Marketing is the brand's way to communicate with customers and prospects so you can drive interest and desire for products and services. So, if you are not able to communicate effectively, your marketing will be ineffective.
the fallout of poor communication can be severe.
- it can impact people's first impressions of your company
- damage your brand reputation
- and lead to wasted time for marketers and anyone else involved in a campaign
beyond that, marketing also involves developing relationships with customers, affiliates, influencers, and brand evangelists.
fail to communicate effectively and you will have a very bumpy road ahead.
2. Problem Solving
Marketing campaigns rarely go smoothly and you will run into problems and unexpected bumps along the way. The thing is, nobody wants to hold your hand through every single problem.
Employers hire employees to solve problems. So, naturally, a big part of your job will be to solve problems with creative solutions even if company policies or budget is playing against you.
A common example in the SEO world is buying backlinks, a lot of companies have no problem doing this, but if your company is like ours and has policies against these practices, you have to come up with creative ways to compete.
Another common disadvantage I see in competitive industries is Ad budgets. leaders in an industry will often have what seems to be an infinite budget. and if you are working in a bootstrapped startup with 1/100 of the competitor's budget, you'll have to get extremely creative to have a fighting chance to get a chance at winning, let alone surviving.
the best marketing is when your marketing and product align to solve people's problems, but that in and of itself is a problem that marketers are often tasked with solving.
Creativity is something that's incredibly difficult to teach. In fact, according to George land, a famous researcher and scientist, "None-creative behavior is learned".
Meaning, that we learn to become less creative as we get older. in his 1968 study, he gave 1600 five-year-olds a creativity test. and this was the same test that was used by NASA to select innovative engineers and scientists. and to his surprise, 98% of five-year-olds scored in the "highly creative range", but when he tested them at 10 and 15 years old, there was a dramatic drop in the percentage of people who scored in the "highly creative range".
Now, Land also tested 280,000 adults with the same test. and only 2% of this group scored in the "highly creative range".
This means, for those who are actually creative, it's going to be one of your greatest assets. and when you paid creativity with the hard skills of data analysis, you end up having a very powerful combination of skills that will play in your favor as a digital marketer.
4. Ability to learn
The reason that I think this is a critical soft skill to have is that marketing is collaborative. and if you are the stubborn type who refuses to hear feedback from your managers and teammates, you will naturally be an awful team player.
in my opinion, the ability to learn shows humility, adaptability, and one's desire for growth. this is why after doing hundreds of interviews if the candidate doesn't seem teachable, it's a "break it" kind of attribute for me. That doesn't mean you need to be a yes man and make other people feel better about themselves. it's about being open to others' opinions and collaboratively coming to the best ideas for your marketing campaigns.
5. Self Motivation
this is a skill that I think separates the wheat from the chaff. Naturally, there will be people that show up to work and do the bare minimum. After all, we all got to make money to pay for the pills.
but there will be a few individuals who put in the extra time, effort, thought, and focus simply because they want to produce good work. these are self-motivated people. they are willing to go the extra mile to make their work great. they don't define themselves by their salary, mentions, or accolades.
but ironically, self-motivated people with raw talent tend to get paid more and praised publicly.
they are a rare breed and in my opinion, it's a skill that's nearly impossible to fake over the long haul.
6. Ability to depend on
because marketing usually happens in a team setting you need to be able to depend on your teammates to do their part. it makes marketing operations much smoother and the result is a highly effective team.
A standout example that immediately comes to mind is our content writing team. from the day I started hiring content writers, they have not once missed a deadline. but deadlines aren't a be-all and end-all of dependable people. it says a lot about character and plays directly into team dynamics.
Now, as I'm sure you caught on, hard and soft skills tend to complement each other. For example, creativity is intertwined with copywriting. problem-solving helps in SEO, and SEO helps you become a better problem solver. so whether you want to become a better marketing leader, get a performance-based raise, or get started with your first job in internet marketing, honing these skills is going to help you achieve that.