It feels good to be able to say, "I work in marketing." Marketing is a cool, sexy field to work in, and many people likely earn degrees in it for that reason alone. There is no doubt that marketing can be fun; it's highly creative and you're rewarded for coming up with the next big idea.
However, marketing often entails somewhat monotonous work, because branding never stops. The upkeep is daily, and includes plenty of incredibly high-stakes work. Day in and day out, marketers are responsible for every facet of brand imaging ... and there are a lot of facets. So, when it comes to working in the world of marketing, be prepared for both the bold and the boring. Mindset is everything.
Speaking more specifically as a Marketing Director, these are the most in-demand marketing skills I value in an employee:
1. A finger on the pulse of the industry.
I don't necessarily mean the marketing industry. Yes, you should subscribe to and read marketing blogs, newsletters and articles, but you should also be thinking through the lens of your clients or your potential clients. Be mindful of news or happenings that may affect them. Bring new information to their attention and be the first to capitalize on new ideas that spawn from what you've learned.
2. A willingness to master and implement new skills and knowledge.
Due to the speed of technology, marketing practices change every day. Remain in the know. Implement new tactics and fine-tune new skills. Don't simply try it once to determine whether it works or not ... try it on, test it! If it works, make it a habit until you inevitably need to pivot and adapt—and do it all over again.
3. Dedication to the work.
It's fun to work on the brands you most relate to, obviously. But that will not always be the nature of your work. Demonstrate the same level of care to all brands, regardless of whether or not you think they're cool. Attention to detail goes a long way and effort can ultimately make or break your relationship with a client.
4. Creative writing.
This is where paying attention in English class really comes in handy. While some marketing doesn't require perfect grammar, a lot of it does. Yes, tone, voice and brand messaging may alter how certain things are written, but that doesn't change the fact that all writing needs to be universally understood by your audience. And no brand wants unintentionally dry language ... expand your vocabulary and get comfortable with adjectives.
5. Social media prowess.
As of today, social media is the best and quickest way for brands to speak to and connect with a mass audience. Social media also changes every day. As a marketer, you're responsible for understanding the tricks of the trade on a much deeper level than your clients. Your social media strategies should constantly evolve, and you should be able to demonstrate that you know what to post, when to post and where to post. Analytics can back your social actions. Study the numbers, the content and your audience every day, and take calculated risks to cause reactions.
Written by Loren Eisenlohr, Marketing Director for Serendipity Media.