7 Vital Attributes to Look for in a B2B Marketer
The role of a marketer is becoming increasing complex. With rapid changes in technology, an ever increasing number of communication channels, a greater demand for proof of ROI (return on investment), a shift to more ‘pull’ focussed marketing strategies and a need for greater personalisation, the modern marketing professional requires a diverse set of skills to enable them to design and implement an effective, omni-channel marketing strategy. But, what are the attributes a modern business should be looking for when recruiting for the marketing function? Here is my list of 7 key skills that the modern marketer can’t be without.
Digital is now one of the biggest part of the marketing mix and therefore todays’ marketing professionals need to have a good understanding of the requirements of an online strategy. This includes knowledge of the latest online platforms from social media, project management tools and CMSs to e-campaign schedulers and PPC (pay-per-click) & online advertising. Not every tool will be relevant to every business, but without a broad understanding, an informed choice regarding which platforms to use to monitor activity and reach key target markets cannot be made.
With the exception of digital, analysis is the newest component that is becoming increasingly vital to the marketing strategies of today. Traditional analytics like SWOT, benchmarking and competitor analysis have always featured, but modern measures such as google analytics, e-campaign open rates and social media engagement are also necessary so that the modern marketer can monitor activity, demonstrate progression and prove that targets are being reached. These tools allow marketing professionals to justify budget to stake holders or to adjust strategies accordingly.
There is a growing demand within organisations for tangible evidence that marketing is contributing to business growth. For certain activities, this is relatively easy with the use of technology, such as an increase in web traffic or greater engagement with email campaigns. However, somethings are less tangible such as an increase brand awareness, but are still achievable. For example a survey prior to and following the implementation of a brand awareness strategy can be used to understand how awareness of your brand and values has been affected i.e. the target can be to increase awareness of your brand from 35% to 50% of respondents. A modern marketer needs to understand what success looks like in terms of the strategic objectives of the business, and also have the ability to create measures and analyse them accordingly.
Creativity has always been associated with Marketing, but it is becoming increasingly important to stand out in a crowded market. Not only do marketers need to produce regular, desirable content for their audience, but they also need to package it and distribute it in different and increasingly innovative ways to cut through the noise and be noticed. This is becoming increasingly difficult as more companies adopting ‘pull’ marketing strategies rather than traditional ‘push’ marketing strategies which include techniques associated with short term sales. In order to succeed the modern marketer need to understand which techniques are required for the long term to establish brand loyalty and encourage repeat business.
The difficulty with modern marketing techniques such as ‘content marketing’ and ‘social selling’ is that they require a great deal of time and effort and the results aren’t instantaneous. They are very much part of a long term strategy in an attempt convince customers to actively approach your company as they become aware of your business and recognise you as an expert in your field. But because of the long term nature of these activities it is often difficult to convince senior managers and other departments of their worth. Marketing professionals today need to be able to persuade stake holders of the benefits of these techniques, convince them to actively participate and then demonstrate their effectiveness following their implementation.
The number of communication channels is constantly increasing and although all channels won’t be relevant to all businesses a marketers needs to understand which channels are relevant to their target market, how to effectively use each channels and how to establish a consistent approach across all methods of communications. This includes everything from website, mobile, social media platforms, e-campaigns to more traditional marketing tools such as hard copy advertising and exhibitions.
Although industry knowledge is something that can be learnt there is a distinct advantage to employing a marketing professional who already has experience in the area. They will already have an understanding of the market and the people within it and they may also have already established a significant network of relevant contacts from editors, advertising executives, events managers and suppliers relevant to your industry.
As demonstrated the modern marketer needs to have a broad skills set and it is increasingly important that businesses ensure that the people they hire are competent in all areas of the marketing mix. An all-rounder is needed as a weak link in one area can make the difference between the success or failure of the marketing strategy which is an integral part of achieving overall business objectives.
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