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I recently came across this great infographic created by Salesforce.com entitled “The Modern Marketer”. This graphic shows how the modern marketer has to be multifaceted – half artist and half scientist. Gone are the Mad Men days of marketing where creativity was valued above all else. New technology offers modern marketers not only the ability to create very creative marketing campaigns, but also ones that are data driven with performance tracking and insightful analysis to better understand the target audience and improve conversions.


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The role of a modern marketer sounds pretty exciting, right? Well, achieving this balance between artist and scientist is not easy and requires a special skill set not previously seen or required in the marketing field before. It requires marketers to use both the creative and analytical side of their brains. The creative side is responsible for producing all the creative content, visual assets, engaging social media, and great email campaigns while the analytical side has to focus on all the important data, analytics, and overall campaign performance. It is certainly not an easy balance to maintain by any means.

The Modern “SEO” Marketer

This infographic got me thinking about how the role of SEO professionals has also drastically changed as we too have essentially become “modern marketers”. Before Panda and Penguin came along, SEO required much less creativity and true marketing. Apart from some technical on-page optimization, SEO was more about manual link building, and the site with the most links usually won. Sure, there was still some link building strategy involved, but it was also easy to cheat the system. You could buy links, spin articles, and pay to have a service submit to hundreds of directories for you with the click on a mouse.

The mindless link building and low hanging fruit days of SEO are gone and true SEO professionals must now shift into the new role of modern marketers in order to obtain the results that clients expect and deserve. Modern day SEO professionals must have one foot planted in science and the other in art just as depicted in the infographic above, and must use an arsenal of marketing tools and methods such as Google+, Pinterest, conversion optimization, etc. to achieve the best long term results for their clients.

Great News For Some

This is actually exciting news for SEO professionals that love real marketing, strategy, and data analysis, but it is not so exciting for SEO guys that just wanted to build lots of low quality links and manipulate the search engines with the latest short term tactics. Sure, there will still be SEO pros that will find small loopholes to manipulate rankings short term, but those types of strategies will yield fewer and fewer returns as search engines become smarter and more advanced.
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Long term SEO success is now centered on creating compelling content the intended target audience likes so much that they can’t help but share it with their social networks as well as take the desired action you had for creating the content to begin with. This is the whole idea behind content marketing, and the SEO’s role is not only to help create this great content, but to get it in front of the right people. Great content is only great if people know about it.

SEO professionals should not focus on building links back to their clients’ sites but instead help facilitate in getting the content in front of the right people through social media and other outlets. This will increase the chances of people linking back to the site naturally simply because the content is that good. People like to look smart and be helpful to their sphere of influence online, and they accomplish this by linking to and sharing great content with those in their social networks.

What are your thoughts on the role of a “modern marketer” today and what changes do you see in SEO in the coming years as it relates to this role?