There are a lot of sub-sets under the big umbrella of web marketing. You have social media marketing, content strategy, conversion optimization, website design and targeted keyword optimization, to name a few. Each of these can offer a substantial–albeit limited–value on their own. But where all of these things really shine is when they work together as part of a single web marketing campaign.
The problem with web marketing is that it requires so many different skills to be successful. Each of the areas mentioned above, as well as many others, often require someone with very specific knowledge for that field. As much as my PPC guy might know what he’s doing in that area, I wouldn’t look to him first to do my on-page optimization. Nor would I go to my content strategists to dig into my analytics.
To be sure, there is a great deal of overlap in many areas of web marketing. Content and social media. SEO and development. Analytics and, well, everything. The SEOs can optimize pages, but they need to know what pages are going to bring the most value to the business. Analytics can tell you what pages convert best or what pages are driving the most traffic, but that may not be where the best ROI is. The social media strategist can do an excellent job engaging with your audience, but if the messaging isn’t unified with the rest of the promotion, there can be serious consistency problems.
Successful web marketing requires a good deal of knowledge and skill in multiple disciplines. For the most part, the team members with specific skill sets can provide quality input and feedback in other areas. And a good team will rely on all members to provide their feedback even in different disciplines. But each web marketing campaign needs both individuals with a singular focus and a single project manager who can put all the pieces together into a complete and unified campaign.
As much as us web marketers like to be “experts” in what we do, there is truly no way for any one person to be an expert in all things web marketing. The time needed to stay current and improving in a single area is challenging enough. Anyone tackling more than a few web marketing disciplines at a time will begin to see their knowledge and results suffer.
The best solution is a team of web marketing experts. And I don’t mean generic experts in web marketing, but experts in specific web marketing disciplines. For big projects, a project manager will be needed to oversee everything being done. They are not necessarily the right person to implement the strategy, but they need to be the right person to make sure the strategy is implemented properly.
You can focus on one area of web marketing and still get some successful results. But if you want to truly excel online, you need to realize that web marketing needs more than this, that or the other thing . . . it needs every thing.