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5 Essential Skills a Marketing Manager Must Have

Today’s marketing isn’t remotely like the marketing and advertising of old. Not only do you still have to navigate the waters of mediums such as TV, radio and print newspapers, but the internet has brought a whole new dimension to the job.

These days, it’s not enough to know just about outbound marketing – or mail shots – or any one of the many other skills that have always been in demand. With this in mind, let’s have a look at some of the top skills today’s marketing managers should possess if they want to land their dream position.

#1: Versatility

Due to the way that technology has forged ahead over the last decade or so, it’s safe to say that there’s always something new to come along in marketing. For example, SEO has changed almost beyond recognition from the discipline it was.

In the 90s, SEO was often about black and grey hat tactics and some SEOs found these to be perfectly acceptable. Like anything that’s subject to a lot of abuse though, it’s seen trust in the customer drop and new rules come in. And these rules are constantly shifting and subject to change.

It’s not just in SEO that rapid change comes about though, so a marketing managers needs to be on their toes.

They should:

  • Read industry publications constantly – be aware of what Google algorithms mean and the effect they could have on your site. Understand how social media works and how you can best leverage this.
  • Be prepared to implement changes quickly in order to adapt to a change in the market or an unexpected opportunity that presents itself.
  • Understand the technology: the website, analytics, databases, etc.

#2: Content

You don’t have to be a fantastic writer, but you should understand how important content has become to inbound marketing. Your blog, news, newsletters, reports and ebooks – when properly distributed – will all work to increase trust in the brand and bring in leads.

The demand for content specialists has risen in recent years as more and more businesses have come around to the idea that it works – and it does it well.

To conquer content skills you should:

  • Depending on the content and size of your company, find a writer that can maintain a consistent voice across all of your platforms and who knows your industry well. This can be you, another member of staff or outsourced specialists.
  • Understand how content strategy can fine-tune your efforts enough to ensure that there are always plenty of people filling up that sales funnel and filtering down into customers.
  • Remember that social content should match the tone, style and personality of your brand.
  • Learn how to reach out to editors and post on syndicate sites in order to boost traffic and your reputation.

#3: Leadership

A good manager should always lead by example, know how to motivate and encourage staff and know when to make decisions. She should be prepared to take it in on the chin if the team makes a mistake and should never attempt to pass the buck. A good marketing manager chooses their own team and if they make mistakes, then call them out and see where you can implement positive changes without apportioning blame.

A good manager knows that she is a part of a team, doesn’t micro-manage and doesn’t blame mistakes on individuals. Resentments can easily and very quickly set in when a manager doesn’t communicate well with staff and show them the respect they deserve.

For the marketing manager, communication is key. Both with the team and with the executives. Where there’s gaps in training, make sure that they get addressed and support staff, rather than vilify them – it will get you much further.

#4: Digital Media

Today, every marketing manager needs to know about all aspects of digital marketing and to make the most of it.

This includes:

  • Social media
  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Video marketing
  • Web marketing
  • Understanding of how a website is put together
  • Email marketing
  • Analytics
  • A/B testing

Inbound marketing is a successful tactic. Customers who build relationships with brands online will eventually buy from them. There are of course rules to follow and lots to learn, but when it’s all brought together correctly, it’s very powerful.

#5: A Holistic View

I’ve been saying this for a while now (mostly in response to that old chestnut ‘SEO is dead’) but the modern marketing manager has to take a holistic view of the overall marketing mix. That means not concentrating your efforts on one tactic or another, but instead looking at how these things can work in harmony with each other.

For example, if you produce a daily blog and it gets no reads because it’s not put out across social media, or it’s not optimised for SEO and formatted for the web, then it will continue to perform poorly. You will also have a fair job of then convincing the boss that content marketing works.

  • Build buyer personas for each and every channel you use, paying attention to where they overlap
  • Ensure that branding is consistent across all platforms and channels
  • Learn how to use analytics to remarket
  • Use social media and comments sections to really build relationships
  • Consider what devices your customers are accessing your site on

A modern marketing manager’s job is one that’s fun, never boring and subject to constant change. This makes it an exciting profession that allows you to allows be learning new things and growing professionally.

And who doesn’t want that?

Are you a marketing manager with anything to add? Let us know in the comments below :)

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