When I first came into the world of digital marketing, I started in an SEO position. I’d studied marketing at university, which didn’t really give me the insight into the modern digital mix that I was expecting to gain. The first 6 months of working in an integrated agency were immeasurably more valuable to me than the 4 years that I had just done at university, and it was helped by the broad range of experience that came across the team.
From a client point of view, it’s easy to see why having a one-stop shop for all your online needs is attractive. My current employer offers services relating to digital marketing, web dev, PR, design, branding, and innovation. Having all these disciplines under one roof isn’t only beneficial from a client’s point of view, but also from a personal development perspective.
The development team in the agency where I work are very encouraging of knowledge sharing. When it comes to digital meetups and presentations, they are always willing to share their expertise with the wider team. Having so many disciplines represented, as well as an Umbraco MVP means that there lots of opportunities for collaboration on projects that require a perspective from different channels.
Anyone who has spent time working agency side will always know the value of being able to effectively educate your clients on what you do and why your work is worthwhile to them. I feel that gaining knowledge internally from my current job has helped me to build my own teaching skills when it comes to clients. It’s always tricky trying to find that sweet spot between simplicity without coming across as condescending, but if you can, it’s a great way to build relationships.
Other opportunities to learn that have come through agency life come through the many meetups and events that happen in the city which are designed to get people in a room talking and sharing their expertise. If you have the capacity to get involved in this as part of your own job, I’d encourage it. Not only do you learn anything new, you also get a chance to network with other people within your industry.
Across all types of agency, I believe that we should be working to encourage more cross-channel learning as a means of bringing more to the table when trying to find client solutions. There are so many places online, like the Dev site itself, where people are putting their heads together and sharing expertise. If this was happening in a face to face situation, we would all have a greater opportunity to increase our skillsets and ultimately become more employable.
The world of digital marketing is one that rarely stands still, and we all need to be in a position to gain insight into the latest changes and innovations in the industry. The dreaded position is where you are sitting opposite our clients and they’re asking about something new they’ve heard of, but you don’t know what they’re talking about. The most effective solution to this is to further encourage the cross-channel learning you see in integrated digital agencies.