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Web Marketing Expert: 5 sacrifices to make to become one

by Sorbaioli
Web Marketing Expert: 5 sacrifices to make to become one

How to become a web marketing expert?

What must one do to reach the level of “jedi master” in this discipline?

You will need, among other things, to be ready to make sacrifices… This article lists 5 of them quite precisely.

Don’t worry: these are not sacrifices that will make your life miserable, but rather that will be a source of learning and knowledge!


1 / The web marketing expert is trained properly, throughout his career

The web marketing expert must keep the humility of the student

When we aim for the appellation of expert, we fantasize about the idea of ​​getting to know everything and know everything… But this is only a view of the mind.

Especially when talking about digital marketing, you have to remain humble about the extent of your knowledge.

Indeed, the spectrum of subjects is so wide and things are changing so quickly, that it is humanly impossible to know everything, to be up to date on all subjects, to know all the tools…

On the contrary, the more you become an expert in digital marketing, the more you accept the fact that you know nothing…

To be an eternal beginner. Here is the lot of a web marketing expert

Initial training courses specialized in digital marketing are multiplying

From the beginning of your university life, you have the possibility of following already very oriented courses :

  • The major business schools already offer high-level, highly specialized courses (such as GEM’s Advanced Master in Digital Strategy Management program, ranked among the best in Europe).
  • Schools specialize 100% in digital marketing and its professions (like an institution like Hetic )
  • Other establishments also offer masters on more advanced subjects (such as what you can find at Ynov Master Webmarketing & Big Data )

The web marketing expert continues to take training, even after graduation

Since the web marketing expert “recognizes that he knows nothing”, he seeks to train continuously, even after he graduates.

After having acquired all the fundamentals of the discipline, the web marketing expert will continue to strengthen and update his skills, whether with training / bootcamp, or via online training.

Bootcamps like those offered by Le Wagon (web development and data science) continue to grow.

And what about the online training offer, which offers a wide range of specialized courses, which you can follow at your own pace and from the comfort of your home (for example, if you are looking for SEA / Google Ads training, c is over there!).


2 / The web marketing expert invests personal time to strengthen, experiment and fail

The web marketing expert reads (fast and a lot) rather than watching Netflix

To perfect your knowledge, and claim the title of expert, you have to read a lot… It is therefore essential that a web marketing expert dedicates part of his free time to reading.

Whether it’s new articles on digital marketing published every day on the internet, or reference books, the web marketing expert stays on standby and swallows the equivalent of 1 or 2 books per month (at least).

If you want to have some ideas for books to read, I open my e-business library on Pinterest.

Have personal projects: it is by forging that one becomes a blacksmith…

To be an expert is to possess both solid theoretical knowledge and, above all, very advanced practical knowledge. Indeed, to be recognized by your peers, you will need to have worked on dozens, even hundreds of different cases…

Thus, to become a real web marketing expert, you will have to invest yourself beyond traditional office hours! The best thing is still to “tweak” in your free time to improve yourself on such and such aspects of digital marketing, and get your hands dirty.

In addition to the cases that you can see happening in your daily work, these personal projects will have the merit:

  • to provide you with concrete operational knowledge,
  • to raise your skills on tools and good practices,
  • move up your experience curve, trying different things that will work (or fail).

These personal initiatives also provide related skills that are necessary in business, but for which people are ill-prepared, because they are always locked into the shackles of their job.

According to a 2014 Udemy survey published by HBR, management, finance, and technical skills are the skills workers feel they lack the most. These are skills that you will necessarily develop by launching personal projects on the side.

The importance of failing often and many times

After all, one wonders if spending more time doing digital marketing “outside working hours” isn’t just being overzealous…believe me, it’s not.

Beyond the additional knowledge & know-how that you will accumulate, the big benefit of investing yourself outside of your job is to be able to fail, without much consequence… Because to become a real expert, you will need a lot of failures at the counter! You never become an expert by doing “just” the first time”…

  • Is it because you launched 3 successful Facebook campaigns for your agency client that that makes you an expert? Nope…
  • On the other hand, if you have already planted 100 Facebook campaigns, published 30 landing pages that did not convert, and spent 100 hours doing SEO that did nothing… Then you have already accumulated a lot of knowledge (of what must not do)!

It is in failure that one grows, and that one consolidates the strength of one’s expertise.


3 / To become a web marketing expert, you have to accept to put your hands in the “technique”

A digital marketing expert is a “jack of all trades”, very versatile

Sometimes, when I ask my Digital Marketing Master students what job they want to do, they give me very specific answers:

  • social media expert,
  • content marketer,
  • brand specialist,
  • consultant in “digital strategy”…

Certainly, there are many professionals that I admire who are hyper-specialized in a particular field (who does not know Laurent Bourelly or the Peyronnet brothers for SEO, Danilo Duschenes for Facebook ads, Frédéric Cavazza on digital transformation, etc.).

