11 Modern Marketing Skills for Business Innovators to Master

Technology and social media have made a profound impact on marketing over the past few years. So much so, that small business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers may need to update their skill sets to properly engage with he next generation of consumers (Gen Z) while effectively leveraging progressive technologies.

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An infographic detailing modern marketing skills that business innovators should have

Gen Z’s Purchasing Power

Gen Z is currently one of the largest consumer groups. 73.6 million Americans fit this group, defined by those under 18 that were born after 2000. This represents 22% of the total U.S. population. Collectively, Gen Z accounts for about $29 billion to $143 billion in spending directly on services, and $166 billion to $333 billion by influencing household spend.

Marketers need to be prepared to capture this generation’s attention in modern, innovative ways. However, they need help. 95% of marketing organizations report being negatively impacted by a lack of talent that’s available and qualified. Furthermore, 75% would not describe their marketing departments as modern or nimble.

Most Important Modern Marketing Skills for 2018

Organizations of all types can use marketers who create original, engaging, and creative content. 86% of marketers use content marketing as a regular part of their strategy, whether they’re working for global conglomerates or small, local businesses. However, only 36% assess their content marketing expertise as mature or sophisticated. Content creation and management, web analytics, and digital project management are all key skills within this area.

219.8 million Americans – 67.3% of the U.S. population – own a smartphone. This makes mobile strategies vital to an organization’s marketing efforts. The opportunity to reach a wide audience via mobile is sizeable, as Americans look at their phones an average of 47 times a day. That number is nearly double for Americans ages 18 – 24, who check their phones an average of 86 times daily. Key skills within this area include mobile design, mobile development, and e-commerce analytics.

E-mail Marketing

E-mail marketing has been a staple strategy for several years and will continue to be. 86% of marketers use e-mail to distribute marketing content. Marketing automation, subscriber engagement strategies, and subscriber growth strategies are all important kills within this strategy.

70% of Gen Z buys products and services via social media, making social media marketing an essential tactic to reach the demographic. 69% of Gen Z use Instagram, making it the generation’s most popular social media platform. This is followed by Facebook and Snapchat, which is each used by 67%. On average, marketers use five social media platforms to distribute content. Key skills in this area include social media management, content strategy, and creative direction.

Search Engine Marketing

Acquiring traffic via organic and paid searches requires marketers to stay current with constant changes. For instance, Google updates its algorithm more than 500 times a year. Growing search engine optimization (SEO) and organic presence is the top priority among 69% of North American inbound marketers. SEO, paid search advertising, and website optimization are all key skills within this area.

Video Production

76% of marketers produce videos as part of their marketing strategy. These videos can incorporate interviews, animations, and other storytelling styles. This is a vital component to reach Gen Z. 95% of the generation uses YouTube, with 50% of them saying they “cannot live without” the video-driven website. Key skills in this area include video editing, animation, and content curation.

Data Analysis

85% of marketers use analytics tools in their marketing tactics. Analytics is the second-most difficult skill set to find in new marketing talent, with 20% of marketers stating it’s tough to find. Despite this difficulty, 59% of marketers plan to increase their digital business analytics skills at their organizations. Data mining, data visualization, and statistical analysis are all key skills within this area.


70% of marketers use blogs to distribute content for marketing purposes and blogging more frequently can boost traffic. Companies that publish 16+ posts per month got nearly 3.5 times more traffic than companies that publish between 0-4 monthly posts. Key skills within this area include creativity, copywriting, and originality.

Operational Skills

Strategic operational skills are the chief skill set that digital marketers identify as crucial in enabling them to meet their overall demands. However, it’s also been found to be the most difficult skill set to source in new marketing talent. Budgeting, organizational alignment, and ROI and metrics measurement are all key skills within this area.

User Experience Skills

User experience analytics is the most challenging trend for marketers. However, user experience specialists can shed light on customer preference and behavior and help design websites and apps to drive customer retention and sales. Research, providing customer behavioral insight, and coding are all vital skills within this area.

Basic Design Skills

18% of marketers report design skills as difficult to find in new marketing talent, making it the third-most difficult skill set to find in new marketing talent. However, marketing content in all its formats still needs to be visually appealing, and these skills continue to be in demand. Key skills within this area include graphic design, creativity, and visual design.

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