A quick search of LinkedIn reveals 1,458 people in the U.S. who describe themselves as “marketing gurus” in their profile title, 221 who list themselves as “marketing ninjas” and 5,888 who are “marketing experts.”
There are even 49 people who are “marketing gods,” which either means that marketing is a polytheistic creed or there are 48 false prophets on LinkedIn.
I hear these terms thrown around all the time, and it got me thinking: What is it that really makes someone an online marketing superstar?
You could measure this by the number of years that they’ve been in the business, but the correlation between experience and expertise is not always sound. Perhaps the amount of money someone has managed is relevant, but I’ve seen numerous multi-million dollar campaigns that appear to have been managed by monkeys spending 50% of their time trying to write Shakespeare.
A resume of incredible results year-after-year is probably the best indicator of marketing “elite” status, though even that can sometimes be more the result of picking great companies to work for than actual marketing chops.
Probably the best answer to this question is a paraphrase of what Justice Stewart said about obscenity: “I don’t know what it is, but I know it when I see it.”
One somewhat quantitative way to measure your online marketing props is to evaluate the breadth of your expertise. It is definitely true that someone can be a Ninja/Guru/Superstar in a specific sub-specialty of online marketing (e.g., SEM, analytics or landing page optimization). But if you want to declare yourself an “online marketing” expert, it seems fair to demand expertise in a broad swath of skills, right?
So, with this in mind, I tried to create a comprehensive questionnaire to help you evaluate your online marketing expertise. The survey is simple.
For each of the topics below, give yourself a score from zero to three. Point values indicate the following:
- Zero (0): ”I’ve never done this before.”
- One (1): ”I’ve done this, but I have only a cursory knowledge.”
- Two (2): ”I am at least average at this skill.”
- Three (3) ”I am an expert at this.”
Get a notepad ready to tabulate your score — I’ll give you a ranking at the end of the quiz.
To learn more about any topic, click on the links in the slideshow for related articles here and on Search Engine Land.
There are 45 items on this quiz, meaning the maximum score would be 135 points. Now that you’ve tallied your results, I’ll reveal what the scores mean:
- Less than 20 points: You are an online marketing neophyte. If you want to learn more about online marketing, you should probably look for some cool internship opportunities.
- 20 to 40 points: You are an online marketing beginner. You clearly have some good experience in a few areas of online marketing, but you need to become more well-rounded to proclaim overall marketing expertise.
- 40 to 60 points: You are an online marketing professional. Any company out there would benefit from your broad-based expertise. Recruiters stalk you!
- 60 to 80 points: You are an online marketing expert. You see the forest through the trees and fuse tactics and strategy to not only drive results today, but plan for the future.
- 80 to 100 points: You are an online marketing ninja! Congratulations, you have somehow developed expertise in many, many areas of online marketing. You should probably start your own company and use your marketing skills to make billions online.
- More than 100 points: You are the online marketing guru. You don’t have any friends other than the support staff for several marketing APIs, but that’s OK, because you are online marketing, and online marketing is you. I have never met you, by the way — and I would like to!
For the record, I took the test myself and I gave myself a 77. Please post a response and share your score!
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.