, that is clearly a, a specialization for you. If you have an aptitude for statistics and mathematics, focusing on marketing analytics, it will be a long and lucrative career for you. Because as much as machine learning and AI are advancing our abilities to do rapid computation, there is no substitute for having that human in the loop to help manage the process and validate the outcomes. So there’s a lot to be done in the analytics field. So what are your aptitudes is the second consideration? So is it profitable? Do you have an app or is it important to the business? Do you have an aptitude for it?
And then the third thing which is I guess a the third consideration is
when you work with people in those fields are those people you like working with, right? So it is
even if you have
Have an aptitude for statistics and analytics there are the people who practice that as a discipline they may not be your tribe they may not be the kind of people you want to spend literally a third of every day with and probably most of your waking hours so get a sense for who those people are go to meetups go to
conferences and events as you can as as time and budget permit and get a sense for who you might be working with because your tribe the people that you want to hang out with and invest a lot of time and a career with
will in turn somewhat dictate
the how good you get it the work that you do and and and what Layton aptitudes you’re taking advantage of so there’s those are the three things that I would save on a focus on you want to focus on
Funny enough, it comes down to the process right
for the platform. I guess the
You want to be doing the process of doing it and the people that you’re with, right? So people process platform,
there’s no easy answer. It is solely dependent on who you are as a person. And it may take some time. It may take some time to calibrate. It took me
Gosh, I was at it for years. And it took me probably close to a decade to figure out that actually, I wanted to be in marketing technology, not information technology.
That was a long decade. But in making that transition,
I tried out a whole bunch of things. I worked in startups, I worked in big corporations, I worked in financial services. I worked in agencies and things and eventually I figured out that marketing technology and analytics and stuff was what I enjoy doing, which means I had the aptitude for it was valuable to the business and the people I hung out with were my kind of people. And so that’s sort of how
figure that out for myself
expected to take some time is not going to be an easy answer. And you may have to try a few companies a few different types of careers to see which is right for you. But look at those three branches and look at that and see how your choices fit into those things. Thanks for the question. If you have other questions, leave them in the comments and please subscribe to the YouTube channel the newsletter and I’ll talk to you soon take care want help solving your company’s data analytics and digital marketing problems. This is trust insights AI today and let us know how we can help you
You might also enjoy:
- How To Start Your Public Speaking Career
- The Coming Explosion in Influencer Marketing
- Marketing Data Science: KPIs Are Notification Thresholds
- Does Content Length Predict Traffic Generated?
- The Strategic Absence of Why
Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:
Get your copy of AI For Marketers