20 Must-Have Marketing Skills & Tools in 2020

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Sam Thomas avatar
Sam Thomas August 01, 2020

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20 Must-Have Marketing Skills & Tools in 2020

The marketing field is enormous, and even though marketing professionals are in high demand, there is intense competition for the best jobs. To excel in your marketing career, you should master essential skills and apply it well to your tasks. Hear us out; you will never regret it.

Check out our 20 Must-Have Marketing Skills & Tools To Be Successful In 2020. It is very helpful when you intend to apply for a new marketing job and know what you should put in your resumé.

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Table of Contents:

Why are marketing skills important?

If you can’t keep track of the market’s new skills, how can you expect success? Your audience is continually flooded with ads, messages, distractions, etc. The necessary skills can help you develop marketing strategies that will make your content unique.

There are more ways to succeed in digital marketing and more ways to fail than ever before. To ensure a minimal possibility of failure, a good understanding of your target audiences is required. You have to recognize what you are doing to offer customers what they want. Hence, you should sharpen those marketing skills to be ahead of the competition.

20 Modern marketing skills every marketer should have

Soft skills

1. Internal Communication Skills

Internal Communication Skills
Internal Communication Skills

As a marketer, you don’t necessarily interact with your target audience. You interact with your colleagues and supervisors internally too.

Having the marketing team ‘s message transparent and consistent implies you can get things done because you don’t have to stress over another team member dragging a project off the tracks.

You should speak to your supervisor and upper management and to connect with your colleagues. For example, you should clarify your projects and predict their questions or concerns.

2. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
Critical thinking and problem-solving skills

You may reminisce back to college time when the professors emphasize the importance of developing your critical thinking skills. When it comes to marketing, your critical thinking skills matter. That is because marketing is not only about conveying a message to an audience, it involves the acknowledgement of why and how things work as well.

Problem-solving skills can be very useful when someone on your team or the client-side surprises you with something unpleasant to deal with, and you need to have a quick reaction or correction wit new development by EOD, which is End of Day — an important acronym to know.

3. Delegating

Delegating
Delegating

Another skill that is significant to this marketing job is delegation, especially when you are new in this field. Show a specific set of duties for each member of your team and ensure deadlines are met. Knowing how to delegate things to the right people can simplify and facilitate your job.

4. Teamwork

Teamwork
Teamwork

Marketers are not lone wolves. One of their roles involves collaborating to execute their projects not only within the marketing department but also through various departments. They work closely with people from the departments of sales, accounting, customer support, IT, etc. to achieve the result. The total is greater than the parts, with collaboration.

Being a team player is a huge marketing strength as teamwork is what distinguishes the good from high-performing businesses.

5. Openness to Trying New Things

Openness to Trying New Things
Openness to Trying New Things

Part of marketing is trying certain new ideas to see how they can work. You’ll never know whether or not it would work until you try. Maybe, the next powerful marketing strategy might be the one you haven’t attempted yet.

6. Flexibility

Flexibility
Flexibility

In response to rapid changes in the market, marketing experts should not shy away from taking on new roles and responsibilities. The role of a team member when they first join the team usually change dramatically a year – or even a few months later.

A candidate’s skills kit can be a good match for the marketing job, however, if they are not able to quickly adapt to unexpected developments, they will probably excel in the job. Growth is key to marketing success, and marketers should try new strategies rather than old ones.

Make sure to highlight the progress you’ve experienced in your career when applying for a new job. Explain how you’ve changed and improved in each role, whether through your CV or in person. Present clear examples of rapid adaptation and flexibility.

7. Creativity

Creativity
Creativity

Creativity is another essential marketing skill. Imagine all those meetings where CEOs and business owners drive away any risky or unfamiliar market strategy, which makes many of us feel annoyed. The best modern marketers are highly creative, however, you may tend to organize schedules, plan budgets, and attempt to meed deadlines more than create content. Marketing is all about creativity, so think about new ideas and come up with new ways to improve them.

8. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is characterized by the innate ability of a person to perceive, understand, and control his or her own emotions and their ability to understand and influence others’ emotions. It is one of the most unquantifiable but crucial marketing skills that an employee can possess. Recent studies indicate that emotional intelligence is the best performance indicator and represents more than half of success in all forms of occupations.

In marketing, emotional intelligence is of vital importance. Marketers with high emotional intelligence can understand what makes a customer happy, what makes them delighted or dissatisfied, and eventually what compels them to place an order.

Besides, emotionally intelligent marketers can empathize with consumers and respond to them, which can contribute to more effective marketing.

