The landscape of digital marketing continues to change at a rapid pace, and for all the right reasons. Employers are gaining a stronger understanding of what are now considered “basic” digital marketing skills that any candidate should have, and the knowledge and skills that will set you apart from the rest of the pack. For example, just being able to use the various tools of the trade is now the new level playing field. It’s expected. However, what you can do with the data that you gain using those tools will set you apart.
1. How will you determine the best channels for our digital marketing dollars?
Answer: The marketing channels we pursue most aggressively must be the channels that our target audience populates and participates in most. We can begin with educated assumptions based on our knowledge of our ideal customer persona. Then, we conduct small, precise experiments on the various channels that could be a good fit, and determine the optimal channels based on the data we gain from these experiments.
2. How do you assign a value to each new email subscriber or social media follower?
Answer: Using the marketing funnel, either with historical data or through small experiments, we can determine the value of a subscriber or follower by calculating the dollar value in revenue per our total social or email reach, and then dividing that revenue by the number of followers. Calculating this value lets us discover how much we should be willing to spend to gain email subscribers or social followers, very similarly to how we arrive at our cost per lead.
3. What data would you place on an “executive dashboard?”
Answer: There are numbers, metrics, KPIs, and other data that you, as the lead digital marketing expert, should be in tune with regularly. Then there are the numbers that executive brand management should be able to see at a glance. The most important numbers that executive management should see on a regular (e.g., monthly) basis are the ROI on marketing spend. The CEO and CFO are generally not going to care how many new Twitter followers you’ve generated, but they do want to know that, when they give you a dollar to spend on marketing, you bring them $3 or $4 or $5 in revenue. So, ROI for each marketing campaign and then an aggregate digital marketing ROI would be very valuable to any executive.
4. How can we control our brand on social media?
This question should be on the mind of every brand leader since far too many PR disasters have originated on social media. The answer originates in the brand’s core values. If the brand has established core values for how it will interact with its customers, suppliers, prospects, employees, partners, etc., then those brand values should be applied to social media. This means having serious conversations with every employee, management included, and a very clear understanding of the repercussions of acting outside the brand’s core values.
While that may come across as a negative approach, the exact opposite approach is how we should proactively prevent such social media disasters. The brand’s values should be so strong and so clear, and every new hire should be so immersed in the brand’s values, that behavior on social media that does not reflect the brand would be completely out of character. That’s very easy to say and very difficult to build, but the behavior of a company’s employees is rooted in the culture that leadership builds and rewards.
5. Is SEO dead? Why or why not? If not, what is your plan for managing our SEO?
If SEO were dead, revenue from ads in Google search would not represent 98% of Google, Inc.’s annual revenue. That said, SEO has changed in that the visual aspect of social media and internet advertising has become the primary means of engagement with one’s audiences. So, search is text and social is visual, but no matter what any individual is searching for, the individual must type a word or words into a search box somewhere, and the search results must be pulled from somewhere. Therefore, SEO remains of primary importance. Your plan to win at SEO consists of three primary components:
- Time – no matter how great your website or your content, it takes time—sometimes up to a year even when done perfectly—to climb the rankings of the billions of web properties represented in any Google search result.
- Care – Google has rules, which are the guts of their search algorithm. In order to rank highly, you must follow Google’s rules such as mobile friendly, secure, fast, etc. Google is kind about showing you how to comply with their rules in Google Search Console. Implement and follow those rules religiously.
- Content – The highest ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm is, and always has been, content. Fresh, real, consistent, authentic content applied on a web property that is fully compliant with Google’s other rules will always win the day.
With great answers to these questions, you can set yourself up as the premier candidate for just about any digital marketing position.
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