Recession Proofing Your Job in Internet Communications

Apparently the recession is here. For a long time. Apparently.

As an agency dude, I’m worried about clients slashing budgets sometime in the near future and forcing my employer to look at how to cut its own costs.

So as an Internet communications consultant, what can I do to prove my worth to my clients, my potential clients and my employer?

Lots has been written on the recession, on recession proofing your job, your role, your department, your business, your aunt’s cat and whatever else will take a hit and for the most part, advice centers on proving value. Yes, it’s that concrete.

Esoteric, conceptual advice aside, I read some excellent, concrete advice (for me and my role) in an interview with an executive recruiter called Bruce Powell on One Degree.

Bruce, co-founder and managing partner of IQ Partners Inc, gives this sage piece of insight which easily turns into advice for digital marketers looking to recession proof their jobs:

Without a doubt, the most sought after skill sets over the past year have been:

  1. SEO & SEM
  2. Specialized email marketing skills (i.e. dynamic content & CRM integration)
  3. Social Media

Search, email and social media. Data and analysis, more data and analysis and something shiny which can also generate, you guessed it, data and analysis.

Search engine optimization and marketing both produce and rely on a tonne of data – what keywords are you using? how are they performing? why are some doing better than others? how is my ad testing? why is this copy doing better than this ad? what keywords drive the highest conversion rate? All of this data can be analysed and fed back into the cycle to prove ROI and to safeguard your job.

Email marketing demands segmentation upon segmentation. Data used and analysed to generate more data to be used and analysed to generate more data ad inifitum. How can I get this segment to click-through more often? does this segment open more emails – why? how can I apply this to another segment? how can I get more people to send to a friend? why did this segment have a larger conversion rate than that segment? how can that segment be drawn into this segment? Data begetting data which can be analysed and fed back into the cycle to prove ROI and safeguard your job.

Social media is a bit more difficult. It’s still relatively new and relatively shiny. It’s still more fun than email marketing and search – but harder to prove ROI. Monitoring for people bad mouthing your brand, and knowing when to reach out to them in a correct and smart way can allow you to prove ROI and safeguard your job.

As McKinsey’s latest quarterly update said:

“The Web is the most measurable medium in the history of marketing. Now all that’s left is figuring out how to measure it.”

If you can figure out what to measure, how to measure it and then how to improve on it, you will have recession proofed your career. Not just your job.

I asked Twitter “how are you recession proofing your job” and my colleague David Bradfield (blog | twitter) succinctly said:

working my ass off

I was trying to focus on more on output, not input, but it is a point well taken.

Danny Brown (blog | twitter) says:

“Not being afraid to take risks and refusing to stand still. The work is out there – you just need to adapt to what’s needed. :)”

In a moment of symmetry, Danny is owner of Press Release PR, which provides SEO press release and SEO friendly content.

5 Responses to Recession Proofing Your Job in Internet Communications

  1. Danny Brown says:

    Good points all round, Ed (and thanks for the shout out) 🙂

    I think the problem that a lot of businesses have is that they wait until an emergency before looking for a bail out or answer. This is just asking for trouble.

    True, no-one can see a recession coming until it’s too late – but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Building your brand and strength during the good times is key to being able to see yourself through the bad times.

  2. […] to in order to continue my business? Ed Lee of Internet communications consultancy iStudio wrote a great blog post about this very topic, and offered suggestions on the three areas that businesses should be looking […]

  3. destiny9 says:

    The best way to protect oneself in any industry is to be adaptable to change. The online marketing medium changes so rapidly the more specialized one gets into an area, the harder it may be for the person to ride the tides of new waves as they form. Keeping an open mind and having a true desire to learn, research and study the trends is the only way I see for internet “workers” to continue to evolve with our cyber duties.

    Although I have my own opinions on the “rescission”, it appears to be more of a media generated term and problem. The more the news tells us there is a problem the more people look for pieces of information to support the claim. While corporate entities are facing more financial troubles then ever, most seem to be related to gas prices and the housing industry. With the onset of more independently self employed wage earners, I believe our economy can benefit from the “recession” as corporate giants begin loose shares to small businesses as the internet allows more people access to information.

  4. Rita Ashlwy says:

    As a job search coach for executives and technology leaders I always advise to keep and enrich your network before you need it. One social networking site, LinkedIn is especially useful in this regard.
    The Job Coach

    [editors note: deleted the spammy links; kept the sage advice]

  5. […] Recession Proofing Your Job in Internet Communications. What will become of the freelancer as the recession stumbles along? More work, or less work? Ed provides interesting stats and statements that are encouraging for some of us.  […]

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