• Brandminds 2020

4 brilliant marketing skills
to achieve success in 2021

Looking to achieve success in 2021 as a marketer? Check these 4 brilliant marketing skills!

1. Automation skills

Automation is the elimination of all manual labour through the use of automatic controls that ensure accuracy and quality and was first coined in the 1940s at the Ford Motor Company. Automation ushered in the industrial revolution by producing goods at scale faster and better than the traditional man-powered system.

Business-wise, automation supports the organization’s efforts of streamlining its operations and processes thus freeing the employees from doing time-consuming tasks and allowing them to tackle creative tasks where they can add real value.

Learn more about business automation in 4 technologies every business should use to achieve its goals effectively in 2021.

In October 2020, leading Robotic Process Automation software (or RPA) UiPath’s survey on automation skills found that 70% of senior executives want non-technical employees to have automation and AI skills.

They also believe that employees with automation and AI skills will benefit from increased career advancement opportunities.

We are living in a digital world so it stands to reason that marketers should make the most of any digital tools that could help them achieve their goals.

What marketers are looking for is the next big idea that will increase market share, brand awareness and generate sales. Time is of the essence in any business, but in marketing, this is abundantly true. So automating time-consuming tasks whenever possible helps marketers become more efficiently and accurately.

Infographic source: uipath.com

Here are some of the tasks you can assign to a software robot aka automate:

  • Data integration with Excel automation for financial analysis;
  • Data manipulation;
  • Screen scraping;
  • Create automation for single activities, desktop applications, multiple actions, web apps, and virtualized environments;
  • PDF data extraction;
  • Email automation.

Do you need any programming skills to automate tasks?

No.

RPA doesn’t require any programming skills to get started.

That’s great news but how come, you might ask?

The RPA software records tasks as they are being worked on by you and then replay these recorded tasks and voila!

Your mini-digital-you is doing them faster and better so you can focus on more important tasks.

To learn more about automation or begin upskilling, check out UiPath Academy’s free RPA training.

2. Trendwatching skills

BRAND MINDS 2020 speaker Gary Vaynerchuk started the Wine Library TV four months after YouTube launched in 2005. He was the first entrepreneur to build video content for a brick-and-mortar business.

Fifteen years later, Gary is now a digital expert and media icon with a combined 16-million followership. Having foreseen the video content trend taking off definitely helped him.

Watching the trends is a skill every marketer should start developing today. Not every brand can be a trendsetter, but every brand should watch the trends taking off or slowing down.

When marketers pair this kind of insight with creativity and a marketing goal, it’s a boost to the brand’s competitive advantage. And that could potentially be what separates one brand from its competition.

Here are 3 trend watching tools that you should explore:

Trendwatching is one of the world’s leading consumer trend firms since 2002. It is purpose-built to guide, inspire and empower business professionals. The company relies on its proprietary Purpose-Driven Innovation (PDI) methodology, a core analytical framework that turns trends into meaningful business opportunities.

Glimpse identifies growing trends by analyzing hundreds of millions of consumer behaviour signals from across the web, including products, companies and industries. Did you know that Chessable, a platform teaching players about different chess openings, endgames, and tactics has seen an increase in online popularity? It’s partly due to Netflix’s release of The Queen’s Gambit, which prompted the searches and online discussion of chess to double.

Trend Hunter boasts a monthly viewership of 20 million and identifies as a trend community. The company leverages big data, human researchers and AI to identify consumer insights and deep dive opportunities for the world’s most innovative companies. Among standard trends categories such as products, brands, topics or people, Trend Hunter also includes ideas as part of its offer.

3. Growth marketing skills

What is growth marketing?

Let’s look at three definitions of growth marketing I curated from different sources. Observe the bolded words.

The first definition says growth marketing is defined as the strategies, tactics and techniques used to focus on growing a business, product or service. Unlike regular marketing activities, the emphasis and activities focus on accelerating growth. (source)

The second definition says growth marketing is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business. (source)

The third definition of growth marketing goes as follows: Growth marketing is an approach to attracting, engaging, and retaining customers that’s focused on relentless experimentation and an intense focus on the unique, changing motives and preferences of your customers (source).

As you can see, there is no single accepted definition of growth marketing but some parts do overlap. The bolded words in each definition are my way of helping you see where that definition directs its focus.

So what’s growth marketing?

The first says it’s about strategies, techniques and tactics, which is an outward overview. The second talks about a process of rapid experimentation (speed) and includes product development which is an interesting approach. The third looks inward and makes the customers its focal point. It also includes experimentation, but this time it’s not about speed, but endurance over a long period. Think Sir Mo Farah, the marathon runner instead of Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world.

Seeing that growth marketing has so many definitions, what is the role of a growth marketer?

Also, don’t confuse growth marketer with growth hacker. According to Sean Ellis, the original growth hacker, a growth hacker is “the unique hybrid between a coder and a marketer”, thinking of growth first, budget second. He takes advantage of systems based on loops and goes deeper into the customer funnel.

Today’s fast-moving digital business environment requires marketers to turn into T-shaped marketers.

Fundamental growth marketing skills:

  • Data-tracking & analytics
  • Behaviour psychology
  • Learnability (the desire and ability to grow quickly and adjust one’s skillset)
  • Growth-hacking mindset
  • Technical skills

Generalist skills:

  • Customer development
  • UX & UI development
  • Copywriting
  • Visual design
  • Customer retention

Specialist skills:

  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Marketing automation
  • Acquisition marketing
  • Referral programs & virality
  • Activation & onboarding

4. Stay informed

Successful marketers know what’s going on in the industry.

They follow the trends and the numbers, but, more importantly, they follow the people.

And I’m not talking about big celebrities, although every marketer should be aware of their power to influence communities and consequently their customers (there’s always a lesson to learn here).

What I’m talking about is connecting with industry experts in various verticals on LinkedIn or other social media platforms.

From experienced sales professionals to UX designers, video content creators to business analysts, consumer behaviour specialists to performance marketers – they are valuable resources for any marketer looking to succeed today.

Follow them and you will always stay updated with the latest trends in marketing in particular and business in general.

Also, you will know what other brands do well or not so well. Why Quibi, the USD 2 billion-startup founded by one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood, led by an experienced CEO and slated for success, crashed and burned in just six months after its launch? There are definitely two lessons to be learned here: one is related to leadership, the second is related to marketing.

Use LinkedIn to achieve your professional goals. Connect with or follow industry experts or peers that share valuable insights. If you don’t know where to begin, check out LinkedIn’s Top Voices 2020 list.

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