I say this with a fair amount of confidence after having interacted with possibly more than a thousand Digital Marketing professionals from India and some other countries. The truth about the digital marketing industry is that everybody knows something, nobody knows everything.
To understand why we are where we are, it is important to understand how this industry came into being. Let us see who constitutes the industry.
– The web development industry of the 90s – The early risers, these guys set the base for the internet revolution in the region. Google was new, and they latched on. They were the early adopters of SEO and SEM. While many also happened to do some bit of SEO and SEM along with web development, there were some who made the switch full time – The first set of Digital Marketing Professionals.
– The ad and PR agencies of the 2000s – PR and Advertising industry don’t exactly go hand in hand, but there is one thing that binds them both – High Paying Clients. Some of these clients suddenly started demanding ‘Social Media Services’, which naturally lead to the creation of multiple social media wings within Ad and PR agencies, with many of these wings now having flown away to service clients on their own.
– The startups and the college kids – Now what is a good startup idea? One that makes you money and is easy to do! That’s social media right there for you. Brands had only started understanding the potential of this whole social media business, and many jumped on the bandwagon.
– The agency owners and the clients – Owing to them having started early and risen up thanks to their hard work; many people in this category happen to know more than many others. But don’t be mistaken, there are many brand managers, who are in positions of authority, handling multiple digital agencies but still just as unaware as some of the agencies themselves.
So that broadly gives you three set of people if we discount the creme de la creme – The SEO/SEM experts who know their tech, their website development and more; the Ad and PR professionals, with their gift of the gab and the art of creativity; and finally the young kids on the block, who are practically your social media champions by default since they live this stuff.
Now this presents an interesting problem when some of the agencies or the clients are looking to hire. They need not 3 people but one person who knows it all. But where is that person? Who are those people? How can there be many such people when most clients and brands themselves are only trying to figure out how all of this digital media works?
There are more jobs than takers. There is an immense need of experienced individuals, but unfortunately not enough experience. There is a lack of enough knowledge and awareness at possibly every node – the client, the agency and the executioners.
It’s the time to give chances, the time to offer people the opportunity to learn as they work for you, the time to make people grow along with you. Looking for the quintessential digital marketing professional right now is much like every guy looking for an Angelina Jolie or every girl wanting a Brad Pitt. It’s time to look for the will in people to learn, the hunger to grow and the passion to perform. You might make a mistake, and so might they, but if you keep waiting for long for the perfect candidate, then you are surely making one big mistake.
Digital Marketing – This industry blew out of proportion before people could catch up to it. Let us share, learn and grow : )