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We’re nearing the end of our exclusive interview series with the guys of SEO & Social Media agency Happy Marketer. Part Seven introduced digital into the mix, and once again, it’s time for a little crystal ball-gazing.
Here in part eight of nine, we’ll talk about the future of digital marketers. Read on.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this interview are the personal views of the interviewees and and do not necessarily represent the philosophies or viewpoints of their organization or clients.
(Anol Bhattacharya – AB, Prantik Mazumdar – PM, Rachit Dayal – RD, and David Liem – DL)
AB: I think this is a problem you guys are facing. Prantik mentioned he went to a university to a marketing professor and that professor had no clue about digital. Now the problem is all the marketing graduates, forget about anyone else, coming out from that, and all they know is actually about branding and positioning and nothing about marketing actually.
So where is our next generation of marketers going to come from? We are facing the challenge of whom to hire.
RD: We are actually finding in Singapore, some of the polys and the younger universities are much hungrier and they include that stuff faster. Those guys are practical, and hands-on projects, and internships, and those students are energetic. They love the media.
PM: We recently met someone from SMU, a very senior gentleman and he made a very interesting point that today Singapore does not have a single digital marketing course. In fact I believe SMU are keen to be the first pioneer school to start a digital marketing program in itself in partnership with some industry folks, because this gentleman himself said that we traditional marketers don’t know much about it.
So I want to involve the industry to start a new program.
So you’re right that the current breed of digital marketers, I mean even look at all 3 of us, we didn’t study digital. I’m guessing you didn’t study digital. There was probably nothing called digital back then. I found Anol’s age today hence I can say that safely.
Digital in itself is changing. I mean what Kottler himself said in 1950 probably lasted for 40 years but digital, what Zuckerberg would have said in 2004 doesn’t make sense today. So it’s an element, what Rachit says, hunger and wanting to quickly adapt and change.
That’s what’s going to make successful digital marketers because there is no standard set of rules for digital marketing.
DL: I see it a bit differently. I don’t think we should be worried about universities not offering any digital marketing courses because the fact of the matter is the next generation is growing up in the internet and they are very familiar with it.
Just an example, I was listening to an interview of a film-maker who was featured in the Toronto film festival. He’s 19 years old. He grew up with DSLR cameras and all these new editing suites and he’s much better than people who have been in the industry for 20 years. He’s immersed in digital. He’s very used to it. He knows how best digital works and he adapts very fast.
The young people who have interned with us, they are very comfortable with computers, with using the internet, they know the speed in which information flows. So yes, maybe they might not have the technical knowledge but they do know how fast things move and I think its just a matter of time before they learn those skills, adapt to it, and we even see people who are almost on par with our senior colleagues because they are just that used to digital.
I think we as the older marketers have to keep on re-inventing ourselves and work on it.
AB: Rachit, you have anything to add?
RD: I think that it’s a good point that the problem may not be on the young scale. Of course we always do have problems hiring because all of us need urgent people right now. That gap is missing in the training but yeah, the big problem is the folks who are making the financial decisions who allocate that 6% don’t feel digital.
They don’t have the same activities and therefore they don’t feel what the majority of their customers feel. So if we have to pick a problem in the extreme it’s definitely not with the young people. They do grow pretty fast.
Next up, B2Bento discusses the future of the Asian marketing scene with Prantik Mazumdar, Rachit Dayal, and David Liem.