48% of marketers have chosen social media marketing as their top area of desired growth, while other essential skills are being neglected.
Recently, Unsupervised surveyed 748 marketers to better understand their preferences regarding tools, professional aspirations, and goals.
Two research findings caught my attention:
1) The Marketing departments’ weakest skills.
2) Marketers’ goals and aspirations: the top areas of desired growth.
That’s why I decided to write this article to discuss the importance of 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 Marketing departments’ weakest skills.
This email marketing data is very concerning, especially because 68% of the survey participants were B2B marketers.
Email marketing is still one of the most successful Marketing channels when executed correctly.
When it comes to writing skills, it’s even more concerning, since they form the foundation for nearly all other marketing skills.
It’s hard to imagine a good social media marketer with weak writing skills. This is a skill required for all Marketing positions 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 learning, they will likely say Social Media.
The survey indicated that social media marketing is the most desired area of growth for 48% of respondents.
Social media being such a popular area may lead marketers to take incorrect strategic decisions or neglect other important Marketing skills.
When it comes to social media skills, it’s important not to get caught up in the belief that it’s the most crucial skill for a marketer. Focusing solely on social media may limit your career growth and make you a less valuable professional.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that social media should be neglected, but rather it should be seen as one of many important skills within a Marketing department.
So, How Can Someone 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 professionals who are starting to advance in their careers, as well as help Marketing managers make better decisions.
Well, in short, being strategic is about identifying changes and challenges, and designing an effective plan to address them. As we explain in this article about the Strategy Model for marketers, a good strategy has these three essential elements:
- Guiding policy
- Coherent actions
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 to Advance Your Career
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, this skill 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.
Being a good storyteller is an essential aspect of being a good marketer.
Try to apply Storytelling to the most simple piece of Marketing content you’re building, and you will see the results improve.
I’m not saying that you need to be heavily specialized in data analytics software. 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 data.
If you want to focus on the social media area, it’s better if you deeply understand the metrics for social networks. And if you want to work with email marketing, you need to know everything about important KPIs for email marketing.
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 to the company if you have an in-depth understanding of your business.
- What’s your company’s 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.