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Which Technical Skills Should Digital Marketers Learn?

The path to becoming a top digital marketer isn’t always clear, though one thing that seems certain is that it’s increasingly valuable to have technical skills.

This statement isn’t completely straightforward either, though. What does it mean to be a digital marketer? And what does it mean to be technical?

What’s a “technical skill” anyway?
Depending who you ask, “digital marketing” can include SEO, PPC, sales copywriting, content writing, graphic design, CRO, analytics, and more.

And is Excel a technical skill or something everyone should know?
It’s hard to categorize these things.

According to The Balance, “Technical skills are abilities and knowledge needed to perform specific tasks. They are practical, and often relate to mechanical, IT, mathematical, or scientific tasks. Some examples include knowledge of programming languages, mechanical equipment, or tools.”

Investopedia also narrows it down to “mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer-related duties, as well as other specific tasks relating to technology.”

So I think it’s safe to say that according this definition, copywriting would not be a technical skill, but A/B testing and analyzing the effectiveness of landing page headlines would be. Similarly, understanding what a linear regression is would not be a technical skill, but knowing how to produce one in R or Excel would be.
While the parameters here aren’t exact, they’ll let us move forward with a general gut feel of what makes something a technical skill and something not a technical skill.

And digital marketing can be summed up by any marketing techniques applied in an online environment.

The rise of technical skills in digital marketing

The search for “technical marketers” isn’t new, but it does seem to be increasing.
More brands are going digital, and a good heuristic is that the more a brand invests in digital, the more technical their approach becomes.

This is sort of self-defined, as a technical skill is inherent to a technological medium, and using data analysis software, CMS platforms, etc., are all things inherent to digital marketing.

This is simply the result of the ongoing trend of marketers moving from traditional tactics to digital tactics—in particular repeatable, measurable tactics that are conducive to experimentation (growth marketing, right?).
A 2015 survey from Mondo found that “nearly all of those surveyed (98 percent) think the role of the marketer will continue to move away from the traditional model.”

technical and creative

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