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Other than a degree, what other skills are necessary in a marketing career?

What other skills come in handy or look good on a resume for a marketing career? #july20 #career #career-path #resume #skills #marketing

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18 answers

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Candy’s Answer

My best advice is to decide which marketing path you want to embark on or consider some internships that could help you figure that out. Skills that I find helpful across all marketing careers are project management, written and verbal communication, the ability to make data-driven decisions, the ability to understand and connect with your user personas, and the ability to create messaging and positioning that's clear and compelling. Any marketing position also requires a "learn it all" attitude, whether you're entering the tech space or an agency. Good luck!

Great advice, thank you so much! Kelly R.

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Brent’s Answer

Hi Kelly,
That's a great question. As a corporate recruiter that hires marketing professionals and someone that has likely more than dabbled in marketing while running a few small businesses over the years, here's my advice...

Marketing is a pretty broad field. First, figure out your strengths and what type of marketing work you'd prefer to do. You may need to do some different internships to figure that out or you may even be self-aware enough to just know. Being in a role that utilizes your strengths will bring out a passion in you that will accelerate your professional development tenfold. Then, in the future, if you want to advance up the ladder into a management role you'll need to gain exposure and at least a base-level of proficiency to most aspects of marketing, along with learning leadership and management skills, two completely different things.

Are you particularly creative? Explore and teach yourself to do graphic design, utilize website building tools, start writing a blog, and/or start a small business. Join organizations & activities at your school that need help marketing to develop email & social media campaigns; learn to manage them in Hubspot. Learn to use Canva and Adobe InDesign/Photoshop/Illustrator.

Are you very analytical and good with numbers? Strive to get an internship focused on marketing research, marketing analytics, or start a business or even a website to practice improving SEO and Google Analytics. Learn about e-commerce, PPC (Google Adwords & social media), and SEM. Learn about marketing automation & databases and how to use tools like Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, Salesforce, Adobe Target, MailChimp, and Eloqua.

Are you tech-savvy? Learn to code in HTML5, CSS, and javascript to make websites.

There are many certifications you can get that are free (Hubspot & Google) and valuable to have on your resume.
Gaining work experience at a marketing agency would give you broad exposure to many different types of clients and projects. Also, they would be more likely to take a chance on you for your first job.

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Ryan’s Answer

Marketing is about understanding and working with data more than ever. Having technical skills, software certifications, or experience in data analysis is a great way to start. It can be anything from Excel to working with social media platforms. Search engine optimization (SEO) is another valuable skill that can be a great way for small businesses to market and find new customers. Marketing is also about art and design to catch someone's attention. If you are more artistic think about graphic design courses or local art classes.

Thank you, this information is very helpful. Kelly R.

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Bassem’s Answer

interpersonal skills.
good oral and written communication skills.
numeracy and analytical ability.
creativity and imagination.
influencing and negotiation skills.
organisational ability.
IT skills.

Thank you for the very helpful list! Kelly R.

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Kristy’s Answer

- Research
- Analytics
- Statistics
- Interpersonal Skills
- Communication
- Project Management
- Product Placement/Pricing
- PowerPoint
- Cultural Sensitivity

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Keith’s Answer

The ability to communicate both written and spoken is very important but probably most important is the ability to listen. Listen to understand the true needs and wants of your customer. Ask them about their business and what is most important to them. Once you understand their wants/needs you can provide them a product that fits those wants/needs. This is a significant part of being successful in business overall but especially in the marketing field.

Thank you! Kelly R.

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Joshua’s Answer

Hi Kelly,

I would suggest that for a general marketing career, it may be beneficial for you to get some experience with the technical side of marketing. What would this look like? I would recommend that you become familiar with the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, After Effects, Audition, Illustrator, InDesign) so you will have the ability to edit and create graphics, images, audio, video, etc. Depending on where you take your marketing career, these skills may prove to be very valuable to you and to the company you work for.

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Supreethkumar’s Answer

A proper network of people who trusts you.

Good idea, thank you. Kelly R.

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Annie’s Answer

I came to marketing from a sales background, and I've found that to be a benefit especially working in B2B marketing. While we all ultimately focus on the end consumer, in a business to business setting with most sales executed by some sort of sales rep (vs online or in a retail store for example), that sales rep is often the customer that the marketing team is really serving most directly. So in addition to all the technical marketing expertise you'll need, having an understanding of the entire sales funnel is also very important so you know how to build a strong partnership with your sales team.

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Andre’s Answer

Hi Kelly, you have a lot of great answers! I've worked in marketing for many years. Something that impresses me when interviewing candidates is when they are up to speed on the latest trends. You can pick specific areas that you are interested in and there are many. Things like micro-influencers, personalized marketing or machine learning. You could find a book that digs into a specific topic or even attend an online seminar.

Hope that helps a little and best of luck.

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Christine’s Answer

Hi Kelly.

Great question! You are right to know that there is more involved than just earning an education. Here are some things I found essential during my career (along with my degree in Marketing)....

1 - The best make-up is a SMILE! A good personality combined with energy and motivation will help catapult you along your career path! Be inquisitive and always be willing to jump on projects (even if you know nothing about the material). No one wants to work with a "Debbie Downer" - while a positive, happy, smart, and outgoing person is worth gold - that's what every boss wants on his/her team!! Remember, don't be a follower - be a leader - set the example for others.

2 - Good software skills (such as strong-working knowledge of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Alteryx, and Tableau) are essential!

