Today’s marketers are entering the workforce loaded with “English” writing skills, the ability to function on social media, and a wide array of technical or design skills. In this digital era of marketing, all of these are important. Most job postings call to specific skill sets like those mentioned. But many of today’s new marketers lack the foundational marketing knowledge that gives today’s tactics their power.

Here are 7 skills today’s marketers must have to be successful:

  1. Entrepreneurial mindset
  2. Social adaptation
  3. Empathy
  4. Critical thinking
  5. Creative problem solving
  6. Debate
  7. Sales fundamentals

Entrepreneurial Mindset
Entrepreneurs are constantly looking for ways to provide the marketplace a product or service that fills a gap or solves a new problem. As a result, they are constantly aware of shifts in peoples behavior. By being aware of behavioral shifts marketers are equipped to help innovate existing products and services, adjust copywriting to reflect new needs and wants, and identify new ways to build and nurture lists.

Social Adaptation
Let’s face it. The more we become digital, the less we actually learn how to interact with people. No one is more at risk than this as the upcoming generation. The same was true 20 years ago, the same will be true 20 years from now. It’s not a millennial thing, its a thing of every new generation. It’s a consequence of advanced communications technology.

As a result, those coming into the workforce have less social requests to adapt to new surroundings. Not all marketers are going to get jobs in environments that mimic their own social circles. Today’s marketer needs to know how to get along with new groups of people fast. They need to know how to look for social cues on how to act and behave in new environments.

Why is this important: our world is global. Diversity is not just a word. It’s a reality. Most marketing teams can’t afford to hire every type of diverse marketing segment, and so it is highly dependant on its marketing team to be able to quickly adapt and represent diverse behaviors, ways of speaking, attitudes and belief systems.

Empathy is the ability to reflect someone else in such a way that the other person feels heard AND understood. The byproduct of empathy is trust. Marketers who know how to show empathy understand what people need to see, hear, feel, know and experience to take the next best step. These are great funnel makers who know how to shorten up buying cycles.

Critical Thinking

A marketer who is constantly thinking, how could this be better or, what would be an improvement – are the same people who will dive into your analytics and look for the stories that data tells. Not every marketer needs to be a scientist with numbers, but they need to be curious enough about efficiencies and conversions to look at all the little things that influence them.

Creative Problem Solving

Things change. Competition is tough. The marketplace is savvy and jaded. Positioning products the same way it’s always been done rarely is a good strategy. Marketers need to find a new lens to look at the world. This new lens will help keep things fresh without losing relevancy. It will be on point without losing flare.

There are a lot of people who run from confrontation. Marketers should not be those people. Marketing teams should feel very comfortable discussing different points of view, playing the devil’s advocate and questioning the opinions of others. Holding people accountable for rational decision making over pride and creative opinion can be tough, especially for junior marketers, but it’s appreciated. Everyone falls into the trap of believing their thinking is a reflection of reality. When questioned, (in the right way) – valuable discussions and brainstorming ensue.

Sales Fundamentals

Let’s face it. Marketing is just salesmanship multiplied. Sales are one to one, marketing is one to many. A great salesperson knows how to listen first for clues (research), speak in such a way that gains attention (good copywriting) retain people attention (provide valuable education) and invite people to appropriate action (calls to action / CTAs). If marketers can learn the fundamentals of sales  ( not to be confused with being good at sales) – they will know the fundamentals of marketing and why marketing works the way it does.

Technology is going to shift. Big influencers like Google and Facebook will change how marketing operates. People evolve. If marketers understand the basics of human behavior, understand how to communicate with others, and adapt to change – they will be successful no matter the venue, tactic or industry.