4 Skills Marketers Need To Get Hired in 2015

After working in marketing in various capacities including,  big brand management, running my own content marketing agency and now leading marketing at Trov, a Bay Area startup,  I’ve learned a lot about what skills are needed to be an effective marketer. While there are many important skills, I’ve distilled my thinking down to four key traits that I believe are critical to being successful in a marketing role today. Not surprisingly, these are also the primary things I look for when making new hires.

1. Phenomenal Storyteller

Anyone can write “excellent communicator’ on their resume, but that doesn’t mean they are actually good at it.  The core medium for telling brand stories today is by writing and every marketer should have a strong level of comfort with this.  They don’t have to be literary geniuses, but they must have the ability and confidence to string sentences together for blogs, social posts, ad copy and more. Further to writing, as photo and video become increasingly prevalent means of communication for companies, the ability to execute visual storytelling is absolutely critical.  So, if you’re a marketer and you shy away from outwardly communicating in these ways, I’d highly recommend beginning to hone these skills now.

2. Passionate Strategist

This one might seem a bit ‘buzz-wordy’, but without strategic thinking you are really just an executor who is given instructions and carries out a task.  A successful marketer must be able to challenge norms, look at the big picture and take risks to solve problems. Marketing at its very foundation is about differentiation versus being cookie-cutter versions of other companies. That being said,  a key point to highlight here is that it isn’t solely about being a ‘strategic thinker’ rather the thinking must translate to communication and implementation of those ideas – which is much more difficult than many might think. Strategy without implementation is just pie-in-the-sky bullshit.

3. Obsessive Analyst

In today’s world, there is NO excuse for not measuring.  Marketers previously had this excuse with TV, Print and Radio as it was near impossible to effectively tie campaigns directly to sales.  Marketing is a mix of Art & Science, with the value proposition/insight & creative being the Art and the analysis and optimization of campaigns being the Science. Almost everything in marketing can be tracked, tested and optimized to drive towards particular business objectives.  Today’s marketer must not settle for anything less than comprehensive metrics across all activity AND they should be accountable for them.

4. Digital Hack

This one will likely raise the most eyebrows from traditional marketers, but digital media is today’s primary means of communication and there is a constant influx of new platforms.  From Meerkat to Marketo, marketers must be willing to openly experiment with new platforms and ideas.  I believe that marketers should be relatively competent in all forms of digital communication – which means a basic level of understanding of HTML and CSS and other digital media platforms.  No need to be an expert developer, but code is only going to become more important as time goes by and those that have some fluency in it will be invaluable for organizations.  At the end of the day, this one is about being able to effectively leverage new digital media to get things done.

Competent Conductor (Honourable mention)

One additional skill that is worth a mention is the ability to harness the resources of specialists in the fields of copywriting, design and development.  As an organization scales, the 2015 Marketer must be able to produce by effectively leveraging the skills of a specialized team.  In order to do this, they must have a basic understanding of all of these fields and what is required for this type of work.   Thoughts? Did I miss anything? Would love to hear what you think in the comments. By the way, I’m hiring for a senior marketing role at Trov, so if you’re interested (and have the above chops) send me an email at and let’s grab a coffee.   Marketing Storyteller



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How to Create Great Social Content

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 @ 12:20 PM

social content-resized-600

Content marketing has become all the rage in the past few years with a brands now racing to bombard their audiences with an increasing amount of content.  As the idea of valuable content and social media converge, it has brought forward a new term, ‘social content.’  This term is one that Tent Social has been built around and what we strive to create on a daily basis with our clients. Social content is content that is not one-sided, like traditional advertising of the old days, rather it is content that has a conversation componenet to it, can be discussed and shared.

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The Hypocrisy of Content Marketing Blogs that use Pop-ups

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 @ 01:40 PM

no more pop ups

I hate websites that use pop-ups. Period. Recently, I have been particularly bothered by blogs that have pop-ups for email subscription.  I have been holding back on writing this article for several months because the organizations that I will mention are amongst those that I respect the most and spend the most time with.  I will also note that I adore the content that these organizations provide and I interact with it on an almost daily basis.  

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How To Write Social Media Posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest

Tue, Jun 25, 2013 @ 07:29 PM

How to write the perfect social media posts

Writing has never been easy, whether it was writing a story with crayons as child, writing essays in school or writing articles as a journalist.  With the proliferation of media, there are now so many different platforms to write (and create social content) on, each with their own unique quirks.  Writing was already hard enough, but now you need to remember what type of writing works better on different platforms.

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The State of Content Marketing 2013 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 @ 06:00 AM

Content Marketing Infographic 2013 resized 600

The term “content is king” has been around for a long time now, but it hasn’t been until the last few years that content marketing has gained serious credibility and clout in the marketing world. Exceptional content creation is no longer an option for brands looking to grow, it is a requirement. If brands don’t find value that they can bring to their audience outside of the intrinsic benefit that the audience pays for, they will not be able to sustain growth.
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How Twitter Is Making TV Ads Way More Social

Thu, May 30, 2013 @ 04:37 PM

Twitter TV

Historically, TV ads have been a very effective way to reach a very large audience in a short period of time, albeit at a wildy expensive price tag.  For many brands this has been very successful, with the right type of ad and insight.  One of the biggest problems in the digital age has been that brands spend a monumental amount of money on these ads, but there is no real opportunity for two-way, live interaction with this content or any ongoing conversation.

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Journey to Online Purchase – an interactive widget by Google

Mon, May 20, 2013 @ 02:32 PM

Online Customer Journey Google


Google recently launched a very interesting little tool that shows the role that different online marketing channels play in the purchase journey (from ‘assisting’ to ‘last interaction’).  If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you’ll know that I am pretty obsessed with the online customer journey (See From Stranget to Lover: How to Do Digital Marketing in 2013).  

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Know your Role on Social Media… or Shut Your Mouth About ROI.

Wed, May 15, 2013 @ 02:12 PM

The term ‘social media ROI’ has a never-ending debate associated with it, but one of the issues with this debate is that the context in which it is often discussed doesn’t really make any sense.

As in, many people ask the question, “what is the ROI of social media?”  It’s like saying “What’s the ROI of a newspaper?” or “What’s the ROI of a TV?”  Social media is a channel, not an activity. You can’t measure a channel, you have to measure the activity which you perform on that channel.
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