This is a long list, so buckle your seat belt. The modern day marketer needs to have a vast skill set for success in today’s digital age. The marketing industry as a whole has completely changed in the last decade with social platforms being at the forefront of communication with consumers.
The role of a modern day marketer is a complex one and to be successful at it, it’s helpful to have these skills (no particular order):
- Data Analyst: Data fuels your marketing department; you need to know how to work and sift through extensive data and read/report on analytics. You are tracking everything, so there are many data points you need to follow and constantly improve upon. The days of reporting on follower count are over. It’s a plus if you know your way around SQL and are able to write basic queries to pull helpful information. Make “select * from” your friend. Do you know what a Regular Expression is? Finally, an Excel plugin is useful to have. And in general, you've got to know the basics on pivot tables, tables, and V-Lookups.
Resource: Digital Analytics for Marketing Professionals: Marketing Analytics in Practice on Coursea
- Writer: If you hate writing, don’t be a marketer. A HUGE portion of your day-to-day is writing copy, especially in early stages of your career. You must be able to write compelling content that truly captures the brand’s voice and tells an accurate story of your brand. On top of good writing, you should be good with keyword placements for SEO purposes. It’s important to know a thing or two about formatting as well as constructing good titles. Knowing how to select attention grabbing visuals for your posts is a must as well.
Resource: 8 Free Courses on Content #Marketing and #Writing
- Editor: We recently posted a blog post about our copy editor and why every business should have one. However, many small companies do not have the luxury of a copy editor on staff. It’s important to have editing skills since the modern day marketer should be proofing all external facing materials. . You don’t need to be able to point out the objective clause in a sentence, but it’s important to stay up to speed on your grammar rules. Best practice is to have a blog post edited by one to two other people within the company.
Resource: List of Free Online Editing Courses on Study.com
- Speaker: Modern day marketers are not bound to a desk. He/she is often presenting the company’s branding guidelines to coworkers at the quarterly meeting, presenting marketing analytics to the C-Suite, attending networking events for the company, or hosting a webinar for lead gen purposes. All that being said, being a good speaker will propel your career. Ask a colleague to count the numbers of “um’s and uh’s” at your next presentation, or join a public speaking group like Toastmasters to help develop your skills.
Resource: Find a Toastmasters club near you
“ According to IBM, marketers have a huge responsibility: they have to convert data into intelligence and then turn intelligence into action.”
- PR Skills: PR skills are a must in modern day marketing. You will be working face-to-face with media representatives, influential bloggers, clients, staff members, and brand evangelists. Good long-standing relationships with these groups are key, so use all of your connections to make new ones (in a genuine way). Likability is currency in this realm. This is also where you spread the news of your company’s accompliments via Press Releases, digitally, and through traditional media outlets. Always have your PR hat on as a modern day marketer, because if you don’t, many opportunities will pass you by.
Resource: 5 free Social Media and Public Relation Courses
- Teacher: In the most simplistic terms, as a marketer, you are informing a group of people about something in the hopes that they make the decision to buy your product or service. Nowadays a successful marketer must provide tons and tons of relevant value to a potential buyer so that when the need arises for the product or service, you are top of mind. With so many saturated markets, providing good quality and value to a potential customer is what will separate your company from competitors. You are not only “teaching” the public about your business, you are often teaching internally on a variety of subjects like: social media etiquette, best networking practices, and being a brand ambassador in your off hours. Have fun with it!
Resource: 6 Strategies to Become a Better Communicator Article
- Observer: As a digital marketer, it’s crucial to know the landscape. You can only do this through observation. Observe your competitors’ online presence. Observe how they interact with their clients. If you can secret shop your competitors, do it! For there to be any online success, you must observe the market before you start posting, know what you’re getting into, and come up with a way to incorporate some level of observation into your daily task load.
Resource: Features, Advantages and Disadvantages of Observation Article
“Marketers need to be able to stay on top of industry trends and key insights.” Inc
- Social Media Expert: Every social media platform you work with must be active, responsive, and backed by a killer social strategy. Platforms like HubSpot can help greatly with multi-platform management and tying messages to campaigns for tracking and analytic purposes. What is the purpose of social? To represent the best interest of current clients, increase brand awareness, improve customer loyalty, and reach a new segment of potential customers. Social media is also a great way to highlight company culture and share accomplishments.
