What does it take to be a successful Digital Marketer?

What does it take to be a successful Digital Marketer?


So I may be taking a bit of a liberty here putting this in the Stuff We Love category – it’s not the case that I love being interviewed but I do love empowering people with the skills, motivation and confidence to have successful digital marketing careers.

I have had the enormous pleasure of doing that by delivering the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing for the Digital Marketing Institute for the last 10 years. So of course I was very happy to chat to Nikoll who pits on these courses for Leoron in the UK about that.

If you are interested in developing your digital marketing skills, getting a certificate and getting yourself a digital marketing certificate please do not hesitate to get in touch with Nikoll here: enquiries@uk.leoron.com  

Nikoll Carr  0:06  

Good morning, everyone. I’m Nicole, and I work for Leoron Institute UK. Joining us today to talk about digital marketing is Martin Henley, one of our expert trainers who delivers certified digital marketing professional programme that we organise with the Digital Marketing Institute. 

Nikoll Carr  0:24  

So Martin, if you wouldn’t mind starting us off with a bit about you and your experience and then we’ll get stuck into some questions about digital marketing, and how people who are looking to get into the field, or progress within their role, and up their skills and learn something new.

How is are you qualified to talk about this Digital Marketing course?

Martin Henley  0:43  

Excellent. Thank you very much for having me, Nikoll. My name is Martin Henley. My business is The Effective Marketing Company, which is a business that I started way back in 2005. I’ve been a lecturer with the Digital Marketing Institute since around 2012. Horrifyingly, that’s coming up for 10 years of doing this but it has taken me to, I think, five continents, you know, I’ve taught this all over the world, to 1000s of students. I  think my qualification, the reason I’m qualified to deliver this course, is because I was one of those people, between 2005, 2012, 2015 who was banging their head against the wall until it was bloody trying to get digital marketing working. That kind of qualified me, I’ve made every mistake in digital marketing and that kind of cornfields qualifies me to, to teach digital marketing now, which I’m very excited about.

Nikoll Carr  1:44  

Excellent. That’s great. All right. So speaking of digital marketing, and moving into that profession, everyone seems to want to do digital digital marketing right now. Or maybe everyone feels it’s necessary to do it, whether they’re a small business owner or someone looking to change careers. It’s also viewed as a glamorous profession, do you agree with that? 

Why does everyone want to be a digital marketer?

Martin Henley  2:08  

As a what profession? 

Nikoll Carr  2:09  

A glamorous profession.

Martin Henley  2:10  


Nikoll Carr  2:12  

Something very cool to be doing.

Martin Henley  2:15  

Okay, I think it might be cool. I don’t know if it’s glamorous, glamorous, isn’t the word that I would use. I think digital marketing has changed marketing is what’s going on. I think historically, before digital marketing, marketing didn’t really have a great deal of credibility, it was seen as the thing that costs a huge amount of money, but doesn’t necessarily deliver a great deal of value. The reason for that is because there wasn’t really feedback with traditional marketing, if you were to put up a billboard, or advertise on the TV or in a newspaper or on the radio, or you were to send out a mail shot, you wouldn’t, unless somebody was actually going turning up and buying that product or service, you wouldn’t get any feedback. So it was very hard to justify marketing before digital marketing. What would happen is if the boss was in a bad mood, and they wanted to pick on someone, they would pick on the marketing department because they were completely defenceless. So I think marketing has changed, digital marketing has changed the nature of marketing. 

Martin Henley  3:23  

Then I think it’s about perspective. So I think digital marketing, if it’s done right can be very effective for businesses and we hear about how effective digital marketing is for businesses. So I think if if a business is looking at investing in marketing, then because you get the feedback, because it is so much more effective and certainly much more cost effective, then it makes a huge amount of sense for businesses to be investing in it. 

Martin Henley  3:48  

So then if you think about the people who might be looking at careers in digital marketing, I think there is demand because this is working for businesses and I do think it’s quite a cool job because, you know, you can do this from anywhere. So the whole digital nomad thing that was going on, up until obviously, the wheels came off a couple of years ago, there were lots of digital marketers running all over the world, they could they could provide a service from wherever they were with their laptop. So I do think it’s quite cool. I think it’s become much more useful for businesses. It’s much more accessible for people, so they can do it anywhere. 

Martin Henley  4:29  

The other thing is, I think it’s hugely empowering. So once you have the skills, you don’t have to be employed, you know, you can offer these these skills as a service as a freelancer or start your own business, or start your own business offering these skills and services or just start your own online business. Something that I try and motivate people to do on the very first day of the course is to actually go go home and build themselves a website because of course, you can do that in minutes, if you have an idea of how to do that. The record, I think for somebody being full time employed from their own website is about three months, you know. So it’s, it’s definitely working better for businesses and I think it works better for individuals, because you don’t have to be a slave to a job. If you’ve got the skills, you can offer them as a service, or you can start your own business, you know, so I think cool. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say glamorous.

