As marketing continues to shift more toward digital and the use of data to make key decisions, the desired skills of today’s marketers have also shifted. Nonetheless, there are some skills that remain essential to marketers despite technological advancements. Here’s a look at what skills senior marketers find important, per a new report [download page] from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and 2CV.
It’s true that among senior marketers the broadest consensus is that skills in digital marketing (87%) and data analytics and insights (85%) are important. In fact, digital marketing skills have been in demand for some time, while finding individuals who are proficient in data analytics has proven to be challenging.
That said, the almost 700 senior marketers surveyed put market understanding (88%) right up there with these newer skills. Not only that, but many also feel that skills such as cultural sensitivity (80%), business acumen (78%) and entrepreneurialism (75%) are important for someone working in marketing. Marketers from a pre-digital generation might recognize these as cornerstones of their own success.
And, while a global mindset (71%) and marketing fundamentals (67%) are also valued skills, fewer respondents feel that sales experience (44%) and academic achievement (31%) are important skills for the field of marketing.
There are many personal skills that senior marketers also find valuable. Flexibility ranked high in importance, cited by 91% of respondents, and this is not the first time this trait has been called out for its value. An earlier study from Econsultancy found that the ability to embrace change was one of the so-called “soft skills” that marketers considered important.
Aside from flexibility, 91% of respondents also cited each of the following as important personal traits of today’s marketers: passion, energy and curiosity. Ethics is also considered important by almost 9 in 10, a notable point given the public’s low trust in advertising practitioners’ standards and research indicating that one-quarter of marketers have been pressured to use unethical marketing tactics at work. That same study did also reveal that 92% of marketers consider themselves to be ethical.
Meanwhile, the majority of respondents also rated a host of other personal traits as important, from courage (88%) to innovation (88%), leadership (87%), creativity (86%), empathy (86%) and efficiency (86%). To a somewhat lesser extent, logic (81%) and intuition (77%) are also important traits.
The full report can be downloaded here.
About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 683 senior marketers from more than 30 countries.