Food vs fabric – why digital skills are needed in virtually any industry

It’s not just technology-led businesses that need digital skills. Virtually every industry relies on at least some digital skills, particularly when you consider that these skills extend to things like digital communication.
To help illustrate this, I caught up with my friend Louise who works for one of the most famous bread companies in the world – Kingsmill – as an Assistant Brand Manager. In addition to my work for Digital Innovators, I also work for an independent local patchwork and quilting business Cotton Patch, as the Marketing Executive. Whilst the companies Louise and I work for are very different and the roles entail different day to day tasks, there are a lot of core digital skills that we both rely on.
I asked Louise to list some of her core tasks so I could compare our two job roles and the skills needed. Here’s what I discovered…

1) Read, understand and present data

Data analysis may sound a bit dull, but it’s an integral part of understanding what is working and what isn’t. For both Louise and I, we need to be able to take the data from our marketing projects and clearly convey to other members of the business the successes and the areas that need improving. For Louise, this is maintained through regularly creating and updating excel spreadsheets as well as presenting these results in presentations and meetings. And for me, it’s done (slightly more casually) through sharing the stats directly from our social media and scheduling platforms to my colleagues with a written/vocal explanation of what they mean and what we can take from them.

2) Communication

One of the most essential and widely recognised skills across all industries, communication is key in both of our marketing positions. As it’s a small business, my role includes things like photography or social media scheduling that would be outsourced in a larger company. However, I’m still constantly in communication with the business director and the website coordinator and sometimes even customer service, to ensure the marketing message is consistent. For Louise, her communication works on a much larger scale. She has to organise photographers and agencies as well as her onsite team to ensure large campaigns follow through smoothly and convey the intended message. Small or large scale, communication is an integral skill in all successful businesses.

3) Website Management

Something Louise and I have both played a part in during our employment, is the management of the website. Websites are ever-changing and more than ever are becoming an indispensable asset for all types of businesses. They need to be up to date and on brand, meaning a variety of different jobs have the responsibility to understand website management – even if you’re not directly making the changes yourself.

4) Content Creation

A largely creative side to our jobs, both Louise and I work to come up with initial campaigns and content ideas. Louise creates a strategy and directs others to make her vision happen. For me, I do the planning, capturing and scheduling but on a much smaller scale. Both of us follow through from start to finish and have to have an understanding of the trends and processes of digital and social content creation in order to think outside the box and reach our companies goals.

It’s clear to see, for Louise and I to be successful in our roles, we both rely on the same core skills that we’ve moulded and adapted into different careers, many of which are the digital and soft skills taught on the Digital Innovators Skills Programme.

It’s these integral, core skills that we will carry with us to future opportunities in different industries as our careers progress. So even if your first job isn’t your first choice, don’t forget the importance of learning transferable skills that will help you take the next steps in your career. 

This article was written by Liv - Communications and Business Development Assistant

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