Nikoll Carr  5:32  

Okay, cool is still pretty good? 

Martin Henley  5:35  

Cool is cool. 

What are the key attributes of a digital marketer?

Nikoll Carr  5:36  

Yeah. Right. Okay. So would you say that there are key attributes that you need to have maybe as a person in your personality before going into digital marketing? Does it take a certain type of person?

Martin Henley  5:53  

I think it takes a certain type of person. And the thing is, it’s quite, it’s become diversified and it’s become kind of segmented. So you could be full time employed, not only as a search engine optimization person, but you might be full time employed with on page optimization, for example. In which case, you’d want to be more technically minded probably. Also, you want to be creative enough to create content that people want to come and engage with. So I think generally, it takes a mix of kind of geekiness, and creativity. So if you are interested in numbers and those kinds of things, then certainly the point of doing digital marketing is to be managing those numbers. Also, you need to be creative enough to be putting out the kind of content and things, products and services that people are going to want to engage with. So I take at the top level, you want to be kind of a mix between. So if you want to be in marketing management, for example, you want to kind of be geeky and creative, if you want to go more towards, you know, the creation side of it, and you want to be more creative, you want to go more towards the technical side of it, then more technical. So I think in terms of personality type, you really want a good mix of those two things. In terms of personality, I think people who work in sales and marketing are typically much more positively motivated, you know. If you feel like you want more, you want more money, you want more kudos, you want more success, you know, then I think that sort of personality will be really good. I think in in marketing in the whole of marketing, you kind of need to be a self starter, because the job of marketing is starting things, you know. So that’s what I think, a mix of technical and creative, and certainly a self starter, positively motivated kind of a person.

Nikoll Carr  7:55  

Excellent. No, I definitely agree. It does take some time to get going and to get out there and get your stuff working for you.

Martin Henley  8:04  

Yeah, the thing about marketing is until you do your work, there’s no work for anyone else, you know, so like you can’t … I’ve always thought this is like you go for it, you start a job in and care and accountancy, and there will be a pile of accounts that need your attention, or you start work as a project manager, there will be projects that need managing. When you start as a salesperson, you’re lucky if there’s a phone on your desk, you know, there’s certainly no work for you to do. So you definitely have to be yourself starter.

Nikoll Carr  8:31  

Okay, thank you. So for those who are thinking about moving into this profession, or maybe changing careers, are there certain skills that every digital marketer needs to know? Is there a list of skills that everyone needs or is it very broad now? And if it is, are there a few that come to mind that are really important to have? 

Martin Henley  8:57  

I think what you need and this is what I tell students on the course is you kind of need three things if you’re going to have a career in digital marketing, I think. Not necessarily in this order. Can I think of the order? I think firstly, you need to have the skills or an idea of what the skills are, and the confidence to actually do it. So what I tell people, and I don’t want to upset anyone, especially you. What I tell people is I can’t really teach you digital marketing, because it’s a little bit like teaching somebody to surf, like the very best that I can do is teach you how to be safe in the water and give you the motivation to get in the water. You know, because this is such a dynamic thing. Because this is run by three or four corporations. If somebody in those corporations decide they want to change something, then it changes globally. So I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I’ve been delivering a training I will open up a tool, and it won’t look the way it did the night before, when I reviewed it to make sure I knew how I was gonna use it. So it is as dynamic as that. So I think that’s the first thing you need is you need to have an understanding of how these things work and you need to have the motivation to do it, and the confidence to do it, you know, you’re not going to break the internet. So that’s the first thing that you need. 

Martin Henley  10:23  

The second thing that’s really useful is a certificate, you know, so if you can go to an employer and say, here I am, I’m certified to do these things, then I think that’s a really useful thing to have.

Martin Henley  10:36  

I think the third thing is a network of people who are in a similar position to you. So that for me, those, for me are the three really good reasons for doing a course like this, because it will give you those three things, or certainly a course like this should give you those things. So the confidence to actually get in the water and and do the stuff, a certificate and a network of people that you can call on when you think you’ve broken the internet, but you haven’t actually.

Nikoll Carr  11:07  

No, that’s good, always handy to have that network and also to learn from each other. You know, what mistakes did you make, when you were testing this out? And having that feedback probably is a great thing.

Martin Henley  11:20  

Yeah, but the network is such an important thing because, you know, there’s so much to this, and this is why it’s become so specialised. The network is really, really important. Even if it’s, like, for example, having a group of people, you can say like I put this video together, it’s launching on YouTube, can you all be there for the premiere? It’s, you know, I mean, even as simple as that, or something much more technical and complicated like, there’s a new algorithm update, how are people finding it, you know, what people are doing? My Pages are down, my pages have been derailed, you know. So having people to speak to in those serious situations, I think is is really valuable, really, really valuable.

Nikoll Carr  12:03  

Okay, so now, on the back of that, do you find that a lot of the groups of people that you teach create their own network from being part of that class?

