marketing skills

In any profession, there are countless opportunities for continuing education. And rightfully so — every industry is constantly evolving and requires new things from those that work in them. For this reason, it’s important to stay on top of new developments in your industry as well as seek new ways to improve your existing workflow and processes. After all, there is almost always someone aiming higher, to do better, so it’s up to us to stay ahead of the competition.

As professionals, developing our skills never stops. There will always be someone better at our jobs than us, always more to learn, always something to improve. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong and needs an ego check.

What skills should marketers focus on continuing to develop? Let’s take a look:

Knowing how to interpret data

Interpreting data is a skill that every marketer should hone in on. It’s no longer sufficient to operate purely off of instinct — though that is a useful skill, too. With the availability of so many tools that make data accessible it’s easier than ever to improve. Make it a point to learn how to properly use analytics to determine trends and patterns in consumer behavior. The artificial intelligence that has come to rule industries such as marketing won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, so it’s important to keep up with this side of the industry.

Knowing how to think like a consumer

On the flip side, data only tells a portion (albeit, a large portion) of the story. Knowing how to also think like a consumer to find new opportunities to reach users is also a key skill to cultivate. Get more comfortable observing consumer behaviors while out and about at the store or running errands. Look at other advertising efforts or marketing campaigns as a consumer, finding the elements you like and don’t like about each one. Having the ability to think like a consumer will provide more insight into future marketing endeavors, making those interactions more engaging.

Knowing how to collaborate

Now, more than ever, marketing is becoming a collaborative environment. Why so? Because consumers are becoming warier and mistrusting, craving authentic interactions with brands, collaborations can help position a product or service’s value.

Consider this: a retail brand that sells environmentally-conscious footwear partners with a recycling company to bring more awareness to consumers and reducing our environmental footprint. This collaboration can be more effective and accomplishes multiple goals. It brings awareness to a social issue that impacts everyone, it encourages consumers to align with an environmentally-conscious brand, and it puts recycling more into the forefront of consumers’ minds. All of these can generate more revenue for the brand, but this is done in a more genuine way that is more than just an exchange of money for goods.

Continuing to cultivate our skills as marketing professionals helps us stay informed and ahead of the curve in a competitive industry. It may be easy to be lured into complacency once you’ve climbed the corporate marketing ladder, but be aware that there is never a lack of information to learn and absorb. Spend time reading, studying, and observing and it will be easy to find ways to continue your own marketing education.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.