5 Skills Successful Modern Marketers Hone, Brilliantly

By Vee Tardrew - September 24, 2013

Thanks to major advancements in technology and accessibility to immense information, buyer behaviour over the past few years has dramatically changed. The modern buyer is one who is equipped to research products, solutions and options themselves, relying on the Internet and peer recommendations through social media and other online communities to identify suitable vendors. The modern buyer ‘blocks’ push advertising and marketing messages, opting to engage with companies on his terms and in his own time. As a result, marketers still using gut-driven, traditional methods are seeing diminishing returns on their campaigns and programmes, struggling to demonstrate their contribution to business objectives.

Facing scrutiny from boards and buyers alike, marketers have had to adapt to these new behaviours and fundamentally change the way they promote their businesses. Marketers today need to be technically savvy and digitally smart. Strategy decisions are based on data analysis and performance results. Results are measured in black and white bottom-line values as opposed to ‘brand awareness’. The modern marketer has had to rapidly develop competencies in areas not previously addressed by the marketing function. The modern marketer possesses a unique blend of technical, analytical and creative skills. The modern marketer is a valued contributor to the business, capable of indicating precise financial gain as a direct result of his efforts.

What Has Contributed to the Formation of the Modern Marketer?

In an early-2013 study entitled Defining the Modern Marketer, B2BOnline surveyed over 500 B2B marketing professionals active in digital marketing to establish their views around the concept of the modern marketer. When asked about the factors they believe that have contributed to the formation of the modern marketer, 5 key drivers emerged.

Marketers listed the ability to track marketing ROI due to technology and the use of social media in marketing as the top two transformative factors. The shift of power from the brand to the customer and maturation of the demand generation and lead nurturing were highlighted as equal contributors in the third position. The emergence of mobile marketing, fragmentation of media and improvements in data cleansing were all mentioned as contributors of a lesser level.

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The most interesting aspect of these drivers is that they were all practically non-existent just a few years ago, indicative of the pace at which marketing is having to adapt to changing market conditions.

The Skills That Make a Modern Marketer

When questioned about the competencies a modern marketer needs in order to be effective – and then, rather honestly, admitted that for the most part, they fall short of the ‘ideal’ mark.

Listed, in order of impact on effectiveness, are the 5 main competencies that marketers believe are required in order to be an ‘ideal’ modern marketer.

Targeting (30%)

Modern marketers have an intimate understanding of their target market. They profile their buyer personas in detail, ensuring they know who is involved in the buying process, clearly identifying the various roles and responsibilities. They use dynamic profiling to properly align targeting with changing market and business needs.

Read more on how modern marketers use advanced targeting to achieve results.

Engagement (24%)

Modern marketers appreciate that the modern buyer is an information seeker and they aim to satisfy this need with educational content that empowers the buyer in evaluation and buying decisions. Moreover, they understand that in order for this to be achieved, the right content needs to be delivered through the right medium at the right time. Modern marketers make use of numerous channels and activities to promote content, including but not limited to the website, social media, blogging and PR.

Conversion (19%)

Modern marketers focus on developing a clear prospect-to-customer strategy. They collaborate with sales and deliver high-quality leads.

Marketing Technology (14%)

Modern marketers have an excellent grasp on technology and utilise this technology to deliver effective marketing automation. Workflows to aid conversion are established and automated based on prospect behaviour and interest. CRM systems are integrated to ensure that holistic views of leads and clients are available to both sales and marketing. Technology streamlines social media monitoring and provides business intelligence.

Analytics (13%)

Modern marketers rely on data to drive business decisions and to report on marketing efforts. They have moved from measuring ‘vanity’ metrics to those that directly impact the bottom-line of the business. They compute and assess their campaigns against return on investment and contribution to revenue, giving them credibility with executives and empowering them to be able to quantify their activities and results.

Over the next few posts, we will be taking a deeper look into each of these competencies and what you need to know to become a modern marketer.

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