Martin Henley  12:15  

Yeah, 100%. I mean, they all make friends on Facebook, they all I mean, it’s, it’s kind of changed now, because we’re doing this as live virtual training so it’s changed a little bit now. Certainly, when you’re in the room with people for five days, and you’re being challenged, and you’re challenging, and you’re laughing, and you’re joking, and you’re, you know, people come out of it, and their proper friends at the end of it, so. So for 100% like people do do that, they stay in touch and yeah, and they have that network. 

Nikoll Carr  12:48  

It’s almost like a guaranteed group of cheerleaders for each other. 

Martin Henley  12:53  

Yeah. Depends, you know, you have to be nice to people it’s not guaranteed.

Nikoll Carr  12:57  

Yeah, that’s true. If you’re nice, I suppose.

Martin Henley  13:01  

If you’re nice, then you’ve got a network. Yeah. For life.

Nikoll Carr  13:04  

Excellent. Well, hopefully you have more of those people than the other kind. Yes.

Martin Henley  13:08  

100%. We haven’t had any un-nice people in all of the trainings, I’ve done.

Nikoll Carr  13:14  

That’s digital marketers for you, I think, right? Yeah. Excellent. So I know that me personally, I have spoken to quite a few digital marketers in the last even six months and they use a lot of digital marketing jargon. Now this is something that you’ve discussed in a previous webinar yourself and I know that a lot of people find it a bit intimidating or a bit hard to understand. Is this part of being a digital marketer? Do you think the beginners need to learn this jargon in order to survive? Or are there simpler ways to get across the same type of services or skill?

Do you have to use the digital marketing jargon to be a successful digital marketer?

Martin Henley  13:56  

Yeah, this is a bugbear of mine and it’s unfortunately it’s part of being a digital marketer. It shouldn’t be. I mean, it’s just appalling marketing is what it is. I’ve not got I’ve got a series of, I think there’s 23 videos and there are going to be many more in my WTF series. That is about going through not just digital marketing jargon, but all the jargon. This has gone on forever. David Ogilvy was complaining about this in the 60s, you know, marketers are terrible at this jargon thing, and it’s just appalling marketing, because convincing somebody of something by using language they don’t understand isn’t convincing anyone of anything, you know, so it’s appalling. Unfortunately, is part of it and unfortunately, I’m going to make hundreds of these videos, but it’s never going to go away. So unfortunately, a digital marketer is going to need to know all of this, all of this jargon. 

Martin Henley  14:56  

Interestingly, I don’t know if it’s still the case, but the last time I saw a stat the average lifetime of a digital marketing agency customer in the UK, in London, was three months. I think this is a lot to do with this jargon thing. So I think you can kick the doors in. And you can bamboozle people with the jargon, and make them feel a little bit silly, like they don’t know what they’re talking about and you’re very clever, but I don’t think that persists. So that also goes to the opportunity that I think is in digital marketing right now because agencies aren’t really, I mean, of course, there are some amazing agencies, but they’re not really doing a great job of delivering value for customers. So I think the opportunity to get employed inhouse as a staff member, as a digital marketer, is really good right now, because the agencies aren’t doing a great job because they’re hiding behind this jargon, largely.

Martin Henley  15:56  

I did warn you that you’ve hit on a bugbear of mine. Okay, so I’ve got to say about this. The point is, very often people attend the course because they might be in your shoes, for example, where they are running a business, and they are looking for support with their marketing and they aren’t understanding what these agencies are saying to them. So literally, at the beginning of the course, I’m like, everyone, tell me why they’re there. If they are a small business owner, they will say I’m here because I haven’t got a clue what my digital marketing agency are talking about, or what my digital agency or my digital marketing team are talking about some I’ve come here to learn the language. 

Martin Henley  16:38  

Jargon is interesting, because sometimes it’s necessary. You know, if I’m having a blood transfusion, I’m perfectly happy for the operating team to use their medical jargon to do it really efficiently you know? iIf you’re doing very technical, although I’d argue it’s not as technical as they might have you believe, search engine optimisation type stuff, then okay, there’s reason for using jargon that but there’s no reason, there’s no excuse for anybody to be using that jargon, with somebody who doesn’t understand it, you know. So I think people use that jargon, to try and make themselves look good and better, and have people give in to them is what I think, you know, so, but I don’t think it persists. So the jargon unfortunately, is not going to go away. People do need to understand it. But people will be given prizes if they catch me using that jargon during the course because that isn’t the point. Nobody understands that stuff really is the truth.

Nikoll Carr  17:41  

Okay, perhaps a means to bamboozle you at first to try and get you to feel the value of what they’re presenting and then, yeah, if there’s no substance behind it, then that’s where you kind of get caught out, isn’t it?

