Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner or looking to polish up your resumé, having a good marketing skillset will always stand you in good stead. An understanding of marketing is essential to any industry, regardless of your actual role. From working directly in a marketing department, to research, product development or finances, knowing how the marketing world operates will give you and your organization an essential advantage over the competition.
Read on to find out more about the essential skills you need to make a mark on the marketing front, or take a look here.
Understand the role of SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, has been around in the digital marketing sphere for a long time already, for as long as businesses have been using the internet to market their products and services. Over the years, SEO has evolved and changed extensively although the principle remains the same.
In short, SEO is the process of optimizing your website content to show up most effectively on online searches, primarily through search engines. This is through organic searches, not necessarily paid advertisements. SEO can influence a variety of functions across a business, and is a useful aspect of marketing to be aware of in order to improve performance and efficiency.
One of the main areas where SEO will have an influence over a business’s activities is across the content and copy used to promote material online. For those working in editorial and design departments, SEO can shape the kind of language and presentation used to communicate products and benefits. It can also have an impact on behind-the-scenes aspects of a business too, including website design and structure, coding and other areas.
Harness the power of analytics
Data and analytics is another important area to understand when improving your marketing skills, especially as data now has an increasingly important role in the contemporary business world. There is more data available on customers, your competitors and the business environment as a whole than ever before, derived from a variety of sources. Data can be derived online, from website views and visits from customers, and also from real-life interactions, including purchasing behavior, social factors and more.
Having a large amount of data to hand is not simply enough though, it also needs to be understood for it to be effective. Data science is an integral marketing tool, giving a business the ability to find patterns and draw conclusions from the information found. In combination with a variety of other skills, such as statistical mapping, it can help derive useful strategies to help improve your marketing techniques in the future.
Understand the role of social media
Clear and effective communication is always an important skill to have in business, both in order to improve relationships with customers, or work more effectively with colleagues and other teams. While general communication skills are good to nurture and improve, one of the main channels of contemporary communication in business is social media, and having a clear understanding of how to use the various channels available can have an enormous positive impact on marketing.
One of the most important points to understand is the role and variety of social media platforms available, and ensuring that you have the ability to use each of them effectively. Different channels are ideal for reaching out to specific groups of audiences and niches, and can serve a variety of purposes, from improving awareness of a brand, to promoting sales and integrating e-commerce directly. By being able to select and choose the right social media resources available, you can harness these tools well to communicate more effectively.
Have a deeper insight into your customers
Learning more about your customers and audience as a whole can be an invaluable skill to improve your marketing in a variety of ways. Developing an infrastructure to gain better customer insight, and using this information directly, can provide a key competitive advantage, by enabling you to respond more effectively to the demands and needs of your audience. It can also help you to build better relationships with customers in the long term, by giving you an insight into the values and beliefs of your market, and improve the decisions you may take.
Customer insight can come from a variety of sources, both directly from customers themselves, and more indirectly, from analyzing their actions and behaviors. By reaching out to customers to get their opinions, thoughts and feelings, you can get a direct insight into how they may react or respond to certain things, such as a new product launch or a questionnaire to assess satisfaction levels. Knowing how to frame these questions is an important skill in itself, as you will need to tread a fine line between connecting with customers to obtain helpful information, without being irritating or distracting.
Another key source of insight is data from purchasing or browsing behavior. From cart abandonment figures to knowing the times of day that certain target markets prefer to shop, all of these numbers can provide a useful glimpse into the preferences of your market. This can in turn be used to refine and improve your product and services, as well as your marketing strategy.
Understand changing technology
Technology continues to evolve at an ever-increasing rate, with new tools and platforms emerging every day. From changing pieces of software to new forms of hardware used to access information, technology has a profound impact on marketing and running a business.
It’s important to know what kinds of technology your core market may be using in order to tailor messaging to them most effectively. For instance, as a growing number of people access online information through mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets, a website optimized for use through a laptop will not be the most efficient way of designing it. Similarly, the increase in voice-activated tools means that it is increasingly important to understand their impact.