Top 10 marketing skills for 2018

27 Feb 2018

  • Digital Marketing
  • Data-driven Marketing
  • Content

Thanks to new technology, the marketing landscape continues to evolve and with it so must marketers’ skills. This year the focus for businesses is to engage consumers and provide better customer experiences, so these are 10 skills they’re looking for in 2018.

1. Data-driven marketing

Data is one of the most valuable assets a business has today. But on its own, data doesn’t deliver results. Businesses need the right people who know how to leverage it to drive actionable results through the right technologies.

Required skills include:

  • Testing and analytical techniques
  • Metrics for measuring marketing performance
  • Data gathering, interpretation and recognising quality data
  • Data-driven strategy
  • Cross-functional management

2. Analytics

Businesses want to keep and convert customers, through positive customer experiences. Data analytics can provide solutions to marketing questions around customers, putting analytics skills at the top of the list of required skills.  The ability to combine the right data with the right techniques is vital for businesses today.

Required skills include:

  • Assessing data viability and value
  • Using data to identify patterns and trends
  • Gaining insights from data
  • Data management and processing
  • Using analytics tools

3. Data visualisation

A picture tells a thousand words. When it comes to interpreting and explaining the relationship between the volume and complexity of data sets that businesses now rely on, visualisation and the tools around it help break down and communicate complex statistical notions. Software is pushing visualisation capabilities out into the hands of business users.

Required skills include:

  • Gaining insights from data
  • Working with large amounts of information to see the ‘bigger picture’
  • Using visualisation software and specialist data
  • ‘Story-telling’ skills both written and oral
  • Familiarity with specialist software as well as Excel

4. Soft skills

Soft skills are in high demand across all industries. A Deloitte report from mid-2017 stated that soft skills of staff could increase revenue by $90K+ and demand is exceeding supply by 45 per cent.
While soft skills like communication, leadership and problem solving skills are top of mind at present – as highlighted in the IAPA Skills & Salary Survey 2017 – they’re not only useful for the short-term.  According to Deloitte, two-thirds of jobs will be soft skill intensive by 2030.

Required skills include: 

  • Communication skills
  • Emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Adaptability
  • Ability to conduct research


SEO and SEM drive new customers, yield better customer engagement and transform businesses without breaking the bank. It’s no wonder that businesses are seeking professionals highly skilled in both of these.

Required skills include:

  • SEM and optimisation strategies
  • SEM integration
  • SEO and content
  • On- and off-page tactics

6. Campaign management

Working at the intersection of marketing and advertising the campaign manager will multitask across planning, execution and delivery of the work of the creatives and media and is responsible for the detailed work that brings a brand to life.

Required skills include:

  • Project managing
  • - Critical thinking and analytical skills
  • People management skills
  • Content strategy and creativity
  • Numerical skills identify patterns and trends

7. Content creation and storytelling

Content is king so the adage goes. For a business to drive loyalty and profitable action from tis customers they need to provide content that is relevant, scalable, unique and, dare we say entertaining. When customers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages a day, quality content provides the cut though.

Required skills for content creation

  • Creativity
  • Great visual, oral and written communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Technical skills around video, audio and digital content creation
  • SEO and inbound marketing knowledge
  • Interpersonal skills

8. Omnichannel Communication 

Brands today are able to target and access customers through an almost limitless number of touchpoints, making it incumbent on marketers to provide a customer experience that’s seamless, consistent and personalised.

Required skills for omnichannel communication

  • Knowledge of cross channel and cross platform tools
  • Communication skills across voice, web email and digital channels, including social media
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Being able to see the macro view

9. Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is one of a marketer's fastest growing ways to reach customers. Skilled at advertising across banner ads (including rich media banners), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social networking, email marketing, online classified ads and site takeovers, digital advertising creates new desire and demand, increases engagement and loyalty, and brings customers more directly to the point of purchase.

Required skills for Digital Advertising

  • Actionable knowledge of SEO, Social media, email and mobile marketing,
  • Analytical and creativity skills
  • Knowledge of Content management systems
  • Digital and UX design
  • Programmatic and direct ad buying

10. Creativity

Creativity is the lifeblood of innovation and new ideas, which for a business or brand translates into new products and marketing campaigns, better business processes and ultimately business growth. Its been said that the senior marketing executive needs to have the ability to recognize and nurture ideas and people, even if they don’t come up with the ideas themselves. 

  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leading and working within a team
  • Risk taking
  • Nurturing talent

IQ has some fantastic courses to brush up on these skills, so check them out and take control of your career.


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