When it comes to seeking advice regarding a career path, one of the best ways to find relevant and credible information is by speaking with an expert from the relevant industry. With this in mind, individuals looking to switch their career paths to join that of the digital marketing field may find this article especially useful. How so?
In this written piece, we’ve consulted and interviewed a digital marketing expert with over 10 years of experience across all core digital specialities including PPC, SEO, Media Planning, Data Analytics as well as the E-commerce field.
A digital marketing instructor, analytics and MarTech enthusiast as well as the founder of XYZ Lab, Sotirios Seridis has much to offer from his curated pool of professional knowledge.
If you are thinking of joining the field of digital marketing upon graduation from an educational institution or conducting a mid-career switch, perhaps you could learn a thing or two from some of the tips that Sotirios may have to offer!
If you’re on the lookout for a job opportunity within the digital marketing sector, stay tuned till the end of this article to find out how you may secure a work opportunity soon 😉
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In this section of the article, you will be able to find a series of questions and responses as answered by our interviewee and expert at digital marketing Sotirios Seridis.
Q1 How did you start your career in digital marketing?
I always wanted to work with the Internet, however at the time of my graduation, the digital marketing industry was virtually non-existent. Fortunately for me, I got some really great advice from one of my university professors on how to enhance my CV in order to secure a role in online marketing.
I followed her advice, which was to pass the Google Adwords certifications and volunteer to work as an intern for any company in need of digital marketing services. Very soon, I was hired by Havas People as a junior PPC (pay-per-click) executive in London and my industry journey started!
Q2 What drew you to work in the digital marketing sector?
The thrill of working behind the scene of major websites and mobile apps. Most people get to experience Amazon, Facebook, Google and the various websites as customers, yet digital marketing allows you to be part of what the platform has to offer, whether this is content, products or advertising.
Moreover, digital marketing sits at the frontier of all technological developments. You are literally the first to know where the whole world is moving towards!
Q3 How do you manage your time between numerous work positions/designations?
I am a digital marketing instructor and at the same time, I am working on various digital projects. While on paper this may seem overwhelming, in reality everything is interconnected. My hands-on experience allows me to be a better digital marketing instructor since I am actively working on everything I teach.
In practice, I plan my weekly calendar in advance, blocking time for each task ahead of time, which allows me to successfully deliver on all roles.
Q4 Which is your favorite book of all time? Why?
Interesting question! My favourite book of all time is the Odyssey. That’s also one of the oldest books in human history. It is the story of Odysseus, a Greek king who is trying to return to Ithaca after the Trojan war. This book is touching on so many points and it is also combining the thrill of adventure with valuable life lessons.
Q5 What are some hard skills someone looking to work in the digital marketing sector should possess?
If you are keen to work in digital marketing you need to possess the following 3 hard skills in great amounts:
- Numerical Competence: Basic understanding of statistics and economics, for example you need to be able to understand what is margin, how to calculate ratios and what these ratios mean.
- Microsoft Office, in particular Excel: Working in digital marketing means that you will be working with tools like Word, Powerpoint or Google Slides, Excel or Google Sheets every single day.
- Basic Coding: Understanding the basics of how websites are built, what is a URL and how software engineers work will be hugely beneficial to your career.
Q6 What are some soft skills someone looking to work in the digital marketing sector should possess?
The most important, yet massively underrated soft skills are:
- Problem Solving: You will need to troubleshoot almost every other day. A pixel that is not working, a tool that is not working, a process that is not as straightforward. A good digital marketer knows how to solve issues.
- Curiosity: The industry is always changing! If you are not curious to try new tools, new platforms, new ways of working, etc. you will be left behind.
- Patience: Not everyone will be as tech-savvy as you are. Not every tactic will work, not every tool will add value. Patience is a virtue.
Q7 Name 3 individuals you look up to the most
I sincerely believe that no one is perfect. Moreover, I am also a strong believer that you can learn from anyone—as long as you are able to filter the good traits.
