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Andy Dorling, General Manager of the DMA’s Institute of Data & Marketing discusses some of the key skills that marketers and business leaders identified as being important to marketing teams and business success in the future.

The future of intelligent marketing will not just be dependent on organizations investing in the latest technological advancements or adhering to regulations like the GDPR. It will require skilled marketing teams to innovate, interpret data, engage with customers, and communicate the latest trends to senior management to develop effective marketing strategies. Perhaps even more importantly, it will require business leaders that acknowledge the importance of having a diverse, skilled workforce and who are willing to invest in career development for a range of technical and soft skills. [si_guide_block id="83709" title="Download our Business Resource – Digital Marketing Centre of Excellence best practices" description="This guide will inform how to launch, manage and improve a digital CoE and…

Three key insights from the UK Government’s latest report on employers’ demand for digital skills

Regular readers of Smart Insights know all too well the importance of having an up-to-date digital skillset. In today’s age of the internet and social media, it’s become more important than ever for employees to have a sound working knowledge of digital in an ever-growing digitized economy. The UK government has recognized the need for a digitally literate workforce in our modern economy and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport commissioned a report, conducted by Burning Glass Technologies, to provide an overview of digital skills demand and to help inform the development of evidence-based digital skills policy. [si_guide_block id="117459" title="Download our Free Resource – Marketing careers and skills development workbook" description="Our guide shows you how to map out your personal short-term and long-term goals, become more productive in…

Just like other avenues of learning, there are many ways you can approach upskilling your marketing team

If you’re reading this post, chances are you know how beneficial upskilling can be to your team’s results. But how exactly do you go about upskilling your team? [si_guide_block id="117459" title="Download our Free Resource – Marketing careers and skills development workbook" description="Our guide shows you how to map out your personal short-term and long-term goals, become more productive in your day-to-day work, identify your key motivators and analyze your digital marketing skills."/] Just like other avenues of learning, there are many ways you can approach upskilling. For instance, you will need to consider factors such as: Upskilling budget Availability of trainers Proximity of trainers Your business needs Your team needs Your team members’ preferences Skills to be learned There are even more factors that may come into consideration once you decide to start upskilling your team. Fortunately, there are…

Five approaches to develop your problem-solving and decision-making skills

As marketers, we’re confronted with different types of questions, data, and challenges regularly. Whether it’s reacting to a negative PR story, reviewing the performance of a digital marketing campaign, or weighing up different creative options, we need to make decisions that could impact our organization in both the short and long-term.  Although marketers need to develop a strong set of technical skills, there is an equally important need for a rounded set of softer skills. One of the most crucial skills needed for effective decision-making is critical thinking.   [si_blog_banner_cta] At its core, critical thinking is about making clear, reasoned judgments. Whilst this in itself sounds straightforward, like many things it’s easier said than done as we’re all susceptible to a wide range of personal assumptions and cognitive biases. When…

Practical steps marketers can take to enhance their curious instincts

Marketers are a naturally curious bunch and are keen to learn new skills to improve their marketing performance. To work in such a varied, multidisciplinary field, you have to be interested in everything from trends and consumer behavior to analytics and creativity. However, even marketers can get stuck in their ways. Depending on the organization in which you work, the business culture or ways of working, barriers can stifle or prevent curiosity from flourishing, which researchers at Harvard Business School believe prevent organizations and individuals to be at their best.   Merck is one organization that has taken it upon themselves to lead the way in cultivating curiosity. According to Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck:   “In the pursuit of human progress, the single most important trait is curiosity – the desire to learn, explore,…

Stay calm, slow down and refocus your marketing priorities to tackle the current COVID-19 challenge

The world of marketing is a busy, hectic and uncertain one at the best of times. From the changing nature of consumer preferences to the evolution of new technologies and digital channels, over recent years marketers have had to adapt to changing circumstances and make the most of new opportunities. In addition to these micro-challenges, the last ten years since the financial crash of 2008 has posed several macro challenges, too. The nature of work itself has become very different, with a steady rise in contracting and freelancing, remote working and even changes to employment rights. All of these factors have meant that marketers have had to become more resilient and adaptable.

Enter COVID-19...

The recent coronavirus outbreak has tested workers across all sectors in new and unprecedented ways. At the time of writing, the…

Now more than ever it’s essential to amplify the impact of your digital marketing management. Here we show you how to do this by boosting both your operational and leadership effectiveness.

It’s essential to boost your management skills

Now, more than ever, how you prioritize and execute your projects matters for effective digital marketing management. Without operational discipline, you’ll soon find yourself staring at the backs of your competitors. In another Smart Insights article, I talked about how to boost the productivity of your team ( https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/5-keys-to-work-from-home-success-during-coronavirus-times/ ) during these Coronavirus times. Here I focus on how to improve your productivity and, more importantly, your effectiveness as a leader.

Boosting your impact involves:

Prioritizing your marketing initiatives

Optimizing your marketing workflows

Outsourcing applicable work

Empowering your functional leads

I will drill into each topic below. …
How to become a better marketer: 6 marketing tactics you need to work on to stay relevant   With the rapid development in technology, many changes occur in the marketing scene within short periods. Therefore, as you're trying to execute the tactics you know, you're also in a constant quest to learn new things. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to stay relevant and achieve your goals. Even in marketing channels you know, changes are happening with time. For instance, 17 years ago, you only need to understand how to send blast emails to be a good email marketer. However, today, you need a deep understanding of automated email sequences just to get by. That said, you'll always stay relevant as a marketer if you keep up with important trends and apply them to your marketing campaigns. In light of this, here are 6 essential tactics to work on:

1. Creating and designing visual content

Over the years, …

How to navigate a 'squiggly career'

When many of us consider the word ‘career’, we think about climbing a corporate ladder and following a predictable, linear path to promotion. This was certainly my expectation when I entered the workforce after university; the advice was to join a company as a graduate trainee and move through the ranks to a senior role. But whilst the idea of a traditional career may still be the case for some, the last ten years has transformed many people’s professional working experiences and their expectations for what a career will provide. This is true across most professions, but especially true for marketing, where the rise of the internet, social media and digital channels has disrupted the traditional paradigm.

Navigating the ‘squiggly career’

In spring 2018, whilst I was in between jobs, I discovered a podcast called ‘Squiggly Careers’. Presented by Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper, it covered a huge…

How to build a personal brand as a marketer: 7 effective tactics for personal brand building

As a marketer, building a personal brand can have a great impact on your success. Even if you work for a company, building your personal brand will prove a great benefit to your company as much as it will be to you. With a trusted personal brand, you have a unique position in your industry, the ability to influence a bigger audience and turn many of them into customers. As former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, "Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool." But how do you build your personal brand as a marketer? In this blog post, discover 7 effective tactics you can start using today.

1. Understand your target audience

Trying to please everybody is the fastest way to pleasing no one. Therefore, you have to understand…