A good marketer knows all the intricacies of his craft: he learned Zen in audience research, learned how to launch effective campaigns, calculate the sales funnel and analyze metrics. But is this enough to build a career? Nowadays, the development of soft skills, or so-called soft skills, is increasingly appreciated. These, in addition to professional skills, help good marketers become the best.
Together with Yanoy Takmazis, the head of the educational direction “Internet Marketing” at Netology, identified five flexible skills, without which a good marketer is unlikely to ever step from middle to senior and be able to manage a team.
Why do some employees wait for a promotion for years, while others move to higher positions within a few months? For example, you know how to pull out even the most failed advertising campaign, you always cope with delegated tasks and overfulfill the KPIs, but you are still marking time with the same salary level. Perhaps it’s all about initiative – management expects you to start setting goals and taking responsibility for them.
Proactive marketers perform better than passive peers and offer more new solutions. Therefore, they are more often noticed and, accordingly, promoted.
You can be called a proactive employee if you:
- know how to take responsibility for the result;
- predict possible problems;
- deal with them yourself;
- show enthusiasm for your work;
- express yourself freely;
- resourceful and adventurous.
If you don’t want to sit back and watch your colleagues run up the corporate ladder without you, work on your initiative. For example, voice your work ideas. If not all, then most of them will definitely be appreciated by colleagues.
Ideas for developing initiative can be drawn from literature. A good book on the subject is Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
Multitasking and prioritization skills
The situation when you need to make a report on the results of an advertising campaign, plan a new one, answer a couple of dozen letters, negotiate by phone and all this in 10 minutes is familiar to every professional. There are two ways to clear up the mountain of urgent matters: do everything at the same time, but only 1–2% of the population can do this, or learn how to prioritize.
The marketer does not just synchronize departments with each other, but controls the process of bringing the product to the market through the efforts of all the necessary specialists. Therefore, it is important to keep several tasks in focus at once and monitor the progress of each.
Multitasking and prioritization is about you if you:
- do not experience stress from a large number of diverse tasks;
- do not stay late at work without extraordinary reasons;
- planning your employment;
- know how to set adequate deadlines and comply with them.
Developing your time management skills is easy; try a few well-known techniques to get started. For example, tomato method: Concentrate on one task for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break and switch to the next. In a day, you will get at least 16 25 minutes, which will help you sort out all the cases.
You can get inspired by other ideas on self-organization in the books “Procrastination. First Aid “by Tanya van Essen and Henri Schouvenburg,” Self-discipline 2.0. How not to oversleep your life ”from Vladimir Yakub and others.
Presentation, argumentation and persuasion skills
Experienced marketers know that a strong presentation is half the battle. For example, Gary Vaynerchuk is not very good at writing, but he is a master of presentation. He makes it as simple as possible: uses just 100 words of 4 letters each, zero slides. Moreover, each presentation has at least one moment when the whole audience stands up during a standing ovation. His public speaking prowess has transformed the family’s 3 million wine business into a $ 60 million a year venture.
To be convincing, you need to:
- be able to understand and formulate your position on the topic;
- internally allow to speak and feel that your opinion is valuable;
- notice the reactions of listeners and choose the appropriate way of communication;
- have a broad outlook.
What can a properly structured argumentation do? For example, raising $ 75 million for charity, as Scott Harrison did. If you want to achieve the same success, or at least try to get closer to them, we recommend reading the article “What would Steve do? 10 lessons from the people who make the world’s most immersive presentations. ”
It is good not only to study theory, but also to practice it in practice. For example, you can enroll in courses in public speaking or theater skills, where they will help you to relax and teach you how to express your ideas.
Experts consider creativity to be the new oil. The demand for creative people is growing every year, because it is these specialists who come up with ideas that bring companies millions. Marketers are regularly faced with challenges that require an unconventional approach. It is important for them to catch trends before everyone starts talking about them. For example, marketers at Chipotle, a Mexican restaurant chain, have creatively promoted guacamole on TikTok. They created their hashtag #guacdance, which has amassed nearly a billion views. Sales of guacamole grew by 68% over the year!
True, there is still no unambiguous definition of what creativity is. If we reduce all descriptions to a common denominator, then this skill is possessed by a person who has:
- the ability to fantasize;
- the ability to see opportunities in difficult situations;
- the desire to look for new emotions and impressions;
- the ability to design something new from several components;
- desire to turn routine affairs into an exciting adventure.
Creativity can be developed through specialized trainings, or you can read about effective exercises in books. For example, How to Generate Fresh Ideas, 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques, and The Creativity Code.
You can try one simple creativity exercise today. You just need to choose three daily routines and perform them in a new way. For example, re-routing to work, or buying a new breakfast option, or taking a business lunch that you haven’t tried yet. New neural connections will be formed immediately and the brain will begin to come up with new, non-standard options for solving any problem.
Curiosity and eagerness to learn
Do you know the story about one marketer who learned something every day, was aware of all the professional innovations, but never achieved anything? We don’t know either, because curiosity helps you build great careers and develop in a company.
The desire to learn something new is expressed even in small details. It is not necessary to go towards the ideal with wide steps – it will be enough to become at least 5% better than yourself every time.
How can you check if you are professionally curious enough? Think back to the last 3 months of work. Did you do something to improve your hard or soft skills? If not, start with a book or webinar on a topic that interests you. And, of course, there is always the opportunity to sign up for courses that will help you pump not only flexible skills, but also your career.