In today’s dynamic business landscape, successful marketing goes beyond traditional advertising and posting on social media. A true marketing professional is a strategic thinker, a meticulous planner, and a versatile executor on multiple platforms.
To provide a total solution for a business, a marketing person must possess a diverse set of skills that encompass strategy, planning, market research, product management, and proficiency in various digital tools.
Excelling in the field of marketing requires a versatile skill set that combines strategic thinking, analytical prowess, and proficiency in various digital tools. By mastering these skills, a marketing professional can provide a total solution for a business, driving growth and ensuring long-term success in an ever-evolving marketplace.
This article delves into the multifaceted skill set required for a marketing professional to offer comprehensive solutions, covering areas such as strategic marketing, market research, digital skills, website management, integrated marketing communications (marcoms), social media, and multimedia content creation including photography and video.
A business needs a complete range of marketing tools if it is to effectively perform its marketing.
Consider the following key marketing skills required within a business
- Strategic Thinking and Planning:
- Market Research (Customers/Competitors)
- Product Management
- Digital Skills
- Website Management
- Integrated Marketing Communications (Marcoms)
- Social Media Expertise
- Multimedia Content Creation (Photography, Video, etc.)
- Understanding the numbers and metrics
As the sole marketing professional within a business, possessing a comprehensive set of strategic marketing skills is crucial to providing a total solution for the organisation.
Firstly, a deep understanding of market analysis and research is essential. This involves the ability to assess industry trends, consumer behaviour, and competitor landscapes. By conducting thorough market research, a marketing person can identify opportunities and threats, enabling them to formulate effective strategies that align with the business’s objectives.
Furthermore, strategic planning skills are paramount. This includes the capacity to develop longer-term marketing plans that integrate seamlessly with the overall business strategy. Crafting a cohesive marketing strategy requires a forward-thinking approach, considering not only short-term goals but also anticipating changes in the market and adapting plans accordingly. The marketing professional must be adept at setting clear objectives, defining target audiences, and outlining the steps required to achieve the desired outcomes.
Question: Within your business does your marketing person contribute to the strategic direction of the business or have the capability to help determine where and how future sales will be generated
Conveying complex messaging
The marketing person must be able to convey complex marketing strategies and ideas to various stakeholders within the organisation, ensuring alignment and buy-in from key decision-makers. Clear communication extends beyond internal interactions to external communication with customers, partners, and other relevant audiences. Developing persuasive and engaging messages that resonate with the target market is fundamental to successful marketing campaigns.
The importance of Branding
A strong grasp of brand management is indispensable. Building and maintaining a consistent brand image requires strategic thinking, creative direction, and a keen understanding of brand positioning in the market. The marketing person should be capable of developing and implementing brand guidelines that permeate all marketing efforts, fostering brand loyalty and recognition.
Ability to embrace change
Lastly, adaptability and a willingness to embrace change are vital attributes. The marketing landscape is dynamic, with new trends, technologies, and consumer behaviours constantly emerging. A marketing professional must be agile, ready to pivot strategies as needed and integrate new approaches to stay ahead of the competition.
Market Research Capabilities
Conduct in depth industry analysis
Having comprehensive market research skills is fundamental to providing a total solution for the organisation. Crucial is that the marketing professional within a business has the ability to conduct in-depth industry analysis. This involves staying abreast of market trends, understanding the competitive landscape, and identifying potential opportunities and threats. A marketing person should be adept at gathering and analysing relevant data, whether it be through primary research methods such as surveys and interviews or secondary research using existing sources.
What are your customers pain points ?
Understanding buyer behaviour is another vital aspect of market research. The marketing professional needs to be skilled in designing and implementing consumer surveys, focus groups, and other research methodologies to gain insights into the preferences, needs, and purchasing habits of the target audience. This knowledge is essential for tailoring marketing strategies to effectively reach and resonate with the intended customers.
Interpret statistical information ( Good marketers love numbers)
Furthermore, proficiency in quantitative and qualitative data analysis is indispensable. The marketing person should be able to interpret statistical information, draw meaningful conclusions, and translate data into actionable insights. Whether assessing market share, customer satisfaction, or campaign performance metrics, the ability to derive valuable insights from data is essential for making informed marketing decisions.
Question: Within your business how often does your marketing person talk to customers, prospects, suppliers, go out with sales people, engineers the maintenance team, spend time with call handlers?
Strategy complements Research
Strategic thinking is a key skill that complements market research. The marketing professional must not only collect data but also be able to use it strategically to inform the development of marketing plans. This involves identifying market gaps, segmenting target audiences, and formulating strategies that align with the business’s overall objectives. The capacity to synthesise information and draw connections between market insights and business goals is crucial for developing effective marketing strategies.
