Top Takeaways from the Future of Digital Careers MIMA Panel

Whether you are (or want to be) a data scientist, content strategist, creative technologist or experience design director, the constantly evolving world of digital marketing demands new skills while at the same time allowing passionate, digitally minded people to design their own careers.

Horizontal Integration teamed up with the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) to co-host an evening of networking and panel discussion on “the future of digital careers.” Speakers included:

  • Kelly Lindberg, VP Customer Experience at Optum
  • Mike Keyes, SVP, Machine Learning at Remote Insights and Independent Data Scientist
  • Julie Vollenweider, Partner and Co-Founder, Dialog Studios
  • Charlie Hield, Senior Creative Technologist, Colle McVoy
  • Arturo Mendiola, VP of Client Strategy, Horizontal Integration

The growth of digital marketing technologies over the past decade from only dozens of platforms to now well over 5,000 has provided exceptional opportunity for marketers, both in terms of job growth and increased responsibility to an organization. As the digital world continues to evolve at lightning speed, what can marketers and technologists do to be better prepared for many years into the future? Here we break down some of the common themes that emerged:

  • Speak the language. Interpretation and communication of complex tech topics and data to business teams – and vice versa – is incredibly valuable. Being able to connect the dots, get everyone on the same page and help generate solutions is a skill in itself.
    • “We wrangle data, visualize it, and need to properly communicate it. A large part of my role is helping IT and business teams bridge that gap.” – Mike Keyes
  • Experiment & dabble. It doesn’t take an internship to learn new skills and figure out what lights your fire. Consider ways to gain experience on your own such as taking an online course and starting your own coding project. Or doing a freelance project for a small company or nonprofit.
    • “I am curious, so am often staying after work to tinker with new technology and ask people about what they’re working on. It keeps me constantly learning and less afraid of failure, which in this field is necessary for progress.” – Charlie Hield
  • Be a JOAT. (AKA a Jack of All Trades). You no longer need to “stay in your lane.” Silos are breaking down. Take it upon yourself to learn new skill sets along the way.  Specialization isn’t going away, but hybrid roles are the future.
    • “Nobody ever said, ‘You have too many skills, tone it down!’” – Julie Vollenweider
  • Invent your job. Every single panelist referred to their position as a “made up job” or “invented role.” It was forged through saying ‘yes’, tackling unmet needs, learning and adapting, and constant problem solving.
    • “Try something new you’re curious about but be confident about what you bring to the table.” – Kelly Lindberg

Learn more about MIMA and Horizontal Integration.