My name’s Joe Sturgeon and I am in my fourth year of classes here at WWU. I decided to take this course because I recognize that the business world is changing rapidly and the way that businesses connect with customers is becoming more interactive and increasingly more digital. In order to have a fighting chance in the ever-changing business world, I need to make sure that my skills in marketing reflect this paradigm shift in marketing strategies and tactics that has been molding itself over the past 20 years or so.
A major step that I’ll be taking to gain digital marketing experience is a Summer internship at DealsOnlyWebstore.com. This is a Bellingham based online retail business which relies almost entirely on digital marketing efforts and it is through them that I hope to gain much of the hands-on experience that will give me a competitive advantage in the market when I am out of school and making it on my own. The skills and content that will be covered in this class will be the driving factor that ensures my preparedness and will increase my chances of excelling at my internship, as well as future business endeavors.
I’d like to learn analytic skills that will help me to monitor site traffic, distinguish trends, and help to measure the success of online marketing campaigns. I’d like to become savvy to the language that surrounds the online community of marketers so that I am able to interview and perform effectively and efficiently in the future. I’d also like to gain a better understanding of digital marketing strategies and tactics.
I decided to analyze the articles as they relate to myself and my intended goals for the future. To start, the Journal of Marketing Education has conducted studies that have outlined the idea that marketing positions in Seattle tend to require a higher degree of technical skills than those in other states, with the exception of New York City who averages out to around the same. Since I plan to be working out of Seattle for the majority of my career, this is vital information to me as I go about building my skill sets and working on strengthening my resume. There seems to be less in the way of meta-skills compared with some of the other metropolitan areas, with the exception of team, relational, and leadership skills. I feel that these are my strong points in the meta-skill categories so that is a plus for me. What stands out to me as well is that the conceptual marketing knowledge by metropolitan area shows that Seattle job listings are specific about applicants having skills in the areas of developing marketing plans, managing marketing functions, supply chain management, SPS, direct marketing, industry specific knowledge, and most importantly, internet marketing. The fact that Seattle based jobs require knowledge especially in internet marketing means that if I want to get my foot in the door, I need to have the skills addressed in this class.
As discussed in the findings from the article, State of Digital Marketing Talent, “There is a pervasive, deeply running digital marketing talent gap- a substantial difference between what employers value and what talent is available to them.” This makes me wonder if other marketing programs around the country are simply not offering these classes, if people aren’t taking them, or if the classes are simply not doing an effective job at developing the digital marketing skills needed to satisfy potential employers. It seems like there should be a reaction from universities in response to the drastic increase in dollars spent on interactive marketing methods, projected to reach $77 billion by 2016. Based on the research conducted, the authors of the article for the Journal of Marketing Education feel that there needs to be more technical skills incorporated into the marketing curriculum in order to prepare students for the jobs that they hope to get after school. I agree with this, as well as the notion that apparently belongs to Schibrowsky, that the combination of theoretical knowledge and technical skills needed to complete the job create a more rounded education that benefits the student more as they move into business world.
Another interesting point worth noting can be found in the study done by The Journal of Marketing Education. They point out that technical skills are the most important to have for entry level positions. As you rise up the ladder however, the need for technical skills, while still a prerequisite to the job, falls secondary and indeed tertiary to the need for meta-skills and conceptual marketing knowledge. This reminds me of a book I read a while back, “Haunting the CEO” which discussed the need, as a manager, to manage the context of the situation rather than the people. Which means that rather than needing to understand and solve all problems with the business a manager should be able to give employees the skills and power to solve problems themselves. All of these examples have helped me to see the differences between entry, middle, and upper level positions which will be important to my ability to move up in the business world.