Presenting research to make business decisions
Effective communication skills are vital when presenting research findings to internal stakeholders. The marketing person should be able to distil complex research data into clear, actionable recommendations. Whether communicating with Directors, product teams, or other departments, conveying the relevance and implications of market research findings is essential for obtaining buy-in and support for marketing initiatives.
A marketing professional needs a diverse set of market research skills. These include expertise in industry analysis, consumer behaviour research, data analysis, strategic thinking, effective communication, and adaptability. By honing these skills, the marketing person can contribute significantly to the development and implementation of successful marketing strategies that drive business growth.
A successful marketing professional aiming to provide a comprehensive solution for a business needs a diverse set of web and digital skills and experiences to navigate the dynamic landscape of online marketing effectively.
Improving organic website performance
First and foremost, a deep understanding of digital marketing strategies is essential. This includes proficiency in search engine optimisation (SEO) to enhance a business’s online visibility and drive organic traffic. The ability to conduct keyword research, optimise website content, and stay abreast of Google algorithm updates is crucial for achieving sustained online success.
Understanding if PPC appropriate
In addition, expertise in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is vital for creating targeted and measurable online campaigns. A marketing professional should be adept at using platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads, optimising ad copy, and managing budgets to maximise return on investment. Where Ad campaigns are delivered by a third party its crucial that the marketing person has a knowledge of the numbers to evaluate campaign performance.
A thorough grasp of social media marketing is indispensable in today’s digital age. This involves not only creating compelling content but also understanding the nuances of various social platforms, engaging with audiences, and leveraging analytics tools to measure and refine social media strategies.
Key digital marketing metric measurements
Web analytics proficiency, especially with tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console, is paramount for assessing the performance of digital marketing efforts. This includes tracking website traffic, user behaviour, and conversion rates to make data-driven decisions and continuously optimise campaigns for better results.
Email and Ecommerce
Email marketing remains a potent Business to Business tool, and a marketing professional should have expertise in creating effective email campaigns, segmenting audiences, and utilising automation tools to nurture leads and maintain customer engagement.
E-commerce knowledge is increasingly crucial for many businesses. A marketing person should understand the intricacies of online sales, user experience optimisation, and the implementation of e-commerce platforms to drive conversions.
Staying ahead of the digital curve
Furthermore, staying informed about emerging trends and technologies is vital. The digital landscape evolves rapidly, and a marketing professional must be proactive in exploring and adopting new tools and techniques to stay ahead of the competition. Just think how rapidly Artificial Intelligence (Ai) has developed over the last 12 months and how this has impacted on marketing activities.
Verbal & Written
Finally, excellent communication skills are indispensable. Whether crafting compelling ad copy, engaging with customers on social media, or presenting performance reports to stakeholders, the ability to communicate effectively is a cornerstone of successful digital marketing.
A holistic approach to digital marketing involves a combination of SEO, PPC, social media, analytics, email marketing, e-commerce, and a commitment to ongoing learning and adaptation to provide a total solution for a business in the ever-evolving online environment.
Now I’m biased on this, but passionately believe that if as a marketer you want to have a strong and active web presence then you need a WordPress website. In the context of a business with a WordPress website, a marketing professional should possess a comprehensive set of website skills and experiences to offer a total solution.
WordPress has developed massively over the last 10 years and with the correct theme and page builder is now very user friendly. The marketing person should have a deep understanding of the WordPress platform, including its various capabilities, features, plugins, and themes. This includes the ability to navigate the WordPress dashboard, add new content pages, make content updates, and add optimised content.
Search engine optimisation
Search engine optimisation (SEO) skills tailored to the WordPress environment are essential. This involves optimising content using SEO plugins, managing meta tags, and ensuring that the website follows SEO best practices. A marketing professional should be familiar with popular SEO plugins like Yoast SEO and be adept at leveraging them to improve the website’s search engine visibility.
Content management skills are crucial for maintaining a WordPress website effectively. This includes creating and updating content, managing media files, and organising information in a way that enhances user experience. Knowledge of page builders can be valuable for creating visually appealing and responsive content.
Analytics and tracking
An understanding of website analytics tools, particularly integration with Google Analytics, is vital. The marketing person should be capable of setting up and interpreting analytics data to track website performance, user behaviour, and conversion metrics. This data-driven approach is instrumental in making informed decisions and optimising the website for better results.
E-commerce expertise is important for businesses engaged in online sales through their WordPress site. The marketing professional should be familiar with e-commerce plugins such as WooCommerce, understanding how to set up products, manage inventory, and optimise the online shopping experience to drive conversions.
Security awareness is critical to safeguard the WordPress website from potential threats. The marketing person should have knowledge of basic security practices, such as keeping plugins and themes updated, using secure login credentials, and implementing security plugins to protect against vulnerabilities. Its important to remember that work can be of a technical nature so just like you would use a qualified electrician or gas engineer to do a job, this work may fall into the realm of a specialist web agency.