9. Time Management

Time Management
Time Management

Marketers deal with many things at the same time and make sure everything is on track. Almost all the time, they are managing some projects, for example, writing a script and designing a landing page at once. With effective time management skills, you can stay on schedule without missing any deadlines. It’s important to cope with schedules, content calendars, templates, outlines, and elaborate plans.

10. Curiosity

Curiosity
Curiosity

It comes as no surprise that the work ethics matters, and yet curiosity is an equally important trait which is usually underestimated. You need to collect new marketing skills and information gradually for sustainable growth, and you can only do that if they are truly curious about their field and future career.

Curious advertisers are not only concentrating on the job assigned. They step outside of their comfort zone, research trends in the industry, analyze competitors, and sometimes come up with the most creative ideas. Naturally curious marketers are always searching for new things to learn, and new ways to progress. It helps make them a valuable asset to any marketing department.

Hard skills

11. Data analysis

Data analysis
Data analysis

Marketing that is driven by data has become an important aspect of business development. If you’re involved in content creation, product marketing, or lead generation, you should calculate and evaluate your campaigns using clear metrics and data points. It’s not surprising that hard data and marketing skills are the most sought-after skills of businesses.

Not every marketer would, of course, be a specialist in data analysis. But all modern marketers need to have a strong grasp of the various tools and metrics that can track their marketing campaigns and evaluate them.

12. Graphic Design

Graphic Design
Graphic Design

To excel in your marketing profession, you should possess an understanding of some basic principles like UX design, photo-editing, and video production. With this skill, you can have a competitive edge and truly stand out from other candidates when applying for a marketing job.

13. Writing and content creation

Writing and content creation
Writing and content creation

Content marketing plays an integral part of every versatile marketing organization. Unlike other marketing skills, effective writing is a skill that is distinctly human and can not be automated.

You might assume that many marketing positions don’t require content creation directly. However, good writing skills in any marketing role are a must-have.

You may not be writing blog posts or whitepapers, but you are sending emails, writing social media posts, or responding to customer messages. No matter what role or job function, a marketer must communicate their ideas and offerings effectively.

14. Technological proficiency

Technological proficiency
Technological proficiency

Technology proceeds to transform the way marketers work every day. And, marketing automation is only one of the multiple tools that marketers use like web analytics, social media management tools, email marketing platforms, etc.

Any marketer, no matter what their role is, will use one or several technologies every day. Marketing professionals will usually learn these tools during the process, however, marketing professionals should have a well-established understanding of how to use technology alongside the manual work they do.

15. Social media

Social media
Social media

Social media has changed the way online users interact with brands and the way marketers interact with their target audience. Thanks to social media, marketers can achieve their goals, from brand building to lead generation and revenue growth.

A majority of marketing teams have a devoted social media team, yet, as a marketing expert, must know to get the most out of the social media platforms. Such platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn enables marketers to network, communicate with customers, and share relevant content.

16. SEO

SEO
SEO

Modern consumers perform most business online, from searching for products and prospective suppliers, or just looking for a piece of content. Hence, SEO has become an important part of almost any digital marketing effort.

SEO is no longer expertise for one or more team members to manage, all marketers should have fundamentals of SEO best practices to help make Google search results noticeable.

17. An ability to understand buyer needs and the sales process

An ability to understand buyer needs and the sales process
An ability to understand buyer needs and the sales process

Marketing requires driving actions but the Business to Consumer (B2C) marketer will drive actions differently and target different audiences from the Business to Business (B2B) marketer. Besides, nonprofits concentrate on fundraising and driving donations rather than on sales. The demand for specific markets varies within each of these categories, too. For example, the B2B focus of an artificial intelligence company is different from a pest control firm seeking franchisees.

18. Customer Knowledge

Customer Knowledge
Customer Knowledge

Nowadays, as buyers are in control, to know who your customer is, you will have to pay a lot of money. Gaining knowledge of the needs and pains of customers can help you to develop potential products and services that attract sales. Otherwise, you will waste your time and money on ineffective marketing campaigns.

By understanding your customers, you can see the bigger picture: what marketing platform to use, what sort of message gets the best results, and many more.

To understand your audience, you should explore their values, background, and their pain points.

19. Grasp the Basics of Adobe Creative Suite

Grasp the Basics of Adobe Creative Suite
Grasp the Basics of Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe is well recognized for their design products. Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator are only three of the tools that can help transform your image idea to reality in an online format.

If you understand how the programs work, you and your designer can save time. For example, if your social media graphic is not at work today, you can handle it on your own. Also, if you know the software’s limitations, you can know what to expect when working with your designers.

20. Digital advertising experience

Digital advertising experience
Digital advertising experience

Digital advertising is about the facility with Google Adwords and remarketing. If used properly, remarketing can be a powerful tool in the toolkit of a marketer. It uses programmatic buying to show ads on various participating websites. Within the Google ad network, a visitor to a brand website before may notice that brand’s advertisements on third-party websites.

