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The marketing industry has evolved at an alarming rate, primarily due to technology and the changing needs of the professionals who work in this field.

Those who are reluctant to change have fallen behind, while those who (or should it be invented) change is installed in this virtual world where you can be whatever you want, you just have to be ready to make it happen.

As someone who engages marketers in my businesses across the world, I am always interested in the journey in which a marketer take. If they sit still for too long, they tend to rust. If they move too fast, they never get their hands dirty enough to be “employable” and so on.

But in the last 12 months or so, there have been changes.

For those who have moved from one job to another, « We all understand ». Our thoughts go directly to the harshness of the market.

Marketing professionals who have entered marketing consulting are hugely admired, if only in name, waiting for the next opportunity.

Then you have these marketers who’ve hung on hard, knowing the grass isn’t greener on the other side, and by ‘bad times’ it is important to keep what you have.

Mental health issues are on the rise and for anyone who has been stuck at home and unable to live their life, it has been a struggle. The rapid training many managers and business owners have had to understand mental health and be compassionate has led to long days out of the office, often affecting productivity.

What business leaders now know is something that many simply did not understand in the past and were perhaps less forgiving. Hindsight is a beautiful thing.

To climb the marketing ladder today, marketers need:

A vision
Know what you want, when you want it, and how you’re going to get there. Without a clear vision and plan in place, you might find yourself overwhelmed with choices and not in a position that you feel you deserve.

Education
I’m not talking about a diploma. Some marketers believe it or not, have reached the highest positions without a piece of paper. Marketing is a robust, constantly evolving career that simply requires constant learning and development.

Curiosity
Curiosity killed the cat, but in marketing it does the opposite. How curious you are as a marketer, and how willing you are to experiment, you are literally going to make or break. To be curious. Know the “why”, the “how” and the ROI.

Data-driven
If you’re not data-driven and you’re into marketing, don’t expect to climb the ranks. Data is everything, and when paired with good creativity and good content, can turn an average brand into an extraordinary brand. Using data to develop a marketing strategy through Robotic Marketer or knowing how to read Google Analytics or data from any marketing campaign – is critical to your success as a marketer. Any manager loves nothing more than a marketer who can back up their ideas with data.

Comprehension
Marketing consultants or anyone who has ever been a youngster needs to understand psychology. It’s not just the psychology that explains why people buy from your business over a competitor, but also from your peers, suppliers, and alliances. Knowing how to read people and adapt accordingly is a game-changer for any aspiring marketing manager.

Skill
It’s one thing to say you are competent and quite another to show it. Being proficient in marketing means doing an exceptional job every time without others changing your work. It’s about having a thirst for marketing and being able to read the market, understand the best strategy for the future, and collaborate when needed. Skill is the hardest thing to find in marketers because it’s a career where there is a lot of ‘rig until you get there’. Someone who’s good at selling, sells. Someone great in public relations, gets stories written about the client. Someone who is good at digital marketing, has a strong social media audience, and can produce email marketing campaigns that translate into sales.

Sometimes realizing that marketing moves so fast that we can’t keep pace, but we have to, is the best lesson you can learn. It allows you to prioritize your work and your life every step of the way. The minute you think you know everything is when you don’t know anything at all.

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