7 Signs Digital Marketing Career is Not For You

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Have you ever considered that a career in digital marketing might not be right for you?

In the face of an ever-rising demand for digital marketers, a thought like this might never have occurred to you.

But it always pays to take things slowly and give rigorous thoughts to certain career decisions to avoid taking steps that might not be right for you.

Like all jobs, a career in digital marketing is not without its requirements and challenges.

The prospect of making good income is good but it should not blind you from evaluating the requirements and challenges of a digital marketing career.

It is important to be completely aware of what you are down for before embarking on a career in digital marketing.

To take up a career in digital marketing, you must be able to meet its requirements (a combination of the necessary soft and hard skills of the field) and deal with its challenges.

The question then is, can you own up to the challenges and requirements of the field?

In this article, I will reveal to you eight signs that show you are not cut out for a career in digital marketing.

You hate Social Media

Right off the bat: social media is an absolute must for every wannabe digital marketer.

Social media marketing is a big part of digital marketing. Digital marketers utilize Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, and other social media tools to carry out their daily job.

B2C digital marketers spend a good chunk of their workdays analyzing the performance of their posts and ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

B2B digital marketers ensure to be part of the conversation on LinkedIn to spot changing trends quickly, identify needs, promote their brands and products, and increase engagement with posts and brand messages.

Influencer marketers make it an everyday task to reach out to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook influencers to strike a deal with in order to increase visibility and engagement with their brands.

Every digital marketer, regardless of specialization, will have to engage with some form of social media marketing at some point in their career journey.

In other words, it is inescapable.

You love Stability

A LinkedIn post on the changing nature of digital marketing

If you don’t enjoy things changing very often, you might want to stay away from digital marketing.

Dealing with constantly changing best practices is the daily hassle of digital marketers: from changes in SEO best practices to changes in email optimization tactics to evolving industry trends to sudden shocks. For instance, the recent Apple iOS update 15 made it impossible for email marketers to track the email open rates of iPhone users!

If you find the process of having to constantly keep up with trends exhausting, you might want to stay away from digital marketing, and consider a career in a different field.

You are not People Oriented

Marketers are people-oriented professionals.

Aside from customer representatives,  sales representatives, and the customer care team, the marketing team is one of the closest teams of any business to users.

Marketers maintain constant touch with users to ensure a smooth experience with their product purchase or subscription.

They discover frictions along the customer journey map and deploy towards smoothening it out. They are keen to recognize new product feature demands of users.

Marketers, in the absence of a user experience (UX) team, double up to carry out, at a reduced scale, the typical roles of the UX team.

One of such roles is the collection of feedback on the product from users through surveys and other means. The output of which would serve as a useful input to the product team, consequently triggering new phases of product development and usability testing.

In essence, digital marketers have to get comfortable dealing with humans on a day-to-day basis.

It is a necessary skill.

You are a Perfectionist

No perfectionist can be a digital marketer. You have to get comfortable with making a ton of mistakes.

While no one will tell you, you have to get comfortable sending out leaky sales funnels, and nonperforming social media posts, to name a few.

You must get comfortable with learning by trial-and-error.

Of course today, there are a lot of marketing tools out there to help you make better marketing decisions and strategies. However, a large part of your tasks would involve learning on daily basis and utilizing insights from errors to optimize your marketing strategies.

You believe in Human Rationality

If you are like me trained as a conventional economist, then you were trained to think of humans as homo economicus or rational man, not homo sapiens which is what we truly are.

The danger of this form of thinking is that it can cause you to dismiss effective marketing strategies as cheap psychological tricks.

It can cause you to assume your users know what they want, when in fact research has revealed humans to be highly irrational—making wrong choices.

Marketing is psychology in action, and most marketing strategies are built on the foundation of exploring certain human biases that follow no rule of rationality.

Before research in disciplines such as behavioral science, behavioral economics, and cognitive science exposed discoveries in human irrationality, marketers have been exploiting human biases to promote product sales.

In fact, to be a sound digital marketer, you must be saddled more with the knowledge of human irrationality than rationality to design effective marketing strategies.

You are an Intellectual

Marketing and sales are performance disciplines.

Digital marketers when viewed from the outside in are a big part of a business’s or company’s image.

They engage mostly on the front-end, acting as the bridge between the general public and the business.

Their role demand they spend more time with people and users than at the table making decisions, in a laboratory making scientific discoveries, or as an academic combining patterns into theories.

This is not to in anyway imply digital marketers are dullards: it takes good analytical skills, deep and critical thinking to deduce useful insights from marketing data.

But if you are someone who values being very intellectual, especially in the traditional sense of it, then a career in digital marketing might not be for you.

You Hate Writing

Content is king.

For the most part of your career in digital marketing, except you will be working as a marketing analyst where you will have to deal mostly with numbers and charts, you will be creating copies, emails, blogs, content, drawing up content marketing tactics, and strategies.

You will be researching content gaps, creating landing page copies, creating video scripts for marketing video ads, creating posts and content to engage the audience on social media. You will be writing a lot!

In other words, except you want to be in the daily act of creating marketing content, a career in digital marketing might not be the best choice for you.

After Thoughts…

A career is a long-term commitment and making the right choice at an early stage is only going to save you a lot of regrets and stress down the line.

Of course, you can decide to dabble into digital marketing for a short while. It could serve as a ground to learn skills you will surely find useful, especially in selling ideas or even yourself when trying to land a dream job!

So don’t zone out of digital marketing if any of the signs above resonate with you.

By the way, these signs also reveal the other side of the coin to digital marketers. As a digital marketer, a good way to grow your career in digital marketing is not only by knowing what you are doing right. Knowing what you are missing out on is equally important too.

And that is what this article is meant to also reveal: for instance, are you paying enough attention to human biases when creating your marketing strategies? If not, you might be assuming too much human rationality in designing your strategies.

I will end this article on that note. Feel free to leave your comments below.

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