By Helena Alcoverro, on 19 May 2020
Digital marketing is a dynamic and energetic profession, as it encompasses multiple disciplines and is constantly evolving.
Many marketers can identify with feeling like the “marketing unicorn”, since in a typical day to day they face a lot of different challenges and tasks, all relating to different areas within marketing.
But, what are the most important features and abilities to have when working in digital marketing? We asked 5 CMOs what they look for in marketing professionals. And, as a digital marketing agency made up of some great marketers, we'll also give you our two cents.
The 7 Qualities Of A Good Marketer
1. Analytical capacity
Ultimately, in digital marketing we are always working with data and research. Therefore, a professional in this field has to be comfortable with metrics and know how to interpret them.
Digital marketing must always meet the company's goals. Therefore, a good marketer has to look beyond isolated data and identify key performance indicators (KPIs), i.e. metrics that indicate that global goals are being met.
In addition, multiple factors influence marketing campaigns, which means there's a seemingly endless amount of data available. Therefore, it's crucial to know how to isolate different variables and find the keys to optimizing each marketing action.
Digital marketers seek to build a connection between brands and users. Understanding a brand’s target audience and knowing how to communicate with them convincingly is essential. Likewise, the digital marketer is also responsible for maintaining the tone of the brand and for transmitting honesty and clarity at all times. Many brand reputation crises are nothing but simple communication failures.
Good marketers should be able to communicate well within their own team and with clients. Whether they have to explain a new strategy, share the results of a campaign, or give a presentation, in general strong marketers tend to be strong communicators.
Whether firing off a social media post, writing a blog entry, or even just a simple, clear email, marketers need to have strong writing skills. Many marketers dabble in some form of written content creation, so being able to clearly and effectively write is an essential skill. This is also important for internal and corporate communications as well, especially when it comes to campaign planning and reporting.
4. Visual editing
Video content and photos are all the key ingredients of a brand's communication. Therefore, most digital marketers are expected to know at least the basics of video and image editing. This is especially key for social media marketers and content marketers.
Technical skills are essential, but so is having that "spark" that helps create unforgettable campaigns.
In the end, much of the success in digital marketing is about surprising and stealing your audience’s attention from the competition, especially now as user’s attention is more taken than ever. Therefore, a good digital marketing professional has to be able to think outside of the box and come up with creative and unique ways to communicate and solve problems.
Oftentimes a marketer never works alone. Whether you work in a marketing team or department, or you’re the only marketing person in your organization, a marketer needs to know how to be able to work as a team. Even the sole marketer in a small business has to be able to work collaboratively with other departments to get their tasks and goals done.
With a marketing department that consists of several people specialized in different disciplines, like content marketing, SEO/SEM, audiovisual content, Collaboration and coordination between them is absolutely essential.
The digital marketing sector is always growing and evolving. Marketers never know what new platform or trends we're going to find next week: a new technology, a meme that goes viral, an update to Google's algorithm…
This is why perhaps the most important quality of a marketer is curiosity, resilience to changes, and the desire to continue learning. With this type of mindset, every day in the work of a digital marketer is a new professional adventure.
What Types of Marketers are CMOs Looking For?
To find out what a CMO or hiring manager is looking for when selecting digital marketers, there's nothing better than asking these people directly. That's why, in our Spanish podcast Respuestas de Marketing, we asked our guests "What is a good digital marketing professional to you?" Here's a selection of your answers.
(These answers have been translated from Spanish into English. Some sentences have been edited for clarity.)
Juan Carlos Muñoz, Director of Digital Marketing and CRM at Volvo Cars
“Put yourself in your clients' shoes. How would you like a certain company to relate to you using marketing?
It's that common sense, the update, being curious... Not stopping to think about how to do things differently, making things better.”
Javier Casado, Director of Digital Marketing of Grupo Planeta
“A good digital marketing professional, without focusing on what are digital marketing skills, is a person who is constantly learning, who is not afraid of change, who adapts to changes.”
Jaime Bisbal, Head of Marketing, Design, Behavioral Economics & Digital Sales of BBVA
“A person that has strategy and execution capability. They give you the peace of mind of knowing that if you assign a project to them, they will know how to take it from start to finish [....] Another key thing is that they understand the metrics needed to improve a project and know how to get the most out of it.”
Laura Ros, CEO of Volkswagen Spain
“We need people who are very innovative, creative, entrepreneurial, but at the same time with a lot of analytical and synthesis capacity. We are talking about the world of data, which often contrasts analytical capacity with creative ability, and we look for people who join the two capabilities.”
Lucía García, Head of Marketing and Operations Manager of Badi
“I believe that here the key is to be a 7 in various marketing disciplines but to be a 10 in project management. Because to run a website, an app, there are many pieces that move at the same time. I think it's basic to know more or less well of all disciplines, whether it's SEM or SEO, but then it's knowing how to coordinate them to get them all at the right speed.”