In the reality on the ground, on the other hand, the best marketers are versatile professionals, who have a wide spectrum of knowledge and varied skills, to succeed in the heterogeneous missions that may be assigned to them. No wonder these are becoming the most sought-after profiles on the labor market.

Being interested in computer code is a real plus

After 15 years in digital marketing, I have only one regret: that of never having completed a training course to learn web development (frontend and backend). Yet it is a fundamental skill of the digital professions, which makes all the difference in a webmarketer.

Code, in digital marketing, we constantly see :

  • when talking about the creation / redesign of a website,
  • when we talk about UX design,
  • when you want to report web analytics data,
  • to create algorithms & scoring of all kinds,
  • to use data from multiple systems…

This is why it is useful to have basic notions in:

  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • Python (if you’re a real geek)


4 / The web marketing expert agrees to become a data geek : how to collect, analyze and use it?

The webmarketing expert adheres (in part) to the adage “data beats opinions”

“Data beats opinions”

This adage should be on all LinkedIn profiles of web marketing experts!

In digital marketing, everything can be measured and quantified. This is why a true expert does not rely on his prejudices, but on the concrete data he collects.

Of course, you also have to know how to take a step back from the numbers. A web marketing expert obviously uses his intuition to formulate relevant hypotheses and conclusions based on the data he has in hand.

Nevertheless, it is crucial that the modern digital marketer is comfortable with data. New professions, such as that of Media Scientist for example, explicitly require a certain know-how around data.

The web marketing expert must learn to manipulate & analyze data

As a result of what was mentioned above, it is essential that a web marketing expert knows how to handle data with ease.

When it comes to data, the web marketing expert must have very hands-on knowledge. His analytical mind is an asset he uses daily.

This is about knowing how to handle Excel well, having solid fundamentals in statistics, and mastering some Analytics tools.

Beyond analysis: the web marketing expert knows how to activate data and put it at the service of marketing

Mastering Excel and Google Analytics is not enough to be awarded expert status. It is also necessary to understand, and know how to do some things with the data (and not only analyzes, or reports for the management)…

Concretely, the web marketing expert excels:

  • in the use of data for advertising purposes (to improve the targeting of Facebook campaigns for example)
  • or personalization of the customer experience (on a site or in an e-mail campaign for example).

It’s not a convenience. On the contrary, the subject is hot.

Not only because data has become the fuel of modern marketing, but also because major issues are emerging around data: the disappearance of third-party cookies, the exploitation of first-party data, the rise of artificial intelligence…

Take for example the disappearance of cookies: since 2017, the tech industry has been accelerating to better respond to the privacy issues raised by users and regulators. 

5 / The web marketing expert leaves his ego in the locker room

A web marketing expert is wrong 80% of the time (and that’s normal)

Throughout my career, I have had the honor of meeting many web marketing experts. Many left a strong impression on me. And among this elite of the discipline, I was able to see that they were not infallible either…

  • Their initial ideas are not all successful
  • and their initial assumptions are wrong most of the time…
  • After all, they are not magicians.

Take SEO: why does a site not rank? There can be 200 reasons that contribute to the underperformance… The expert will identify one or two of them, and will also focus his attention on a few missteps… And that’s normal.

Sometimes digital marketing is really a science. We start with a hypothesis, which we do not know if it can be confirmed (even if we have the intuition). Only experience, data collection and analysis can bring concrete solutions to a problem to the fingertips.

A digital marketing expert therefore builds his success iteratively, by dint of trial, failure, and collected data… Under no circumstances would this come from a flash of genius.

Write with discipline his learnings / results of his tribulations

Many confuse expertise with operational mastery : because I know how to handle such and such a tool, or I know the Facebook Ads interface, then I am an expert… This is not the case.

What differentiates the best experts from others is the store of experience. I am not talking here about having “participated” in a project, as we would have gone “once in Italy for the holidays…

I am talking about a carefully analyzed experience, the results and learning of which are recorded somewhere, and not just in a piece of the brain…

It is by filling in his “spellbook” that the digital marketing expert becomes wiser.



To become a web marketing expert, you will have to make sacrifices. Sacrifices that will be sources of learning and knowledge.

  • Always train properly
  • Invest outside of working hours
  • Get your hands dirty
  • Know the data subjects at your fingertips
  • Have the humility of a student, and the approach of a scientist

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