The Fab Four for 2019

A look at four marketing skills you should be honing this year.
illustration by Tony Healey
Julia Carcamo is president and chief brand strategist at J Carcamo & Associates, specializing in brand and marketing strategy. She is also the co-founder of espNOLA, a Hispanic marketing and engagement agency.

 

Today’s tech-savvy shoppers are making it tougher on marketers trying to stay ahead of the changing landscape. As such, marketing professionals need newer and sharper skills with each passing day — skills they will need to be ready for the next challenge and the next career opportunity. Here are four you can work on this year.

 

1

Writing
I get it. LOL! LMFAO! SMH! LMK! I use these all day long, too. It’s the way most of us are communicating, but used in professional communication, this shorthand can leave an impression you may not want. It’s easy to underestimate the importance of properly written communications, but writing can easily be one of the most important skills you can develop and strengthen.

Consider how you interpret emails you receive when they are poorly written. By far, the most common explanation I get is “I just sent something off quickly,” or “No one is going to care.” Trust me. Someone is going to notice and care, IMHO.

As business people, we have a certain expectation of the communications we send and receive. Additionally, as content marketing has become such an essential part of marketing, the written word can be the difference between a smooth success or a clumsy attempt. Tools like the free grammar checking website Grammarly.com can help you hone your skills.

 

2

Effective project management 
This is not a marketing skill that gets a great deal of attention, if any. However, being a good project manager can be integral to the success or failure of your marketing plans. Look back at a project that was less than successful. If you dig deep enough, you will probably find a lack of visibility was an issue. For projects to succeed, all affected team members — the project team, executive team and department managers — need appropriate access and information. My team has been testing more robust project management tools with great success. These tools provide access to reports, a focus on priorities, deadlines and status of tasks.

 

3

Social media management
There is no longer a question of “should we” use social media. The issues now revolve around managing the variety of channels and their different demands and how they fall into our business strategies. More than creating posts, we have to understand our audiences. Where do they live? What are they interested in? Is our audience the same or different across channels?

Moreover, how does that impact our messages? How do we get our messages in front of our audiences on a consistent level? Paid, sponsored, organic or some combination of all? Desktop vs. mobile. Even the placement on a web page requires thoughtful consideration and analytics.

 

4

Data proficiency.
Day after day, we add more and more reporting and data that needs to be gathered and interpreted. Modern marketing requires much analysis in order to craft strategies that will meet goals and to understand any necessary course changes. Essentially, that math you always said you’d never need after school ended has come back and bitten you (in the you-know-where). Analytics is reported to be the second-most difficult skill set to find in new marketing talent, even as it continues to become a necessary skill. It’s no longer enough to pass reporting and analysis on to another person. Marketers are continuously testing and refining; good marketers are using data to drive those refinements and increased effectiveness of programs.  Marketers who can tie their efforts to reportable data that shows improving revenue will thrive. The high-demand, data-proficient marketers will only continue to be in-demand.


Learn more at jcarcamoassociates.com and espnola.com.


 

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