A ‘digital marketing unicorn’ sounds like an impressive and truly creative entity to employ in your company, but with constant changes happening within the corporate environment, it has become more important to actually show what you can do instead of laying claim to a fancy job title.

media update’s Talisa Jansen van Rensburg looks at why digital marketing unicorns are a lot less beneficial than people may have thought.

So, what exactly is a digital marketing unicorn?

A digital marketing unicorn is someone who takes on all the tasks and roles of a digital marketer, and more. This person does not limit their focus to only the digital marketing strategy; instead, they look at all aspects surrounding digital marketing such as creating content in Photoshop or putting a video together instead of getting a graphic designer to do so.

Most brands believe that unicorn marketers are extremely rare and that you will only come across a few of them in the ‘wild’. This means that these ‘unicorns’ are viewed as invaluable and that if a brand manages to get their hands on one, they are very lucky.

This infographic by Larry Kim shows what hard skills and soft skills a modern marketer needs to be considered a ‘unicorn’:

Let’s be honest: A digital marketing unicorn sounds amazing on paper, right? But try and put the magical being into your office space, and you'll soon realise it might not be as 'glitzy' and 'glamorous' as you may have originally thought. 

Here’s why a digital unicorn might not be the right fit for your company:

1. A team is always better than one person

We all know the saying, “Two heads are better than one”, and it still rings true today. Having only one person taking control of your digital marketing means that they can’t bounce their ideas off other experts in their team.

A ‘unicorn’ might be able to multitask and have a lot of skills, but this doesn’t mean that they have mastered all of those skills. However, if you were to hire a team, you would have a lot of different people who are highly skilled at what they do and can bring a variety of ideas and expertise to the table.

Having a team that comprises the following four traits will embody the ultimate unicorn entity:
  1. They are not afraid to try new things.
  2. They have a willingness to learn and keep upskilling.
  3. They use the skills they have, and if they don’t have a certain skill, they will ask for a helping hand.
  4. They are early adopters of changes and trends.
Imagine having a team who not only embodies these traits, but each individual member within that team has mastered a particular marketing skill. Having a group of masters with the right collective attitude can accomplish much more than one person ever could.

2. A unicorn quits fast

According to Larry Kim from Mobile Monkey, it is known that digital marketing unicorns tend to quit when they see something isn’t working.

However, when something doesn’t work the first time around it doesn’t mean that you need to give up — you just need to look at the problem from a different angle. Often, people who push through certain tasks that seem bleak end up with something unique and amazing.

Having an entire digital marketing team means that they will be able to support and motivate one another. Since there is also more than one person working on the same project, they can provide each other with different perspectives on an issue or solution. This will ensure that your marketing team will see something different from what your company’s competitors are doing.

3. A unicorn can’t do everything all at once

In this day and age, consumers want everything at lightning speed, meaning that, at some point, your ‘unicorn’ is going to burn out. And the moment a person is overworked and experiencing content fatigue, they will not be creating anything magical any longer.

In a previous media update article, Jessica Edgson, digital marketer at Rogerwilco, said, “Us youngsters in the industry aren’t afraid to upskill ourselves where necessary, but we can’t specialise in absolutely everything.”

This, again, pertains to the fact that one person can’t be good at everything, and even if there is a slight chance that they are, they won’t do a very good job.

What is your opinion are some other downsides to hiring a unicorn? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Now that you understand why hiring a masterful team is the way to go, be sure to read How to optimise your digital marketing during COVID-19 to ensure your team is ready for the changes that pandemic has brought.
*Image courtesy of Freepik