Must-Have Skills for Today’s Marketers to Excel

The field of marketing is vastly different today than it was even three to five years ago. While the basic principles and concepts of effective marketing, from an academic standpoint, really haven’t changed much, what has changed is the ways marketers do their work and the kind of work they do.

Marketers in the digital environment need many different skills than they used to. Many aren’t necessarily learning these skills in college. The skills they need have been impacted not only by technology and a massive shift to digital but also by experiences companies of all kinds have had during the pandemic. Here we take a look at what we believe the must-have skills are for 2022 marketers.

Strong Communication Skills

This one really isn’t anything new, but it remains critically important. Effective marketers must have strong communication skills, written and verbal, but increasingly visual as well.

Marketers must be exceptional communicators because, at its very core, marketing is all about communication. Marketers need to find the “sweet spot” between communicating information that will be valued by their target audience and that will support business needs/objectives. This must be done in a non-overt marketing way these days. It’s not about SELLING (in capital letters) but selling in a much more subtle way. It’s really about positioning your company, and what it has to offer, as a trusted source of information so that when a target audience member has a need, they think of you, and trust you, and are therefore more likely to buy from you.

And then these messages need to be conveyed using a combination of tools and channels, from emails to ads to blog posts, video clips, podcasts, and more.

The Ability to Understand (Really Understand) Audiences

Effective marketers must have the ability to understand target audience attributes and needs, specifically not generally. This may involve referring to market research (secondary), conducting your own (primary) and, in a digital environment, paying close attention to analytics and adjusting practices accordingly. That said, one of the other most important skills required today is…

The Ability to Interpret and Apply Data

The ability to understand, interpret and appropriately apply the results you glean from the data you have available to you. This could be response data, sales data, website data, etc., etc. Today’s companies, both small and large, have access to massive amounts of data and sophisticated systems to interpret that data. Unfortunately, data analytics skills are still in short supply. (As an aside, it’s not just marketers who need these skills today, it’s literally professionals in any type of industry or business role.)

Understanding and Familiarity with High Tech

There is a wide, and ever-growing, range of high-tech tools that today’s marketers are making use of. These range from sales support and customer relationship management tools like Salesforce, to various types of robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and more! Sophisticated tools make it possible for marketers to do more in less time and with more precision than ever before. The sheer scope of what’s available, though, can be daunting. Staying on top of new developments requires paying attention to the trade press and relevant blog posts, podcasts, and industry research.

Comfort With Ambiguity

This one has become most apparent during the pandemic. Even almost two years in, few yet know what to expect month to month in terms of where and how they will be able to connect with customers. On-site? Online? Masked or unmasked? Vaccinated? Boosted? That ambiguity affects not only interactions with customers, but also the messaging and messages used to connect and compel them to some desired action.

This loops back to some degree to clearly understanding your audience. Today’s audiences can’t be pegged and defined as a “one and done” exercise. Their needs, concerns, and values are continually changing; your messaging and approaches need to change with them.

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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Recommended Reading:

21st Century Secrets to Effective PR

Managing Remote Staff

Direct Mail in the Digital Age

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Strategic Planning

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

Best Practices in Influencer Marketing

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