What are the most crucial skills for marketers to develop? 

There are many possible answers to this question—and several are provided by the skills development team SkillsYouNeed.com. Their take on marketing skills sets out the importance of understanding your customers and market, thinking creatively, and communicating effectively. However, a guest post on the site on nine crucial skills for marketers adds storytelling, social media skills and analytical skills, among others. More generally, the site has plenty of other useful content for marketers. 

We dipped into the site to identify the most useful pages for marketers.

The role of marketers has become more strategic in recent years—but what does this mean?

It is crucial for marketers to understand their role within the business, and how marketing fits within the overall business strategy. The term ‘strategic marketing’ has been coined for this understanding. The page on this topic on SkillsYouNeed defines strategic marketing in more depth. It unpacks the term a bit to help you understand the skills required. It also provides information about some of the tools that you might use in strategic marketing.

Perhaps the most important aspect of strategic marketing is knowing your customers and market 

One of the most important aspects of a marketer’s role is to understand their customers and their market. This is crucial because they have to be able to reach out to customers, and appeal to their needs, setting company offerings into a broader context. Marketers therefore need to be able to carry out market research to gather competitive intelligence so that they understand the market. They also need to be able to segment their customers effectively so that they can communicate effectively with them.  

Marketers need a strong practical understanding of marketing channels and media

There is an enormous range of marketing channels now available. Marketers need to be able to understand what is available, and know what to choose and when. SkillsYouNeed’s page on marketing mediums is well worth a read for its summary of traditional and new channels and media, and when they might be used. It may also be helpful to read the page on social media marketing for insights on how this differs from other forms of marketing.  

Marketers also need a good grasp on the tools and techniques of marketing

There are many, many tools and techniques available to marketers, for various purposes. SkillsYouNeed has pages on several of these, and particularly the most well-known and widely used—which, after all, are generally widely used for a reason. You may find it helpful to read the pages on the Boston and Ansoff Matrices, the 7 Ps of Marketing, and tools for pricing. It may also be useful to read more about how to calculate the return on investment on marketing activities.

Writing is a key skill for marketers

It is possible to argue that all communication skills are important for marketers. However, writing is particularly key. There are certain types of writing that are specific to marketing, including writing a marketing strategy, and writing marketing copy, and SkillsYouNeed has pages on how to do both of these. One particular branch of marketing, content marketing, hinges on producing content that appeals to customers. For this in particular, storytelling is a crucial skill, coupled with writing for the internet. For more general skills development, it may be worth a look at the whole section on writing skills. 

Marketers need good interpersonal skills, with emotional intelligence high on the list

We have commented in the past that emotional intelligence is a crucial skill for marketers. Other interpersonal skills also matter. SkillsYouNeed has a whole section on emotional intelligence, with detailed pages on each element. These include personal skills such as self-awareness, self-control and self-motivation, and interpersonal skills such as empathy and social skills. If you’re not sure if your interpersonal skills need work, you might like to try a self-assessment to identify any gaps.

If you are a marketer, what other skills have you found useful?