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Seven Additional Skills for Marketers

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Over my career, the definition of a Marketer has changed, but I’m not sure when.  It seems like every year there are more and more skills expected of contemporary Marketers.  I’ve reviewed these skills and discussed them with colleagues.  Here are the seven skills we think you need to master, on top of being a classic marketer:

    1. Customer Insights
    2. Finance
    3. Data Analytics
    4. Writing
    5. Project Management
    6. Business Analytics
    7. Technologist


IngredientsCustomer Insights – marketers need to see things from the consumers’ perspective, if it doesn’t impact the customer, why are we doing it?  Get into the customers’ shoes.  Why did they choose your brand over the competitors, what makes them loyal, at what point might they switch from your products and services.

By understanding the world from your customers’ perspective, you’ll be better able to meet and exceed their needs.  Walk through the experience you’ve designed for your customers on and off line.  Take note of the pain points, where your service or product lets them down and also those moments of truth where your brand wins them over.  How as marketers can we become custodians of superior customer experience?

Finance –  we need to track the return on investment of our marketing activities to demonstrate what is working and redirect spend accordingly.  Displaying Marketing’s impact on revenue growth will ensure a longer term future for the team.

We need to make wise decisions about how we spend the marketing budget.  Gartner et al have documented the CMOs rise and ability to outspend CIOs on technology – how can we be sure we are buying the best value for the organisation?

Technologist – if all we are reading about the CMO outspending the CIO on tech, then we’d better get a handle on what solutions are available and how we utilise them.  The Chiefmartec ( have produced a supergraphic of the software and solutions on the market … and this doesn’t even include them all!

We need to get conversant in the main technologies first, CRM, eCRM, marketing automation and digital and social platforms.  Crawl, walk, run!

Data Analyst – well, I would say that, wouldn’t I?  Seriously though, the world is drowning in data and smart marketers are learning to swim in these currents.  Collecting the right customer data to enable better decisions, optimising the marketing effort and improving the customer experience is essential.  To get you started on this, I’d recommend you read Data Driven by Redman.

Writer – become an engaging writer.  Develop writing skills that will hook your audience in and keep them with you, whether this audience is your customers on the website or opening an email campaign or the Board you are trying to convince to sign off the latest business case.

Visualisation and Storytelling are two skills that sit alongside writing.  Being able to tell the story in a meaningful, compelling way is so important.  Using images, graphs, infographs to condense the detail will certainly help keep the audience’s attention!

Project Manager – one thing that is for sure, marketing will continue to change.  In order to stay on top of these changes, you will need to develop you Project and Change skills.  Being organised, working across departments and coordinating and scheduling work are all part of project management and change.  Brushing up on these skills will ensure you get to the end of the change with your mind still intact!

Business Analyst –  finally, you have to be able to relate this all back to the business.  How does the business currently operate and what impact will new marketing campaigns, new martec, new customer insights have?

Tara lectures part-time at DIT on the Masters in Digital Marketing and Analytics ( and loves to talk to marketers about upskilling.  Give her a call.


05 April, 2016 by Tara Grehan

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