Martin Henley  17:58  

The thing is, people might be overawed by the jargon but honestly, when you understand what people are talking about, it just makes complete sense. You know, like, once you’ve had it translated, it makes complete sense. Most of the time, unless they are just snake oil salesman, in which case, you know, they are literally trying to bamboozle you. So we cover the jargon. I don’t use the jargon. I don’t like the jargon. I think it’s apalling, it’s the worst marketing. Yeah, so don’t get me started because literally, I mean, I’ve got a whole series of this marketing jargon busting thing. I’ve got another whole series where I’m interviewing, marketing thought leaders. And, you know, this is a topic all of the time. Like, isn’t it ironic that marketing have done such a terrible job of marketing themselves? That’s kind of that the theme. So I hate the jargon. I understand it. I do understand why people use it. You will understand it if you come on the course. But honestly,

Nikoll Carr  18:59  

Well, no, that’s a good thing because I think sometimes, if you’re looking outside in on the profession as well, or if you’re trying to decide whether it’s the right path for you, and you don’t understand anything of what’s being said, it may put you off as well. Whereas if you know that okay, there’s a time and a place for this jargon I’m going to be taught some of it so that I understand the basics, but that’s not what it’s all about. I’ll learn what it’s all about, then, perhaps it’s a bit more appealing to people.

Martin Henley  19:29  

Yeah, I mean, I hope so. I see myself rather grandly. Like my brand idols are Mary Poppins, and Toto you know, Toto the dog out of the Wizard of Oz. 

Nikoll Carr  19:42  


Martin Henley  19:42  

So Mary Poppins is an aside, but Toto I see myself as Toto I see myself as kind of pulling down the curtain so we can all see the Wizard of Oz turning the machine, you know, because that is what’s going on there’s just all of this. You’re right that there’s a place for it. Like when you’re doing technical stuff with your technical colleagues, it absolutely makes sense that you have a vocabulary that makes you more efficient at doing that thing. When you’re talking to a customer, or you’re teaching people it’s completely inappropriate. So don’t get me started Nicole, because I hate that.

Nikoll Carr  20:19  

I’ll change the subject, don’t worry.

Nikoll Carr  20:20  

Okay, good.

Martin Henley  20:21  

People need to know, if they come in the course they will understand the job, and they will understand how this works, that I won’t be bamboozling them.

Nikoll Carr  20:28  

Okay, that’s good. Right? Okay. Well, there are many ways to learn about digital marketing, you can go to university, you can get a degree, there are short courses, there is self taught, you can watch a million videos on YouTube, you can get free stuff on Instagram. Why do you think what is the best type of course. I know, it will probably vary per person but is a certificate programme a great option for people who maybe don’t want to spend on a university degree, but actually want to be formally taught all of these skills? Do you think there’s a there’s a best way to learn? Or would you say?

What is the best way of getting digital marketing skills, experience and certification?

Martin Henley  21:12  

I do, I think the best way to learn is to come and be taught me on a course run by Leoron UK, I think 100% that’s the best way to learn how. More seriously, I think, you know, it depends on how much time and energy you’ve got, and how much money you’ve got, you know. So the first thing three years at University, studying digital marketing, for me, isn’t going to do you a whole lot of good. The Digital Marketing Institute, they do a Herculean job of staying up with this, of keeping up with this, to provide a certificate every year, they change the syllabus every year, to keep up to try and keep up with with the industry and the changes that are happening. Like I say, this is ridiculously dynamic, one person decides at Google, they’re gonna change something and it’s changed globally. So they do a Herculean job. So for me, there is no way a university can keep up if they’re renewing a syllabus every three years. I mean, I did a degree, and then I went for a job, and I didn’t, this will age me, I didn’t know how to use a fax machine. So you know, it’s like, the, for me, marketing is a verb, it’s a doing word so the sooner you are doing, the better off you are, 100%. There’s the three year doing a degree, for me that can’t work, like who’s got three years to invest, they can’t possibly keep up with the changes, you know, these are academic institutions, they’re not known necessarily for their practical hands on approach. So for me, the degree thing doesn’t really fly. 

Martin Henley  23:01  

Then you’ve got free YouTube’s on on, on YouTube, and I’m contributing to that so you can go to my channel, I can vouch for what I’m saying.

Martin Henley  23:12  

But yeah, we know we can’t really trust videos on YouTube, you know. So it’s like, okay, so. So here’s the thing, like, you’ve got the three year degree, you’ve got the YouTube videos. So the way I learned this was probably from YouTube videos, and knocking my head against the wall until it was bloody, like getting it wrong, having heart attacks, having to phones clients and explain, I can’t explain, but it’s all gone wrong, all of our but Google’s taken all of our budget already, you know, like, so it’s those experiences. So if you are super safe, and you just want to be in a university hiding for three years, while you study digital marketing, that might be a great option for you. If you’re a psychopath like me, and you want to just knock your head against the wall until it’s bloody, that might be a great option for you also. In the middle are quick and punchy courses like this. The reason I deliver this course is because what this course gives you, which I don’t think you can get easily anywhere else, is a complete overhaul not overhaul overview, you know, so you can see all of the different segments, and you can see how they support each other. So my thing is integrated marketing. So I’ve never been a PPC agency. I’ve never been an SEO agency. I’ve never been a social media agency. What I am is the person who understands how all these things work and can work together. The answer to every question in digital marketing is test so literally my approach is you try all of these things you test, you understand what good value looks like when you get good value, you pour more resources into that good value. This is how you’re successful. This is how you have a successful career, this is how your boss doesn’t come and pick on you when they’re in a bad mood. Do you know what I mean?

