Think of the last advertisement or commercial you saw. What stands out? The most persuasive, compelling, and ultimately successful advertisements are more or less cut from the same cloth. What skills can we distill from these advertisements? More importantly, let’s take a look at the top four skills for marketers today.
1.) Critical Thinking
Unless your business is niche, chances are you have some competition. Thinking critically is the difference between copying your competitors and having your competitors copy you. Effective marketers practice critical thinking every day by utilizing sound judgment in generating successful advertising content.
Where critical thinking most heavily comes into play is in the field of data analysis. Not only does critical thinking matter when it comes to analyzing data, but figuring out what data to collect, how to collect it, and why it matters.
Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions or do things differently. Leverage reason and logic to come up with the most logical conclusions. After all, when you hear hoofbeats, think horses; not zebras.
2.) Creative Thinking
Without creativity, every advertisement would be a list of product features. It would get pretty boring after a while. Interestingly enough, studies have shown that creative messages get more attention and lead to more positive attitudes among consumers. Furthermore, creative advertising campaigns are far and away the most effective of all advertising campaigns.
Creative advertisements also boost your audience’s ad recall lift. More memorable ads means ads that linger longer in the minds of your customers. That means when they recognize a problem for which you can provide the solution, your brand comes to mind.
Creativity can be anything from a catchy jingle to introducing a new perspective to your audience. Play around with your arsenal of multimedia tools and try to provide something fresh, invigorating, and noteworthy for your audience.
3.) Innovative Thinking
What’s the difference between creative thinking and innovative thinking? Creative thinking is coming up with uses for the wheel; innovative thinking is reinventing it. Another way of stating it is creative thinking is coming up with catchy, creative advertisements using the tools at hand; innovative thinking is inventing new tools.
Innovative thinking has led to concepts like stealth marketing and product placement. Innovation also means being able to adapt to changing customer needs. Balancing those changing customer needs while adapting to new technologies is the crux of innovative thinking in marketing.
Look at the most successful brands. They all exemplify innovation not only in the products they create and sell, but in the ways they advertise. The biggest brands have prominent roles in television shows and films, covert, well-placed physical ads in high-traffic locations, and are typically the ones who develop pioneering marketing strategies.
Last but not least, one of the top skills for marketers is the skill of argumentation. It seems obvious, but a marketing professional’s main goal is to argue why the brand he or she represents is superior to the competition.
What argument should the marketer present? Price? Product features? Customer experience? There is no one correct answer, so marketers must leverage their critical thinking skills to identify the brand’s competitive advantage, then argue that point.
Not only are customers getting smarter, they have more access to data and technology to guide their purchasing decisions. That means the role of argumentation is more important than ever before.
The Ultimate Skills For Marketers
The long and short of it is the best marketers leverage a combination of these four competencies to develop and implement the most effective marketing strategies. Each of these four skills plays off the others and is ever-present in the toolbelt of any successful marketing professional.
The marketplace is always changing, as are customer needs and the way they think and act. Marketing professionals must be able to think creatively, innovatively, and critically, and be able to argue successfully, in order to make the impact needed to drive brand growth.