Want To Master Marketing? These Skills Are An Absolute Must, Part One

Breaking into any industry can be challenging, and marketing is no exception. There is no denying that a career in this field is both exciting and “sexy,” but it is also incredibly complex and fast-paced. The factors that define a successful marketing career evolve continuously, and your skillset must evolve to stay on top of trends and ahead of the competition.

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We get it – the list of things one needs to know to secure a digital marketing job can be overwhelming. A million things make up a genuinely gifted marketer, but one must have the right combination of soft and hard skills to stand out to potential employers. While the former is presumably most important (since these qualities are more inherent and difficult to teach), both are essential to showcase on a LinkedIn profile, resume, or cover letter.

The District Maven team lives and breathes all things marketing-related and is armed with first-hand knowledge of what it takes to be a superstar in this challenging and competitive industry. Regardless of whether you’re looking to start or advance your marketing career, mastery of the following list of skills will set you on the path to success.

Soft Skills

Creativity

There is virtually no aspect of marketing that doesn’t require some sort of creative thinking. Your marketing career will quickly flourish if you can develop outside-of-the-box ideas that can be uniquely applied to specific campaigns and audiences.

Flexibility

Effective marketers must be incredibly flexible. The industry is rapidly evolving, and keeping up with best practices can be challenging. Marketing professionals must be ready to react and adapt at a moment's notice for various reasons, from updating algorithms to last-minute client editing requests.

Desire To Learn - Curiosity

We’ve already established that online marketing trends and strategies evolve rapidly, often without warning. Most often, it isn’t until after a change or addition is made that seasoned pros will be able to utilize it, let alone notice it. The best marketers are the ones that not only keep an eye out for these changes (both large and small) but have an innate desire to learn its inner workings, master them and then apply them to future campaigns.

Collaboration

Just like stellar marketing campaigns require a holistic, all-encompassing approach, so do the best marketing teams. Every person must work together as a unit and have clear, cohesive goals to succeed. Plus, feeling comfortable enough with your team to brainstorm ideas is key to the creative process! Likewise, it is common that marketing teams will also have to work with third-party vendors. For both of these, the ability to collaborate effectively is essential.

Emotional Intelligence

Arguably the most essential soft skill any professional can have and is reportedly the strongest predictor of performance. According to INC.com, it accounts for 58% of success across all job types.

Emotional intelligence is critical in marketing. How could one ever do the same for a targeted audience if one cannot organically recognize, understand, and deal with their own emotions? This quality helps identify a customer’s needs and purchase behaviors to be applied to an active campaign.

Also, being a seasoned marketing professional requires seriously thick skin. It is impossible to avoid criticism (no matter how constructive) from coworkers and clients. It takes emotional intelligence not only to listen and accept less-than-favorable feedback but respond appropriately and professionally.

Storytelling

The foundation of any content strategy is a compelling and relatable narrative. Unless one can be a great storyteller, textual and visual content will ultimately fall flat on an audience. After all, this propels the buyer’s overall journey from first-time visitor to repeat customer.

Time Management

Marketing campaigns involve a lot of moving parts and commonly have strict deadlines. Professionals who can stay organized and effectively manage their time will navigate the massive workload and constantly changing factors with ease.

Problem Solving

While there are general rules around what marketing best practices consist of, it takes a significant amount of trial and error to figure out how to apply them. (And, how it works best for a given client or campaign!) The ability to find creative solutions to problems is essential for any marketer.

Communication

The foundation of solid marketing is clear communication. Whether you’re developing a brand’s overall messaging strategy or communicating with clients directly, clearly conveying essential points is a significant key to success.

Active Listening

Listening is a huge part of any job. However, active listening is essential in marketing because sometimes, what your client doesn’t say makes the most significant impact. Also, it isn’t uncommon for those outside the industry to have a hard time explaining what they want. Active listening ensures you pay attention to small and subtle clues that get to the heart of what you are being instructed to do.

