If you venture into the world of marketing nowadays, you can easily find yourself feeling lost in a foreign land where the native language is full of strange jargon, confusing terms, and unpronounceable words. Even Google Translate can’t help you make sense of it all.
“Whatever happened to marketing à la Mad Men?” you wonder. The answer? Tech!
The internet, along with email, online commerce, search engines, mobile devices, apps, location-based services, and countless other digital innovations, has completely revolutionized the field of marketing.
As a newcomer to the industry, you need to make sure you know about the latest trends and tools so that you can impress anyone (and everyone!) when you go after exciting marketing jobs like these:
But, before you send off your resume or submit your application, make sure you actually understand the terms in job titles like these as well as all the other tech buzzwords that you’ll come across during your job search.
Here are five areas of marketing that you should understand inside and out. Okay, maybe not inside and out, but you should be aware of them in case they come up in conversation—or maybe an interview for a marketing job! And if you’re feeling inspired and want to go even further with your marketing skills and career, be sure to take a look at the included resources.
1. Content Marketing
One of the biggest changes in marketing has been companies sharing content with their customers. Instead of the old-school style of putting everything up for sale, content marketing involves offering things like ebooks, downloadable checklists, instructional webinars, and helpful articles for free.
By giving away information and resources, companies build relationships with their customers, and customers can enjoy and benefit from the content they receive. Content marketing also reinforces positive SEO (search engine optimization) by connecting search results to real keywords, or search terms, which can help brings more customers to the website.
When customers come to a website, these four little letters play a big role. UI is user interface; it’s how a website is organized and how users interact with it. So, it’s the location of the navigation menu, the style of the icons, or how a call to action (such as asking visitors to sign up for an email list or buy a product) are presented.
On the other hand, UX is user experience, and it’s how people feel when they use a website. Think about how you can be overwhelmed and confused when you go to some sites, but relaxed or drawn in when you go to others.
The goal of both UI and UX is optimization, i.e., making a website that wins happy and loyal customers.
One way to improve both UI and UX is with A/B testing. A/B testing is the process of seeing which version of, in this case, a web page gives the best results, whether that’s a lower bounce rate, which is the amount of visitors who don’t stay on a web page long, or a higher click-through rate, which is how many people click on buttons or links on a page.
3. Marketing Automation
Another way to improve marketing is marketing automation. Marketing automation is the technique of using software and services to automate online marketing processes and measure the results of them.
One key tool in marketing automation is email marketing. It’s come a long way since the days of Comic Sans and neon text. Now you can use HTML and CSS to create gorgeous emails that customers actually look forward to seeing in their inbox!
CRM (customer relationship management) is another cornerstone of marketing automation. It can help manage and use information about customers to coordinate marketing with the other aspects of business, like sales, customer service, and support.
4. Growth Hacking
Don’t let the “hacking” part scare you! You won’t be breaking into any computer networks or stealing passwords when you’re doing growth hacking.
Growth hacking is the art and science of using data, tech tools, and business strategy to analyze and develop products or services with the goal of increasing growth quickly. That means working on the sales funnel—the process of converting a visitor into a customer—with the help of data mining, sorting through big sets of data to find useful information.
Growth hacking is one of the hottest areas of marketing today. It’s fast-paced and multi-faceted and a place you can really excel if you’re skilled in web design and development, databases, and copywriting.
You also need to be a whiz at deciphering data in marketing, which is where analytics comes in. Analytics involves collecting and evaluating data about marketing efforts.
In marketing analytics, you’ll be dealing with everything from tracking pixels (snippets of code that tell how many visitors a website has had) to social media reach (how many people see content) and impressions (how often people see content)—once again all in the name of using tech to maximize marketing.
For more on analytics, check out Google’s Analytics Academy or the Kissmetrics “Ultimate Guide to 150+ Google Analytics Resources for 2015.”