As a marketer, it’s essential that you know your target audience inside and out. You need to understand its likes and dislikes, its challenges and its goals. This is the knowledge that will help you address the needs of your audience. But that’s only part of the job of being a B2B marketer.
If you’re looking to step up your marketing game or hire new marketers as you build out a team, you need to understand the essential skills that will help you succeed in B2B marketing.
Thanks in part to the significant advancements in technology, the marketing field is a rapidly changing world. Traditional forms of marketing, such as print ads, are becoming less effective and less relevant.. Digital marketing tactics, including social media and email, have taken a huge leap forward to become the most popular marketing strategies in the B2B industry today.
Responding to this rapid change requires skills that were uncommon in B2B marketing years ago. But like any other career field, there are basic skills and abilities you can sharpen to help you succeed.
These basic skills include:
- Effective communication
- Attention to detail
Beyond the basics, we asked five leading B2B marketers who appeared on the B2B Nation podcast from TechnologyAdvice to identify the skills they think are required to excel in B2B marketing today.
5 Leading Marketers Identify the Top B2B Marketing Skills
Brian Finnerty, VP of Demand Generation at Udacity
Storytelling has been, and will continue to be a top skill needed to thrive in marketing. Communicating with your customers in a way that resonates with them and makes them feel connected with your brand is key in getting them to take action.
“In marketing, storytelling provides an avenue to connect to consumers unlike any other,” said Brian Finnerty, VP of Demand Generation at Udacity.
But storytelling is also the key to making your brand stand out. Being able to express your brand and its values in a way that is unique to YOU is important in ensuring you stand out from your competition.
Storytelling goes hand-in-hand with another skill that FInnerty claims is important for B2B marketers: the ability to write.
“Without really, really strong writing skills it’s tough to be successful,” he said. Writing in marketing allows you to convey these stories more clearly and effectively to your audience.
Finnerty also lists understanding digital marketing as a top skil in B2B marketing today. According to data gathered from LinkedIn there has been a vast increase in demand for marketers with social skills, with paid social media rising in demand by 116.4%.
David Melendrez, Account Manager at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
Meledrez believes there is a “mixed bag” of skills needed, not just one unique skill. He believes that communication, critical thinking, and commitment are all essential skills for B2B marketers today. Melendrez think commitment is important to roles like his own because it’s constant.
“Every day is a work day,” he said.
Dana Freker Doody, Vice President of Marketing Communications at Juno
Dana Freker Doody thinks curiosity is a characteristic often overlooked in B2B marketing today. She believes curiosity is the key to success in marketing.
“Curiosity about people, about data, and about the tech tools that are coming online – curiosity about digital transformation,” she said.
Dana said she thinks it’s important to be open and vulnerable when working with a team and if you’re curious, you are constantly going to ask questions. After all, curiosity leads to innovation and being able to stay connected with your audience through change is a key to great marketing.
Yonatan Shelach, Head of EMEA Demand Gen at JFrog
Yonatan Shelach of JFrog believes a data-driven approach is the most important requirement in B2B marketing today, followed by a creative mind. Shelach also thinks that strategic thinking and being able to see through the eyes of the customer are important.
When you have the ability to see through a consumer’s eyes, he said, you can better understand their needs and effectively address them in your marketing.
For Shelach, that means marketers need to understand their buyers’ interests, where they spend their time, and more. The more you understand your consumer, the better you’ll be able to provide them with the products and services they need.When you know your customer well, you can anticipate their needs and exceed their expectations.
Asia Corbett, Revenue Operator at Bread Financial
Asia Corbett said she thinks the most important skills required to work in revenue operations is to be comfortable with constant change and the ability to do things tactically.
Strategic thinking is also near the top of her list. Strategic thinkers are oftentimes curious, always asking “what if” questions,” Corbett said. And they’re always thinking about the important stuff.
The final skill Asia thinks B2B marketers and revenue operators need is being fast-paced. It’s important for someone pursuing a career in marketing to be able to think and work quickly because new things are always happening and things are constantly changing.