Martin Henley  25:06  

For me, of course, I think this is a great course that’s why I’ve been delivering it for eight years. The reason for that is because it all takes place in a week, it’s 30 hours long. It gives you a great overview of how all of these things operate, and how they all fit together and it gives you a network of people who can support you when you go out and start testing things for yourself. So I think this course is a middle ground between the people who need nursing and want to be on a degree for three years not actually doing anything, the people are complete psychopaths and don’t want any help whatsoever. This is a great middle ground, I think it’s all done and dusted in, in five days, 30 hours, and you are off and running. The thing I think about it also, is it depends what kind of career you want to have. So you will be a better search engine optimisation person, if you understand how PPC supports that, and how email marketing supports that and how your content marketing supports that, you will be better at that. 100%, you will be a better digital marketing manager, if you understand enough of each of all of these things and how they fit together and how you can leverage each of them to get more value. That’s why I think so in case, I haven’t made it clear. I think this is a great course. I think people should come and do this with us, with Leoron in the UK.

Nikoll Carr  26:31  

You haven’t mentioned it, but great. I think you’re right about the middle ground, because there is so much out there and it’s sometimes hard to get lost in all of the posts in you know, on your feeds. In LinkedIn, there’s there’s a digital marketing course advertised, you know, every five posts or something, sometimes. So I guess my next question is ….

Martin Henley  27:00  

Okay, can I just say something before you say that, because I haven’t had this conversation with anyone else. Yesterday, I think it was on an Instagram Reel or something and this guy was doing a difference between the United States and Europe and he had like 27 things. I mean, this is just to demonstrate, like we live in a world of misinformation. This is just to demonstrate how wrong people can be quite often but still have the platform. He said that smoking in Europe is much more a fashion thing, and not considered a risk to your health. This person said that on the internet.

Nikoll Carr  27:37  

And the basis of his opinion is

Martin Henley  27:39  

The basis of his opinion is … Lord knows it’s his opinion. That’s the point is that you can say whatever you like, on the internet, you know, and people are saying whatever they like on the internet. So, you know, if I start giving people junk, we’re not going to be running many more courses, you know, so that there is that and because of the certification, there is that kind of guarantee that nobody on this course is going to stand up and start lying or just spouting their opinion because, you know, it’s not going to be right I think.

Nikoll Carr  28:10  

It’s not going to serve anybody to do that that’s not the point. 

Martin Henley  28:13  

Exactly. Yes. 

Nikoll Carr  28:15  

Right. So in terms of delivery,

Martin Henley  28:18  

Thank you. I’ve just had a delivery, my evening smoothie has just arrived.

Nikoll Carr  28:23  

Oh, perfect. Right. So in terms of delivery, so there’s a few options out there. With Leoron and with you we deliver live virtual training, which is essentially the same as a classroom only via computer. 

Martin Henley  28:42  


What are the benefits of attending this digital marketing course as live virtual training>?

Nikoll Carr  28:42  

An online platform. What do you think the benefits are of LVT and delivering this course in this way?

Martin Henley  28:52  

I think the benefits are the network. And I think the benefits are one of the better …. as opposed to to completely doing the course on your own online. So it is

Nikoll Carr  29:05  

Yeah, yes. Yeah.

Martin Henley  29:09  

I just think it’s chalk and cheese. I mean, first prize clearly is a room full of people, all getting on, having a laugh, I don’t know if I’ve given people a sense of this. For me, it has like for me if people are laughing, they’re learning. So there’s lots of laughing goes on when we when we deliver the course and there’s lots of interaction. The huge benefit of doing this in a classroom type situation, whether it’s online or whether it’s an actual classroom, is if you don’t understand something, you get to ask somebody, and then you get to know the answer. Or if you don’t quite believe something, then you get to challenge somebody and you get to understand more of the answer or more of the reasoning, you know. For me, it’s chalk and cheese. Like, personally, I don’t have the discipline to do 30 hours of online learning. I will tell you I’ve done it but I wouldn’t have done it. There’s something about showing up and doing it and being able to challenge the instructor and ask the question and make friends with people. That is just far and away much more valuable than than doing this online? I think. So, yeah, chalk and cheese for me.

Nikoll Carr  30:19  

Excellent. So for those who don’t know, what we deliver is the DMI programme led by an instructor, which is why it’s the same but different and Martin is, of course, one of our expert trainers who delivers this programme for us. Yeah, I agree face to face training, there’s nothing like it is the best option and obviously, we’ve adapted throughout the pandemic to live virtual training so that we can continue with development in a professional manner. So it’s great that we have these options now and we can run both options.

