10 New Digital Marketing Roles For The Next 10 Years

by Mark

I was just reading an interesting article today and it highlighted the fact that digital marketing is evolving so rapidly, that over 80% of companies in the Fortune 1000 have not reacted quickly enough with regards to revamping their marketing roles and positions. Most of these companies are still relying on traditional marketing campaigns and platforms. TV, Print and Radio being the old “tried and true” that they still stick with.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against traditional media, in fact I am a huge fan. And, probably due to the fact that digital media is the hot, sexy thing right now in advertising and marketing, old media costs and accessibility are more and more attractive to business owners. I am even beginning to see some great things happening with print and TV that are causing me to refocus some of my branding dollars into those platforms.

No matter what platform you choose for your marketing efforts, there is one over arching theme that is still very relevant...content is king! Whether or not you agree with me or think I am crazy, I have one strategy or framework that you are going to have incorporate into your marketing efforts…We Are All Publishers and Storytellers!

Many of you get what I am saying at a deep level. As a marketer, you and/or your team create content or stories to attract new customers and prime prospects. You then distribute that content on your various social media platforms in the form of owned, earned or paid media. Some of you are also looking at promoted and sponsored channels as well. The challenge is that most companies can’t quantify where or how their content marketing is impacting the business results. They are so entrenched with traditional marketing metrics and tactics that the engagement or impact of their story telling efforts is lost on many brand managers.

Content – The Asset

Let me offer up a different metric for how to evaluate your content. What if you viewed content like you do your other digital assets?

  • Content is an asset. One story can be developed into multiple content assets, which can generate traffic and interest for years, if not decades. Most importantly, great content is the main driver for developing an audience — the greatest asset of all. Even Coca-Cola, one of the biggest spenders of traditional marketing on the planet, knows they can’t grow without spreading stories that drive an emotional connection with customers.
  • Regardless of what the economy does, or how your overall marketing spend changes, great content rises to the top and can continue to drive your business. Often times, great content will be some of your cheapest assets to create from a production perspective.
  • Once an audience is created, an organization can generate cash from that content by selling products and services directly, or by selling access to its audience (in the form of advertising, sponsorship, or affiliate sales).

So think about it this way: What if our primary goal in marketing is to own content niches online; to build out our content assets to grow and maintain our audiences and subscribers (in order to sell more)? Additionally, what if the marketing department had a new view on content and created these assets with the end goal of making them ubiquitous across multiple channels?

If our new wheelhouse of marketing is now; Owned, Earned, Paid, Promoted and Sponsored. Then perhaps we need to take a HARD look at marketing skill sets, marketing roles and marketing experience.

The New Roles of Marketing

While there is no right or wrong structure for a marketing team, it becomes more and more evident every day that marketing is teaching, marketing is publishing and marketing is great story telling with an emotion resonance built in. Think of the examples below as skill-sets and core competencies instead of new job titles that will have to be created across the matrix of marketing functions.

Chief Content Officer

This is your content ambassador, also known as an organization’s chief storyteller. This person should be responsible for setting the overall editorial/content marketing mission statement and integrating that throughout the various business  units.. As every silo (PR, email, social, search, etc.) starts to create and curate content, it is the CCO’s responsibility to make sure that the stories remain consistent and make sense to the audience(s).

Managing Editor

Half storyteller and half project manager, the managing editor executes the content plan on behalf of the CCO. Whereas the CCO focuses on strategy, the managing editor’s job is all execution, working with the roles below to make the stories come alive (including tone, style guides, and content scheduling).

Chief Listening Officer

The role of the CLO will be to function as “air-traffic control” for social media and your other content channels. This person should be there to listen to the groups, maintain the conversation, and to route (and/or notify) the appropriate team members who can engage in appropriate conversations (customer service, sales, marketing, etc.). This feedback is critical to our content actually making a difference with our customers.

Director of Audience

This person should be charged with monitoring your audience/buyer personas, making sure all content creators are intimately familiar with their characteristics, their passion triggers, and what actions you want them to take. The Director of Audience should also be responsible for building subscription assets (direct mail lists, email lists, social media subscriptions) that can grow and be segmented as your content mission matures and expands.

HR for Marketing

As every employee and stakeholder becomes a more integral part of the marketing process, it will be increasingly necessary for marketing to work closely with human resources to make sure that employees understand their roles in the marketing processand to help your organization leverage your employees’ audiences without creating conflicts or confusion.

Channel Master

Wherever your content is headed (social media, email, mobile, print, in-person, etc.), the channel master will be responsible for getting the most out of each channel. What works best on SlideShare? When should we send our emails, and how frequently? What’s the appropriate ratio of owned vs. curated content your business should distribute on Twitter? Who is keeping track of mobile strategy and execution?

Chief Technologist

As marketing and information technology continue to merge, there will be a need for at least one (maybe more) individual whose sole purpose is to leverage the proper use of these technologies into the content marketing process. The person in this role will be responsible for staying on top of these ever-increasing changes as they relate to the storytelling process — from calendaring and approvals to marketing automation, freelancer integration, and emerging technologies.

Influencer Relations

The role formerly known as media relations will evolve into that of a manager of influencers. This person’s responsibilities should include developing your “hit list” of influencers, maintaining direct relationships with them, and integrating them into your marketing process in the most impactful ways.

Freelancer and Agency Relations

As content demands continue to evolve (and increase), your organization’s reliance on freelance talent and other external content vendors will grow as well. Organizations will need to cultivate their own “expert” content teams and networks, and it will be this person’s job to negotiate rates and responsibilities so that all members of your team are united in their work on behalf of your marketing program.

ROO (Return-on-Objective) Chief

This person will be responsible for ensuring that there is an ongoing return on marketing objectives, and for communicating to all teams why your business is developing content assets in the first place. Do you have an analytics person in your organization? If so, give them a raise and make sure they understand the core objectives behind your content marketing.


Yes, we are selling products and services, but the way in which we do that is changing faster than we ever anticipated. This means focusing on content as an asset — which, in turn, means that our marketing departments will continue to evolve. Putting the above roles in place now will help make sure the rest of your marketing team’s core functions are prepared to evolve right along with them.

What Roles Do You See?

What additional roles are you seeing emerge on the marketing landscape? I’d love to hear your thoughts!




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