What really makes a marketing team successful? While most marketing leaders would agree that the foundation revolves around having a smart combination of optimized marketing strategies (with the ability to pivot overnight, based on market dynamics) and a martech stack that compliments marketing and business goals; several others would opine that the list of ‘’essential’’ skills in a marketer really does depend on what kind of marketing team or long-term marketing goal an organization has laid out.
One thing is for certain, must-have marketing skills need to constantly evolve given the rapid pace at which marketing processes change and martech innovations happen. While on the one hand, the must-have skills required to boost marketing need to be upgraded continuously, so does your marketing hiring plan and team structure.
B2B marketing will keep changing as the years go by. While it does, marketing departments and marketing leaders as well as hiring managers need to ensure their team has the adequate resources (in terms of martech support) and fundamental skill sets to drive real marketing impact and business ROI.
At a time when marketing has become more performance-driven and result-oriented, the right skills are needed to keep optimizing marketing costs while helping the business drive real and impactful revenue.
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A Few Quick Facts
- The marketing skills that are a key requirement for one company might differ for another.
- Marketing skills in-demand or skills that a marketing leader is looking for need to be customized to short-term and long-term marketing goals and plans. A company that wants to have a strong social media presence, for instance, will need a robust social media management team that can create relevant social media content, structure plans to drive business growth using social media while also knowing how to deeply asses the social media analytics to effectively measure impact, a must-have in today’s marketing journey.
- Marketing skills that a company needs today might look very different from what the company was looking at even a year ago. Primarily because, marketing dynamics and business trends, including customer behaviors change rapidly.
- For marketing leaders who are looking to hiring marketers based on ‘’must-need’’ skills, dividing skill sets into hard skills and soft skills is always useful.
Based on this, the top marketing skills that a particular marketing department may need can never be set in stone. But knowing what the fundamental skills required to run a smooth marketing schedule are, can help build, train and develop robust marketing teams that are taught to run operations with profit and ROI in mind.
A Few Base Level Must-Have Skills for Today’s B2B Marketers
A Strong Aptitude for Data
This is old news now – data-driven marketing is the most essential component to marketing success today. Whatever marketing role a marketer has, be it email marketing, social media marketing, or channel marketing, in today’s B2B environment, it is important for marketers to know how to measure and analyse not just campaign metrics but also to know how to breakdown information from multiple data points.
In a 2018 LinkedIn report, hard skills such as this was considered one of the most-sought after skills in a marketer.
Not only do today’s marketers need to have a strong grasp on the multiple martech tools that help analyse campaign effectiveness, they need to also learn how to prioritize metrics, to know what matters most and what needs to be measured and maintained.
The Ability to Create Compelling Marketing Copy and Communicate Well
We are marketers in a time when digital buying journeys need to be optimized with relevant, meaningful content and communication. A marketer who has an all-round content marketing skill with the ability to not only market content but also craft compelling captions or articles and collaterals when required will add more value to a growing marketing team.
Marketers who are adept at building marketing strategies but lack the ability to craft content or copy quickly can sometime affect the speed at which campaigns are launched because they need to rely on a content team.
What works as an added bonus here is having a strong design and UX/UI skill that allows for seamless management of a campaign; including its overall messaging, look and feel.
Effective writing is still a skill that cannot be automated at scale and this puts the demand on marketing leaders to not only plan high-end campaigns but to have the right messaging and theme in place to suit what customer trends.
Needless to say, the ability to craft compelling marketing copy should be considered a must-have for any marketing role so that it reduces errors when automating campaigns and allows every marketer on the team to edit wrong grammar and typos and maintain the overall quality of a marketing send.
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Above-Average Martech Proficiency
Martech is marketing. This has been said often enough. No marketer today can run any marketing activity without the use of martech.
Marketing automation is not the end-all here, in today’s martech and marketing environment, multiple martech proficiencies that involve understanding website analytics, email marketing ROI and results, social media analytics and much more have to come into play.
This is more crucial for mid-level marketers and marketing leaders who have to optimize their martech stack and ensure their data and measurement is centralized to be able to drive real value, team collaboration and growth.
With new martech innovations changing the martech landscape everyday, marketers need to have the ability to learn and adopt new innovations rapidly so that they can capitalize on the latest automation trends and features and reduce their manual tasks. This helps them focus on actual strategies and implementation of better campaign processes.
Up-To-Date Knowledge on Latest SEO Tactics
Every business has to boast of a strong online presence today. This is where a robust social media, digital marketing and SEO strategy come into play.
When it comes to must-have skills in marketing, this also means that marketers along the hierarchy should hone their SEO skills and develop them, as SEO and Google rules and algorithms change. The onus lies on marketing teams to stay abreast of latest tech updated and platform changes to be able to dovetail marketing messaging and marketing content to drive results despite them.
Without a stable SEO skill set in a marketing team, future digital marketing initiatives and content marketing and copy initiatives will suffer and impact overall marketing growth.
A Combination of Soft Skills
While hard skills can be teachable as teams scale and new hires come in, there are certain other soft skills that can work to the benefit of a B2B marketing team, even though they are harder to quantify. Soft skills in-demand also need to evolve based on current business and workplace trends.
At a time when business and sales and marketing teams had to largely work remote due to the 2020 global pandemic, for instance, flexibility and the ability to collaborate quickly with remote staff had to be a priority. Soft skills are hard to quantify but they can be very indicative of how a new hire or potential marketing candidate would-perform if hired.
A few basic attributes that can matter here include, strong emotional intelligence to be able to quickly handle marketing goof-ups and problems with campaigns including falling results, intuitiveness to preempt customer trends and interests, as well as a sense of curiosity and learning to be able to adopt new martech tools and marketing processes easily.
End Note – Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect Marketer or Perfect Marketing Team?
When building a marketing team, what matters is not just hiring teams aligned to company goals and objectives but also learning to place people together so that they can complement each other’s skills. Marketing and sales teams have their fair bit of attrition and matching the lack of ability in an existing team because of it by hiring new people who can help fill the gap with the right attitude, processes and tools comes handy.
There can’t really be a perfect marketing team. But it’s easy to build strong, robust marketing teams today; those that can drive impact and help businesses grow without having their marketing department act as a cost-center like before.
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