A great digital marketing expert (or consultant) is no different to a great marketing or advertising expert specializing in offline channels like TV, Radio, Print, etc. Because great marketing (digital or offline) always comes down to understanding your customers, understanding your USP (unique selling proposition), and telling a compelling story.
Why You May Need A Digital Marketing Expert
In today's world, it's almost impossible to grow a business without being online, and the good news is digital marketing is cheaper and easier to track (e.g. calculate ROI) when compared to offline marketing like TV, Radio, or Print.
We understand that for many businesses "being online" means having a website, but for companies that are taking full advantage of this digital revolution, it means investing time and resources in all digital channels (Website, SEO, SEM, PPC, Email, Social Media, etc).
Naturally, someone (i.e. Digital Marketer) will have to oversee these digital channels and make sure they align with your business and growth goals.
Digital Marketing Expert In A Nutshell
You can think of a great digital marketing expert as a conductor in an orchestra, and Website, SEO, SEM, PPC, Email, and Social Media are all essential but different instruments in the orchestra.
Therefore, a digital marketing expert is very different from an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert, Website designer/builder, Social media expert, or someone that specializes in PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising. While there is some overlap, these types of experts should not drive your high-level strategy. For example, an SEO expert should not drive your website strategy, because you may end up with a website that ranks high in Google but does not align with your other business or customer goals.
A great digital marketing expert will plan and oversee all digital channels for your business because your website, content marketing, social media, email marketing, SEO, and PPC efforts have to align with the overall strategy. For example, if you are trying to position your product or service as a premium offering, you cannot offer deep discounts on Facebook (Ads), and at the same time promote exclusivity on another channel (e.g. Website). This is why most companies have a marketing manager, a chief marketing officer, or digital marketing consultant overseeing all marketing campaigns and channels.
Therefore, a great digital marketing expert (or consultant) has to have experience in customer and market research, strategy, planning, execution (different digital marketing channels), optimization, and also have the ability to communicate up, down and across the organization.
Real Digital Marketing Experts vs. Self-proclaimed Experts
Hiring a digital marketing expert (or consultant) is no different to hiring any other expert. You don't just take their word for it, you ask a lot of questions and ask to see their previous work.
With that in mind, you should ask for actual examples of their research, strategy, planning, execution, and optimization. This is the only way to identify real digital marketing experts vs. self-proclaimed experts.
For instance, ask a digital marketing expert (or consultant) for examples of:
- Customer and market research
- Digital marketing plan and strategy
- Successful campaigns (and why they were successful)
- Unsuccessful campaigns (and why they were unsuccessful)
- Website optimization
- Social Media campaigns
- SEO improvements
- Email marketing campaigns
- PPC advertising
- Conversion improvements
- ROI numbers (return of investment)
Digital marketing is still a relatively new concept to many small to medium size businesses, hence why looking for and hiring a digital marketing expert can be intimidating. Hopefully, we helped you understand the role a little better, and what types of questions you need to ask to help distinguish between someone that truly has the knowledge and experience to grow your business and someone that is only looking to up-sell their expertise and squeeze a few more dollars out of your business.