6 Skills Your Marketing Team Needs in 2018

Important skills that your marketing team must have in 2018

What skills does a marketing team need?

One thing that I absolutely love with my job in marketing is that it’s ever-changing. I’m fascinated about new updates and trying out new ways to engage an audience, whether it’s using mediums like social media, emails or web ads. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it does plant a tiny, tiny seed of frustration within me. I mean come on; all of a sudden, there’s an algorithmic update or a change in audience behaviour that means my newly gained expertise is abruptly outdated and I need to adjust to that very quickly. But see, that’s when we’re back to this fascination, where I’m intrigued by how companies find new creative ways to intrigue its audiences.

So, where am I going with this?

What we do know is that a marketer does indeed wear many hats – content, analytics, web, etc – that’s all in the hands of marketers, and that something that won’t change in 2018. Quite on the contrary, with the many functions of a marketer, a multi-faceted skill set is definitely coveted.

Whether you’re about to expand your marketing team, build one from scratch or just feel that you need a little update or development in your own skill set, I looked at what skills are sought-after in the 2018 marketing landscape.

6 Skills Your Marketing Team Needs

1. Tech savvy

Of course, digital marketing is rooted in technology, I mean, hence the name. But in addition to the use of online tools such as social media management and marketing automation (both of them still seen as strong players in digital marketing field of course) that has definitely increased over past years, trend spotters see martech solutions as an even bigger hit this year. Take machine learning for example, where behavioural data lays ground for what type of ads and message should be displayed to a certain prospect. Programmatic marketing is another example, where ad space can be bought in real-time, also depending on what the prospect wants to see. These new technologies improve our ability to target our audience, which is the essence of what marketing is about. Instead of flushing out content hoping that someone will see it, we’re delivering information that’s actually wanted.

Additionally, with Google’s ‘mobile-first’ indexing, we need to adjust to that as well and ensure that the content is mobile-friendly. Some responsive landing page and email templates are an easy way to get around this, but all in all, a successful marketer needs some sort of understanding of the technological aids that are out there, all to improve and serve some fresh and updated marketing.

How to go about it: Technical skills needs to be maintained and constantly updated. Start the day by reading up on latest articles on digital marketing, there are many tools that can serve what’s interesting to you. I’ve used Pocket for this.  I’m not saying that you have to apply ALL new solutions to your processes at once, but this way you’ll be the first to know about crucial updates that might affect your work. Plus, small steps and an open mind where you can adapt pieces of your new learnings to your work (perhaps you’ll find easier ways to go about things!), you establish trust with your costumers. Hey, thought leader! Yeah, that’s you!

2. Experimental and patience

With the previous point in mind, digital marketing is no exact science. In this ever-changing landscape and jungle of algorithms, to figure out the perfect recipe for what’s working for you, the answer is simply (yes, you’ve heard it before) testing. And to be able to adjust quickly and willing to try new things. So, this is not just experimenting with tech and algorithms, but also what your audience likes and wants to see in their feed.

How to go about it: What ads makes your audience tick? What tools and processes can streamline and simplify your job? Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone and be willing to take chances, that’s how you in the end find out what works best for you.

3. Creativity in content

60% of all content out there is just clutter and of poor quality. Safe to say, quality matters. First off, there’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that’s rooted in the idea that the better your content is, the more backlinks it gets and therefore the content ranks better. Secondly, you are competing against a lot of other players out there. Your best bet? A variety of different types of content that amuses or teaches the reader something useful. It’s actually so good that the reader shares it and/or links to it, which gives us some bonus points in SEO and more people will find it. Ah, the circle of quality content.

How to go about it: Content is more than just a blog post though, for a marketing mix that actually feels alive and updated, a variety of content formats is a must to keep the audience intrigued and interested. For example, video is one of the most popular and fastest growing ways to spread your message and knowledge, and for that there’s a need for some serious storytelling skills. Personally, when I’m drafting a script for a video, I start off with the format Problem – Solution – Exceed Expectations, and that works out very well for me. Remember, you have the freedom and creativity to finish the script in whatever way feels right, but that format is a good way to outline and start off with.

Of course, if video doesn’t suit you, there are many other types of content format that could perform just as good.

4. Relationship skills

Go to yourself for this one – when you’re on a shopping spree, what is it that actually makes you buy from a particular sales person? I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that it’s the sales person that’s nice and actually listens to what you want and doesn’t swamp you with products that you were really not looking for.

A marketer, and a sales person too for that matter, should treat their prospects, leads and customers like they would treat their loved ones – that’s how trust is built. And what’s one important characteristic to have in a relationship? Listening. We need to start listening to what the leads are telling us in order to make them feel safe with us. That’s how we understand our audience way better in order to serve the right content the audience wants.

How to go about it: Okay, listening is the first step, but you must also react on what you hear, or don’t hear for that matter. Marketing automation is your best aid here. Build a “journey” of the different content and information, and depending on the actions from your contacts, that journey is automatically tailored with relevant content. And then they all lived happily ever after.

5. KPI focused

I swear, this one hits the lists every year. If you don’t know how you are currently performing or how well you did in the past, how on earth are you supposed to know how to steer that marketing ship of yours? And by all means, digital marketing is a lot more easier to measure than a “traditional,” offline campaign.

How to go about it: Pick the KPIs that are the most relevant to your campaign, and try to find the KPIs that’s also aligned with the overall company goals. For example, sales or number of leads. Another example could be conversions. Set off a day every quarter just to measure and you can adjust the campaign as you go. Just remember to pick out the KPIs that you still can have an impact on, otherwise you’re just wasting time.

6. Curious

Indeed, a marketer does wear many hats. With the many updates mentioned in the beginning of this post a marketer must always be willing and prepared to learn new things.

 

All in all, are you a curious and open-minded person with a bit of a geeky side, you have a long career in marketing! Now you, what skills do you think are the most important for the 2018 marketing? Let me know in the comments! 

As Digital Marketing Manager, Josefine oversees strategies, production and processes for all content marketing efforts, including social media, email and blog. She also introduced videos into their content marketing strategy, in which she shares her best tips on different marketing topics.

4 Comments

  • Hi Josefine, thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge on digital market teams! I’d like to highlight the importance of curiosity – definitely key part on finding new strategies and keeping up to date with the latest news. Nevertheless, I would like to add out-box-thinking and audacity: the first one to be able to see beyond marketing and understand related disciplines like economics, development and choice behavior; and audacity – although it needs to always be driven by data – in order to launch bold and creative campaigns!

  • Zubida says:

    Hi Josefine, really enjoyed your article. Very useful ways to intrigue audience. One thing we should keep in mind that marketers have to be biased toward action because there are lot of initiatives going on that are time-sensitive. If there a new industry treads, changes in product or other company announcements that are going on, marketers need to be responsive and able to quickly deliver all the things.

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