10 Necessary Skills for Today's Modern Marketers
The world has changed so much. 50-60 years ago, the “complete marketer” could just walk into his or her newspaper and print store, finish editing yesterday’s draft of today’s newsletter or news piece, publish and print, circulate, and that was almost their entire circle for marketing. Today, 2014 – wow. You might as well say we advance 50 years in a year, with the way online marketing increases in value, assets, tools, structure, and possibilities every single month.
There’s the online press release that can be sent to over 200,000 journalists at once via PRWeb; infographics that can be designed, created, shared to go viral; blogs, articles, email campaigns, website content, all your social media platforms like G+, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and oh-so-much-more.
Valuable Skills for Modern Marketers
With all these valuable tools and structures available, what are the crucial skills that a modern online marketing genius should (or already will) have? Let’s take a look.
1) Adaptability. Adaptability is a key skill that should be displayed by all modern marketers who don’t plan to change their profession anytime soon. Why? Take a look around. The so called complete marketer is now the 21st century version of the Homo Universalis, who basically has a plentitude of intellectual interests and is good at everything. From creating content creation to analyzing web analytics and developing and creating successful social media campaigns, the modern marketer can do it all on time and on a budget.
According to the Guardian, one of the biggest challenges that marketers face is poised by technological advancements. However, what doesn’t kill today’s modern marketers makes them stronger. The 21st century men of letters who know online marketing like the palm of their hands are able to adapt to any kind of new situation. Even when they get thrown off their routine by a sneaky algorithm update sent with love by Google, they still manage to get back in the game in no time.
Adaptability is one of the most important skills of all times that ensured the survival of the human race. At this point, all modern marketers should put this skill to good use and learn how to explore technological advancements to their best advantage. With so many tools and resources available online, their daily tasks become simpler and less time-consuming. The key is to get familiar with innovations in order to fill their digital skill gap. 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.
HubSpot supports the same idea and introduces a new point of view. According to HubSpot, modern marketers should have mad coding skills. This would help them be on the same page with the nerd that is developing, maintaining and improving websites. To code or not to code?-this is the question. Even though coding skills are not considered an important part of the marketers’ job requirements, they represent a major plus that is always appreciated by employers. Why is it so important for marketers to code like a pro? Here are only a few reasons why understanding code is important:
- Knowledge Is Power: As a marketer, you have to have full control over the project that you’re working on, and this means that you have to understand the basic structures that bring your blog, website or app to life. Knowledge is power and it also represents a major source of inspiration. Once you get the basics of coding, you can create your own masterpieces (new tools and apps, for instance) that could wow your customers and spread the word about your geniality.
- Fix Simple Issues on Time: Do you really want to call your website developer every single time you stumble across an itsy bitsy error that can be solved in 2.5 seconds by a pro? The answer is no. Calling an expert just to ask him to resize your pictures or embed a YouTube video is embarrassing and doesn’t make much sense, from a financial standpoint. You can save time and money by learning to do all this on your own. It’s much easier than you may be inclined to think.
- Gain a Competitive Edge: The online marketing industry is extremely competitive, so why not burry your rivals 6 feet under by simply learning how to code?
2) Awesome Copywriting Skills. Marketers should be talented writers. But they should also have the highest level of empathy and the ability to write for a certain segment of public. Web content as we know it should be original, informative, educational and entertaining. Therefore, all marketers should be able to create and publish content with their readers in mind. Crafting content pieces without any substance or motivation would be like planting palm trees at the North Pole. All their masterpieces should include powerful calls to action enabling prospects to act in a certain way (buy a product, subscribe for a newsletter, post a comment, test a new service and so on).
3) Superior PR Skills. According to MediaBuzz, if you want to become a successful marketer, killer Public Relations skills are a must-have. As a marketer, you have to interact with clients, staff members, brand evangelists, bloggers, media representatives and more. Your goal is to build solid relationships that will stand the test of time. You use every single opportunity to make new connections and preserve the old ones. In a world in which everybody knows who’s who and only want to work with the cream of the crop, you have to learn how to make a name for yourself, take your company to a whole new level, spread the world about your accomplishments and your competencies and fish for new clients. Obviously, in order to do all this you need killer PR skills, which are an important component of today’s marketing mix.
4) SEO Skills. Search Engine Optimization is one of those things that you can’t live without these days. SEO is just as important as oxygen for modern marketers whose mission is to improve the online visibility of certain brands, boost their competitiveness and maximize their profits. To get a certain website on page 1 in Google, Bing and Yahoo you need lots of energy, commitment and of course an understanding of SEO. You have to be familiar with all the white-hat optimization tactics that can help you reach your target. Moreover, even if imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, in a world in which people are obsessed with SEO you don’t necessarily have to flatter anyone to attain your goal. What we’re trying to say is that copying someone’s SEO plan won’t guarantee you the positive results that you are hoping to witness. You have to speak SEO and try to enhance your own vocabulary. In other words, you should follow SEO leaders, learn from their success stories and mistakes and find your own path. You can become a respectable optimization expert only by conducting countless trial-and-error processes, analyzing results and perfecting old strategies. And it at first you don’t succeed in optimizing a website like a pro, just dust yourself off and rewind.
5) Social Media Skills. Social media platforms are the favorite playground of modern marketers. You cannot think that you are working on an effective communication plan unless it is backed by solid social media marketing strategies. Social networking websites are a huge pot of gold for companies of all sizes, operating in different sectors. These gigantic platforms offer extremely attractive and affordable marketing opportunities that should never be neglected. Therefore, today’s marketers should be able to tap the enormous potential of social media to represent the best interest of their clients. All in all, whether they want to improve brand awareness, boost customer loyalty, attract a new segment of potential buyers or stimulate sales, social media networking websites are the perfect channels where modern marketers can distribute their messages and turn their objectives into accomplishments.
