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5 essential marketing skills you need and how to develop them

Written by Jacob Stear

31 | 07 | 19

Are you a T-shaped marketer?

Would you like to be?

T-shaped marketers are industry experts. They have a deep understanding of different marketing disciplines which they use to shape the campaigns they create. They’re in high demand and their yearly salaries reflect that. To join their ranks and make sure you’re at the forefront of the industry, here are five essential marketing skills you need. 

Skills every good marketer needs to have

In an ideal world, everyone would be a T-shaped marketer. If you’re not sure why we use the term ‘t-shaped’, then Moz has created a handy visual that makes things nice and clear.

t-shaped marketer

Basically, you need to cover a lot of bases and make sure you’re never restricted by a particular discipline. So, if your speciality is SEO, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be dipping your toe into the cool waters of content creation or PPC. This leads us nicely into the first skill all marketers should look to develop. 

1. Be flexible and eager to learn

Being willing to learn and open to new ideas is crucial for marketers. Just when you think you understand everything, the rulebook is rewritten and the industry adopts a new favourite tool, technique or strategy. 

If you’re stubborn or unwilling to accept these new ideas, then you’ll find that you stagnate and your campaigns suffer as a result. You can develop flexibility as a skill by keeping an open mind at all times. Never feel as though you have all the answers and listen to the latest industry thinking from both seasoned experts and relative newcomers. 

2. Strong communication skills...including speaking and presenting

The best marketers are good communicators and you can see this in both their work and how they interact with other people. A key part of marketing is understanding what your target audience wants and delivering the right message to them in an engaging way. 

Having good communication skills will make everything else a whole lot easier. Similarly, having excellent speaking and presentation skills will allow you to convey your ideas in an effective and memorable way. 

Being a good listener and communicator is relatively easy, but there’s always room for improvement. If you’d like to improve your presentations, then seek inspiration. Join webinars, watch videos from experts and attend industry conferences to see how other marketers are putting their communication skills to good use.

3. The importance of storytelling

Whether it’s through blogs, videos or social media posts, marketers should be able to tell a good story. This is more than just being able to write in an engaging way, although writing proficiency is important. 

You might only have a brief moment to attract a potential customer as they scroll through their news feed or search online. This first impression is vital. They’ll decide almost immediately whether or not your business is of value to them. A great way of proving that you are is through storytelling. 

It allows you to develop a deeper connection with your audience and communicate with them in a personal and human way. Plus, we prefer to learn through stories and real experiences. You’d rather read a real person’s review of a hotel than the hotel’s actual marketing. 

4. Good problem-solving

Less sudoku, more split testing. As a marketer, you’ll face difficult problems every single day. Whether it’s deciding on the core message you want your campaign to have or using analytical data to determine why something isn’t working. 

This is a skill that will develop over time but there are ways of encouraging the analytical part of your mind. Don’t look for the easy answer or the fast one. Think creatively and collaborate with others to find the best course of action. 

Read blogs, watch videos and be open to ideas from all areas of the business. You never know when that bolt of lightning might strike. 

5. Great people skills

Having good people skills is useful in any industry but especially important in the world of marketing. It’s easy to forget that you’re actually marketing to real people when you’re looking at charts, graphs and databases. 

With excellent people skills, you’re able to look at the data and see the customer. You can understand their needs and empathise with the pain points they’re dealing with. 

We can’t suddenly help you become the life and soul of the party, but we do have some tips on improving your people skills. Get up from your computer and actually talk to the people around you. It’ll help with your development and just allow you to have more fun at work. 

Also, you should attend marketing events and conferences to practice your networking with other industry experts. This might feel like stepping outside your comfort zone, but it will improve your people skills and maybe even lead to a fruitful business relationship. 

Speaking of marketing events…

LOVE INBOUND 2020 is the perfect place to network with other marketers, discover inspiration for your next presentation and find out more about the latest industry techniques. 2019’s edition was an amazing success and just a properly excellent day. Experts from HubSpot, Vidyard and other big names in the industry treated attendees to engaging talks. 

The next edition will take place on the 26th of February 2020 at the same venue, Holmes Mill in Clitheroe. We’re putting plans in place to make LOVE INBOUND 2020 an even better event for marketers.

To register your interest and secure your ticket, use the form below. 

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