The title is clear. But these aren’t 13 marketing skills that every single person on a marketing team needs. And there’s no realistic way any single person will possess all of them.
When you want to develop a well-rounded team of individuals who will accelerate your marketing and grow revenue opportunities, these are the key skills — both hard and soft — that will get you there.
Education and awareness surrounding your brand only happens if you give people something to engage with and learn from. (There’s a reason everyone runs a blog.)
Content marketing isn’t just writing, video-making, and social posts though. It’s distributing content. You need to deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right times through the right channels.
Your content marketing strategy ebbs and flows along with your overall marketing needs. You need to recognize what times certain content will be most valuable in generating interest, nurturing leads, and helping the sales team close.
Where do people spend their time? On their phones. All your ads, landing pages, videos, and the like need to be optimized for mobile devices. Your content should be delivered directly to people’s phones too.
If there’s one type of mobile marketing your team hasn’t yet adopted but should aim to this year, it’s texting. While many businesses adopted short code relatively quickly, conversational text messaging hasn’t reached the same level of popularity. But it really needs to.
98 percent of all texts at least get read, and using Skipio, businesses boast response rates over 50 percent. So not only does conversational texting get your messages seen, it gets people engaging.
Basically every company does some form of inbound marketing. The exact strategies, tactics, and tools used will be unique to you. Master tasks like these to make the biggest impact:
- Running paid social ads
- Driving organic website traffic
- Sharing on social media
- Partnering with brands and influencers
- Setting up an affiliate program
Whatever you do, be consistent and ready to adapt.
Leveraging website traffic starts and ends with SEO. It improves your inbound marketing as well as your content marketing. However, like all good things, SEO takes time.
Driving visitors to learn about your solutions requires a lot of patience. Fortunately, small changes to your website and content strategies adds up. With the right tactics, you can start seeing positive results in weeks.
Buyer pain points and needs
Before you even talk to a prospect or put out content or make a website, you need to know what people need help with. What stresses them out and makes them want to find a solution like yours? What do they want their solution to accomplish and
Product marketing leads this research and training, but it can’t just be them tapping into this information. Everyone on the marketing team must know what goes on in a buyer’s mind.
Knowing the key pains is what allows you to then identify what makes your products the best fit for people and what value they get when they buy from you.
Understanding your customers helps you create better marketing in every way. You effectively target new customers, but perhaps more importantly, it helps with your customer retention efforts.
So how exactly is customer knowledge a skill? You have to talk to your customers regularly and know what to ask to get the real story from them. You sift through what they say to fully grasp what they value most about your solutions and why they keep choosing you.
Then you have to strategically put that knowledge into practice in new marketing promotions. On top of that, you must recognize what pieces to share with other teams to help them develop better processes and more beneficial solutions.
Your company’s lead nurturing strategy and the handoff between marketing and sales will vary based on your priorities of inbound or outbound marketing and account-based marketing.
Being highly skilled in lead nurturing means adopting the most effective tools for outreach, follow-up, and relationship building. You must know how to start an engaging conversation, keep it going, and resurrect it when it starts to falter. Know when to send text messages, make a call, or follow up with email.
While sales reps take on a lot of the nurturing later on in the sales cycle, the marketing team needs to tackle top of the funnel lead engagement and, to some degree, sales enablement.
SEO and organic traffic should be priorities, but don’t assume you must rely on organic growth alone. With a solid strategy for paid ads, you give your company the best visibility.
Mastering PPC isn’t just a matter of writing good ads and slapping them up on Google. You have to choose the right keywords to target to make sure the right audience is seeing them. Otherwise you’re not creating any awareness or getting any clicks.
If your team dedicates any amount of effort to growth marketing, you naturally gravitate toward conversion rate optimization (CRO). You’re going to research, experiment, and analyze to figure out what makes people convert.
Like the name implies, CRO is all about maximizing conversions, whatever that might mean at your company. Depending on your marketing strategy, a conversion might include:
- Scheduling a demo or consultation
- Filling out a form
- Downloading content — gated or otherwise
- Responding positively to a text message
The bottom line: A conversion is not just a sale. A CRO expert guides you to know what “conversions” lead to revenue.
Every member of your team needs to understand the numbers and metrics that they are responsible for. Certain KPIs everyone will contribute to, and the team needs full transparency on how those things are going.
Ideally you’ll have a marketing ops specialist to help each contributing member of the team understand what data matters and how to track it.
Not everyone needs to be an analytical expert, but everyone does need to understand what data points to the success of the business.
You won’t just be telling the story of your brand, though that is important. You need to be telling the stories of your customers in a way that makes other people want what they have.
A good storyteller identifies and creates the most compelling narrative. Who are the subjects that matter? What do people need to hear most that will get them to “keep reading”? (In quotes because they won’t always literally be reading your marketing.) How do you deliver your stories to the right people?
Out of all these skills, storytelling might be the most important. It’s certainly the one that helps you generate the most interest.
Teamwork & collaboration
You never want to work in silos. In marketing that’s how you quickly get out of alignment and lose focus. The team needs to understand each other’s roles, know each other’s boundaries, and share the same goals.
The more you know about each other’s strengths and how people work together, the happier and more creative everyone gets to be. Figure out the tools or software needed to help everyone produce and execute the best marketing campaigns and assets.
All of that results in better content, campaigns, and conversions.
Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
Don’t just do things the way they’ve always been done. Embrace the potential for growth and make it a priority to regularly evaluate all areas of your marketing.
So, when ads stop working or people skip over your content, dig into why it’s not working. Once you identify the possible hangups, eliminate them! Or be ready to read between the lines of customer interviews. Find the little nuggets that tell you how people really feel about what you sell.
You provide better customer experiences when you stay customer-focused.
Excel in your marketing by caring about your customers
Like I said in the intro, no one single person is an expert at all these marketing skills. And they shouldn’t have to be. Marketing efforts thrive when you find and develop team members with different strengths and areas of focus.
But there’s one thing everyone needs to focus on: improving the customer experience. Ultimately, the reach of your marketing and your company expands with customer-focused action. Keep that in mind as your team develops and adopts new marketing skills like these.