With hard-sell tactics from the past not computing well in the digital age, marketers are shifting to a softer approach to promote brands and build the bottom line for the companies they serve. As they do, the traits necessary for professionals to enjoy success in the field are changing.
Experts in the field say today’s marketer needs to employ a combination of left- and right-brain thinking to be successful, carefully balancing analytical and creative thinking. The Internet has given rise to this change. As information is added to the ether at a dizzying pace, marketers find themselves having to think outside the box to develop relationships with customers, engage with them and capture their interest. Their collateral has to compete successfully with millions of other pieces of content available online in order for them to obtain the results they’re after.
On the other side of the coin, the nature of the Internet and its capabilities to easily record metrics, has also given rise to a need for analytical abilities. With the ready availability of key performance indicators, such as engagement, UVs and conversion rates, marketers find their work is highly measurable and they spend a lot of time developing strategies and tactics to improve metrics.
Must-Have Traits and Skills
While traditional marketing tools, such as print ads, television and radio spots, billboards and direct mail pieces are still viable, marketers find themselves increasingly working in the digital world. As they do, these traits are becoming highly sought after among professionals in the field:
- Desire to learn – Marketing is changing at the speed of light, and marketers must be willing to learn and adapt. “… the only way to constantly improve as a marketer is to seek out lessons to learn, each and every day,” Adam Kleinberg of Traction told Entrepreneur magazine.
- Willingness to try and fail – Marketing isn’t an exact science. With that in mind, marketers must be willing to try new things to see what works and what doesn’t while maintaining a positive attitude along the way, Waldow Social’s founder DJ Waldow suggests.
- Ability to mentor and foster creativity – Successful marketing leaders don’t micromanage, rather they empower and guide their staff to create and produce results in the process. They take a cross-functional approach and strive to see the world through the eyes of their clients as they tap into their team’s creativity.
- Storytelling ability – As content marketing becomes more competitive, results are being driven by those who can engage and inspire readers, viewers and consumers in general with compelling stories. Some experts say this ability will become one of the most highly sought after by employers in the next five years.
- Balanced skillset – As content marketing itself continues to grow as a field, employers are seeking out candidates that demonstrate an ability to employ both right- and left-brained skills. Creative writing and stellar communications skills are, of course, musts, but so is having the ability to analyze data, manage data, prioritize and multi-task.
The world is changing and marketing is changing along with it. Success in this field is still measured by making that all-important sale or conversion, but the tools driving the action have evolved and marketers must evolve along with them.