Change is one of the most challenging words and actions an individual can face. To be fair, and not to generalise… Some people tend to like their routine, the constance of information and knowledge, the stability of this constance and the comfort it gives them in performing their job. The comfort where they are able to say at a certain point (and for a longer period of time): I know my sh*t and I got this! I am an expert in my field.
In order to reach this stage, it takes a great amount of effort, relentless studying and commitment to learn a specific skill and excel in it. What is tricky at this stage is maintaining the same level of knowledge throughout your career as the industry progresses and evolves. Digital marketing (this is a very broad industry including but not limited to strategy building, SEO, SEA, Website maintenance and strategy, SMM organic and paid…) is one of the fastest growing and changing industry in the past ten years.
We have moved from posting, boosting and monitoring to a more niche phase where we build a strategy around a concept or a business, we identify tangible goals (lead generation, brand awareness…) and put a plan to execute the goals with specific key performance indicators (KPIs). This shift has put many of “older knowledge claimers” in the corner without triggering them to learn the new skills needed as part of the evolution of the industry.
This resistance has made many companies reliant on individuals who have not chosen to be part of the new evolution and, therefore, has set some companies behind their competitors. The downside of not taking digital marketing seriously and having multiple team members performing digital marketing tasks is that companies become hostages to one individual who refuses to update their knowledge.
As a consequence, the company falls behind and loses its battles against its competitors in the marketplace. The solution in this case is, as a first step to invest as a company in your employees to update their knowledge, have them set clear personal and professional goals. Identify key areas which these individuals need to improve and monitor.
This process is often overlooked. The lack of time or knowledge marketing managers have (who surprisingly also manage the digital marketing individual(s) and mostly it’s the latter reason) affect the development of these individuals and jointly the lack of personal initiative from these individuals hinders the progress of the company overall.
I found this mostly happening in companies where senior management have resisted the shift to the digital marketing world in fear of losing some sales and traditional marketing jobs and/or FTEs. These traditional companies where the size of your team identifies your presence in the company and your seniority within the wider leadership teams.
At the end of the day, those who pay the price… Basically no one in particular. But the business will suffer as a result of lack of accountability, personal initiative and flexibility and willingness to change old habits and adapt new healthier ones which go in line with the new way which companies are doing business in the twenty-first century.