Resource: Certification Courses on HubSpot
- Strategic Planning: As previously mentioned in the “Social Media Expert” section, there must be strategy behind everything. Planning out campaigns is the best way to do this. Campaigns can support blog posts, social posts, events, paid advertising, and tracking. First pinpoint what common problems potential clients or customers currently have and build campaigns that are solution based.What would a prospect want to download from your landing page after putting in their contact information, and what would make them frequent your site for more of that content? A marketing strategy should be done high level for the year and approved by your CEO for vision and direction. You can then bang out the nitty gritty per quarter and per month. I’ve found that with a one-man marketing team or small teams, one really good campaign per month with supporting documents and events are the most successful.
Resource: Strategic Planning and Execution
- Paid Search Marketing Skills: Get to know the ins-and-outs of paid searches. Even if you have the resources to outsource this, it’s important to be able to conversate with the team that is leading up paid marketing efforts. Get a small budget to start testing Google Adwords and see what works, and as you become more confident in the results you can incorporate these techniques into part of your marketing campaign mixes (PPC, pay per click, is the best way to get started). There are hundreds of resources out there to show you how to get started, as well as resources to continue on to achieve expert level status as a paid search guru.
Resource: Google AdWords certification
- SEO Expert: This includes anything and everything that is Google: Google Adwords, Google Tag Manager, and dominating original content. For an added bonus, learn how to implement conversion pixels in Google analytics. It’s also helpful to learn the difference between Title, Description, H1, and Meta tags on a page.
Resource: 2016 guide to free online SEO training courses
- Researcher: Being a good researcher can be useful in almost any modern day job. Good research can be the difference for truly understanding your target market so you can put together a competitor analysis that goes above and beyond. Think of this part like college work; dig deep and find valid sources, always source your research, and find interesting ways to present findings (data visualization). While many teams give researching tasks to interns, and this isn’t a bad idea, nothing compares to a seasoned marketer digging deep into the interwebs for the next big thing. Researching doesn’t include on-off projects; a modern day marketer must always have a finger on the pulse of his/her industry. Start your mornings with 10-15 minutes scanning the market and current events. There isn’t an excuse not to be informed in this field of connectivity.
Resource: Market Research and Consumer Behavior on Coursea
- Coding: Be able to inspect and change HTML code at the bare minimum. It’s helpful to know basic HTML, and Sublime is a helpful tool for this. You also need to know your way around Wordpress in order to configure, update, and manage themes and plugins. Know the difference between HTML, CSS, and Java, as well as how they all work together. As an added plus, learn how to create a basic online form in one coding language. Resource: Codeacademy.com
“All in all, a successful marketer is part artist, part scientist. Once these professionals learn how to get closer to a beneficial left brain-right brain balance, their success is guaranteed.” Social Media Today
- Customer Service: Good customer service skills are a MUST. Especially with social media where you will be in direct contact with the customer. ou must properly represent your brand, provide value to potential customers, and constantly delight current customers. Have written action plans in place for how you and your team will deal with complaints on social, negative tweets, or bad press. Having a preemptive plan and best practices in place will save you and your company a lot of time and effort should the time arise to handle an unhappy customer and quickly bring the conversation offline to address the issue. It’s important to say sorry quickly and only once (depending on the scale of the problem) and then quickly move towards a solution.
Resource: Marketing: Customer Needs and Wants on Coursea
- Intuitive Skills: Good business men and women have great intuitive skills. This skill becomes more refined with years of experience and will benefit both your company and clients. The longer you’re in the field, the more you’ll hone in on these intuitive skills, but remember, it’s always good to have data or a past experience to back up decisions. You can’t just justify a decision with “gut feeling” in most companies. This skill will also give you tremendous confidence in your day-to-day and showcase a feeling of expertise with people who work with you.
Resource: Human Intuition Vs. Marketing Data: Forging A New Alliance Article