Our recommended process and tools to help you grow your marketing career with strategic skill development

As marketers, we understand how challenging it can be to keep all your plates spinning. You’re trying to manage your day job, while staying up to date with all the latest industry and platform changes, while making sure you are fed and watered and clean and getting enough sleep to keep your brain in gear. Not to mention remembering Auntie Wendy’s birthday and making sure the dog has had enough exercise. With all this going on, setting time to learn marketing skills is often pushed to the back of your priority list. Over time, you drop the plate. There are a few reasons for this. From speaking to marketers over the years, Continuous Professional Development (CPD), feels like something you should be doing, but often gets ‘saved for later’, while we try to keep…

What does future-proof digital marketing training look like?

When it comes to technology, “The ability of something to continue to be of value into the distant future and not become obsolete” seems pretty obvious. We can all recognize items that have become obsolete as technology changes and improves. But, what does future-proof mean in the context of digital marketing training for work and employment? From my perspective and looking at reviews from experts in education and psychology, to be future-proof is to “Continue to be useful or successful in future when the situation changes.”  This definition sounds a bit woolly but can be distilled into three primary components: Being able to identify opportunities by anticipating the future Using this knowledge to minimize the effects of shocks and stresses of future events by having a clear strategy Then, using this strategy to…

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…

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…

As a marketer, getting better jobs will be a target at one point in your career. Of course, a great job could mean different things to different people

To some, a better job means better pay. To some, it’s better flexibility at work. To some, it’s the ability to take on challenging work.

Whatever a better job means to you, it’s vital to stand out to get those jobs. In some ways, being able to land great jobs shows your level of expertise.

Having said that, what are the tactics that can make you stand out to potential employers? What will give you an edge when a great client needs a marketer?

In this blog post, discover 7 tactics that can help you stand out as a marketer and get better jobs:

1. Focus on a niche

Every type of business on earth needs a marketer. After all, every…