Becoming A Successful Modern Marketer: The world of marketing is ever-changing, especially in today’s digital-first world. Successful marketers not only need to be masters at capturing customers’ attention and showing them the benefits of their product or service, but they also need to know how to leverage the most up-to-date digital tools to reach those customers.

As business leaders, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council understand the importance of staying up to date on marketing skills. Below, a panel of them shared nine of the most important habits and skills all marketers should pursue. Read on for their insights on which actions can advance your marketing career.

1. Learning The Sales Process

All marketers need to work in sales for a period of time (even if it’s just retail in college) or shadow a salesperson in their company once a year. While marketing and sales go hand in hand, they are vastly different fields. Marketers can benefit immensely from learning the skills and processes that it takes to close a sale on a product that they have marketed. By understanding the process further down the sales funnel from the marketing process, the marketer can more effectively market the product. – Avery Carl, The Short Term Shop

2. Mastering Analytics

If you want to separate yourself from your fellow marketing colleagues or achieve a promotion, the one skill you need to master is analytics. Start with Google Analytics since it’s the most commonly used analytics platform (plus, it’s free to use). You may also want to consider learning about some of the other top analytics companies, such as Adobe and Chartbeat. Having been a digital marketing agency owner for nearly 22 years, I can tell you that the folks on my team with top analytics skills tended to get noticed, promoted and made more money than others without those same skills. Don’t ignore technical skills as a marketer. Instead, challenge yourself to become an analytics ninja, and you’ll find yourself at the front of the pack. – Kristopher Brian Jones, LSEO.com

3. Communicating Well With Others

Communication is absolutely key for any marketer. Good communication skills can be crucial when it comes to reaching your audience, working with your team or discussing matters with a client. Whether you are working with a large group or a few independent contractors, you need to make sure everyone is on the same page. Miscommunication on any level can cause major problems and you might end up underdelivering because of one botched conversation. Communicating isn’t only useful from a business perspective. It can build trust, strong bonds and establish connections with employees, business partners and customers. It can help you remain transparent in what you’re offering and clear with any expectations you may have. When the lines are open, you can establish goodwill as well. – Matt Bertram, EWR Digital

4. Knowing How To Tell A Story

Marketers should continue to pursue writing and storytelling as part of their ongoing skill set. To attract the right customers and draw them to take action on your site, you need to entice them with a story or purpose of some kind. Storytelling goes a long way in building brand credibility and boosting sales. Stories give customers a reason to shop with your brand compared to another one, and it’s a craft that will take your business a long way. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

5. Learning How To Write Well

If you are going to sell to people, you aren’t going to last long as a marketer if you can’t write clean copy that is enticing and grammatically correct. To help with your writing, I suggest the book On Writing Well by William Zinsser. He is specifically good at teaching how to cut out extra words and get right to the point, which is critical for email marketing, social media and advertising. I’ve rarely worked with anyone who demanded less than $100,000 per year who could write artfully. This skill shows attention to detail and it’s the basis of today’s online communication. Download Grammarly, write every day, find a mentor to edit your work and publish it, even if it is just on Twitter. – Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

6. Making Others Laugh

What do humans love? A good laugh! Laughing is good for life and good for marketing. If you want to stand out, make your audience laugh. Additionally, studies show that people remember marketing that makes them laugh. Marketers can use humor in online videos, memes, social media or blogs. Specific types of humor include wordplay, puns and wit. The medium is essentially endless, and your imagination is the limit. Of course, it’s important to be careful to use humor appropriately and ensure that it will meet the taste of your audience. If you can juggle this, you’re more likely to remain fresh in your audience’s minds. – Shu Saito, All Filters

7. Balancing Speed And Quality

There are many important skills that everybody talks about, from research, analytics and creativity to storytelling and sales. But I believe if you don’t have the speed you need to execute, you’ll probably lose to a competitor who does. It’s important to have the skill to execute a plan as fast as possible while making sure that you have the fewest possible errors. We all know there will be A/B testing all the time in most of the executions and strategies; some might work and some might not, but we should be able to find those flaws faster than others as well. This applies to all the R&D in the organization. Work more, but learn how to execute more in a faster time. – Ali Payani, LookinLA

8. Knowing The Math Behind A Campaign

Great marketing is really about math. Being able to execute a campaign and deliver a very clear return on investment back to leadership is the most important skill a marketer can have. If you can deliver the math to leadership that shows they are making good decisions, you will find yourself with an invaluable seat at the table. – Kara Brown, LeadCoverage

9. Tapping Into Trends

I think marketers should be early adopters of new trends, especially in the social media space. By doing this, marketers can gain insight into what resonates with their audience and what doesn’t. In my experience, it’s always been better to be part of a team rather than be the lone wolf. Even though it’s sometimes tempting to work by yourself and do everything yourself, it’s more fun and more fulfilling to be working with a team of people who are all working toward a common goal. It’s important to keep learning new things in order to grow your career. By taking the time to just sit and learn, you can gain new skills that will help you advance in your career. It’s important to read more about your industry and to try to educate yourself about things that you might not be familiar with. – Kevin Ryan Tao, NeuEve

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