5 Digital Marketing Skills to Master for 2020 & Beyond

9 Minute Read

Sample Post Description


Technology has rapidly transformed the marketing industry. Reuters reports that digital marketing spends in the US and UK alone is at 52 billion. 

That's a 44% increase on the previous year and the 2018 marketing trends report by McKinley found that while all other marketing functions are saturated, there is still a big gap between the demand for digital marketing, at 59% with active supply at 19%. 

So what does this all mean? Digital marketing is still a really smart career choice. And if you combine the right set of skills, you can become one of the most in-demand business professionals in the world. 

But remember, as technology is transforming the industry, the jobs to be done in skills required is constantly changing, especially to stay in the top 1% and really T-shape your digital marketing skillset. 

So what skills do you really need to master to stay at the top of your game? Let's find out.

Just as a heads up there is a tonne of skills relevant to digital marketers, but this video is just going to focus on the ones where we see a real growing demand. 

Here are five skills that are really going to help you to up your digital marketing game.

Digital marketing skill to master number one: digital psychology 

Humans are complicated and emotional creatures. In fact, according to Harvard professor Gerald Zeldman, 95% of our purchase decisions are made subconsciously so being able to compel and persuade the subconscious mind through online touchpoints is super powerful for digital marketers. 

And this is what having a firm grasp of digital psychology can really do. This relatively new field combines psychology and behavioural economics to better examine our online behaviours. 

As marketers, we generally have a habit of focusing on what our customers are doing and sometimes overlook why they're doing it. That's what digital psychology is all about. 

Even if you haven't actively studied this discipline, you probably would have been exposed to some of its principles. 

For example, Amazon uses price anchoring against a recommended retail price to make their prices seem relatively cheap and appealing, despite the fact that actually most of the competition will sell lower than the RRP. 

booking.com, which have mastered digital psychology used the principles of loss aversion, social proof and urgency to increase bookings. You'll also find the principle of the need to complete used on most checkout pages and multi-step forms. 

According to digitalpsychology.io, humans don't like to leave things incomplete. We're motivated to finish a set of tasks even with no further rewards other than the satisfaction of completing them. 

Looking to know more about digital psychology and its principles and need some resources to help? 

As a start, 100% check out digitalpsychology.io curated by Daniel Stefanovic. It's a free library covering digital psychology principles with examples to help you enhance the customer experience. 

I would also check out the book ‘How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market’ by Gerald Saltman. This book promises to help you unlock the hidden 95% of your customer’s mind. 

Finally, I would recommend diving into Dan Ariely. His book ‘Predictably Irrational’ uncovers the hidden forces that shape our decisions. 

Digital psychology can help you enhance the customer experience and this is a term that's being used more frequently by business and marketing professionals. 

Digital marketing skill to master number two: customer experience 

Otherwise known as CX. Customer experience has been referred to as the only channel a business truly owns. 

As markets become more and more saturated and consumer choice becomes more abundant, it really is a way to differentiate yourself from the competition. 

As an Oracle report found, 86% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience, and 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. 

Marketers in the digital age need to shift their focus from selling products to selling experiences and ensuring those experiences are great at every touchpoint. Now, just to clarify, CX sounds a lot like UX, right? 

There is some overlap. But whereas UX focuses on the experience a user has with a specific product service or tool, CX takes a holistic view of all the interactions that your user has with a brand. 

This means that every area of your business will impact the customer experience from online adverts, to sales representatives, suppliers, delivery, customer service and more. 

But recently, customer experience is being more frequently owned and championed by the marketing department, as it's so crucial to brand equity. 

In fact, according to Accenture, 86% of B2B CMO’s reported that they consider customer experience to be a very important parameter. 

Gaining a solid grasp of customer experience marketing is crucial to staying at the top of your digital marketing game. 

Your customer’s experience must be as consistent as it is delightful. As frictionless as possible through every stage of the buyer journey, and it should also be hyper-personalised. 

Hyper personalisation is a technique that combines behavioural and real-time data extracted from multiple channels and touchpoints. To deliver a highly relevant experience to your end-user. 

Great customer experience is going to fuel your growth engine as it helps increase customer loyalty, repeat purchases, word of mouth, and positive social proof. 

Any growth strategies you put in place could be doomed to fail if CX is not a major part of it too. 

Want to learn more? Hot Jar has a really nice guide on customer experience as well as a trends and stats report for 2019. 