3 - Good analytical skills - being able to perform analysis and identify trends - and use data to provide recommendations on business strategy

4 - Good presentation skills - it's so important to be able to prepare a slide deck that summarizes and drives home key points all while keeping your audience captivate. Don't be nervous during presentations - instead, embrace the opportunity to share your knowledge with others!

5 - Volunteer for special projects -- be the first to raise your hand when your boss (or other teams need help) - these projects will help you shine!

6 - Be willing to make a shift - to change jobs - learn a new role. This is necessary for growth. Take risks....they pay-off!

In closing, I am confident that you will do well as you enter the job market because you have the right attitude by looking for ways to improve your existing skill set. How outstanding!

I wish you great luck in the years ahead!

Take Care!
Christine Aubin

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Dianna’s Answer

Hello. Marketing skills can include:

- Being able to collaborate with other departments
- Being aware of industry trends
- Being proactive and taking initiative in your career
- Coding
- Communication skills
- Data analytics
- Leadership skills
- Organizational skills
- Owning your development
- People skills
- Teamwork and being a team player

Having the drive, desire, and the ability to work hard will allow you to succeed in anything that you do.

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Steve’s Answer

You really need to like people and a desire to help them. Marketing is all about selling yourself, a product, a service or an idea to others and you need to have great interpersonal skills to become very successful. Think about what your client/customer is asking of you, and then create marketing that will compel people to want to engage with that product, service or idea. A "call to action" in your advertising is a great method to build sales and increase brand awareness. Be empathic with your clients and be ready to assist them doing whatever it takes (being legal of course) to help your clients achieve their goal. Happy marketing....

Thank you for the great advice! Kelly R.

You are so welcome! Steve Swisher

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Danny’s Answer

Hi Kelly,

Your degree is just a starting place for preparing your marketing skills. I think the skills that have served me most well in my marketing career so far include: problem-solving, communication, and organization. I can explain a little more about what each of these:

Problem-solving: Being able to look at a problem, ask questions, understand it, ask more questions, and come up with solutions that could work, pitch them to those involved, and then try one of the solutions out. It's an iterative process and takes time to build intuition but is so gratifying and will make you really successful in any marketing job.

Communication: In any marketing job you must be able to communicate clearly and on what matters with everyone you work with. You likely will have to synthesize product features into compelling marketing language. You will have to pitch ideas to stakeholders and get them to buy-in. And you will have to keep things moving quickly to stay one track. Communication is a muscle that you must practice.

Organization: Keep everything organized at all times. It helps stay on track. It helps when responsibilities must be transitioned to someone else. It also helps you solve problems with all the info in front of you.

Danny recommends the following next steps:

There are great books out there on communication: Read one or two
Use your hobbies as a place to start practicing problem-solving and organization

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Simeon’s Answer

Often times, some familiarity with a software will go a long ways towards making you a more promising applicant. Look at some of the job positions and see if they mentioned specific software competencies that they would prefer. See if you can get formal certifications in the software you are looking to use.

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Corinne’s Answer

Soft skills: communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, teamwork (this is big), decisiveness, ability to give concise and helpful feedback (on artistic work, briefs), project management/managing teams, public speaking time management.

Hard skills: WRITING, working knowledge of Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Photoshop, Illustrator, web design (Wordpress or Squarespace), social media platforms* (Hoot Suite, etc.), email platforms* (Mail Chimp, Fish Bowl, etc).

*There are so many programs out there for these mediums that it is impossible to know them all, and you don’t need to. Just choose one of the free ones and get to know it well. They all work off of similar principles, so once you know one of them the more complex versions will be easier to learn.

Corinne recommends the following next steps:

Read books to gain soft skills, like Stephen Covey’s Habits of Highly Successful People
Take online courses to learn software or watch YouTube videos for tutorials

Wow, so much wonderful and useful information. Thank you so much! Kelly R.

I agree with Corinne 100%. The above soft skills can also translate into other managerial positions. The ability to read an audience and communicate effectively is very important for anyone in marketing. Erica Chun

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David’s Answer

This is a good question.

Many people here pointed out that you should "specialize"; figure out which path you want to take and build those skills. While that might be best for getting your foot in the door, I've found the other approach to be more practically useful. Demonstrating that you have an understanding of different areas of the marketing world is much more valuable than showing mastery over any one thing. The best social media person understands how it fits in with paid advertising, website traffic, content development, etc. The best designer has an understanding of how their designs will influence clicks or build brand awareness. You get my point.

All that being said, it does feel like more and more marketing positions are looking for skills well beyond marketing strategy (everyone wants a unicorn).

These seem to be the most "popular":
Design Skills (Adobe Creative Suite)
Analytics and Data experience (Google Analytics, Tableau, Adobe)
Video Production
Writing and Content Development
Website Development and/or CMS experience
UI/UX expertise

If you really want to stand out, I would figure out ways to get some working knowledge of as many of these things as possible. Make a couple videos at home. Get a free trial or monthly subscription to Adobe and learn what all the tools are and become literate in those platforms. Create a basic website on Wordpress, add in Google Analytics and learn what all the data means.

You don't have to become an expert in any of those things, but being able to speak to them and show that you've use them before will be valuable in your interviews and will look great on your resume.

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Andre’s Answer

Hi Kelly, you have a lot of great answers! I've worked in marketing for many years. Something that impresses me when interviewing candidates is when they are up to speed on the latest trends. You can pick specific areas that you are interested in and there are many. Things like micro-influencers, personalized marketing or machine learning. You could find a book that digs into a specific topic or even attend an online seminar.

Hope that helps a little and best of luck.