Digital Marketing is one of the most rapidly changing industries I have the pleasure of being a part of. It provides us with on-going changes in technologies, new tools and innovative ideas as well as regular software update to contend with to keep us on our toes.
The growth of digital technologies and the need for professionals with the necessary skills to adapt, change and drive the capabilities of companies across a range of industries means that marketers today must be strategic and on top of their game to succeed. Marketing blends digital marketing, content creation, online platforms and in-depth analytics to engage, inform and delight prospects to nurture them through the sales funnel from building awareness to final sales.
Digital marketing is not for the faint hearted and I can certainly vouch for that, but it is an exciting, ever changing and challenging role that can fuel business growth, achieve competitive advantage and deliver customer experiences that result in customer loyalty and retention.
So, what exactly does it take to be a successful marketing professional and what key traits and attributes are needed to keep ahead in this ever changing world?
Marketers are great at organising and planning and often make excellent leaders and project managers. Developing well thought-out marketing strategies requires research, planning, implementing, monitoring and controlling the overall project plan. They align the business goals with the marketing strategies and develop creative and measurable campaigns to deliver primary business objectives.
Probably one of the main reasons why I chose a career in marketing is due to the creative requirements. All marketers must be creative thinkers who are able to take ideas, issues or challenges and creatively craft ideas and solutions for companies. Marketing professionals are responsible for all aspects of a company’s branding, messaging and often design. This involves working with words and visuals to produce innovative content that attracts attention, resonates with target audiences and promotes conversations. We work with words, images, graphics to craft messages
By and large, most marketing professionals love to talk. They are great communicators and love nothing more than to get their message out there, tell a story, offer advice or inform you of something new. But to be a great communicator, marketers need to be great listeners too. They need to be able to listen to customers, online conversations and client sentiments to understand the audience they are communicating with.
Surprisingly enough, great marketers need to be great sellers too. Once they have developed a creative idea or strategy, they need to be able to sell their ideas to key stakeholders or communicate their messages to target audiences regardless of the product or service.
- Relationship Builder
Today, relationship building is more important than ever. From the team they work with to other internal departments or with customer and clients, marketers need to be able to build a network of individuals that will help them to do their jobs successfully, protect the brands reputation and increase online visibility and reach.
With social media marketing an integral part of any marketing strategy, the need to be able to foster and build relationships with clients, customers and influencers is critical.
Marketers build relationships with people through ongoing communication and developing an understanding of their needs.
The ability to stay alert and respond fast to unexpected opportunities is a key attribute for marketers. They need to be aware of industry developments, competitor activities, trends and innovations. Marketers need to know how to react and be innovative in different situations. While planning is a very important role for a marketing strategist, you also need to be able to switch gears, go with the flow and quickly react to developments outside of your control.
The days of guess work are over. Marketers need to deliver on targets to attract the right prospects online and deliver quality leads to the sales team. To do this, marketers must be able to analyse their marketing activities to understand what factors can have a positive or negative impact on key performance indicators. They use real-time analytics to gain actionable insights to develop data-driven strategies.
There is no one-fits-all for a digital marketing professional, but for marketers not daunted by change and are ready for a challenge, there is a world of opportunities awaiting.