9 essential skills that online marketers cannot do without

Demand for online marketers is rising rapidly and the number of online marketers is also high. We at CRUX regularly come into contact with companies that want to make the digital transition, but find it difficult to find a suitable online marketer. For example, the employee does not appear to have the right knowledge and/or skills afterwards. Or there is not enough HR guidance to take this into account in the selection procedure.

There seems to be a gap between the supply and demand of online marketers. How do you make sure you select the right online marketer? And how do you distinguish yourself from the masses as an online marketer? In this article we discuss 9 must-have skills and features for every online marketer.

Online marketing functions

When it comes to the online marketing features, we differentiate between seven different specialists:

  • SEM specialist
  • SEO specialist
  • Content Marketer
  • Web analyst
  • Conversion specialist
  • Social media specialist
  • Email Marketing

In spite of the diverse specializations, there are still 9 important competencies that every online marketer has to comply with to be successful.

1. Analysis capability

The major advantage of online over offline marketing is that it enables accurate measurement of data. This provides interesting insights into the behaviour of website visitors and the performance of campaigns. In this respect, we should also consider the ever-increasing application possibilities of big data, such as making predictive analyses.

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Data analysis is an important online marketing competency and can be found in every discipline of the profession. That’s why a highly developed analysis capability is a must for every online marketer. You can take the Google Analytics IQ exam, for example, to demonstrate that you have this at your disposal. Being able to work with data blending tools (e.g. Alteryx) is also a great advantage. Merging data from different sources can result in an enormous amount of insights, allowing you to take a head start over your competitors.

2. Scope of strategic insight

A company expresses its ambitions in terms of objectives. In order to achieve these objectives, an online marketer must be able to set up KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Think ahead of turnover and, for example, steer towards improving more specific KPIs, such as the average order value and the conversion ratio.

By subsequently segmenting these KPIs (e.g. per channel or type of visitor) an online marketer knows where to send them to make an impact on the business case. In this way he can help to think strategically about achieving the objectives.

3. T- Shaped online marketing knowledge

The online marketing profession consists of various disciplines, such as SEO, e-mail marketing and conversion optimization. Often, implementing changes affects more than one discipline. Think for instance of modifying a landing page or changing a URL. It is important that an online marketer has the basic knowledge of the other online marketing disciplines alongside his specialization. This makes him aware of the potential impact of his actions. Moreover, he can also think about the cross-channel strategy. This is what we call a T-shaped online marketer.

An SEM specialist, for example, will benefit a lot if he has mastered the basic principles of SEO and conversion optimization. He then knows how to optimize his landing pages to better align them with his AdWords ads. In this way, he will be able to get more out of his SEM campaigns.

4. To advise

For an online marketing specialist, the work does not stop with data analysis and campaigns. He observes what is happening and uses the KPIs as benchmarks to evaluate performance. On this basis, he will formulate action points.

By prioritizing these action points based on ‘impact’ (what does it deliver?) and ‘effort’ (what does it cost?), an online marketer gives direction to the strategic planning. An online marketer also plays an important advisory role.

5. Communication & presentation

As an online marketer, you can deliver wonderful analysis and advice, but its strength depends on a good presentation. It is therefore not only important that you can give advice, but also that you can convince.

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Build commitment to your ideas by engaging colleagues at an early stage. This also allows you to collect instant feedback to make your plan even better. Also, make sure you develop your ideas visually. Create dashboards of the most important KPIs, for instance, to allow everyone to monitor them at a glance. Use a tool such as Google Data Studio or Tableau to do this. A tip is to put your dashboard live on a big screen, in a central place in the office.

6. Project Management

The online marketing world is vast. As an online marketer, you often work as a team. In order to steer projects in the right direction, it is important that you work in a structured way. For example, keep a roadmap of all open action points. A handy tool you can use for this is “Trello“. You can also use the scrum method to split a large project into several ‘small projects’. Online marketers who have mastered this are more productive and achieve faster results.

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7. Curiosity

As an online marketing professional, you are experiencing change almost every day. An update of the Google algorithm, new advertising possibilities and so on. This requires an open and committed attitude.

Be curious and ask the question why you want to come up with new ideas. Also when it comes to data. Can you explain why the bounce percentage on that one landing page is so high? And what opportunities do new targeting options on Facebook offer?

8. Result orientation

The availability of data makes it easy to measure what the work of an online marketer delivers. More traffic to the website and a higher conversion rate are examples of this. An online marketer gets a kick out when he sees these KPIs improve, because this is a reward for his hard work. He takes the energy to further improve the result. An online marketer has an ongoing drive to get the most out of the available resources.

9. Power of change

Last but not least, are you a leader or a follower? Leaders dare to be critical and make important decisions. They use the input of others to enrich their own vision. In this way they dare to change the world. This is what we call ‘change power’. The best online marketers are able to make the difference between good and better with their change power.


As an online marketer, it is therefore important not to remain in your ‘box’. Make sure you become a T-shaped online marketer. As an SEO specialist, for example, you can also be curious about what you can do with AdWords. In this way you increase your knowledge and thus your deploy-ability and added value. After all, online marketing is a game that works best if all channels are well attuned to each other. And the more rules you know, the better you understand the game and can play it!

Source: https://www.quicksprout.com/2016/09/09/the-9-digital-marketing-skills-in-high-demand-right-now/

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