Are you looking to switch your career from sales to digital marketing? Then you have landed on the right page. In this blog, we tell you all you need to know. We will be discussing why, how and what are the prospects of switching from sales to digital marketing. Let’s start with the question “Why digital marketing can be a wonderful opportunity for sales professionals looking for a change”.
Why Digital Marketing is a good career choice?
Over the past few years, there has been a tremendous change in the way sales and marketing work. This is mainly due to the increased usage of smartphones and social media by consumers around the globe. The average time people spend online has increased tremendously. More people depend on eCommerce websites and social media for buying or making important decisions in selecting products or services. Nobody responds to annoying calls and strangers visiting them to sell products or services. This trend of increasing the use of technology has created the need for a new kind of marketing – Digital Marketing.
Digital marketing is all about reaching out to your customers and marketing your products or services using digital channels. It includes a variety of channels like emails, social media, mobile applications, websites, or search engines. Every business now realize that having a solid digital marketing strategy is unavoidable for a successful business. Most companies are shifting their focus from the front end sales to digital marketing to ensure a broader reach to potential customers. They understand this is key to driving more prospects to their business which can, in turn, improve sales. Eventually, there is a huge demand for knowledgeable digital marketing professionals.
Digital marketing professionals essentially need to have the skills necessary to utilize the digital channels to connect with the audience who are online. It could range from designing appealing websites, creating effective email advertising campaigns, social media postings or writing informative blogs. Anything which can attract the targeted customers using digital media is considered digital marketing.
Why move from Sales to Digital Marketing?
With the amount of digital transformation happening and the consumer behavior clearly showing a ‘more online’ trend, digital marketing has a bright future. The number of customers buying online and making buying decisions based on reviews, feedback, and Ads on social media and other digital platforms is increasing day by day. I wouldn’t say this trend would result in eliminating the need for sales personnel entirely, but at least the roles would change and there would be more focus towards technology-driven sales.
Considering the ‘digital boom’ and the enormous opportunities, I would say there is no better time to make a shift from sales to digital marketing- whatever be your reasons. You may just be bored with your job right now. Or maybe you are excited about the more technical and creative digital marketing side. If you feel that digital marketing could offer you a more prospective career, it would be worth giving a try and I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
Your Move from Sales to Marketing job profile- The differences and Similarities
When making a move from sales to a marketing profile, it is essential that you clearly know what it means. Here we discuss what are the differences between sales and marketing and their similarities as well. This would give you a clear picture of what you are expected to do and how you can leverage your skills from your sales background for a successful marketing career.
Sales vs Marketing
While sales and marketing are entirely different functions of a business, they both share a common goal. It is nothing but convert prospects to customers and ultimately bring revenue to the business. Marketing teams informs and attracts prospects to your company and products or services. While Sales works directly with the prospects to convert them to customers.
A salesperson is responsible for managing relationships with customers. He is responsible for being convincing, charming, and winning the argument with the customer and eventually end up in sales. It is more of a direct one to one discussion with the prospect and convincing them on how your brand is beneficial to them by pointing out what exactly it offers to them.
Now, coming to Marketing, it does the “soft selling” by creating awareness of the business to the prospects. It helps to spark an interest in your products or services. Marketers performs market research and analysis to understand the interests of potential customers. Based on their understanding of customer behavior, they run campaigns to attract potential customers to their products. Essentially marketing is driven by data rather than a one on one relationship and revolves around understanding the marketplace from the customer’s point of view.
Thus, if you come from a sales background, you would have been directly facing the customers and would have a strong idea of their needs. You know different types of people, their expectations, their concerns and so on. And a salesperson obviously would be strong and powerful at the art of persuasion. These skills of you could definitely be leveraged to become a successful marketer. Just have the right mindset, add in some technology and creativity- you are all set to take up digital marketing career.
Opportunity for Sales Professional in Digital Marketing
With eCommerce booming in India, digital marketing is the perfect avenue to build a career in sales and marketing. As we have already seen, there is a majority of consumers acquiring information online. Hence it is highly relevant for sales professionals to step into digital marketing. Most clients today prefer real-time conversations online. It cannot be forgotten that the consumer today is well informed about their decisions. Hence there should be more effort in understanding what the client needs. There should be emphasis on meeting their expectations and understanding the overall behavior of the target group.
Marketing and sales job profiles are not just limited to phone calls and emails these days. They should be capable to handle websites, mobile apps, and various other digital channels as well. Digital giants such as Google and Amazon are always on the lookout for new talent, particularly in the area of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and data analytics. Because AI can help drive personalization and response times to queries using technology such as chatbots. Whereas, data analytics is a great way to get insights on customer behavior and predict the trends. They are leveraging technology to aid customer satisfaction and understand their behavior.
Thus, sales and marketing professionals with the necessary soft skills for coming up with marketing strategies and can efficiently use digital resources to drive more sales are in high demand.
Companies are looking for?
The digital marketing sector, in fact, has a lot of opportunities to offer today. Website designing, Search Engine Optimization, email marketing, Social Media Marketing, Online Ads, etc are a few to mention.
