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Digital Skills Every Marketing Team Should (Already) Have for 2014

Inbound Marketing

In order for your company to grow, you need to have an outstanding team supporting your marketing efforts. Digital marketing requires expertise in six spheres that you may not have available within your organization.

To effectively hire or outsource any or all of your marketing team, you must ensure the following marketing skills are addressed to put together your team of marketing rock stars.


This is absolutely the most important skill your marketing team must possess. If you cannot measure how your marketing is performing then you cannot determine whether your investment is paying off. Digital marketing provides a broad range of data indicating where your marketing dollars are being well spent and where they are being wasted.

We must emphasize that this is all about marketing analytics, not just website analytics. Your team should be tracking all marketing initiatives regardless of source. Analytics should be tracked for website, social media, content, blogging, and email to ensure channel integration and message continuity.

Skills to look for:

  • Understands actionable metrics vs vanity metrics.
  • Knows analytics tool platforms such as Google Analytics.
  • Tracks all phases of the sales funnel and sales cycle.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is not an afterthought. Depending on your industry or business, mobile marketing may require a larger share of your marketing budget than your online website. Mobile marketing is more than just mobile phones; the practice takes in tablets, smartphones, and any other mobile device that operates on the same frequency.

Plus, mobile marketing is not just miniaturized web marketing. Mobile devices render websites and operate applications differently than a laptop or PC. There is a whole different world of optimization involved in marketing for people on the go. Users have different expectations and needs when interacting with a small touchscreen as opposed to a full screen and keyboard.

Skills to look for:

  • Understands the difference between mobile apps and responsive design.
  • Understands mobile user behavior.
  • Specializes the marketing approach for various actions such as marketing for lead capture, checkouts, or purchases.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is more than setting up a series of emails for automatic send in response to the input of contact information. In fact, a hard sell of this nature can chase away more customers than it captures. Marketing automation is much more nuanced and complex.

Marketing automation supports lead generation and the sales funnel and, like the others skills listed here, is part of an integrated strategy. It is also a multichannel tactic not limited to email only. According to HubSpot, marketing automation should reflect interest. Communications should be sent based on all the types of content a user has viewed, not just forms submitted. They also note that the customer rarely walks the straightforward path to conversion.

Skills to look for:

  • Multichannel/cross platform automation skills.
  • Customer-centric outlook.
  • Understands importance of interaction after conversion for customer retention.

Email Marketing

Email marketing encompasses much more than sending out a quarterly newsletter or targeted email for selling products and services. Email marketing is another channel to get out your message and can be an integral part of a marketing campaign as well as a way to keep in touch with those who have shown interest.

Email is also valuable for moving leads through the funnel and may become a primary channel of communication prior to or instead of phone calls and face to face meetings. By closing the marketing loop, ROI for email marketing can easily be tracked as well.

Skills to look for:

  • Knows how to use different types of email such as newsletters, digests, lead nurturing, or transactional.
  • Reacts appropriately to unsubscribes, click-through rates, and delivery issues.
  • Using email for funnel optimization.

Content Marketing

Ah, the king of it all…content marketing. Content marketing is used in every facet of marketing practice from web marketing to email marketing and everything in between. Every channel needs content of some sort: text, video, audio, or a mix of everything.

But content marketing is about much more than producing content. Content must be kept track of, re-used, recycled, repeated on different platforms and in different types of media. And it must all coordinate to support current campaigns.

Skills to look for:

  • Organizational skills to plan, assign, coordinate, and curate all content.
  • Editorial skills to keep the voice of the company the same across content.
  • Ability to apply content marketing across multiple channels to enhance the message rather than dilute it.

Social Media

Social media marketing may be more or less part of the mix. If your customers spend most of their time on Facebook, you certainly want to have a presence there. But if they prefer Linked In you need to be there instead. Twitter presents a slightly different challenge that must also be met according to the habits of your customers and those you wish to attract.

Social media doesn’t just include the well-known social networks. It includes your blog, communities and forums, and any other media that allows and encourages feedback and engagement between your business and your customers.

Skill to look for:

  • Learns about your customers and where they engage online.
  • Knowledge of different social media channels and the best use of each.
  • Handles localization well.

Paying close attention to these six skill sets when hiring or outsourcing your marketing initiatives will give you a sense of the maturity level of an agency or the expertise of applicants. Knowing that there are these various skills sets will also keep you on track towards marketing effectively and efficiently rather than cheaply.

A marketing team with these skills will return your investment many times over.

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