Martin Henley  30:55  

Yeah, I mean, 100%. The thing is, it’s different, like, virtual training is different but it’s also fun, you know. Nobody gets to hide, everybody has to interact. So yeah, first prize, clearly is everyone in the same room but there are benefits, you know, you don’t have to get in traffic. You know, when you stop, you are home, or you’re in your office or whatever, you know, so there are benefits to the virtual thing. First prize is classroom, second prize is virtual. I couldn’t be trusted to do the course online. I know that much.

Nikoll Carr  31:32  

Well, then I suppose if you have questions, you’re you’re emailing someone maybe to find out and you’re waiting. It’s just not the same support? Is it? If you’re struggling?

Martin Henley  31:42  

I mean, I’ve never been involved in that. I know that the DMI do a huge amount of that but I’ve never been involved with at all. So I’ve got no idea what the support is, like, you know, I’ve seen some of the content and that you know, the content is fine. You know, for me, first prize has to be classroom and second prize, virtual and I can’t be trusted. I don’t know how many times you want me to tell you this, Nikoll. I can’t be trusted to do that. I just can’t and I take my hat off to anyone who has the motivation and the discipline to actually do that for themselves. I really do.

Nikoll Carr  32:16  

No, I agree. I’m the same. Right Okay. Well, why don’t I stop asking questions and see if maybe some of our attendees have some questions for you. Maybe a bit more challenging for you, you never know. Does anyone have a question for Martin? If you’re not able to unmute yourself, let me know. I think I’ll unmute everyone, and then if you choose to move back, oh, Ibraham. 

What are the typical challenges in running digital marketing campaigns?

Ibrahim  32:51  

Hi good morning. It was it was very interesting to say because too, to your past, within digital marketing. I wanted to know, what are the previous digital marketing campaign that you worked on and sort of what approaches did you take In order to make this campaign that you are working on successful whilst you’re doing it? What challenges did you face?

Martin Henley  33:26  

Okay, good question. Thank you Ibrahim, so many digital marketing campaigns. So, when I started in 2005, okay, so to give you a bit more background, I prior to that was in sales, I’d always been in sales. The reason I started a marketing company, is because I thought that the marketing teams had always had all of the budget and none of the target, whilst the sales team had had all of the target and none of the budget that was my rationalisation. When I started in 2005, digital marketing wasn’t really a thing. So the way I came to this, I was offering essentially sales consultancy first. So I would go into businesses and I would say, Okay, if I was a professional salesperson, your business, this is what I would be doing. I’d essentially be canvassing. That lead, for my sins to us offering telemarketing as a service, and that led then to us offering email marketing supported by telemarketing as a service, which then led to developing websites, running PPC campaigns, search engine optimisation campaigns, and then when social came along 2008 2009 we added social media into the mix. Of course there was a huge crash in 2008 so lots of people’s marketing budgets went away. So that’s when I personally started training. 

Martin Henley  34:54  

The approach to this always is a socket and see approach Your mission as a marketer or a digital marketer is to deliver the best value. I talk about this at length and we did this before on a webinar that we did about cost of customer acquisition, which comes down to the biggest challenge, the biggest pitch you’re ever going to face in your digital marketing career is your boss, because they aren’t going to believe what it is that you are proposing. Because what you’re always proposing essentially, is we need to try all of these different things to know which is going to work best for us. We’re going to have to develop the right messages, we’re going to have to target the right people are going to have to learn those messages at the right time, in the right place, etc, etc. So, essentially, digital marketing is a suck it and see operation. The benefit of doing a course like this, and having an agency and having run lots of digital marketing campaigns is you can say, Okay, our experience of your market is that this will be the first place that we should test because this might be where we get the best result, typically. The challenge is always having the support of your client or your boss, you know, securing the investment that’s required to work out where that investment is going to deliver the best value. You can’t, what can you say, some things work, this is the beauty of digital marketing. So I could tell you, anyone could come to me and within 10 minutes, I can tell you exactly what people are searching for on Google, for example. I can tell you, when they’re searching, I can tell you the exact keywords they’re using. The great beauty of digital marketing is before I ask somebody for a penny of investment, I can do some really meaningful research and I can identify the scale of the opportunity, and also the scale of the investment that might be required to realise that opportunity. So I don’t feel like I’m answering your question about a specific campaign but I can tell you that the issue with every client engagement, every boss engagement is the same, you have to secure enough investment to work out which messagesb which platforms, which timings, all of these things are going to be most effective in delivering value. 