Responsive design considerations are essential, as users access websites on various devices. The marketing professional should ensure that the WordPress site is mobile-friendly and functions seamlessly across different screen sizes and resolutions.
As always communication skills are crucial. The marketing person should be able to collaborate with web developers, designers, and other stakeholders to convey the business’s goals and ensure that the WordPress website aligns with the overall marketing strategy.
A marketing professional dealing with a WordPress website should possess a combination of WordPress proficiency, SEO skills, content management capabilities, analytics expertise, e-commerce knowledge, security awareness, and effective communication skills to provide a comprehensive solution for the business’s online presence.
A marketing professional in a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) business should possess a comprehensive set of Marcoms (Marketing Communications) skills and experiences to offer a total solution for the business. They need a solid understanding of the relevant industry, including its processes, supply chain dynamics, and market trends. This industry knowledge forms the foundation for crafting effective marketing strategies tailored to the specific needs and challenges of the business.
Through a combination of online and offline channels, the marketing person would establish and maintain a consistent brand image, ensuring that all communication materials resonate with the target audience
In traditional marketing channels, the marketing professional may oversee the creation of print materials, such as brochures, flyers, and business cards. They might also coordinate participation in industry events, trade shows, and conferences to enhance the company’s visibility and build relationships with potential clients and partners.
Public relations efforts would also fall within the purview of the marketing person in an SME. This involves managing media relations, issuing press releases, and cultivating positive relationships with relevant industry influencers. Building and maintaining a positive public image contributes to the overall brand perception and credibility.
Additionally, the marketing person would likely collaborate with sales teams to develop sales collateral and support materials. This ensures that the salesforce is well-equipped with the necessary tools to communicate effectively with potential clients and close deals.
The marketing person in an SME is responsible for a diverse range of marcoms activities, encompassing digital and traditional channels, to build brand awareness, engage with the target audience, and drive business growth
A marketing person handling social media for an SME business should possess a well-rounded set of skills and experiences to provide a comprehensive solution for the company. Firstly, a deep understanding of the industry and sector is crucial. This includes knowledge of the products, services, production processes, and the specific challenges and trends within the sector. This industry-specific knowledge is essential for crafting relevant and engaging content that resonates with the target audience.
In terms of social media skills, a marketing professional should be adept at creating and curating visual content. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are particularly important for a manufacturing business, as they allow for the showcase of products through images and videos. Proficiency in graphic design tools and video editing software is beneficial for creating visually appealing and shareable content.
Furthermore, a strong grasp of analytics and data interpretation is vital. Social media platforms provide valuable insights into user behaviour, engagement, and demographics. The ability to analyse this data helps in refining marketing strategies, understanding customer preferences, and optimizing the overall social media approach for the SME.
Expertise in community management is another essential skill. Engaging with the audience, responding to comments and inquiries, and fostering a sense of community around the brand are crucial for building a positive online presence. This requires effective communication skills, empathy, and a customer-centric approach.
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding which social media platforms a marketing person should be an expert at, a well-rounded knowledge of popular platforms such as Facebook, X (previously known as Twitter), LinkedIn, and YouTube is fundamental. Each platform serves different purposes and caters to distinct audience segments. The marketing professional should be capable of tailoring the content and strategy to align with the strengths and dynamics of each platform.
A successful marketing person for an SME business should possess industry-specific knowledge, visual content creation skills, data analytics proficiency, community management expertise, and a solid understanding of the various social media platforms. This holistic skill set enables them to craft and execute a comprehensive social media strategy that aligns with the business goals and engages the target audience effectively.
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The Ideal Marketing Person for an SME
In a SME business, the role of a marketing person is crucial for the overall success and growth of the business. The importance of having a skilled and experienced marketing professional cannot be overstated, as they play a pivotal role in promoting the company’s products and services, building brand awareness, and attracting potential customers.
Meeting customer needs
A marketing professional with relevant skills and experience brings a deep understanding of market trends, consumer behaviour, and effective marketing strategies. This knowledge is essential for crafting and implementing marketing campaigns that resonate with the target audience and address the unique challenges and opportunities in the manufacturing sector. Without a solid foundation in marketing principles, it may be challenging for an individual to navigate the complexities of promoting a manufacturing business effectively.
Furthermore, an experienced marketing person can contribute significantly to developing a comprehensive marketing strategy aligned with the business goals. They can leverage their insights to identify the most suitable channels for reaching the target market, optimising advertising budgets, and creating compelling messages that differentiate the company from competitors. This strategic approach is essential for SMEs that often operate with limited resources, as it ensures that every marketing effort is focused and results-driven.
Qualified and Experienced
While formal marketing qualifications can provide a structured understanding of marketing principles, practical experience is equally valuable, if not more so. In some cases, individuals without formal marketing qualifications but with a proven track record of success in marketing roles may be equally effective. However, it’s essential that they possess a solid understanding of the unique challenges and dynamics of the manufacturing industry.