Marketing is not only changing; it is also expanding. From collecting more data than ever before to emerging marketing tactics and trends, marketers have to keep up with a lot more now than they had to in the past. Knowing all the skills marketers need to be successful can be overwhelming and this is why we have broken them down into categories so you can know what these skills are and focus on the areas you feel would best benefit you.
Basic Marketing Skills
Basic marketing skills are the fundamentals you use to build your marketing campaigns. There is no marketing without most of these skills. One of these skills is the ability to write well. Marketing is the foundation on which marketers build everything they do. Writing comes in everywhere, from writing content for a marketing campaign to creating ad copy. Writing skills are also important because they make it easy for marketers to create stories about businesses, products or clients.
Marketers should also have good communication skills. Marketers are not always communicating with their audience as they also communicate with co-workers and other people. Clear and consistent communication within a marketing team makes it easy for them to achieve their goals. Markets have to also be able to communicate with their bosses to explain what is going on, how campaigns are doing, and more.
Interpersonal communication skills, those that dictate how we say things and not just what we say, are also important for marketers. Markets must understand the power of their words, so how they say things is critical.
Marketers should also be able to keep learning. Marketing, as mentioned, is always changing which means marketers are always receiving new information from different sources. There are new reports to read, tactics to master, competitors to keep an eye on and so much more. Marketers never stop learning and the minute they decide to stop learning is when they start falling behind.
Openness to Experimentation
Lastly, marketers should be open to trying new things. Testing is an important part of marketing, especially in cases where you are not seeing the results you hoped for. Marketers are always trying new things because they will never know if anything works if they do not try.
Data and Analytics Skills
Data is arguably the most important commodity to a modern marketer. Data helps marketers understand their customers and the market the businesses they work for are operating in. Data also helps marketers understand whether their efforts are paying off, track which customers are most receptive to their marketing, and a lot more.
Data and marketing analytics skills are essential because they help marketers collect the necessary data and interpret it to fashion marketing strategists with the exact type of data they need. With data and someone to break it down into digestible and understandable forms, marketers and marketing strategists would be flying blind.
Within the larger banner of analytics, there are specific areas that marketers should be skilled in. One of these is interpreting customer data to gain consumer insights that help with the decision-making process. Customers make businesses run and not understanding them can be detrimental. It is up to marketers to collect the right type of data from all customer interactions, break this data down, and use these insights to understand what their customers are saying.
Gaining the right customer insights skills is an ongoing process because customers are always changing. However, an advanced degree in marketing does help. Earning a Masters in Marketing Analytics degree at Emerson College, for example, arms graduates with the skills they need, not only to collect the right consumer data, but also to break it down, and understand their customers and their motivations to ensure positive interaction between customers and the business.
The second area of focus is understanding data science. Marketers collect massive amounts of data with the understanding that each customer action is a data point. Data science skills help marketers know what type of data to look for, where and how to find it as well as how to interpret it. Once all this is done, marketers can use all these insights to tell a story.
This sort of story is used to explain what happened and to understand why it happened. For example, a marketer can use data to explain that their campaign led to an increase in sales. However, that is not always enough as they also need to explain the how.
The last analytics skill marketers need is data visualization. Data, as collected, is almost always messy. Numbers and data points in a spreadsheet can look like a jumbled mess, with nothing standing out. Data visualization makes it easy for other people to better understand the most important bits of data in a simple way. Data visualization can include charts, infographics and other types of presentation media, as long as they are easy enough to understand.
Social Media Skills
There is no escaping social media as it has become a huge part of marketing. Marketers should understand how to leverage social media to ensure the success of their campaigns. Knowing how to write for different social media channels is an essential skill to have. Each social media platform is different and what works on Twitter, for example, might not work on Instagram.
Social Media Algorithms
Understanding social media algorithms, how they work, and when they change is also critical. These algorithms dictate what content will be pushed to relevant audiences depending on what these audiences like. Algorithms are key indicators of what social media platforms think their audiences want to see. For example, Facebook live videos have been doing well for some time, so a marketer can understand why it would be a great idea to focus on creating more Facebook videos.
Staying Up to Date
The next social media skill for marketers is keeping up with trends and ideas. Social media changes so fast that something that would get a lot of engagement today could be stale content tomorrow. A proficient social media marketer should be able to recognize profitable trends and ideas that come up and keep up with them. This will involve some level of thinking ahead and taking as much advantage of these ideas and trends as possible and moving on.
Social Media Marketing Strategies
Every marketer must also understand social media marketing strategies. This often stems from understanding what would work well for one business and putting a lot of emphasis on that. This is not as easy as it sounds because it requires a lot of planning, strategic thinking, and execution. Posting a lot of content does not work in the current age. Instead, marketers should understand their audiences and create marketing copy that would be received well by these audiences.
As marketing and technology become more intertwined, marketers are increasingly being required to have the necessary technical skills to make use of the different marketing tools available to them. Also, with everything marketers are tasked with doing, not using a tool would be disastrous as it would lead to delays, missed deadlines, no cohesion in messaging, disorganization between marketing teams, collection and use of poor data and more.
Use of Analytics Tools
The first technical skill all modern marketers need is gathering inside data using analytics tools, notably Google Analytics. Note that there are other analytics tools but none of them are as commonplace as Google Analytics. For many marketers, their work is never complete without the use of Google Analytics. This is where most customers pull their data from to better track and understand their customers. A basic understanding of Google Analytics is inescapable.
Social media marketing tools are another great weapon in any marketer’s arsenal. They make a marketer’s work infinitely easier by making it possible to plan, publish, edit, organize and analyze every aspect of their social media campaigns.
The use of editorial calendars is also essential as they are organizational tools that should be the home of all social media campaigns. These calendars help marketers know which projects they are currently working on, what parts different people play in those projects, as well as which projects and campaigns are coming up.
Basic graphic design skills are also great to have. There are some instances where a marketer might want to whip up a simple image or graphic for a campaign without wanting to wait for the graphics department due to the urgency of their message. In these instances, basic graphic design skills could come in handy.
Content Management Systems
Lastly, marketers are also encouraged to know how to use content management systems (CMSs) such as WordPress. These CMSs make it easy to publish content on websites. They help writers post content as well as format it in a digestible fashion for their readers. These tools are often very easy to use, and marketers can learn how to make the most of them without too much hassle.
The skills outlined above are not exhaustive in any sense because every business will need something different from its marketers. However, they are essential for any modern marketer who wants to thrive, and they can be built upon as the marketer gains more experience and streamlines their workflow and marketing process.