We are talking to Vladimir Ristevski, mentor of the most current Digital Marketing Academy in Skala, created in cooperation with Piksel. Read his thoughts on the future of marketing.

How does it feel to be part of a new story – the first Academy for Digital Marketing as a partnership project of the leading School of Design and Technology, Skala, and the leading company in the field of digital marketing in Macedonia, Piksel?

The feeling is excellent; it’s always exciting when starting something new. The fact that we have had such an idea for years and “it was sitting in our drawer” has additional value, and now we have the opportunity to realize it quickly and with quality with the phenomenal partners from Skala.

These are those moments when you find people with the same energy, mission, and vision who are on the same wavelength in the same unit of time, and you simply know that now and here, you will do something beautiful together.

There have been eleven years of Piksel’s existence and a huge array of challenges. From previous experience, which is more complex, working with clients and managing expectations or educating and managing internal teams?

Everything is complex and simple at the same time. Energy, knowledge, and abilities are one thing. To reach a certain point in a company’s growth and development, you need a completely different set of skills for working with clients and a third set of skills for educating and managing internal teams. Probably, the recipe for success is to work on all these skills in parallel at once.

The advantage of Piksel is that from the very beginning, we were multiple partners, and we could devote ourselves to multiple aspects in parallel without any part suffering. As we grew and developed, it was clear that we would have to build a professional organization and teams with managers and team leaders within the various sectors.

To make this happen, we knew that we needed to train the team leaders in client work and project management, but most of all, we needed to give them the confidence that they could solve problems in their own way, in line with the company’s culture and organizational values. And yes, education is perhaps the most important part of all of this.

What are the most current and highest-paying professions related to digital marketing, and what are the ones in high demand but least present in our market?

More and more new professions are emerging in the field of using artificial intelligence in digital marketing. I believe these new hybrid professions will be the future of marketing. We must understand that we must not allow ourselves to get into a comfort zone where we stop learning because that will be disastrous for us as marketers.

Regarding which professions are in demand and least present in our country, I would say “SEO Strategist” because Macedonia is a small market, and few people speak our language. There needs to be more room for someone to do SEO at that level.

In an ideal world, an SEO Strategist should take care of the overall technical functioning of a large website that sells services/products in collaboration with the development team, the user experience with the UI/UX designers, the way they should be incentivized for users to complete the order in coordination with the marketing and sales team, for the content of that website with copywriters, for creative ways to appear on digital channels in collaboration with advertising and social media managers and finally for the entire functioning of the eco the system of external channels that should bring traffic to that web page.

seo strategist future in marketing

Identify the four essential skills and qualities digital marketers need to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace and the future of marketing.

As the most important, I would single out the ability to adapt and learn. You have to learn new things; you have to be curious, don’t be afraid to experiment, learn from mistakes, learn from others, and listen to opinions from dissenters because your ideas are not the best ones all the time. 

Knowing how advertising platforms work is also very important so that you can learn how to create appropriate content. Strategic thinking is the last skill you will develop by building the entire brand narrative in a story that should “drive” for years and by regularly following analytics and drawing conclusions.

As experts in the field, is education on digital marketing supplemented with practical application crucial?

To become really good in any field, you have to know the theory and try to apply what you learn. If you learn theory but don’t have practice, you won’t know the challenges that marketers face every day, and over time, you’ll forget what you learned.

If you work practically and do not have a good understanding of theory, you will make mistakes in steps, the time you will need to complete a marketing activity will be doubled, and you will be ineffective.

Consequently, the educational process must combine a solid theoretical foundation with the practical application of real projects. This is actually the concept of Skala and Piksel Digital Marketing Academy, where students will take a comprehensive and holistic approach to specializing in digital marketing.

When does the academy start, and what are the career opportunities after completion?

The academy starts on May 13 and will offer a really extensive and quality program in digital marketing. This program, combined with practice, will train students to be ready for the challenges they will face in everyday work in the real world.

Of course, here comes the connection of the best candidates with potential employers from the industry looking for quality staff. Among them is Piksel, which very often gives young people opportunities to start their careers in our company and even to advance with full steam in high positions.

Finally, what three pieces of advice would you give to junior digital marketers just starting their digital journey?

Constantly follow trends, be bold and experiment, seek and accept feedback from friends, colleagues, associates, and industry experts, learn new tools, and refresh their knowledge at conferences, pieces of training, and festivals. They should not be burdened with expectations of quick success and should not be afraid to make mistakes because mistakes are the best and most effective way to learn, and then success will follow.

Enrollment for the new generation of Digital Marketing Academy students is underway! For more, see this link.

Interview for Skala Blog