Every career requires specific skills related to that industry, along with soft skills that help each individual thrive in the workplace. Hard skills are the skills of a specific job, such as knowledge of HTML for a computer tech or app developer.
Soft skills are more abstract abilities that relate to the people around them. These skills can include good leadership, time management, creativity, and more. Hard skills are clearly important, but without mastering soft skills it will be nearly impossible to advance in your career.
Three soft skills that every marketer needs are critical thinking and problem solving, clear communication, and the ability to collaborate with others.
Critical thinking and problem solving are fundamental skills for marketers. Successful marketing strategies take a lot of trial and error, along with time and energy. In any job, there will be problems that need to be solved. This soft skill requires common sense, creativity, and the ability to understand how other people think, feel, and react.
Marketing problems can vary greatly, but common issues may relate to a brand’s target audience, a failed campaign, miscommunicated deadlines, and more. For example, say a campaign was started a week ago and your team is analyzing the results. Unfortunately, the results aren’t good, which is a sign that something needs to change.
The next step is to critically evaluate the current campaign and apply it to your target audience, and then figure out how to fix the issue. This often takes a lot of creativity. For this example, placing yourself in the minds of your target audience will help you figure out what content would create a response and this is what should be included in the campaign changes.
Critical thinking and problem solving will vary from situation to situation, but will help you become more successful in your career.
Whether you’re working with clients or coworkers, it’s important to communicate clearly. Poor communication can result in lost customers, damaged relationships, missed deadlines, and could even cost you your job (or a promotion!). A marketer’s goal should be to establish the best relationships they can with the people around them and the customers they serve. By communicating effectively, you’ll be able to see incredible results with your clients and with your progress at work.
How you should communicate will vary depending on who you are talking to. First of all, you need to understand what you are trying to say and how this information will affect the person you are with or the project you are working on.
Next, consider who you are speaking with. If you’re talking with a client, you should be confident so they feel comfortable with your expertise, but if you don’t know something, confidently say you’ll ask your supervisor and get back to them. Speaking with customers takes extra respect and kindness, especially if the customer is frustrated.
If you’re talking to coworkers or your boss, be sure to listen to what they have to say, and validate their opinions so that they feel understood and respected by you. When people feel valued, they’ll value your opinions in return. To develop better communication skills in the workplace, think about what your position is and what level of communication that requires, always holding the mindset of growing and being better.
If you’re interested in climbing the corporate ladder, think about the leadership qualities that are needed in your desired position, and start incorporating those soft skills into your current position to prepare you for it.
The marketing world runs on collaboration! Whether it’s with coworkers, or business-to-consumer collaboration, you’re likely going to be working with other people a majority of the time. The best and most successful ideas are typically the product of good collaboration and teamwork. Two minds are always better than one, especially when creativity is involved.
Collaboration includes each person on the team being involved, increasing various perspectives about the project. This can increase innovation by providing more ideas for the team to build on. Processes typically run smoother as well, because the more people involved, the more likely more details and potential problems will be thought of ahead of time. This helps increase efficiency.
There are many more “soft” skills that can benefit you in the workplace, however, these three hold the most success with marketers. The way you present yourself, your ideas, and the way you communicate with customers/coworkers makes a huge difference in your success as a marketer.