Considering a person from a sales background, here are some of the skills that companies are looking for the various roles:
1. Sales in a Digital Agency- Agencies prefer people who have contacts. Can you leverage your contacts to get them digital business?
2. Digital Savvy Salesperson- Companies prefer salespeople who can help in generating leads by using Linkedin, CRM, Email Marketing and Automation. Are you one of them?
3. Affiliate Marketing- All E-commerce companies have an affiliate marketing division. And these are run by affiliate marketing managers who can develop relationships with potential and current affiliates.
4. Operations in a Digital Agency- If you want to switch to tools rather than ‘people-facing’ profiles then this can be a good option. Here, you will need to work on tactics like Search Engine Optimization(SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Email marketing, Social Media Marketing, etc.
How to upgrade to the Digital Marketing Profile?
Most of the companies have realized the importance of digital marketing. They are on the lookout for skilled individuals who can make use of digital media to enhance consumer satisfaction. No doubt, digital marketing is going to play a key role in shaping the business and driving sales in the coming years. Thus digital marketing is going to be a hot skill. So it definitely is worth considering career options in this niche.
A sales or marketing professional can upgrade to the digital marketing profile by enrolling in online courses that can enhance their skill set. Online courses are a great way to learn a new skill without having to compromise on your current job.
A course in digital marketing can greatly aid sales professionals in making efficient use of the digital marketing tools and platforms available. They help you understand the digital marketing tactics and understand the behavior of the target group. As per the desired job role, a diploma in digital marketing can also aid you get into a good profile in the digital marketing niche. In addition to the courses, digital marketing certifications can help you stand out in the crowd. Certifications from Google (Google Analytics. Google Adwords, etc) and Hubspot are worth considering.
The digital marketing career path you can select from
Here is a list of career paths in the digital marketing field you can choose from. You can become a specialist in any sub-area or handle multiple areas. Some companies would hire a single digital marketing consultant who can help with building and executing their overall digital marketing plan while others may have specialists for each segment. It all depends on the company size and budget.
General Digital Marketing Career
Your responsibilities would cover all the digital marketing areas like email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, etc.
You can start your career as a Digital Marketing Assistant, Digital Marketing Associate or Digital Marketing Executive.
Social Media Career
If you opt for this path, you would be working on engaging the target audience utilizing social media. It includes running social media campaigns, managing social media accounts, making social media posts, etc
At an entry-level, you are likely to join an organization as a Social Media Coordinator, Social Media Assistant, Blogger, Community Manager, Social Media Associate or Engagement Coordinator. After you gain a certain experience you can move forward as a Social Media Manager, Content Manager, Content Strategist, Social Media Strategist, Social Media Analyst or Social Media Specialist. The next level would be as a Social Media Director, Director of Digital Communications, etc.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Career
Every website owner today wants their website to be listed in the search results when users search for products/services related to theirs in Google. This is what SEO is all about. In the SEO career path, you will be solely working on SEO with the aim of ranking your company’s website top in Google and other search engines. SEO is all about organic traffic (unpaid) and will have to work on SEO best practices(like keywords) to rank high on the Search Engines Result Page(SERP) and thus drive traffic to your website.
In the beginning, you will start as an SEO Coordinator, SEO Assistant, Search Coordinator, Search Assistant or SEO Executive. Advancing further as an SEO Analyst, SEO Specialist, SEO Planner, SEO Manager, Search Specialist or Search Strategist.And ending as a Director of SEO or Head of SEO.
Search engine marketing (SEM) Career
Search engine marketing specialists help businesses increase their rankings on search engines like Yahoo, Google, or Bing. SEM is the paid traffic you get to websites from Pay Per click advertisements like Google Ads.
Your SEM/PPC Marketing Career can start as a PPC Coordinator or PPC Assistant.
Moving ahead in line as a PPC Manager, PPC Specialist, Paid Search Specialist or Paid Search Strategist.And finally as a Head of PPC / Paid Search Media or Paid Search Director.
Mobile marketing is all about reaching out to your customers through mobile. Building mobile-friendly websites, Mobile app advertisements are all part of this.
Email marketing is all about sending attractive emails to a targeted group to create awareness of your products/services and convert them to your customers. Running email campaigns are a great and effective way to reach your target audience. It allows you to communicate anything with a more personal touch.
A career in strategic planning involves helping a company design a path to growth and profitability. Creating a solid marketing strategy is essential for companies to survive in the digital world amidst all the competition. The strategic planner’s role consists of helping the company analyze data and make decisions based on insights from the data. They track industry and competitive trends, develop forecasting models and do scenario analysis. The strategic planner also examines strategic performance, spot emerging market opportunities and identify business threats. Coming up with strategic solutions and creative action plans is their prime responsibility. Strategic planning involves understanding what the organization’s current strategy is, what has been tried in the past and also what it will be in the future. Strategic planners analyze and evaluate internal business plans as well.
That was all about switching from sales to digital marketing. It is definitely a good time to explore the opportunities in the digital marketing area. I hope it helped you get an overall idea on this topic and would have answered some questions you had in mind. Leave a comment if you have any other queries or need any help getting started with digital marketing.