Wealth of knowledge – why convergent marketers love learning
How do you know if you are right for the field of Convergence Marketing?
At his or her heart, a professional who is suited to be a Convergent Marketer, is a person who needs to know. A lot of Convergent Marketing pros started out as one man bands – the “I can do that!” girl or guy.
A typical career arc of the Convergent Marketing Professional is as follows: A print designer who is proficient in desktop publishing has the opportunity to design websites, she or he jumps on it and learns something about HTML code. But you can’t design for the web the same way you designed for print, so you take a crash course in web graphics! Then CSS comes along and you get your hands dirty with that, etc…
A convergent marketer hates to fail so with each project they learn another skill. Every new client and project has different needs and objectives. In this way a convergent marketer builds up a valuable skill set that spans across a variety of disciplines.
Okay, I get the knowledge part, now how about the wealth?
Understanding the the inner workings, the capabilities and limitations, and the proper implementation of digital convergence marketing technologies is quite valuable, and in fact quite rare. Those who do understand can be paid quite well.
Due to my own trials as a digital marketing producer, I am crying out for more people to make the jump from convergent producers to convergent project managers. If we have more people who understand the medium actually managing convergence marketing projects, the industry will benefit immeasurably. As it stands now, most of the people who manage digital marketing projects are unable to articulate what they want, let alone guide the process properly.
I’d like to take this opportunity to differentiate between the “Convergent Marketer”, and the “Convergent Producer”. Marketing is not really the ability to learn new things rapidly and effectively, though it really helps in the age of convergence. Additionally, the marketer is not necessarily the person who actually produces the marketing materials. A convergent marketing producer is the person who is at the end of the production chain, the person whose hands actually creates the marketing product.
A successful marketing professional, convergent or otherwise, has the ability to recognize trends and opportunities, and is in touch with what people want. Just as important, they must act on them – striking while the iron is hot! However, Convergence Marketing favors the individual who understands the medium from the inside angle, and while this is true of traditional marketing forms, it is even more pronounced in the convergence field where lack of understanding is rampant and often renders a digital marketing product ineffective.
Avoiding the knowledge trap: I am as guilty of this fault as any other Convergence Marketing professional who began in the production area. I have this innate need to know more about the technology, what the capabilities are, the limitations, and especially the advantages.
It is too easy to get bogged down learning the minutiae of each new technology or discipline. In order to monetize your knowledge, you have to know enough about a particular medium, but not get caught up so much that you forget about targeting the message to your audience, or designing and acting upon a plan to reach them.
Making the transition from Convergent Producer to Convergent Marketer: In my case the transition happened gradually. I did not realize I was a marketer until I started noticing that I was guiding the people who hired me at every turn, including how to tailor their message effectively for the digital medium.
I don’t consider myself as having made the change from producer to marketer until the day I realized I had to concentrate on the message side more than the nut and bolts. On that day I started hiring specialists. But I still have that wealth of knowledge I built up, and the desire to understand the newest communication technologies. On any given day I might roll up my sleeves and dive into a project, but I will generally wait until the polishing stage.
In conclusion: A convergent marketer is a person who has leveraged their love of learning into the action side of this digital age.