The job description for marketing specialists broadened significantly during the last few years. Advancements in technology changed the face of marketing as we knew it; so much that it’s no longer enough to craft press releases and update the company website in order to excel at the job. Check out this article for a list of essential skills one must foster if they’re thinking about going into the marketing field.
A marketing specialists’ plate is always full. They’re in charge of creating effective promotional strategies, raising brand awareness, and connecting with clients. Due to all this hassle, many forget how important it is to keep developing the skills that allow them to earn their keep. Technology is always advancing, and the way in which people interact with brands is perpetually changing. The rise of social media had a fundamental impact on how customers consume information; marketers needed to adapt, fast. Even today, there’s constantly a new emerging social network to figure out or a new advertising venue to explore. To stay on top of trends and excel at what they do, marketers must strive to develop a few fundamental skills that will help them navigate the field with more ease.
A key part of working as a marketing specialist is being passionate. And I’m not just talking about staying on top of the industry and following the news. If you work in-house for a brand, you also have to be passionate about the product that brand offers. You need to discover what makes that product stand out from the crowd and find a way to showcase its unique qualities to the world. Your enthusiasm will reflect in your campaigns, which will make the message feel more genuine and increase its chances of getting through to your target audience.
Besides passion though, there are also a few other abilities marketing specialists must foster to surpass the competition and excel at your job. Here’s a short list.
This one should go without saying, but it’s quite impossible to be a good marketing specialist without exceptional communication skills – both spoken and written. The world is now connected to every possible outlet, so figuring out how to effectively communicate through various channels has to be a priority; from talking on the phone with a prospective client, to making a good impression at a marketing event, to writing a compelling tweet that can generate sales. It’s also important to understand the brand identity in order to be clear on its values and message, so you can craft a marketing strategy that will stay true to the company you work for.
Practice makes perfect. In order to develop your communication abilities even further, don’t be afraid to experiment with different communication channels and different approaches. See what works and take it from there. Also, see what others are doing – including your competitors. You never know when you will stumble upon some great insights that may allow you to up your communication game.
A marketer’s day is never boring, but it’s often busy, so figuring out how to productively work on multiple things at once is a must. There are plenty of tools that can make your life easier - take advantage of them. I use everything from project trackers (Trello) to social media management apps (Hootsuite). Search Engine Journal has a terrific list of online marketing tools you should check out.
As a marketing specialist, you need to be able to connect with people. When you’re coordinating a team, you should aspire to build trust and drive change. When you’re working for a brand, you must connect with the people behind it to gather the insights you need to craft an effective strategy. When you’re interacting with consumers, you have to know how to actively listen to them and figure out what you can do to help.
Working with people can sometimes be difficult, so practice. Strive to be genuine and persistent, pay attention to what they have to say, and offer help. The Social Media Examiner has a cool podcast on the subject. Check it out here.
Critical thinking refers to the ability to analyze a certain situation and determine its validity. It’s the foundation on which most marketing specialists build their careers, mostly because critical thinking breeds creative thinking and helps them solve problems. You need to figure out if a certain campaign has a chance of appealing to the audience, and you also need to know what to do when it doesn’t. Always think about the implications of your options, and learn to identify your biases and examine an issue from multiple points of view.
When you’re communicating for a brand, you’re not just trying to sell stuff, you’re telling a story. Millions of pages of content are created each day, so you need to figure out how to make yours stand out. Stories are the emotional glue that keeps your audience connected to the brand, and they’re a great way to convert information into meaning. InSegment, a digital marketing agency from Boston, wrote a great blog post about the power of a good story. Check it out here.
Technology fuels the marketing industry, so new approaches will continue to emerge. As a marketing specialist, you need to leverage these essential skills in order to help the brand you work for reach its goals. However, when you’re truly passionate about what you do, this shouldn’t be an issue. Strive to grow a little bit with each day that goes by, and you will be on the right path to success.
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