11 Marketing technical skills and tools every marketer should have

1. Have a Basic Knowledge of Coding

Have a Basic Knowledge of Coding
Have a Basic Knowledge of Coding

As everything goes online nowadays, marketers should have a basic knowledge of coding. It may sound challenging, yet with some background coding knowledge, you can communicate with your development team more effectively. Besides, you fix something by yourself.

To begin with, you should concentrate on getting hands-on experience in HTML and CSS. An understanding of the basic concepts allows you to outline and communicate with your development team to clarify what you expect. Besides, you will comprehend the limitations and know beforehand what not to expect from them.

2. Gather the Inside Data You Need From Your Website and More, With Google Analytics

Gather the Inside Data You Need From Your Website and More, With Google Analytics
Gather the Inside Data You Need From Your Website and More, With Google Analytics

Google Analytics reflects the true essence of their marketing data for some marketers. From here, you can derive the information and track your customers. It is crucial when you understand the basics of Google Analytics because this useful Google product is now ubiquitous among the marketing stack of a business.

You can find out how to use and extract insights from it on Google. After completing the test, you will be Google Analytics Certified.

3. Know-How to Build Custom Dashboards and Reports in Google Data Studio

Know-How to Build Custom Dashboards and Reports in Google Data StudioOpenness to Trying New Things
Openness to Trying New ThingsKnow-How to Build Custom Dashboards and Reports in Google Data Studio

The data you collected in Google Analytics can now be quickly converted into personalized dashboards and reports you can share with your work colleagues and supervisor.

Rather than collecting the same data manually repeatedly, Google Data Studio will handle that for you.

4. Competency Using Social Media Publishing Tools

Competency Using Social Media Publishing Tools
Competency Using Social Media Publishing Tools

With social media publishing tools, your life will be so much easier. As a social media marketer, you can plan, organize, create, publish, and examine every part of your social media posts and campaigns. You can use the following tools: CoSchedule, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social.

5. Experience Using Editorial and Marketing Calendar Tools

Your marketing efforts need to have a home somewhere, and that’s where your marketing and editorial calendars come in. These calendars should give your team a full overview of the projects they’re working on, what parts they play in those projects, and what’s going to be coming down the pipeline.

6. Know-How to Use a Content Management System

Know-How to Use a Content Management System
Know-How to Use a Content Management System

A CMS, or Content Management System, are tools that help you to manage and update website content. Occasionally, writers are intimidated by inputting web content on their own. These tools are often straightforward enough to help you find out how to use them effortlessly and properly.

Read more: TOP 10+ Best eCommerce Content Management Systems

7. Know-How to Use SEO Tools

Openness to Trying New Things
Openness to Trying New Things

When done properly, SEO will help to improve organic searches on your website and your digital content. It’s not about quickly and easily making things the way you want them to be and expecting to bless your magic website with the Google browsers.

Strategic planning is needed, and SEO tools will help give you the information you need to make your pages to the first ranking. Consider tools like Moz, Ahrefs, Raven Tools.

8. Customer Response Management Tools

Customer Response Management Tools
Customer Response Management Tools

Building relationships with your customers can be a time - consuming process. It is important in helping promote your business success, though. CRM tools help companies keep track of where their clients are and help them stay in touch.

Check out the following tools: Salesforce, Infusionsoft, and Hubspot CRM.

9. Marketing Analytics Tools

Marketing Analytics Tools
Marketing Analytics Tools

Analytics and data play, as you know, a dominant role in determining your marketing progress. It is not a stressful attempt to gather said data. By collecting data automatically for you, analytics tools will help you accelerate the task.

Try tools like: Kissmetrics, Matmo (formerly Piwik), and Clicky are must-try and must-have tools.

10. Basic Photoshop Skills

Basic Photoshop Skills
Basic Photoshop Skills

Some basic Photoshop skills are also crucial when you work as a marketer. Photoshop has a lot of flexibility, and you and your designers can same a lot of time if you understand the basics.

11. Heat Mapping Tools

Heat Mapping Tools
Heat Mapping Tools

Heat mapping tools are useful because they help marketers see what’s drawing their audience’s eyes around the web. By knowing where the eyes are going, you can position your messages effectively by where they will be most receptive.

Crazy Egg is one common tool to use. Their user-friendly website provides you with the information you are searching for, and tips to help strengthen your site.

How to improve your marketing skills?

