Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? The slow, steady tortoise wins the race against the fast but inconsistent hare.
Now, imagine the world of digital marketing as that race. Only this time, the tortoise is a marketer with solid habits, and the hare chases every new trend without a consistent approach.
If you’re a digital marketer, someone dipping their toes into marketing, or an entrepreneur, and you feel like the hare, running after every new tool or trend, only to find your efforts falling short, you’re in the right place.
The ever-changing digital marketing landscape is not just about speed or getting the newest tools. It’s about being consistent and adopting the right habits that can keep you ahead in the long run.
Excited to find out these practical habits for successful digital marketers? In this post, we’ll explore these habits and provide actionable steps to make them a part of your daily routine.
So, are you ready to transform your approach and become a ‘tortoise’ in the field of digital marketing? Let’s get started!
The 7 Habits for Successful Digital Marketers You Need to Follow
You might think that these habits are only for the ones that are really built for the field. But – think again! You’d be surprised to see how fundamental some of these habits are to business in general.
These habits make the best digital marketers stand strong and tall for the long haul.
1. Constant Learning
Yesterday’s strategies can quickly become today’s outdated methods. As the saying goes, “The only constant in life is change.” And nowhere does this ring truer than in the realm of digital marketing. This brings us to our first habit – Constant Learning.
Constant learning is not just about adding new skills or knowledge. It’s about maintaining an open mindset, ready to absorb new information and adapt to changes.
You need to understand that there’s always something more to learn, a new perspective to consider, or a fresh strategy to try.
Successful digital marketers are those who recognize the importance of continuous learning.
They stay updated with the latest trends, understand new algorithms, and always look for innovative ways to reach their audience. In essence, they’re lifelong learners.
If you want to cultivate this habit, you need to:
- Stay Curious: Curiosity is the foundation of learning. Ask questions, seek answers, and don’t fear exploring new areas in your field.
- Read Widely: Make it a habit to read industry-related blogs, articles, and studies. Websites like GrowPredictably and their blogs on digital marketing are great places to start.
- Attend Webinars and Workshops: These platforms offer a wealth of information and provide the opportunity to learn from industry experts.
- Network: Engage with other digital marketing professionals. They can offer unique insights and share experiences, contributing to your learning.
- Experiment: Don’t be afraid to try out new things. The practical application often provides the best learning, whether it’s a new tool or strategy.
2. Embracing Data
For marketers, data is the new gold. It offers invaluable insights into your audience’s behavior, preferences, and needs. This brings us to our second habit – Embracing Data.
Successful digital marketers don’t just use data; they embrace it. They use data to drive decisions, form strategies, and measure success. In essence, they let data guide them.
But what does it mean to embrace data? And how can you incorporate this habit into your digital marketing approach? You can start embracing data more by doing these:
- Understand the Basics: You don’t need to be a data scientist, but having a basic understanding of data analytics is crucial. Familiarize yourself with key metrics and learn how to interpret them.
- Use the Right Tools: Tools like Google Analytics can help you collect, analyze, and interpret data. Choose the right tools that fit your needs and learn how to use them effectively.
- Ask the Right Questions: Data is only as useful as the questions you ask. Start by identifying what you want to know about your audience or campaign, then use data to find the answers.
- Make Data-Driven Decisions: Use the insights you gain from data to inform your strategies and decisions. This could be anything from selecting the right keywords for SEO to determining the best time to post on social media.
- Measure and Adjust: Continually measure your results and adjust your strategies based on the data. Remember, digital marketing is an iterative process.
Remember the old saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know”? While knowledge and skills are crucial in digital marketing, the relationships you build can often open doors that would otherwise remain closed.
This brings us to our third habit – Networking.
Successful digital marketers seek connections within their industry and foster relationships that can provide support, insights, and opportunities. In essence, they don’t just build networks; they cultivate relationships.
There are so many simple ways that you can network. For example:
- Join Relevant Communities: There are countless online communities for digital marketers where you can learn, share, and connect with like-minded individuals. These include forums like Reddit’s r/marketing, LinkedIn groups, or specialized communities like GrowthHackers.
