Op-Ed: Five Key Skills for the Modern Marketer

Op-Ed Five Key Skills for the Modern MarketerThe following is a guest contributed post from Bonnie Crater, the President & CEO of Full Circle Insights. 

Move over, Don Draper. A tectonic shift is underway as new technology tools and advanced data capabilities create a huge impact on modern marketing campaign planning, execution, analysis and optimization. To make it in this brave new world, marketers must recognize the hyper-modern technological transformation that is taking place and avoid falling through the cracks.

Marketers don’t need a PhD in data science to be successful, but these days, marketing leadership is increasingly more science than art. The core competencies modern marketers need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively have changed because we are living in a competitive and technology-driven marketing world.

Here are five key skills modern marketers need to succeed in an evolving marketplace:

  1. Deep understanding of data: Modern marketers must be able to access, analyze and apply data to successfully execute campaigns and programs. When interacting with C-level executives, directional answers are no longer good enough—marketers need accurate, detailed data they can use to justify programs and budgets.
  1. Content optimization skills: In addition to accurate data that defines where customers are in the sales funnel, modern marketers must optimize content to transform potential customers into buyers. After identifying where customers are on their purchasing journey, marketers must be able to deliver relevant, precisely targeted content to drive higher conversion rates.
  1. SEM and SEO competency: Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) skills are absolutely essential for modern marketers. They must have the know-how to make the company and products visible to search engines and optimize content to improve ranking, which requires an understanding of how algorithms are used in online searches.
  1. Social media savvy: Social media is the communication platform of choice for billions of potential customers, particularly millennials, now emerging as a dominant marketplace force. Marketers need to understand how to conduct outreach leveraging social media channels like Facebook and Twitter as well as know how to gather social media data and analyze results so they can continuously improve performance. (not sure about trademark or ® attribution here w these sited companies)
  1. Ability to align with the sales team: This is a critical skill for B2B marketers. Too often, sales and marketing efforts are uncoordinated or disconnected because their core marketing data is stored in silos. Modern marketers should collaborate with their counterparts on the sales team, sharing CRM and marketing data to identify where customers are in the sales funnel and move them towards conversion. Sales and marketing alignment is a competitive advantage for driving revenue.

Today, the market is more competitive and fragmented than ever before, so modern marketers need every advantage they can leverage. Developing competencies related to data, content optimization, SEM and SEO and social media can give marketers an edge over competitors. And by working more closely with the sales team, marketers can gain insights that allow them to drive revenue higher. With these five skills, modern marketers will be better equipped to reach next-generation customers.