As for what should your sandbox be, you have a few options. The easiest is to start a blog. That’s what this site was started as: a sandbox for learning content marketing, and it only became my full-time job on accident. A blog is a perfect sandbox for learning digital marketing since you can test almost all of the tactics on it, it’s low-cost, and you’ll improve your writing in the process.

Search engines do all of this by discovering and cataloguing all available content on the Internet (web pages, PDFs, images, videos, etc.) via a process known as “crawling and indexing,” and then ordering it by how well it matches the query in a process we refer to as “ranking.” We’ll cover crawling, indexing, and ranking in more detail in Chapter 2.

Collaborative Environment: A collaborative environment can be set up between the organization, the technology service provider, and the digital agencies to optimize effort, resource sharing, reusability and communications.[38] Additionally, organizations are inviting their customers to help them better understand how to service them. This source of data is called User Generated Content. Much of this is acquired via company websites where the organization invites people to share ideas that are then evaluated by other users of the site. The most popular ideas are evaluated and implemented in some form. Using this method of acquiring data and developing new products can foster the organizations relationship with their customer as well as spawn ideas that would otherwise be overlooked. UGC is low-cost advertising as it is directly from the consumers and can save advertising costs for the organisation.

TalkWalker Alerts - This is a free alerts tool to help you find versatile opportunities for link building quite easily - for instance if you set up alerts for your brand name or keyword, you’re going to get a list of posts which mention your brand and/or keywords. You’d be surprised at how often people mention you but don’t link to you! After you're done identifying a list of these posts, reach out to the authors and request that they link back to you. You can track mentions on Twitter, blogs, and discussions. 

If your company is business-to-business (B2B), your digital marketing efforts are likely to be centered around online lead generation, with the end goal being for someone to speak to a salesperson. For that reason, the role of your marketing strategy is to attract and convert the highest quality leads for your salespeople via your website and supporting digital channels.
Onalytica - Onalytica specializes in providing Influencer Relationship Management software and supporting professional services to help brands scale 1-to-1 Influencer Relationship Management results. It helps configure bespoke influencer programmes to better automate and streamline influencing activity as well as identify on-going engagement opportunities. 
One way marketers can reach out to consumers, and understand their thought process is through what is called an empathy map. An empathy map is a four step process. The first step is through asking questions that the consumer would be thinking in their demographic. The second step is to describe the feelings that the consumer may be having. The third step is to think about what the consumer would say in their situation. The final step is to imagine what the consumer will try to do based on the other three steps. This map is so marketing teams can put themselves in their target demographics shoes.[69] Web Analytics are also a very important way to understand consumers. They show the habits that people have online for each website.[70] One particular form of these analytics is predictive analytics which helps marketers figure out what route consumers are on. This uses the information gathered from other analytics, and then creates different predictions of what people will do so that companies can strategize on what to do next, according to the peoples trends.[71]
One of the smartest decisions that I ever made was to skip the MBA and go straight into my marketing career. From the hands-on experience by leading marketing teams and all the marketing books, podcasts, and blog posts I’ve consumed over the years, I’ve basically given myself an MBA in marketing at a fraction of the cost. And I got paid along the way.

That third step is where the research comes in. For each of the areas you’re trying to improve at, you want to find experiments you can run with that skill in order to get better at it. To find those experiments, look for case studies. Don’t read guides or listicles if you can help it; case studies will be more informative. You want to see specifically what worked for someone else, then turn that into your own experiment you can test.