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 and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.