Martin Henley  37:21  

The beauty of that is once you get that ball rolling, is that it becomes a cycle. So literally, every time you come round, you get to turn the screw a little bit more, and a little bit more, and a little bit more to deliver a little bit more value each time. So if you take my criteria for marketing, lots of people don’t have one, it’s cost of customer acquisition against lifetime customer value. So what is it costing us to acquire a customer? What do we make from each customer? And how do we reduce the cost of customer acquisition, increase the lifetime customer value, so that we are delivering on the bottom line, the profitability of the business? I hope that that makes sense Ibrahim, that doesn’t exactly answer your question because once you’ve established those things, then no campaign really has an issue. You know, once everybody knows what’s going on, then everybodyb and everybody understands the amount of time that you have to invest to see what the value is, then you don’t really have an issue. 

Martin Henley  38:23  

I could tell you 100 horror stories if you want, where pages have been dead websites have been deranked overnight, Google have taken all of our budget out of our pay per click campaigns, or LinkedIn have charged us 17 pounds per click and they claim that there have been 100 clicks, and three people have turned up on our web pages and none of them have been there for more than two seconds, I can tell you a million of those stories. Essentially, the challenge of digital marketing, the challenge of marketing is securing the investment and the support to be able to test which of these platforms messages, target audiences, etc, etc. is going to work. Does that kind of answer your question Ibrahim?

Martin Henley  39:09  

He’s gone off to start doing it already.

Ibrahim  39:11  

No. Hi. Yeah, it did. So it sounds like you do a lot of background research in order to gain information as to where to allocate financial resources to certain avenues that you want to.

Martin Henley  39:30  

Yeah. 100%. So the first mission is to sit down and put a strategy together, and the first part of that 60% of that is your situational analysis. So you understand exactly where you are now, exactly how the market is, exactly who you’re going to be targeting, what the competition are up to, all of those things, because you can, and this is, you know, the benefit of digital marketing. You can make pretty accurate assessments of what the scale of the opportunity is, and what’s required to realise that opportunity. So 100%  that’s the first thing that you do is you sit down, you make a plan. It’s not 100% What people do all the time, 99% of people I showed you start throwing money around. You know, that’s, that’s not the best place to start. 

Ibrahim  40:21  


Martin Henley  40:24  

Excellent question. Thanks, Abraham.

Nikoll Carr  40:28  

Does anyone else have any questions for Martin? Around the course around digital marketing in general, around his What kind of smoothie he’s got? Anything? 

Ibrahim  40:41  

Best share what type of smoothie you’ve got Martin.

Martin Henley  40:45  

It’s chocolate smoothie. It’s my evening smoothie.

Nikoll Carr  40:48  

What we’re all jealous about it I think now. 

Martin Henley  40:52  

Okay, good. All right, cool. 

Nikoll Carr  40:55  

Anyone else? Don’t be shy. 

What makes digital marketing different from more traditional sense of marketing?

Ibrahim  41:01  

Yeah, I’d like to ask another question. What makes digital marketing different from more traditional sense of marketing?

Martin Henley  41:16  

Okay, so that’s a good question and the thing is, is that it’s kind of coming around full circle now. So we talk about digital, we talked about digital, and traditional marketing. Of course, traditional marketing is becoming digitised. So for example, now they’re putting scanners on billboards, so they can count the number of vehicles that pass, you know, TV has become digitised. So it’s kind of coming around. The big difference is the transparency and the feedback. So the big difference is you can get a real sense of what your market looks like on the way in and then when you’ve actually done it, you’re getting proper feedback. So so the best example, is to compare direct mail, with email, for example. So the direct mail association in the United Kingdom will tell you that  .1% of all direct mail gets opened. It might be point 8% I can’t remember. The thing is, it doesn’t matter what they say, because they’re making it up, because how could they possibly know? They didn’t go around everybody’s house and ask them did you open that piece of mail? Whereas with email, I know exactly how many people were on my list that I sent. I know exactly when it was sent. I know exactly how many of those were received. I know that how many of those bounced soft bounces, hard bounces. I know exactly how many of those were opened, I know exactly what people clicked on. I know exactly when they turned up on the webpage. I know how long they spent on the webpage, I might know where they went from there. So the difference is that transparency on the way in, and it’s not perfect, but you get a really good sense of your market on the way in, and then feedback on the way out. What that enables you to do is hone your campaigns. So you are constantly turning the screw and making your campaigns more efficient, more effective, and more profitable every time you are involved. So this is …. and it’s not perfect, I will convince you it’s perfect on the course I’ll convince you it’s perfect now, it’s not perfect. It is a million miles away from when what used to happen, which is you wanted to send a direct mail campaign, and it would take four months. So you had to secure the budget, you had to get the copy written and you had to get it off to the printer. He had to get it to the distributor, you had to get it in the mailboxes and then crickets. You hear nothing, unless somebody actually phones you up. Whereas if I want to send an email campaign, it might take me two or three days to come up with the right copy the right images the right way, or is the approval the whole thing, and it’s gone in seconds, and it lands in seconds and I’m seeing immediately the effect of that. Does that answer your question? 

Ibrahim  44:04  

Yeah. So it sounds like you get a true analysis of what you’re actually yeah. 

