As we’ve seen, marketing is a critical business function that operates in an environment that is highly scrutinized and continually changing. Today’s marketers undertake a variety of tasks as they attempt to build customer relationships and the knowledge and skill sets needed to perform these tasks successfully are also varied.
So what does it take to be a successful marketer? Obviously, at the center of a successful marketing career is an understanding of the important concepts that are discussed in the Principles of Marketing Tutorials. But basic marketing knowledge is just the beginning, for today’s marketers must possess much more. Among the most important knowledge and skills needed to be successful are:
Basic Business Skills
Marketers are first and foremost business people who must perform necessary tasks required of all successful business people. These basic skills include problem analysis and decision-making, oral and written communication, basic quantitative skills, and working well with others.
Understanding Marketing’s Impact
Marketers must know how their decisions will impact other areas of an organization and their business partners. They must realize that marketing decisions are not made in isolation and that decisions made by the marketing team could lead to problems for others. For example, making a decision to run a special sale that significantly lowers the price of a product could present supply problems if the production area is not informed well in advance of the sale.
Today’s marketers must have a strong understanding of technology on two fronts. First, marketers must be skilled in using technology as part of their everyday activities. Not only must they understand how basic computer software is used to build spreadsheets or create slide presentations, but in a world where information overload is a problem marketers must investigate additional technologies that can improve their effectiveness and efficiency, such as multifunction smartphones, global positioning system (GPS) navigation services, and web-based productivity applications. Second, marketers must understand emerging technology and applications in order to spot potential business opportunities as well as potential threats. For instance, the rapid growth of social media requires marketers to fully grasp this critical technologies in order to see how these fit within an overall marketing strategy.
The Need for a Global Perspective
Thanks in large part to the Internet, nearly any company can conduct business on a global scale. Yet, just having a website that is accessible to hundreds of millions of people worldwide does not guarantee success. Marketers selling internationally must understand the nuances of international trade and cultural differences that exist between markets.
The field of marketing is dynamic. Changes occur continually and often quickly. Marketers must maintain close contact with these changes through a steady diet of information. As we discuss in our tutorials, information can be obtained through formal marketing research methods involving extensive planning that includes the use of a variety of information gather techniques. However, marketers also must be in tune with day-to-day developments by paying close attention to news that occurs in their industry, in the markets they serve, and among their potential customers.
Flexible to Changing Market Conditions
Through continual information seeking marketers often will find that unanticipated market changes will require they quickly adjust their marketing strategy. This may occur for several reasons such as competitors launching an unexpected new product, rapid changes happening in the economic environment, the marketer’s product is suddenly in great demand due to influential reviews and discussion on social media, and many more. Successful marketers respond to market changes by quickly gathering information and ideas from both inside (e.g., members of other departments) and outside (e.g., customers, business partners) the organization.
In the remaining parts of the Principles of Marketing Tutorials we explore in further detail the key concepts and strategies that are consistent across nearly all industries and marketing jobs. While reading the tutorial will not guarantee marketing success, it will certainly offer the foundation needed to be a Modern Marketer.