- Attend Industry Events: Whether it’s a local meetup, a webinar, or an international conference, industry events are a great way to meet other professionals in your field. Don’t be shy about introducing yourself and making connections.
- Be Active on Social Media: Follow industry leaders, comment on their posts, and engage with your peers. Social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn can be invaluable networking tools.
- Share Your Knowledge: Networking is a two-way street. Don’t hesitate to share your own insights and experiences. It not only helps others but also establishes you as a knowledgeable professional.
- Foster Relationships: Remember, networking isn’t just about meeting new people. It’s about building and maintaining relationships. Stay in touch with your connections, offer help when you can, and don’t hesitate to reach out when you need assistance.
4. Creativity and Innovation
Ever watched a commercial or an ad campaign that left you in awe, thinking, “Wow, how did they come up with that?” That’s the power of creativity and innovation – the fourth habit.
Successful digital marketers understand that in a world where consumers are bombarded with content, standing out requires taking risks and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
In essence, they are not just marketers; they are creators and innovators.
If you want to be sharp in this area, you have to:
- Embrace Curiosity: Be open to new ideas and perspectives. Ask questions, seek inspiration from different industries, and don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo.
- Experiment Often: Whether it’s trying a new social media platform, experimenting with different types of content, or testing a unique marketing strategy, don’t be afraid to experiment. Remember, every experiment, whether successful or not, is a learning opportunity.
- Collaborate With Others: Collaboration can spark creativity and innovation. Work with others, exchange ideas, and leverage the power of collective intelligence.
- Learn From Failures: Not every idea will be a hit, and that’s okay. Learn from your failures, adjust your approach, and keep going.
- Invest in Continuous Learning: Stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in digital marketing. This will fuel your creativity and equip you with the tools and knowledge to innovate.
Picture yourself surfing. The waves are like trends in digital marketing, constantly changing, rising, and falling.
To stay on your board (or, in our case, stay relevant), you must adapt your stance, speed, and direction. This leads us to our fifth habit – Adaptability.
Successful digital marketers understand that the digital landscape is ever-evolving. What worked yesterday might not work today, and what works today might be obsolete tomorrow. In essence, they thrive on adaptability.
To thrive through adaptability as a marketer, you need to do the following:
- Stay Updated: Keep your finger on the pulse of industry trends. Follow influential marketers, subscribe to industry newsletters, and check reputable digital marketing blogs regularly.
- Be Open-Minded: Be willing to let go of old strategies that no longer work and embrace new ones. Remember, progress involves stepping out of your comfort zone.
- Learn New Tools: The tools of the trade are always changing in digital marketing. Don’t hesitate to learn new software or platforms that could enhance your campaigns.
- Test and Refine: Don’t be afraid to experiment with your strategies. Test different approaches, analyze the results, and refine your strategy based on what works best.
- Embrace Failure: Not every strategy will win, and that’s okay. Failure is often the first step toward finding a better solution. Learn from it and move on.
6. Customer-focused Approach
Imagine visiting a restaurant where the waiter remembers your name, preferred dish, and precisely how you like it prepared. It’s a satisfying experience, isn’t it?
This illustrates the potency of a customer-centric approach, the sixth habit, and an integral component of the Customer Value Journey (CVJ).
In digital marketing, successful marketers don’t just aim to comprehend their customers; they strive to anticipate their needs, surpass their expectations, and create memorable experiences.
By adopting the CVJ model, they chart an effective course for transforming prospects into loyal and enthusiastic brand advocates. In the grand cosmos of their marketing strategies, they position the customer as the shining star.
If your goal is to become a customer-focused marketer, make it a habit to:
- Understand Your Audience: Use tools like surveys, social media listening, and website analytics to gain insights into who your customers are, what they want, and how they behave online.
- Personalize Your Communication: From email marketing to social media posts, strive for personalization. Address your audience by name, recommend products based on their previous purchases, or tailor your communication based on their preferences.
- Listen to Feedback: Encourage your customers to provide feedback and listen to what they say. Whether it’s praise or criticism, it’s valuable information that can help you improve.
- Provide Value: Whether through informative blog posts, helpful how-to videos, or engaging social media content, always strive to provide value to your customers.