Martin Henley  44:11  

100%. Yeah, so now there’s a story behind what goes on, you know, so, like, historically, I mean, God help us if we were marketers in the 90s. Literally, we were spending money and if we were if we were challenged, what were we going to say to people? It’s like, well, it went in the post, that’s as much as we can hope for. it went in the post. Did it work. Did it not work that people open it? Did they not open? Like we’ve got no idea, no clue. Whereas now there is a story behind what’s going on. So if your boss is in a terrible mood, and he wants to come and jump on you, then you can tell them the whole story. This is what happened, this is what we did, this is how they responded. This is what we’re thinking in terms of response that will go out next week, and I’ll let you know exactly what the story is after that. Vome and talk to me about whatever it is I’m doing because I’m completely, my bases are covered, I know exactly what’s going on, I know exactly what the feedback is, I know exactly what the effect is. So now these moody bosses have to go and pick on somebody else because marketing people are empowered now with digital marketing, they can see exactly what’s going on.

Martin Henley  45:23  

I like to tell people, it’s like driving a car, you know, all of the instrumentation is in front of you, and you should be, it’s not perfect, I’ll tell you it’s perfect, but it’s not. It’s not perfect but it is like driving a car. I know how fast I’m going on it how much petrol I’ve got, I know what’s going on, I am in control of my digital marketing. The students that like the might, the may be more geeky students who do this, they go away, and they run their marketing by the numbers, and they are hugely successful you know, I’m not quite that geeky. I need geeky people to do that work for me. I can think of 10 or 15 students who’ve gone off and had really successful careers, because they just absolutely run their their marketing department by the numbers.

Nikoll Carr  46:13  

I have another question for you, Martin. When you teach this course? What kind of? I don’t know. What kind of dynamic teaching methods do you use? Or methodologies? Do you use props? Do you use case studies? How do you make the material come alive? Shall we say? 

What kind of dynamic teaching methods do you use when delivering this digital marketing course?

Martin Henley  46:37  

I make the material come alive. If it’s face to face, I’ve got a bag of soldiers and I throw them around. So if somebody interjects or asks a question or whatever, then they are rewarded with a soldier. Then we have a count up at the end of the week and the person with the biggest army is the general and they win a prize of some description. What I’ve always done is, because, you know, we do this stuff every day, like we’ve grown up now with the internet, you know, so we know what Google is and we’ve got a sense of how it works. We know what social media is, and we know how it works. So the way I kind of teach is by firing questions at the group, especially if it’s like a virtual training, because people in the group will know the answers. I don’t want to be talking for 30 hours, I find it really uninteresting. I never say anything I’ve not heard before, you know. So for me, it’s about pulling the pulling the answers out of the group, and directing them so that they understand, because also groups will have experienced people will already be in digital marketing roles, they might have much more experienced than I do of TikTok marketing, or Snapchat marketing or some of these newer social media platforms that have come about since I stopped providing services. So that’s the way I do it is I grill, the group, and I get them to come up with their own answers and I create an environment where you are rewarded for challenging for being involved. 

Martin Henley  48:12  

So the way I teach this is very, very conversational. I mean, there’s a tsunami of content in this, like, there are a lot of slides, which every student will have forever. So I’m not about the slides, I’m about making sure people understand the things that I really need them to understand. Like, for example, when I teach PPC, I think it’s really important that people know that Google are really only interested in your money and are very good at taking your money. You know, so as long as I’ve got that point across, then I’ve covered my bases for that whole module. You know, so that’s it, I grill people. If it’s a live classroom, I throw things around so everyone’s paying attention all day, or somebody could lose an eye.  I create an environment where people can discuss and challenge ends. It’s very conversational.

Nikoll Carr  49:04  

Okay, all right. Last chance for questions. Anyone? All right. Looks like everyone’s fairly satisfied with what you’ve already told them. You’re allowed to go and have your smoothie now.

Martin Henley  49:18  

Excellent. Thank you very much and thank you for having me. I mean, I really look forward to delivering some of these courses for you in the UK, it’d be great.

Nikoll Carr  49:26  

Thank you very much, Martin we really have appreciated you taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us and just discuss marketing and the courses and all the options that are available and hopefully, the best option is you and I delivering this with Leoron.

Martin Henley  49:43  

100% it’s the best option. I mean, what would they be thinking otherwise?

Nikoll Carr  49:47  

Sure. All right. Well, thank you so far and hopefully we’ll see you again soon for another chat and take care of everyone. We hope you’ve enjoyed it. 

Martin Henley  49:57  

Fantastic. Thank you. 

Nikoll Carr  49:59  

All right. Take care.


Martin Henley

Martin Henley

Martin has built a reputation for having a no nonsense approach to sales and marketing and for motivating audiences with his wit, energy, enthusiasm and his own brand of audience participation.

Martin’s original content is based on his very current experience of running effective marketing initiatives for his customers and the feedback from Effective Marketing’s successful and popular marketing workshops.



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