SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 24 July 2020Soft Skills: Why They are Harder Than You Think and How You Can Acquire Them
Looking to get a career in marketing? “Marketing” is a broad term that encompasses numerous job positions. Generally, you have outbound marketers who engage and actively seek out potential customers, and you have inbound marketers that seek to attract customers to find the company through creation of content. Considering how every company needs good marketing plans to advertise their products and services to the world, the role of “marketer” will always be in high demand. With that high demand though comes a lot of competition too. You’ll be fighting millions of people for thousands of different marketing positions. The competition will only become more fierce as more companies are created every day!
Both Outbound and Inbound marketing are divided into even smaller and more specific roles such as product marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, the list goes on and on. Every role has different responsibilities and tasks that may overlap with other roles, but each serve their specific purpose.
When trying to find where you fit in all this, it’s best to consider your own skill set and interests and know the skills you need to succeed in that role. Basically, in order to be competitive in the marketer market, you must learn multiple different skills and learn how to do them well. Gone is the day when just putting “marketer” on your resume is going to be enough description to get you a job. In this day and age, you need to narrow your description to specific roles, but also broaden the number of specific roles that you can fill. Having content marketing OR data analysis experience by themselves isn’t that impressive. However combining the two together by being a content marketer who is ALSO proficient in data analysis will set you apart from the rest of the herd and boost your value in the eyes of recruiters.
Veengage recently did a survey of over 436,000 marketers on linkedin and compared their skills to the skills in high demand in common marketer job positions and they came up with some surprising results:
Over 50% of all marketing jobs from entry to high-level positions all require or demand Data analysis skills, but there is a huge shortage in supply with only about 3% of marketers having the necessary skills to fit the bill. These technical skills like SEO and HTML have been and continue to be at the very top of the list when it comes to valuable skills companies wish for.
As you can probably guess, skills that make a great marketer are often opposite of those that make a great analyst and vice versa. It’s rare to find someone who able to take the technical skillsets required of an analyst and combine it with the outward-facing skills of a marketer. This difficulty is a great opportunity for you to fill by becoming a powerhouse hybrid marketer with a technical background!
Remember, Marketing is constantly evolving and changing over time. For example, back in 2014 when social media sites were the hot thing, people with social media marketing skills were in high demand as companies scrambled to use these channels to promote their content to as many people as possible. Just 3 years later now in 2017, social media marketing is considered a basic skill that a surplus of marketers list in their skillsets and are expected to have. No matter what changes happen in marketing, there is one factor that will always be important: Content! Creating content that customers want to consume is the heart of marketing. Companies are always looking for people proficient in the art of content marketing.
Another good thing to have under your belt is marketing tool knowledge. There’s a lot of different software and websites that marketers use on a daily basis to accomplish their tasks. Start to get familiar with these tools and how to use them. While the tools may differ based on the company, the concepts are generally the same and are transferable between all marketing roles. Most online software have tutorials that teach you the basics and even give you certificates for completing their training programs. One skill I also really recommend getting good at is Excel as spreadsheets are a great way to organize the information and data results you’ll get from using the software.
Applying for a marketing job is just like applying for college. Sure you might get by with a good GPA and test scores but the more “extracurriculars” you have, the better! Companies want to see your skills go above and beyond just the required ones listed for the position. If you have a well-rounded set of experiences beyond the minimum skills needed, it’s the icing on the cake.
In conclusion, if you want to make it in the big world of marketing nowadays, you’re going to need more than just your basic marketing skills. Have the skills that everyone else has, but go beyond and gain even more experience in what others don’t have. The skills most in-demand right now and most likely to continue being in demand are technical skills. Take our SEO course to get your feet wet in the world of search engine marketing.
While we don’t expect you to a professional for every skill in all the positions in the marketing world, it is recommended to learn the basics for as many as you can as well as specialization or a deeper understanding of one or two specific skills. Check out our Content Marketing course to brush up on supporting skills that will be helpful in any marketing position you apply for.