Five Essential Skills for the Future Marketing Manager


The role of marketing managers is changing, but these skills will always be needed.

By University Alliance
Marketing Manager, Marketing Management, Leadership Skills

Technology has changed the face of marketing to such an extent that the job descriptions, expectations and responsibilities of today’s marketing managers differ greatly from those of just a decade ago. Clearly, it’s no longer enough to issue press releases and update the company website.

Today’s marketers need to stay on top of trends and technology; they need to know how social media, search, video, conversions and analytics work in the marketing mix. Luckily, there are fundamental skills that never fall out of demand. Here, we’ll review five essential skills that every future marketing manager should develop.

Five Must-Have Skills for Future Marketing Managers

Future marketing managers should think in terms of the following broad-based skills that can be applied to different scenarios, in different industries, and for companies large and small.

1. Critical Thinking

In a 2010 survey by the American Management Association (AMA), a majority of executives responded that they need employees with solid critical thinking skills, but the current pool of workers has not sufficiently developed them. Critical thinking, or the ability to analyze situations or statements and determine their validity, is the foundation on which modern management professionals build their careers. Critical thinking breeds creative thinking, which in turn solves problems. This is exactly what employers need from managers.

2. Project Management

In business today, you don’t have to hold the title of project manager to be one. Projects can be simple or complex, short- or long-term, but in marketing, they are increasingly happening in quick response to social media opportunities and customer engagement. Future marketing managers will need to sharpen their project management skills in order to lead their teams and accomplish their objectives.

3. Analytical Skills

Successful marketing managers have analytical minds. They know the value of the vast amount of data available today, and are highly interested in what that data can reveal about consumer behavior, efficacy of various marketing approaches and more. The best managers also know how to look beyond the data and pick up on trends and patterns that can lead to better, more successful marketing efforts.

4. Holistic Approach

Future managers will approach marketing by thinking in terms of integrated, interconnected systems, and how they affect each other. From trade show displays to Twitter feeds, it’s vitally important to see how the relationships between all parts of the marketing plan work, and to manage them effectively.

5. Technical Skills

Because technology will continue to advance and closely influence how marketing is accomplished, it will always be important for marketing managers to be tech savvy. Customer engagement will occur in more ways, and competing for their attention will mean delivering the services and information they want, through user-friendly apps and relationship-building tools. So while marketing managers will depend on technology innovators to create the tools, they must be familiar with what consumers want and how best to deliver it.

Are You Preparing for a Future in Marketing Management?

As technology fuels the industry, new marketing approaches will continue to be developed. While it will be important to know how to leverage specific opportunities, marketers of the future will also need to acquire specific tactical marketing skills that can be applied to help their company reach its goals.

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Category: Marketing