Trend Watching

Marketing is all about finding the latest and greatest and then making it work to your campaign’s benefit. Doing this requires staying in the know with trends and updates inside the industry and out. In your free time, read the news and keep up with publications like AdAge or Digiday so you can stay in the know about marketing trends. These will only aid in your ability to help your clients.
Breaking into any industry can be challenging, and marketing is no exception. There is no denying that a career in this field is both exciting and “sexy,” but it is also incredibly complex and fast-paced. The factors that define a successful marketing career evolve continuously, and your skillset must evolve to stay on top of trends and ahead of the competition.

Image
We get it – the list of things one needs to know to secure a digital marketing job can be overwhelming. A million things make up a genuinely gifted marketer, but one must have the right combination of soft and hard skills to stand out to potential employers. While the former is presumably most important (since these qualities are more inherent and difficult to teach), both are essential to showcase on a LinkedIn profile, resume, or cover letter.

The District Maven team lives and breathes all things marketing-related and is armed with first-hand knowledge of what it takes to be a superstar in this challenging and competitive industry. Regardless of whether you’re looking to start or advance your marketing career, mastery of the following list of skills will set you on the path to success.

Soft Skills

Creativity

There is virtually no aspect of marketing that doesn’t require some sort of creative thinking. Your marketing career will quickly flourish if you can develop outside-of-the-box ideas that can be uniquely applied to specific campaigns and audiences.

Flexibility

Effective marketers must be incredibly flexible. The industry is rapidly evolving, and keeping up with best practices can be challenging. Marketing professionals must be ready to react and adapt at a moment's notice for various reasons, from updating algorithms to last-minute client editing requests.

Desire To Learn - Curiosity

We’ve already established that online marketing trends and strategies evolve rapidly, often without warning. Most often, it isn’t until after a change or addition is made that seasoned pros will be able to utilize it, let alone notice it. The best marketers are the ones that not only keep an eye out for these changes (both large and small) but have an innate desire to learn its inner workings, master them and then apply them to future campaigns.

Collaboration

Just like stellar marketing campaigns require a holistic, all-encompassing approach, so do the best marketing teams. Every person must work together as a unit and have clear, cohesive goals to succeed. Plus, feeling comfortable enough with your team to brainstorm ideas is key to the creative process! Likewise, it is common that marketing teams will also have to work with third-party vendors. For both of these, the ability to collaborate effectively is essential.

Emotional Intelligence

Arguably the most essential soft skill any professional can have and is reportedly the strongest predictor of performance. According to INC.com, it accounts for 58% of success across all job types.

Emotional intelligence is critical in marketing. How could one ever do the same for a targeted audience if one cannot organically recognize, understand, and deal with their own emotions? This quality helps identify a customer’s needs and purchase behaviors to be applied to an active campaign.

Also, being a seasoned marketing professional requires seriously thick skin. It is impossible to avoid criticism (no matter how constructive) from coworkers and clients. It takes emotional intelligence not only to listen and accept less-than-favorable feedback but respond appropriately and professionally.

Storytelling

The foundation of any content strategy is a compelling and relatable narrative. Unless one can be a great storyteller, textual and visual content will ultimately fall flat on an audience. After all, this propels the buyer’s overall journey from first-time visitor to repeat customer.

Time Management

Marketing campaigns involve a lot of moving parts and commonly have strict deadlines. Professionals who can stay organized and effectively manage their time will navigate the massive workload and constantly changing factors with ease.

Problem Solving

While there are general rules around what marketing best practices consist of, it takes a significant amount of trial and error to figure out how to apply them. (And, how it works best for a given client or campaign!) The ability to find creative solutions to problems is essential for any marketer.

Communication

The foundation of solid marketing is clear communication. Whether you’re developing a brand’s overall messaging strategy or communicating with clients directly, clearly conveying essential points is a significant key to success.

Active Listening

Listening is a huge part of any job. However, active listening is essential in marketing because sometimes, what your client doesn’t say makes the most significant impact. Also, it isn’t uncommon for those outside the industry to have a hard time explaining what they want. Active listening ensures you pay attention to small and subtle clues that get to the heart of what you are being instructed to do.

Trend Watching

Marketing is all about finding the latest and greatest and then making it work to your campaign’s benefit. Doing this requires staying in the know with trends and updates inside the industry and out. In your free time, read the news and keep up with publications like AdAge or Digiday so you can stay in the know about marketing trends. These will only aid in your ability to help your clients.