Navigating Digital Marketing | Metro Resumes

Navigating Digital Marketing

Digital marketing has become a dominant force in the world, commanding the attention and brain power of some of the world’s brightest and most innovative minds.

We have seen digital marketing evolve from humble beginnings in intrusive popup and banner advertisements, to sophisticated machine learning algorithms that track, target and predict user behaviour.

We spoke with Winston Ong about working in a field that has seen such a rapid change.

Winston is currently Head of Digital Marketing for Service Seeking. He has also worked with WMC Global in analyst and lead roles and as SEO and Social Manager for Fairfax Media.

How did you come to work in digital marketing? 

I started self learning and building small business websites over 7 years’ ago. In the late 2000's the internet was already maturing, and just having a website really didn't mean anything.

Businesses needed solutions to connect, engage and be found by their customers online, so all the demand for my services were for online marketing expertise - how to run SEM/display campaigns, optimise for organic search, grow social media, develop content and so on.

Digital marketing has been one of the fastest growing areas in business. How has the field changed in recent years?

It's now a mature industry and all of the 'next big things' like mobile, social, content have become basic strategies. There has also been a proliferation of tools with better UX design to make previously complex tasks, for example, A/B testing, analytics tracking, email management, etc. much more accessible to general marketers. This has made the speed of implementing digital strategies much faster and people who work in the industry need to be aware of this trend to keep up. 

What are some of the challenges facing organisations today in building and managing their digital presence? 

Anyone can get online, and that makes competing for people's attention very difficult. The barriers and costs to getting any sort of digital advertising into the market are very low, so it's a very crowded space.

It takes a lot to stand out, and the best digital marketing and presence building still needs to be backed up by a solid product that does what it says on the box. 

What are some challenges facing those working in digital marketing?

Keeping up to date with constant changes. There's always something new to learn.

What skills and qualifications do you look for when hiring for a digital marketing team?

A good team needs a diverse mix of specialist skills. Hands on experience generally beats any formal qualifications, and having a portfolio of completed projects that you've either led or achieved yourself will make you stand out the most. 

What’s one thing that many people get wrong about digital marketing?

Not willing to take a test, and a learning attitude to results. If you sell a strategy and the results and data that come back don't turn out to be amazing, resist the urge to dress it up as a huge success when it wasn't. Be objective and honest about data and take the view that every campaign is a learning opportunity. 

What advice would you give candidates looking to get a start in digital marketing?

It's a big field that spans a lot of specialisations. You can be very data driven and analytical, or creative and content focused. Many people are somewhere in between and also become very successful in the field.

I'd encourage candidates to try out different areas when first starting out, to get a feel of the whole industry. Not only will it let you find out what you like best, but also give you a closer insight into what the people you'll work alongside with do on a day-to-day basis.

Click here for more about Service Seeking.