48% of marketers have chosen Social Media Marketing as the top area of desired growth. Other important skills are being neglected, though.
Recently, Unsupervised surveyed 748 marketers with the goal of better understanding their preferences regarding tools, professional aspirations and goals.
However, two research questions caught my attention:
1) The Marketing departments’ weakest skills.
2) Goals and aspirations: the top areas of desired growth.
That’s why I decided to write this article talking a little more about being a strategic marketer and about essential Marketing skills.
The departments’ weakest skills
According to the research, 39% of respondents said that Email Marketing and writing are the departments’ weakest skills.
Thinking about Email Marketing is very concerning, especially if we notice that 68% of the respondents were B2B marketers.
Email Marketing is still one of the most successful Marketing channels when done properly.
When it comes to writing skills, it’s a little bit scarier since it’s a basic skill that helps marketers with almost all other Marketing skills.
It’s hard to think about a good social media marketer with weak writing skills. This is a skill rated in all Marketing positions we have at Rock Content.
The most desired area of growth
If you ask a marketer who is just starting out what they are most interested in, they will likely say Social Media.
The survey showed that Social Media Marketing is the most desired area of growth for 48% of respondents.
Social media being such a fashionable area may lead marketers to take incorrect strategic decisions or neglect other important Marketing skills.
Thinking of social media as a key skill can lead you down an extremely tool oriented career path and make you a less valuable professional.
Don’t get me wrong. Social media shouldn’t be a channel to be neglected either, but it should be treated as another important channel, not as the greatest skill to be developed inside a Marketing department.
So, how does one become a strategic marketer?
You might be wondering what strategic thinking has to do with skills that marketers most want to develop.
Being strategic can help a professional who is starting to progress in his career as well as helping Marketing managers make better decisions.
Well, in short, being strategic is about identifying changes and scenarios and knowing how to design a way to deal with the challenge of change. As we explain in this article about the Strategy Model for marketers, a good strategy essential has these three elements:
- guiding policy;
- set of coherent actions.
Following this framework, a social media plan would be part of the third point: actions/channel of some strategic plan.
That said, you must be thinking about which skills you should master to be an outstanding marketer that goes beyond tactics and knows how to deliver good results in any Marketing area. That’s what we’ll talk about next.
The essential Marketing skills you should master
Here are some skills that, if you develop and follow the strategic framework, will put you way closer to being a strategic Marketing professional
Also listed in the survey as one of the weakest skills, this is necessary for any tactic or Marketing area.
For building a campaign, creating new content, developing enablement pieces or any other Marketing initiative, doing good research will help you to identify challenges, benchmarks and the best approach possible.
In any Marketing area, doing good research will improve the quality of your job.
Telling a good story will help you to make people click on an Email Marketing piece, so you ultimately can convince them to buy your company’s product, for example.
If you are a good storyteller you are a good marketer.
Try to apply storytelling to the most simple piece of Marketing content you’re building and you will see the results rise.
I’m not telling you that you need to be heavily specialized in data analytics tools. But of course, you can aspire to be a specialist in this area if you wish.
Being analytical is most related to understanding the cause and effect of your initiatives and taking decisions based on evidence.
If you want to focus on the social media area, it’s better if you deeply understand social networks metrics. And if you want to work with Email Marketing, you need to know everything about important Email Marketing KPIs.
Deep understanding of the business you’re in
This is the ultimate advice that is valuable not just for marketers. You will always be a valuable asset for the company if you deeply understand the business you are in.
- What’s your company positioning?
- What are the industry benchmarks?
And, even better: if you can connect the dots between your Marketing initiatives and the company’s KPIs, you can bring really good opportunities.
How are your Marketing strategies and initiatives helping the company throughout the funnel?
Even if the initiative has a long term impact, always try to connect the dots.
Of course there are tons of different hard skills you may specialize in to be a better marketer depending on the specific career path you want to follow.
However, having these skills and focusing on being strategic will help you to take the next step in your career aspirations.