I originally started my career in public relations before moving into the marketing function. Throughout the years, there are several skills that I’ve picked up that have been essential to my role. Here are the five key skills that I believe are a must for today’s marketing professional, in no particular order:
1. Search Engine Optimization: I believe it was Jeramiah Owyang who said that search is your new website. If your website is not optimized to place highly on key search terms related to your business, then you are missing opportunities with your business. It’s important to understand what factors help or hinder your website and the key search terms for your company, products or services.
2. Content Marketing: Placing highly on search engines relies on strong content marketing strategy. This includes not only understanding your keywords, but also understanding your buyer personas and the questions they will ask during the purchasing process. If you’re able to create content that addresses their questions, then not only will your pages ranks highly, but also when they click through, it will be highly relevant.
3. Public Relations: Previously, PR was seen mainly as a way to increase brand awareness for a company, with minimal connections to how it truly impacted a business. With better tracking tools and the importance of online marketing, public relations is an integral element in driving SEO through quality links which promotes traffic to your website – both direct and indirect. It’s integral that marketers understand how to leverage PR and properly measure it as part of a larger marketing strategy and event marketing campaigns related to product launches, tradeshows, and more.
4. Social Media: When you look at the first three things above, then social media becomes an important avenue for distributing your content, driving SEO and increasing brand awareness. I think it’s also important to engage on the channels where influencers, customers, partners, and employees are engaging. This requires understanding where the conversations are happening. For example, new prospects may be asking questions on LinkedIn groups, influencers are on Twitter and customers are in dedicated online communities.
5. Pay-per-click programs: PPC programs are a science. While you may not implement them directly, it’s important to understand the concepts and how they can be leveraged for your overall programs. The goal is to find ways to be present when someone is searching on your company or products/services related to your company. It’s about filtering through all the noise that a person encounters online. An article, a tweet, a search result, a ppc ad. It all adds up and increases the success of your marketing efforts.
I’m curious to hear what other skills are must haves for today’s marketing.