You ‘ve got your degree. So did many other candidates.
You ‘ve got your Msc in Marketing. So did they.
But what are the skills that will make you a really good marketer? Perhaps, you ‘ve never thought of some of them.
Apart from the soft skills that are valuable for all jobs- like being a team player, take initiatives etc- marketers should always be alerted and updated on current events. Even if you don’t enjoy watching TV or reading the News, you still have to know what influences your targeted audience. In other words, you cannot be a marketer in vitro: you have to be out there, to understand what is important for your audiences and to be able to produce relatable content of any form.
Understanding customer behaviour is much more than a difficult course you had at the University. It is an ongoing process of developing empathy towards the people you are trying to relate to- as humans not merely as consumers. Marketers who manage to be in direct contact with their audiences -for example through social media communities- they get priceless feedback. Combining these newly obtained insights with data, patterns and marketing knowledge will give access to real needs, fears and desires. All of them, of course, change rapidly, but if you are aware of the context (as discussed in the previous point) and you know your customers, then you will be capable to create and offer the right solutions for them.
It might seem controversial but it isn’t. Taking distance is not about alienating oneself from the customers but maintaining an objective approach regardless of personal feelings and preferences. You might like rock music but if you are asked to give guidelines for a radio spot this cannot be a parameter of the decision. You might be afraid of flying but yet you need to leave it aside if asked to work for an airline. You also might dislike a person from the first line staff, but still, you need to educate them on the brand guidelines. There have been multiple cases of wrong decisions that could have been avoided if marketers could take a step back and think, beyond their own spectrum of choices.
Take nothing for granted. Things change too quickly to rely on stereotypes and gurus. And, along with the digital era, a new genre of professionals emerged, that are not educated in marketing but they work in the field as they get credentials from their avid digital behaviour. Even if a practice is widely accepted (like the role of influencers) or a belief is being formed quickly (like the “Facebook is dead” dogma) be critical and look for proof. Go back to the basics, think of the goal and purpose of each practice and never settle for a “since everyone does it, it must be right” mindset.