Seven Skills for Becoming a Better Marketer

designing marketing dashboards

Marketing is a pretty competitive world right now with all the changes and new technologies out there you need to learn if you want to succeed in a marketing career or build your own company. Whether you’re working as a professional marketing executive or you’re simply looking to market your business on a budget, you need tons of wit, charm, and skills to capture your dream job or build your company into something you can be proud of. Today, we’ll discuss seven skills you must master if you’re interested in becoming a better marketer.

Below, you see the results from a survey of CMOs (chief marketing officers) regarding the biggest skills gaps they see. In other words, these are the most in-demand skills for marketers. We’ll discuss these in this post, plus a few other essential skills you should cultivate on your way to becoming a better marketer.

becoming a better marketer
Image courtesy of Marketing Charts

Skills for becoming a better marketer

Obviously, or maybe not so obviously, the first skill needed to become a better marketer is mastery of core marketing concepts such as:

  • Value, which is more important than product price
  • Segmentation and positioning, which posits that groups of similar consumers exist in your market and positioning your product to appeal to a segment is more effective than trying to position your brand to fit the entire market.
  • The customer journey and user experience
  • Strategic planning
  • New product development
  • Market research
  • Brand development
  • Supply chain management and logistics

Of course, it’s not enough to have the textbook definition of these concepts under your belt. You must know how to apply these concepts in specific contexts which only comes through application of them and learning from your mistakes.

Beyond this, there are other skills you should work toward developing that enhance these basics. So, let’s jump right in.

Writing: Unleash your inner Shakespeare and more

From punchy emails that get opened to blog posts that make readers click ‘share’ faster than you can say, “content is king,” the ability to spin words into gold is crucial to your success as a marketer in this day and age. In the past, there was a clear distinction between “creatives” and “marketers” that no longer exists. In the past, a marketer would develop a marketing campaign based on sound marketing principles, then turn his/her ideas over to a creative who was responsible for transforming these plans into polished products like advertising and direct mail. Today, marketers are required to do both the planning and execution of marketing plans for their companies or clients. And that means generating a ton of content.

Creative writing isn’t just for novelists or moody coffee shop dwellers. As a marketer, if you can craft a compelling story, you’re gold, so if your 11 Plus creative writing exam didn’t exactly go well and it’s been downhill from there, it’s time to brush up on your word-weaving skills. Grammar and spelling aren’t enough to succeed as a marketer, either. It’s about weaving narratives that resonate, entertain, and educate, all while seducing the search engines (more on this later) and your readers alike. That’s because you must not only entertain and educate your audience, you must convince them your product is the best thing since sliced bread.

Data analytics: Numbers are your new best friends

Next, embrace the data. As you can see from the graphic I started this post with, data analytics represents the biggest gap for CMOs because marketers don’t like numbers. At least not the ones trained using the outdated curriculum often used in colleges today and dominating the past. That’s because marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed—fun, perhaps, but bound to end in disaster.

Learning how to interpret data lets you understand what’s working (yay!) and what’s not (oops). This means you can optimize campaigns in real-time, predict market trends, and give people more of what they love and less of what they yawn at. But what to measure? That’s the question. Below are some KPIs (key performance indicators) for assessing your website.

think see do care
Image courtesy of Occam’s Razor

Of course, there’s more to assess than simply your website, however, your website offers a rich source of data regarding all your marketing channels since that’s where consumers go to buy products from you, learn more about them, or see where they can buy them.

SEO and SEM: The wizards of web traffic

Ah, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing), the acronyms that make marketers’ hearts flutter. These skills are about getting your content seen by the right eyes at the right time. Mastering SEO involves understanding keywords, meta tags, and how to make Google love your website without resorting to bribery, black hat SEO. You can get help choosing keywords with the free Keyword Planner tool offered as part of the Google Ads platform or from one of several SEO companies. Choose keywords (actually phrases) that match likely searches from the consumers you want to reach. Use those keywords effectively throughout the content you create online without overdoing it. You can learn more about SEO, including local SEO on other pages within this website.

SEM, on the other hand, is all about paid ad placements. Think of it as having a fast pass at Disney World—it gets you to the front of the search engine line quicker. You have a number of paid advertising options, including

  1. Google Ads, which reach users on their search results pages. Because a search often precedes a purchase, getting in front of consumers at this stage of the buying process has huge advantages (and a conversion rate of around 2.5%).
  2. Social media ads reach consumers as they scroll social media sites looking to connect with friends and fill idle hours. While consumers on social media aren’t in the buying mode during their scroll through the pages, the tacit recommendations from friends seen on the platforms and the association with pleasurable experiences from the ads show put the memory in their brains for later.

Social media savvy: Don’t just post, engage

Social media is the town square of the digital age. Being skilled in social media marketing isn’t just about blasting your messages out into the void. It’s about engagement. Chatting, sharing, and connecting instead of talking about your products all the time is the key to success. It’s about creating content that’s so on point that your followers can’t help but slide into your DMs. Every like, share, and comment is a potential goldmine of customer loyalty and helps spread your message through digital word of mouth, which is more impactful than advertising. So get chatty!

In addition to creating content that resonates with your target market, you must post consistently to your chosen platforms. You should choose a few platforms that fit your target market, but only choose as many as you can handle with your current bandwidth. Below, you’ll find the recommended posting schedule based on the platform.

 

optimal post frequency on social media
Image courtesy of Plug and Play Tech Center

Adaptability: ride the waves of change

In the fast-paced world of marketing, yesterday’s trends are today’s old news. Being adaptable in your strategy and approach can mean the difference between staying relevant or fading into obscurity. Learn, unlearn, and relearn. The market waits for no one, and neither should you.

Technology is ever-changing, which means you must constantly learn new platforms and new ways of marketing to your target market and follow consumer trends to stay relevant.

Customer psychology: think like them to win them

Last but not least, delve into your customers’ minds. Understanding customer psychology helps you tailor your campaigns and content to meet their needs, wants, and secret desires. When you know what makes them tick, you can craft marketing strategies that resonate on a deeper level, turning casual browsers into loyal fans.

Conclusion

Whether you’re crafting killer copy, diving into data, or schmoozing on social media, these skills will make sure your marketing game is strong.

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