To empower your digital customer experience, I would also encourage you to check out Google's research into micro-moments, as they found today's battle for hearts minds and dollars is won or lost in micro-moments. These are intent-driven moments of decision making and preference shaping that occur throughout the entire customer journey. 

Described as an intent rich moment when a person turns to a device to act on a need to know go do or buy. 

You could also check out these books: Hug your Haters, How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer, and The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty by Matthew Dixon, Nick timer and Rick Delacy. 

Digital marketing skill to master number three -  front end code 

The DIY T-Shaped marketer should really understand some of the languages that run a digital world. And a great place to start is by learning front end code. 

We can get away without knowing to code, thanks to the abundance of code-free tooling options available. But it definitely helps.  

Look at it a bit like this, you can use Google translate to get by in different countries with a language, but it's going to be much more effective if you actually know the language. 

A big blocker to some digital projects can be when requests have to be made with the development team. They're often super busy and your small alignment changes or changes to form design will probably be way down on the priority list. 

Being able to use front end code is a highly attractive skill to have on a digital marketing resume because it means you can be more agile and work faster on digital projects. 

It's great for things like making bespoke changes to landing pages built with builders, gaining a better understanding of how things like tracking codes and pixels work and not becoming a slave to templates. And by that we mean, you can make custom changes to things like email campaigns, and it's also going to allow you to start testing faster and explore more tools based marketing options. 

Take our T-shaped marketer quiz for instance. Here, we were able to embed the type form tool onto the page for better UX without losing any of the tracking data. How? By manipulating the code snippet provided by Typeform to ensure that the right URL parameters get passed through the form on completion. 

You can even do a bit of competitive intelligence with the inspect tool on Google Chrome. You can have a look at how your competitor’s websites are set up and even do a bit of keyword snooping by running a metadata inspection. 

Coding schools are abundant but some of our favourites are W Free Schools, Code Academy and Treehouse. 

Digital marketing skill to master number four - video marketing 

Video marketing is fast becoming the most powerful content marketing format. According to HubSpot, 87% of businesses are now using video for marketing. 

And Social Media Today found that 90% of consumers claim a video will help them make a purchasing decision. 

To stay at the top of your digital marketing game you really should gain a solid understanding of how to utilise video and implement a solid video marketing strategy. 

Video Marketing is great for things like increasing social engagement, reach and share. Building authority and thought leadership, improving SEO, and converting and increasing sales.  

At Growth Tribe we use video throughout the funnel, like this one for awareness and value creation at the top of the funnel. 

We also use product videos on our website to help us acquire new leads, use testimonial videos that often get shared by our sales team to provide social proof and help convert.  

And video also forms part of our product. Part of the blended learning experience that we offer in our courses. 

Video marketing tools are becoming increasingly abundant, accessible and powerful.  

Tools like Vidyard, Vimeo, and TwentyThree help by adding powerful features to videos and improve your tracking and analysis. 

Think things like embedded forms for direct lead generation, personalisation of video content and interactive videos. 

So to get a head start, you can also check out our numerous videos on video marketing by following the Growth Tribe YouTube channel. 

HubSpot and Vidyard also have some nice video marketing guides, and we also highly recommend you follow TwentyThree, and check out their blog and video marketing resources. 

Digital marketing skill to master number five - digital analytics 

In an age of data-driven marketing, digital marketers without experience in digital analytics will soon become irrelevant. 

Avinash Kaushik, author and digital marketing evangelist for Google defines digital analytics as:

“the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your business and the competition to drive a continuous improvement of the online experience that your customers and potential customers have. Which translates to your desired outcomes.” 

We talked about the why of customer behaviour earlier and the importance of digital psychology. But Digital Analytics is about the what, and you really need to understand both. 

It helps you make more effective and data-driven decisions and make predictions on when and where your customers might appear in the buying journey. 

It drives continuous improvement. 

Digital Analytics can help you identify things like which digital touchpoints are effective, and which can be improved, the customer acquisition cost achieved for different online channels, and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and content. 

Now, the most common, popular and powerful tool for digital analytics is Google Analytics. Start by ensuring you master that. 

There's a million and one courses on Google Analytics out there, all promising different things, but we’d encourage you to actually do those by Google themselves. 

The Google Analytics Academy offers courses on Google Analytics, Tag Manager, Data Studio and 360 for all experience levels. 

And through Coursera, the University of Illinois is also offering courses in digital analytics for marketing professionals both in theory and in practice. 

So there you have five digital skills you to learn in order to stay at the top of your digital marketing game in 2020 and beyond!