Can we all just calm down with the ridiculous job titles in the ecommerce space?

- July 4, 2014 2 MIN READ

The other day I met someone who introduced themselves as a creative technologist. After 13 years working in the online world, I’ve been witness to the evolution of the online job title and it’s come a long way from it’s humble ‘e-business manager’ beginnings. After doing a bit of research I came to the conclusion that there are nearly as many online job titles as there are salad dressing varieties and it’s starting to get confusing.

With more companies incorporating online marketing strategies and the need for digital marketing professionals increasing how would you know how to differentiate the thousand island from the honey mustard dressing or the Interactive Marketing Analyst from the Online Merchandising Manager.

Whilst researching this I found a website listing the 101 top online job descriptions ranging from Content Analyst to New Media Specialist. I’m glad it stopped at 101, scrolling any further would have posed a clear and present RSI danger.

In an industry so rapidly evolving, digital roles and their functions need to be clearer. It’s confusing for both job seekers and recruiters. So, here’s an attempt to break down 101 superfluous job descriptions into 4 humble and practical roles;

SEO Specialist: 

You’ve just built a kick ass website and you’re ready to start climbing the search engine ranks – this is the primary role of an SEO.  An SEO is responsible for bringing volumes of organic traffic to your site through a crafty combination of content, strategy, on-page and off-page techniques blended with stealth resilience.

Digital Strategy:

Often disguised as an online account executive, social media manager, web analytics manager, media planner, and brand ambassador.  Think of a digital strategist like the official dot joiner of your online world. Ideally, your digital strategist will be able to find their way out of a paper bag in a feat of problem solving genius.

Ecommerce Manager: 

I was recently asked if this was a little like being a virtual shop assistant – No, it’s nothing like that. An ecommerce manager is the heart and soul of your online operation. Your ecommerce manager will have superb strategic dexterity and use it to creatively identify and design your ecommerce goals.

Social Media Manager:

Sometimes confused with Social Media Planner, Social Media Content Manager, Social Media Digital Content Editor, Digital Community Manager. Essentially, a person of the digital people. Your social media manager is an enabler and loves to share. A social media expert will have more going for them than a Facebook addiction, they will proliferate your brands messaging across social networks through a well-defined media strategy.

Whilst it can be argued that the Subway ‘sandwich artist’ is slightly more dignified than ‘sandwich assembly line worker’ I think we’ve gone too far. The line between imagination and reality has spilled over into the nonsensical. As I’m writing this I’m looking over at my succulent garden marveling at their resilience but also wondering if I sold succulents online – would I call myself a ‘creative cactus technologist’ or would ‘vice president of succulent strategy’ better describe it?

The entrepreneur in me see’s an opportunity for an online job description translator. The pragmatist in me thinks we need to abandon the absurd and bring back the humble title.