Search, Social, and Content Convergence: Developing Hybrid Marketing Skills

The search marketing environment has evolved and converged to such an extent that in order to survive and succeed, marketers now need adopt a whole new set of working habits. Search is no longer the silo that it once was and the modern-day search marketer now has to build a whole new set of hybrid skills sets to keep themselves, and their organizations, ahead of the digital marketing curve.

The convergence of paid, owned, and earned media has meant that the relationship between marketers and consumers has become significantly more complex. For example – according to the Guardian article on Google’s ZMOT, on average a consumer engages with 18.2 pieces of online content before making a final purchase decision.

Organizations, agencies, and consultants, as a result, can struggle to keep their skills, learning, and training up to date and in line with such a rapidly developing and complex digital marketing ecosystem.

Did you know that 40 percent of marketers want to reinvent themselves but only 14 percent know how?

Hybrid Marketers

The answer lies in developing cross-channel marketing experience and building hybrid marketing skills and competencies.

Hybrid marketers are (in essence) converged media marketers who are highly proficient writers, analytical, and tech-savvy and have strong competencies in business, IT, and human behavior.

The Converged Media Mind

Two different sides, or hemispheres, of the brain are responsible for different ways of thinking and as soon as we look into the difference between the left and right brain hemispheres, it clearly becomes apparent why some people are more technically driven than others and why gaps in talent in some organizations widen. It is also the reason why, for example, SEO and content marketers battle for ownership.

Left-brain marketers who tend to be analytical collide with right-brained marketers who think holistically and are more open to conceptual thinking. The converged media mind that hybrid marketer’s possess utilizes both the left and right part of the brain and applies this thinking to the appropriate channel with the appropriate approach and subsequent metric.

From the diagram below you can see that analytical and technical PPC and SEO disciplines utilize left-brain thinking and right-brain thinking can be associated with social and creative content.

hybrid-mind

Hybrid marketers understand and view the role of search, social, content, and digital media, in the above, as integrated holistically but fragmented by skillsets.

People who master hybrid marketing can:

  1. Understand the different marketing channels
  2. Identify a point of overlap/convergence
  3. Manage and matrix manage people and departments who have different skill sets – they bring skills, people, and departments together and foster collaboration

The result is a happy, motivated, and successful set of team members who do not only just understand the multiple components of integrated marketing campaigns – they understand each other.

In my next post I will tall through how best to set up attribution systems for content and hybrid marketers. After all, we should also optimize for people and ensure “organizational attribution” systems are set in place to allow hybrid marketers to measure performance and flourish through an organization.

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