1. Improvise Your Way To A New Marketing Strategy

Improvise Your Way To A New Marketing Strategy
Improvise Your Way To A New Marketing Strategy

Many of us sit in an audience more comfortably than on stage, particularly if we don’t have the advantage of a script to follow. Nonetheless, those who study improv will assure you that nothing beats the rush of excitement of attempting to find out your next step when you are with someone else who brings you a genuinely surprising opening line.

As a standup comedian or actor, taking an improv class doesn’t have to result in a sideline. This can be a way for marketers to relax and open themselves to new ideas that may be going on in their lives. A core idea in improv for those who have never experienced it is simply “say yes” to whatever situation your partner puts you in. For example, if they, all of a sudden, cast you as a paleontologist, you become a paleontologist. If they suggest you’ve just traveled back in time, you’re obliged to throw yourself mentally into an earlier generation.

“Saying yes” in improv prompts you to work as creatively as possible with everything you have. This type of approach can help marketers as it’s so easy to get used to things that worked in the past or deny innovations or ideas that don’t seem established. In many respects, leadership is indeed all about the art of improvising. You should learn from others who are capable of doing it before a crowd.

2. Expand Your Horizons

Expand Your Horizons
Expand Your Horizons

Travel is always part of the marketing job, but some executives may be behaving like the hero of Anne Tyler’s The Accidental Tourist, strictly adhering to their routines to keep pace as much as possible.

However, on your next journey, be it for business or fun, regard it as much as a learning opportunity as a process to get from A to B. Which are the main ways to collect information about the local culture and history? How does that contrast with how consumers begin to know the brand and enjoy it? How do people in other areas welcome you and make you feel relaxed? Is this better or worse than the way you welcome or bring new customers to your brand?

Upon returning from a journey, think about what memories stand out, and why. After that, think about the customer journeys that you are establishing as a marketer for your audience: are they satisfied with the experience that you want, or something much different?

3. Speak Programming Like A Pro

Speak Programming Like A Pro
Speak Programming Like A Pro

Marketing leaders should manage major digital projects with a good understanding of developing an application, web site, or other high-tech experience.

Because the importance of computer programming goes without saying in the world, you can easily get access to the process of learning to code, even young children take some online courses and tools.

CMOS can never be explicitly hands-on in the development of apps for their business, but even creating basic mobile games or software programs may offer new approaches to problem-solving and thinking about how people use digital resources.

4. Give New Games A Sporting Chance

Give New Games A Sporting Chance
Give New Games A Sporting Chance

Some marketers may already join an amateur baseball or soccer league which is awesome from the viewpoint of strength training. Nevertheless, based on the season, try out a sport you have never played before. There are classics such as basketball, hockey, or football, but do not miss out on sports like lacrosse, rugby, or even ultimate frisbee.

While the comparisons between team sports and working as a team at the workplace are clear, marketers might be shocked at how playing a new sport can help them learn new things about competitive dynamics, new business strategies, and how to both overcome their weaknesses and leverage their strengths in a very short time.

And if they lose the game, what they take back and work with them might have some promising ideas to win the obstacle of communicating with consumers.

5. Pause For Poetic Moments

Pause For Poetic Moments
Pause For Poetic Moments

When you were in elementary school, almost all of you had to write verse, but when you grow up, you left those skills behind. You should begin to wring a poem right now with not even opening a textbook or looking online. You can rhyme, or simply write in free verse. Never mind whether it is good or not, you should just write, explore, and see what happens.

Writing poetry pushes you to take serious consideration to something, to use a simile or metaphor to describe it, and to keep it concise but memorable. It may be notably different from the content that a senior marketer’s team develops. When you write poetry, you can begin to adopt the mindset of a poet to the messages your audience notice.

Possibly, you will be inspired by one of these learning ideas. Or, you can select a better option. Make sure that you keep learning, self-educate, and gaining skills, then apply them to work things out and create your success story.

6. Other good habits marketers can make

As a marketer, you should read so that you can keep up with the pace of changes in the marketing trend. You can also take part in online groups to learn from seasoned marketers. Besides, the habit of daily writing is also helpful in improving your storytelling skills.

Conclusion

To sum up, top industry professionals should work endlessly to improve their marketing skills. With the aforementioned skills and tools that marketers should acquire, you can realize that to become a master, it can not be overnight. To become an expert, you have to improve yourself day by day and get to know your hidden strength.

If you want to leverage a strategy that is about reaching the right people at the right time, you should check out Outreach marketing. We recommend you read this post: 10 Outreach Marketing Techniques That Actually Work.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the box below. We are glad to help you out. If you find this post useful, you can share this with your friends.


Niara Duncan
About Author: Niara Duncan
Niara is a content writer at Avada Commerce, a passionate girl whose desire is to sharpen her marketing skills. She is keen on reading novels, writing blogs, and listening to music in her leisure time. Her favorite quote is: Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.
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