In my life, I am trying to absorb the good traits from every person and every culture. For example, Asians taught me how to work and process issues methodically. However, the Asian culture is very risk-averse, which is not always a good trait. The Arabs on the other hand taught me how to be passionate and resourceful. However, these traits can also backfire.
If you look closely, you will find positive traits in everyone.
Q8 How do you make decisions at work? What is your decision-making process like?
That’s another great question. I like to believe that I make decisions based on the following variables:
- If you look back on this decision after 3 years, will it be the right choice?
- Will it save time and resources in the future?
- Do we have better alternatives?
It is important to note that in most cases we won’t have all the time or information in the world to make a decision. Hence it is important to avoid indecision. Any decision will be better compared to doing nothing.
Q9 How has the industry shifted since you first joined the sector?
It’s a crazy journey!! The industry started with few websites, Google and later Facebook… and in just 10 years we have a whole new digital world to explore.
In a nutshell, the industry became a lot more fragmented and digital marketing became a lot more demanding. Audiences are scattered across the web. Ad Blockers and selective attention make it much harder to attract customers; and competition keeps increasing as more and more companies are investing in digital marketing—especially after COVID19.
Q10 What do you envision the industry to be like in 5 years’ time?
There are a couple of trends that are here to stay. For example, remote working and remote collaboration will be the new normal.
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All media consumption will be on-demand—as consumers, we now have the choice to consume videos, shows and content on-demand whenever we feel like it.
All markets will globalize, since you can now sell to, hire and work with anyone, anywhere. This will create enormous opportunities for both companies and employees in the tech space.
Q11 If an individual were to consider making a mid-career switch to the digital marketing industry, what advice would you give him/her?
Find your niche.
Digital marketing is a vast area. It spans from creative disciplines all the way to performance marketing and analytics. Find what intrigues you the most, what you are better at, and start from there.
Q12 What should one do to improve his/her career prospects upon graduation from school?
A CV with a solid track record of internships and volunteering positions upon graduation is hugely enticing for any employer.
Q13 What are some of your daily habits?
I wake up and dive straight into work, check email, make my do-to-list as most working professionals—hence nothing crazy or out of the ordinary here! However, whenever I have the time, I like to take long walks listening to industry podcasts.
Q14 Which is your favourite digital marketing project you’ve been a part of?
Co-Founders Matching! It’s a hobby project but it really adds value to people’s lives and allows me to meet a lot of very smart people in the process.
Q15 What do you think it takes to be a great digital marketing specialist?
Willingness to learn and natural curiosity! In our discipline, we learn something new almost every day! New tools, new tactics, new industries.
Q16 What mistakes did you make in your early career and how would you advise someone else not to repeat them?
When we start with anything, we always know very little about the subject. Hence we tend to always approach problems based on what we already know. Thus my biggest advice is to always be less scared to try new ideas.
Q17 Which 3 digital marketing companies do you look up to? Why?
I keep changing my answer every year! But since you asked, here’s my current list:
WIX, because of how flexible the platform is to develop literally anything!
Google, because they are constantly innovating in the advertising space.
Ahrefs, because their tools are simply the best in the SEO space.
Q18 Which is the most challenging role you’ve ever taken on?
Heading the performance marketing operations for Mediacom in the Middle East and North Africa. I was very young, very inexperienced, but I was given tremendous responsibilities and really big budgets to manage. On a positive note, this role also gave me a lot of confidence to grow my career.
Q19 What is your favourite digital marketing tool to use?
At the moment, Google Data Studio! It’s so useful and very flexible, especially for those who love numbers and analytics!
Q20 What are your next career steps going to be?
I will stay in the industry, that’s what I know for sure. Everything else is open for me!
We hope this interview with our digital marketing expert, Sotirios Seridis, has provided you with an insider perspective on what working within the digital marketing sector may be like!
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About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.