- Exceed Expectations: Don’t just aim to meet your customers’ expectations; strive to exceed them. This could be through exceptional customer service, surprise discounts, or delivering more than you promised.
7. Strategic Thinking
Playing chess isn’t about haphazardly moving pieces across the board; it’s about strategizing to secure victory.
This is strikingly similar to strategic thinking in digital marketing, our seventh habit, and a key component of our Growth Triad framework.
Like masterful chess players, successful digital marketers meticulously plan their campaigns.
They employ the Growth Triad, which includes a documented customer journey, actionable metrics, and targeted tools and tactics, creating a comprehensive blueprint for success.
In essence, they transcend the traditional role of marketers to become strategists, orchestrating every move with precision and purpose.
If that’s something that you want to work on, remember that it’s crucial to:
- Set Clear Goals: Know what you want to achieve with your digital marketing efforts. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, or boosting sales, having clear goals will guide your strategy.
- Understand Your Market: Know your competitors and what they’re doing, and how to differentiate yourself. Use tools like SWOT analysis to understand your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the market.
- Plan Ahead: Don’t just react to changes in the market; anticipate them. Stay updated with industry trends and plan your strategies accordingly.
- Measure Your Success: Use metrics and analytics to measure the success of your campaigns. This will show you if you’re meeting your goals and provide insights to guide your future strategies.
- Be Flexible: While planning is crucial, so is being able to adapt your plan when necessary. If something isn’t working, be willing to adjust your strategy.
How Can You Implement These Habits Effectively?
Adopting new habits, especially in a field as dynamic and demanding as digital marketing, can be challenging.
However, with the right approach and mindset, you can successfully incorporate these habits into your daily routine and reap their long-term benefits.
1. Start Small
Don’t try to adopt all these habits at once. Start by focusing on one habit that you think will have the most significant impact on your work. Once you’ve mastered that, move on to the next.
Use a habit tracker to monitor your progress. Numerous apps, such as Habitica or Strides, can help you keep track of your habits and motivate you to stick with them.
I remember when I first started using a habit tracker. I was initially skeptical, but within just a few weeks, I noticed a significant improvement in my consistency.
The visual representation of my progress gave me a sense of achievement and motivated me to continue. Now, I can’t imagine my life without it!
2. Be Consistent
Consistency is key when it comes to forming new habits. Make a conscious effort to practice your new habit every day until it becomes second nature.
Schedule your habits. Whether setting aside 15 minutes each morning to read industry news (for constant learning) or dedicating an hour every week to network online, putting it on your calendar makes it official and increases your chances of sticking with it.
This strategy worked wonders for me when I was trying to cultivate my networking habit.
Scheduling a weekly ‘networking hour’ ensured that I dedicated time to this valuable habit and helped me see networking as an integral part of my job rather than an optional extra.
3. Stay Patient
Changing habits takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Keep at it, and you’ll eventually start noticing the benefits.
Celebrate small wins. Every step you take towards adopting a new habit is an achievement. So, reward yourself for your efforts. It could be as simple as taking a short break, having a piece of chocolate, or anything else that makes you feel good.
I used to get easily discouraged when I didn’t see immediate results from my efforts. But once I started celebrating my small wins, my perspective changed.
It made the process more enjoyable and motivated me during the challenging early stages of habit formation.
The seven habits we’ve discussed – constant learning, embracing data, networking, adaptability, maintaining a customer-focused approach, and strategic thinking – are key to navigating this dynamic field.
These habits can empower you to stay ahead of trends, make informed decisions, build valuable relationships, and, ultimately, drive success.
In conclusion, success in digital marketing lies not just in strategies and tactics but in the habits that guide their execution.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will your digital marketing prowess. It takes time, patience, and perseverance. So, start today with one habit at a time.
Embrace each habit, make it your own, and watch as they transform your career and your approach to challenges and opportunities.
Brian Shelton is an entrepreneur, marketer, and life-long learner committed to helping businesses achieve impactful results. He founded Grow Predictably to provide tailored marketing strategies to generate predictable, profitable growth. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Brian has helped businesses, large and small. reach their goals and drive positive change in the world.