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Nine Things Every Marketer Needs To Be Able To Do

The role of the modern marketer has developed at a far greater speed than sales. You could survive in sales today not having changed your skill set set much over the last five years, but there’s nine things every marketer needs to be highly skilled at in order to be successful today.

Read a financial statement: Marketing has a job to do: create awareness, engage, and convert prospects. The company’s financial statements track the return on the investment in marketing. Every marketer needs to be able to read and interpret the company or department profit and loss statement.

Ethnographic Research: Ethnography is the study and systematic recording of human behaviour and the descriptive work produced from such research. It is designed to explore cultural phenomena where the researcher observes society from the point of view of the subject of the study. Simplified, it’s research that uncovers your client’s and user’s worldviews.

Advanced Segmentation: About ten year’s ago we looked at over 10,000 clients and found a group of 117 who had purchased over $50K in tote bags the previous year but were below $1K YTD. We found 117 clients who were giving their tote bag business to someone else. Too often, segmentation is done from 30,000 feet, dividing clients up into geographies or size. In today’s world of data abundance a marketer must be able to slice and dice grouping people into very specific behaviour groups.

Sketch Design: I can’t use any design software but I can use pencil crayons. I couldn’t draw a still life if my actual life depended on it, but I understand the theory of design, proper use of white space etc. Any marketer needs to be able to sketch a vision, they need to be able to communicate in pictures not just words.

Stand up to their boss and the CEO: A marketer, even at the lowest rung of the ladder needs to be able to not only pitch their idea but tell the boss her idea is a bad one. The marketer knows the market, has the data, and does his job every day. They are a wealth of information and we want them to have an opinion that they will fight for.

Experiment: Part of a marketer’s job is to elevate awareness of a brand. This requires trial and measurement. Every marketer needs to be comfortable experimenting every week.

Understand that not everything can be measured: Almost the opposite of experimenting, every marketer needs to be be comfortable investing in things that can not be accurately measured, especially in a younger company without ten years of data. Doubling a booth space at a conference, commenting on every industry blog post week in and week out, mailing thank you gifts on the behalf of sales.

Read: The value of the marketer who reads every day is one of those things that is hard to put a price on. And to be clear, I’m not talking about reading the industry blogs, I’m talking 30-60 minutes of readings books every day. I’m not even talking about marketing books, I just mean reading. In a world full of distractions, the marketer who invests in training their brain to focus every day is more creative, has higher throughput and can contribute to the company from a more global perspective.

Write: Marketing is a lot about influence and gaining trust, being authentic and demonstrating you care. This doesn’t get done by selecting great stock photos or making the layout on the website look pretty. It happens using words. Success in marketing, success in being authentic and trusted comes from waxing poetic and having the skill to write and edit your work.

It’s not an easy role to fill, but if you want to be a brilliant marketer you need to be able to do these nine things well. If, currently, you are weak in any of these areas, good news, you can learn all of them.