Joshua Dreller, Director, Content Marketing @ Kenshoo
Marketing skills. Over the last 20 years, the Internet has completely changed the rules and requirements for professionals in many industries—but especially for advertising practitioners. In today’s post, learn about the marketing skills you need to be truly valuable to your organization.
In many professions, mastering a single area of knowledge is quite enough to be considered an expert in the field. For example, no one expects a professor of 19th-century British literature to also be able to publish papers on contemporary South American poetry, and a dermatologist generally does not also help patients with their back problems.
But marketers have to be experts in many different areas in order to create successful campaigns. They need a deep understanding of data and analytics, computer science, and SEO, along with “soft” skills like adaptability and organization. And the best marketers are just jack-of-all-trade types; they are masters of using their various skills and abilities to deliver on-brand messaging to audiences in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.
However, the skills and abilities that brands and agencies are looking for are in their ideal marketer candidates often as varied as the work agencies do. In fact, the recent eMarketer “Marketing and Ad Tech Trends 2019 Roundup” found that there are some skills that all marketers are most likely going to need in order to make themselves marketable in the very near future.
As personalization becomes more important than ever before, marketing has become both a science and an art. In order to create content that resonates with the right audience at the right time, agencies need professionals who can turn endless streams of data into actionable insights for content creation.
Not too long ago, simply having a web and social media presence was enough to stand out from the competition. But now, potential customers have more options than ever before and expect online interactions to be fast and easy, regardless of which device they are using. In fact, most consumers form an opinion about whether or not they will stay on a site in just 50 milliseconds, and 38% will stop engaging if a website is poorly designed. Because a poorly planned experience means lost customers, professionals who can design experiences customers want to use are more important than ever before.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the hottest buzzwords in the business right now. And for good reason: AI is revolutionizing nearly every industry, from healthcare to advertising. Professionals who not only understand the technology but the ways it can strengthen a business’s connection to customers will be hot commodities long after AI stops being a buzzword and becomes commonplace for most agencies.
We talk a lot about optimizing content for search engine optimization (SEO), but those who can optimize sites for crawling and indexing are perhaps the most valuable part of a solid SEO strategy. Technical SEO is a critical, yet all-too-often unsung marketing skill in the industry.
While those who can juggle the stress of rolling out, executing, and measuring marketing campaigns have always been an invaluable asset to any team, AI has made it possible to analyze nearly every aspect of a campaign in real-time. Those who can quickly interpret data and audience insights in real-time to make adjustments on the fly are more in demand than ever before.
As of 2019, Scott Brinker’s Martech 5,000 list has actually exploded to 7,040 different martech tools all vying for industry attention. Marketers who know which tools a business needs (and which ones will be a waste of money) are an invaluable asset to any team.
According to Hubspot, 81% of businesses now use video as a marketing tool—up from 63% in 2018. A recent study by Google found that six out of ten survey respondents would rather watch online videos than television. And while everyone seems to want to watch videos, many businesses are still struggling to produce successful video content. Creating enough video content to keep up with increasing audience demand will almost certainly be incredibly valuable as interest in video continues to grow.
Programming is the foundation of any successful digital strategy, and talented, knowledgeable programmers are as in demand as they ever have been. Even if you’re not actually programming applications, having a fundamental understanding of the limitations of programming and how programmers work best is a truly valuable marketing skill to have in this industry.
The digital landscape is incredibly crowded—especially the app market—where consumers will most likely delete a newly downloaded app within days if they cannot see its utility. Web and app developers with a strong sense of what audiences will actually find valuable are themselves an incredibly valuable asset.
Innovative graphic designers who can marry data and design in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and on-brand will always be worth their weight in gold to most agencies. Marketers have to be able to tell stories with data and using the right visual approach makes sharing and evangelizing insights more powerful.
While this list focuses on many of the technical skills most agencies are looking for, there are myriad other abilities that most agencies consider essential. Organization, leadership, and an almost obsessive interest in audience trends will always be critical skills for any marketer.
Certainly, one of the main themes in this marketing skills list is the ability to work well with marketing technology. Platform expertise is crucial in the future of marketing.
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