I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica of Mo’MoneyMo’Houses, which has been re-branded to JessicaMoorhouse at the 2015 Canadian Personal Finance Conference. She was the first one I decided to reveal my identity to. 🙂 Jessica is a woman who wears multiple hats- not only is she a personal finance blogger and podcaster, she is also a digital marketer.
1. Could you give a brief summary of your role as a digital marketer?
A digital marketer can have a number of different roles depending on the company they work for. In larger organizations or agencies, they are usually given specialized roles such as community manager, social media strategist, search engine marketing specialist, email marketing specialist and so forth. In my role as a digital marketer, I’m more of a generalist in that I do all of these roles and help maintain the website. I never thought I’d have a job that would require me to learn HTML coding, but I guess you never know where you’re life will take you!
2. What is the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing?
It can differ depending on what company you work for, but essentially digital marketers deal with the company’s social media platforms, email marketing systems, website and online advertising. Traditional marketing can be more writing press releases, public relations and communications, traditional advertising (print, TV, radio), organizing events and everything else that is offline.
- It is nothing out of the ordinary that many of the Gen Y are switching careers vs. the baby boomers who would stick with their job for 25-30 years. Do you think Gen Y is more about pursuing their passion and finding a job that they love? Or do you feel the economy and the 2008 recession played more of a role in career changes?
I think it’s a combination of both. As millennials, most of us were told by our parents that we could do whatever we put our minds to – and most of us believed that, myself included. So I pursued my dream of becoming a filmmaker and got a degree in filmmaking. But I graduated right when the recession hit so I decided to pursue a more practical career. That being said, I haven’t personally been at the same company for more than 3 years. I think Generation Y is more interested in climbing up the corporate ladder quicker than our parents’ generation. It’s much easier to move to a different company for a better and higher paying role than it is to stay with the same company and pray for a promotion.
- In your Switching Careers Story post, you mention that you were teaching yourself digital marketing skills to drive traffic to your blog without even realizing it was digital marketing. Do you think having a blog can help someone forge a new career path or gain new skills if they’re not sure what you want to do?
Absolutely, whether it be honing their writing or digital marketing skills or even becoming a better networker (because having a blog is 50% being part of the blogging community), blogging can be a great place to start if you’re looking to learn new skills and/or switch careers down the line.
- What are some commonly used tools in Digital Marketing? Do you have a favourite?
Let’s start with social media. I personally like Buffer for scheduling, however I’ve also used Hootsuite and Sendible and they’re quite useful too. If you want to compile your social media metrics, honestly I just use the social platforms’ analytics tools themselves and put everything in a spreadsheet to analyze later (LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook). For web, it’s very important to understand Google Analytics and even Google Tag Manager to track specific things like button clicks and document downloads. For email marketing, I really like MailChimp because it’s easy to use and compatible with a number of plugins. And since I mentioned plugins, if you’re using WordPress as your CMS (which I highly recommend), the plugins I always tell people to use right off the bat are Yoast’s SEO plugin, WP Super Cache, Akismet, Broken Link Checker and Updraft.
- Do you think digital marketing is a growing field? Where do you think the future of digital marketing lies?
It really is and it’s still very new. When I was doing my certificate in Digital Marketing Management at the University of Toronto, my social media teacher had only been in the field for 4 years! More and more companies are realizing that they need a digital marketing team to keep up with their competitors, and there will be an influx of openings for more digital marketing jobs in the next few years.
- What do you like the most about your job?
I like that it’s both technical and creative. I like being really analytical and pouring over data to come up with new marketing strategies, but I also like the freedom to be creative as well. For instance, besides writing the text for my company’s social media platforms, I also design the images that go with them!
- Did you face any challenges when going through your career change? What advice would you give to people who are thinking about switching careers?
It was definitely a struggle at first, and I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to find a job and I would be forced to stay where I was. But I persevered, I went back to school (which did help me land my current job), and I never stopped trying. No exaggeration I probably applied to over 300 job postings and went to over 20 interviews. But it was all worth it in the end because I’m now working in a career that I’m passionate about and has a future, and I also increased my salary by $20,000 to boot!