6) Strategic Planning Skills. Let’s face it: marketers are those busy bees who have lots of ideas and the know-how that supports all their creative processes. Marketers don’t follow the heard; they are the shepherds. This is because the really competent ones have awesome strategic planning skills. They know how to create, improve and implement even the most complex concepts and make them appeal to clients. They are able to come up with a cohesive marketing strategy, select the best course of action, indicate the most reliable back-up plans and determine the KPIs (key performance indicators) of their program right from the start. A marketer is a man with a plan, who always has a set of strategies, an exit route, a word of advice and a prediction for just about anything.
7) Editing and Video Production. Content is king, we are all fully aware of this fact. But is your king mighty and extremely influent, or is he about to be dethroned? Please allow us to explain. Content based solely on text is boring and will never manage to help you get and stay on the same page with your readers. At this point, website visitors are craving for first-class multimedia content that comes in many forms. Vlogs are increasingly popular and tend to make old-school bloggers blush. Well-crafted videos capture the attention of a larger audience and build credibility and trust. Clever words may say it all, but videos back the statement. Videos and infographics allow marketers to have the last word on any matter. These extremely popular forms of content can make it easier for you to create and distribute meaningful marketing messages that have higher odds of being analyzed and filtered by a larger segment of public. Infographics and videos allow you to become noticed and also support your optimization efforts. Killer content that is likely to interest many influent players operating in the media industry will help you collect tons of backlinks from reputable sources, which is always a major plus. Of course, you could hire someone and let an expert handle the editing and video production, but this would cost you. If you want to become a better version of yourself and save some money in the process, it is highly recommended to take on these new responsibilities and cultivate your own progress.
8) Website Management Skills. A website is one of the most powerful tools that you can rely on, to take your company and all your clients to a whole new level. A properly optimized website is clearly the most powerful ally that you could ever count on: it reinforces your online presence, helps you connect with your targeted audience, generates leads and boosts traffic. All in all, a fantastic, fully-functional website is the most valuable business card that you could ever get. Because webpages are incredibly effective lead-generation and web content publishing tools, they have to be handled with gloves. These days, having a website is not enough.
The real challenge is to create, run and constantly improve websites that are flawless from all points of view. The perfect website loads fast, profits from the best on-page optimization practices, is incredibly eye-catchy and user-friendly and attracts visitors like a magnet. Moreover, marketers also have to become fervent bloggers. Sometimes, brand that are driven by ambitious goals need to make their voice heard through a series of blog posts. Blogs are not overly adorned bedtime stories; they are extremely powerful tools used by modern marketers to interact with prospects, improve the online presence of a certain company and ultimately drive business growth. Blogs require awesome writing skills, consistency but also extensive research and attention to detail.
9) Paid Search Marketing Skills. For many deep-pocket business owners who are expecting to witness radical improvements, there comes a time when paid search marketing also comes into play. This is precisely why marketers should be able to anticipate their needs and demands and address them in a timely fashion. PPC (pay per click) campaigns are a smart investment, as long as they are properly developed and implemented. Despite the fact that they differ a great deal, based on the needs and objectives of every client, PPC campaigns comprise a few common elements, including an accurate budget estimation, a clever segmentation, powerful calls to action and suitable optimization tactics. To be able to focus on all these essential details, marketers should be able to understand how paid search programs really work.
Do you think that this is the most difficult part of the job, where the left side of the marketer’s brain is about to explode? Think again. Marketers don’t get easily intimidated by numbers. As a matter of fact, data analysis plays an important part in this equation. Real professionals should know how to interpret numbers and how to prove marketing investments via ROI. Analytical skills are extremely necessary, especially since marketers have to interpret info, evaluate the success rate of their campaign and communicate their end results. According to IBM, marketers have a huge responsibility: they have to convert data into intelligence and then turn intelligence into action. Putting numbers into words is not always easy, especially when you have 1 billion other things on your mind, but somehow the best specialists in this field of activity have everything covered.
10) Intuitive Skills. Marketers are very adaptable people. This means that the best experts in this line of business are also highly intuitive. They may not be able to take a good look at the sky and tell you if it’s going to rain or not; however, they can predict the wind of change way before it starts wiping companies off the face of the earth. Intuition put to good use can do wonders for both marketers and their clients.
Could a certain social media marketing strategy reinforce the buyers’ interest and stimulate sales? Could a certain website design change boost click-through rates? Could a certain marketing campaign idea be the secret recipe for success that your client has been struggling to uncover or a total bust? Intuition offers marketers the chance to provide the best answers to all these questions and more. Naturally, those who make final calls based solely on empathy and intuition are gamblers, not competent marketers. The really good ones don’t use crystal balls to decide the faith of their clients or to select the best course of action. They follow marketing savvy leaders, learn from the best, conduct extensive research and consult data analytics before making a decision.
Write Tomorrow’s Success Story!
These are the 10 basic skills that any competent marketer should take pride in. All in all, professionals who are on a quest to conquer both online and offline environments and protect the best interest of their clients should focus on content creation, clean, Google-friendly optimization tactics, PR strategies, PPC campaigns and social media marketing. Those who work around the clock to expand their understanding of solid data and improve their technical know-how are the ones who are writing tomorrow’s success stories.
Photo Credit: Modern Marketing Skills/shutterstock
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May 22 Posted 10 months ago Justin Belmont
This is a great article, Julia! It's an in-depth guide to which anyone going into marketing should refer, and even experienced content marketers, like our Prose Media team, can look to as a reminder. I really like your point about adaptability, because the digital world is constantly changing and advancing, and content marketers need to be up to date to succeed. Great post!