3 Marketing Competencies Essential for Survival and 1 Essential for Success

by EMM Group

The world of marketing is forever evolving. And with that evolution, the skill sets needed for marketing practitioners to continue adding value to an organization’s marketing program continue to change as well.

Whereas several years ago media buying and effective print PR could be listed as some of the most sought after skills in the marketing industry, these days they’ve been surpassed by other competencies that didn’t even exist back then. It’s rare to find any marketing department today that doesn’t understand that these changes have occurred, but there are still many that are struggling with how to get – and stay – up to speed in these areas and really exploit them effectively for the marketing power they possess.

Here are three skills a successful marketing team must possess, followed by a powerful tool you can use to ensure your team has what it takes:

1. Digital Marketing and Social Media

Digital marketing encompasses a wide range of disciplines and can’t realistically be covered completely by one person. But digital in general must be understood and effectively exploited by the marketing team as a whole for an organization to effectively market in the 21st century.

If any key component of the digital marketing program is conspicuously missing, it presents a gap that needs to be filled quickly and fully for a company to remain competitive.

As one of the most important components of a modern digital marketing program, competency in using social media to effectively build brand equity, generate leads, and engage with customers, is absolutely vital.

It’s a world that is constantly changing – perhaps even faster than marketing as a whole. Marketers must continuously adjust as various social media powerhouses like Google, Facebook, and Twitter change tactics and offerings for their own business reasons.

A few years ago, everyone tried to be everywhere on social media. Since then, social participation has become a much more focused strategy where each organization must closely monitor and adapt their activities to truly optimize both the amount of time and money being spent on any given channel.

2. Mobile

The ongoing explosion of mobile phone and tablet use has created entirely new formats for advertising and content consumption. It has also greatly accelerated the globalization process as mobile technology expands faster and more widely into developing nations than even traditional internet access.

The intertwining nature of mobile, search, and social capabilities along with cutting edge technologies like wearables, augmented reality, and other SoLoMo (social-local-mobile) functionality, makes mobile marketing an exciting and vital component of any successful marketing program today.

3. Advanced Analytics and Big Data

Modern marketing requires a much deeper view of what metrics matter and how that data is collected and analyzed. It’s no longer sufficient to track vanity metrics like how many Facebook Likes you receive or how many visitors come to your website.

The array of tools and platforms available to assist in collecting and analyzing data is staggering and potentially expensive, so a high level of proficiency is essential in both understanding what the company needs and finding the most effective way to fill that need.

Then, taking the analyzed data and actually translating it into actionable insights is another step altogether, and one that is unfortunately underutilized in many marketing teams.

Directly connected to understanding and exploiting advanced analytics is the newfound ability companies have to benefit from so-called “big data”, which is the incredible amount of data being collected and collated via the web and other digital sources all day every day.

By combining this wealth of data with sophisticated tools that use artificial intelligence and machine learning, marketing teams can identify and exploit patterns in the data that are invisible to the human eye and mind, but that nonetheless provide powerful insight into things like customer behavior, brand recognition, campaign effectiveness, and so much more.

These three competencies are all absolutely vital for any marketing team to simply remain competitive, but they don’t represent all the skills that team needs. In fact, they don’t include the single most important skill for marketing success today.

4. Strategic Thinking

While tactics and best practices will constantly change, the need for high-level strategic thinking will never go out of style in a successful marketing team. Considering just the three competencies discussed above, it’s easy to see how chaotic and inefficient a company’s marketing efforts could be without a guiding strategic direction.

And it’s not just a matter of having an overarching strategy coming down from above. Every member of the marketing team should have at least a foundational understanding of the company’s vision and objectives so they are in a position to appreciate the strategic direction the marketing team needs to take and how their individual role fits in to making that effort successful.

Strategic thinking allows the modern marketing team to combine all these relatively new technologies and tactics with all the traditional marketing tools and options the company has always used, and effectively decide the very best way to accomplish the goals they’re after with the current budget and other practical constraints.

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Keywords: Custom Marketing Framework, Customer Experience Design, Market and Data Analysis