It’s January, and hopefully you are still sticking to your new year’s resolutions. The generic theme is always “New year, new me”, aspiring to be better in different aspects of life. If you are in marketing, you should aim to be a better marketer this year. After some research, we have compiled a list of soft and hard skills digital MARCOM Managers need to succeed in 2015. So, lets get started!
MARCOM stands for ‘Marketing Communications’. This means communication is a KEY component of the job. As a communicator, you should be able to tell a story (verbal or oral) to your customers (B2B or B2C). You need to be clear, concise and able to evoke emotion. To begin, make sure you always focus on benefits more than features. For example, rather than saying a product has 50GB of space, preferably mention how the device can store over 5,000 of the customer’s favorite songs and photos. You can always hire a copywriter or an agency, but communication is an important skill that is essential for any marketer. There are countless free resources to help improve writing and they do not take more than 10 minutes to master.
2. Creative thinking
In the information age, there is so much out there for the customer to consume… It has been depicted with the analogy of drinking water from a fire hydrant.
That's a lot of information (Shutterstock)
As a communications manager, you have to be able to think outside the box. This will make your messaging stand out, and your target market to perceive your message much better. This is easier said than done, but the best way to begin is by looking at things from a holistic approach, which Implies to understand your target audience and products comprehensively, whilst preparing a specific communication message. For example, if your product is a toothbrush, the conventional way to promote it is, well, as a toothbrush. However, you can take it further and market it as shoe brush, after the recommended 2-month use. This kind of marketing would only be possible if you looked at the market as a whole and from different angles. To get some inspiration, here’s a list of the top 10 Facebook pages of 2014 highlighting some of the most creative social media campaigns.
Disclaimer: Obviously, you need to test this on a smaller scale to see if it works before going to market, and this was only an example of one of the ways of holistic thinking. Here is more on the process, thinking more creatively and holistically.
Digital marketing’s advantage over traditional marketing is that feedback is quicker and clearer. In traditional marketing, when you purchase a billboard for advertising, you will never know the exact number of customers that saw your ad, likewise it is intangible to conclude how many products were sold because of that particular ad. With digital marketing, this information is easily accessible in real time, giving you the option to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. As a MARCOM manager, you should be comfortable with numbers and basic statistics to understand these results in order to improve your marketing. Here is a quick guide on the basic math for marketing to get you started. To get more advanced, here is a list of forums to improve and discuss different analytics practices.
The digital marketing world is one that moves with pace. Every day there are new technologies being implemented that change the way marketing is done. From new forms of social media like Vine, to new algorithms for Google Analytics, managers have to be tech savvy and keep up with changes that affect digital marketing. Not only is it good to know about them, but also how to use them. There are a lot of news sites you can check to stay up-to-date with technology, such as TechCrunch and Marketing tech news (Exactly what the doctor prescribed).
This skill is one of the most desired soft skills for today’s employers. To be a manager that can work in a team, you should be able to:
- Listen to your team and be open to suggestions;
- Ask for input on ideas and make them feel comfortable to share them;
- Give constructive criticism by identifying weaknesses and helping them improve;
- Guide them on paths to reach the company’s goals.
These may seem abstract and apparent, but the best way to be a team player is to treat your team how you would like to be treated. This differentiates a boss from a leader.
This list is by far not exhaustive, there are many more skills that you need to continually develop and improve to be a successful MARCOM manager. The above will help you to get started, and hopefully, make an impact on how you approach your marketing this year.
What other skills impact your daily MARCOM operations that were not mentioned above? Please let us know in the comments below.