Marketing requires a very complex set of skills. Hiring a good marketer to build a brand and grow a business might be an intimidating task.
To make matters worse, with the array of self-promotion tools at their disposal, new “marketing specialists” seem to emerge daily, ready to help.
So how do you make sure you choose the right one?
A marketer is typically responsible for developing the company’s market positioning, elaborating the go-to-market strategy and tactics, and overseeing the implementation of those tactics to make sure the business goals are achieved.
During my marketing career I was fortunate to work with some excellent marketers, learn about their personality and admire their skills. Below is a list, by no means comprehensive, of the “ingredients” that a great marketer is made of:
Training– it might sound old-fashioned today, but I believe this is the foundation of a great marketer. He/she has to have a good understanding of concepts such as target market, segmentation, positioning as well as the 4 Ps of marketing: product, placement, price and promotion.
Vision-a great marketer looks beyond today and knows exactly where he wants the brand to be in the next 5 years. He realizes that brands take years and discipline to build and is consistent in communicating the differentiating idea.
Curiosity-a good marketer is always interested in what happens around him. He/she has to have a decent understanding of the various marketing sub-disciplines: market research, communications, digital marketing, event marketing, and public relations. Regular training is also mandatory.
The ability to multi-task-usually a marketer has to manage multiple projects, such as a website, a catalogue, a new brand identity development, that have a similar deadline (usually the launch/refresh of a new brand): He/she has to be able to dedicate sufficient time to each project and get them accomplished in time for the big event.
Excellent communications skills-a good marketer should be able to communicate in a very straightforward and succinct manner, in order to avoid confusion and miss deadlines.
Good people skills– typical brand management job for example involves spending 90% of the time collaborating with graphic and web designers, market researchers, event coordinators and other service providers. He/she has to be able to understand their personalities, work style and abilities, and make them feel part of the projects.
One last piece of advice: stay away from marketers who offer “marketing recipes” that they pretend are universally applicable to any business. Each successful brand has a unique competitive advantage, positioning, target market, distribution channel. As a result the marketing behind it should be unique too.