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5 essential skill BM image

Someone asked me on Quora recently “what are the most valuable marketing skills I can learn as a student”.  Most of the answers were super-functional – project management, CRM, Adobe.  I answered this in a slightly different way – because to me the functional expertise will come – it’s the ‘softer skills’ which will make you successful.

So – the best skills you can learn?

  1. How to ask questions – whether to a consumer or a partner in your organisation, the skill of asking questions is fundamental to your success
  2. Listening and reading answers – It’s not enough to ask, but you must be able to interpret also. Look at body language, look at the underlying meaning. See if they are giving you ‘stock answers’ and then use your skills in asking questions to go deeper. Get insights that other people cannot.
  3. Read a group/organisation – a lot of the time success is not about having the right answers, but in finding how to get the right answer implemented. To do this, you need to understand the complexities of groups and how they operate, what motivates them and how to influence them.
  4. How to inspire great creative – this is an ongoing skill. Great marketers do not make up their own advertising – but their reputations are often built on the advertising they are responsible for. So you should learn how to do this.
  5. Find great and not settle for good – one of the best lessons I ever had was when I got back the test results on a TV copy we had produced. It had passed – just. I was so relieved, because it meant my project didn’t get canned. I shouted out in the office – we passed! my MD asked the score – looked at me and asked me, “are you REALLY pleased with that?”. It made me ashamed. I put that score away, rebriefed the agency and delayed the project by 4 months.

Originally posted here by @toniaOC

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