Digital marketing is, by nature, a creative industry. And while people often come into the industry rearing to go with innovative ideas, but there’s more to marketing than just a creative itch.
Whether for those starting in B2B digital marketing, professionals who are deep in their career, or business leaders looking to hire the next best digital marketer, there are various skills and attitudes to the role that, if overlooked, may be leaving people at a disadvantage.
Overlooked areas in B2B digital marketing
Marketing is an industry that is constantly evolving as new tools and technology pop up. Fail to keep up, and you can fall behind so quickly you don’t even realise it. And while you want your workforce to be leading the charge with new technical tools, a big part of successful marketing is actually the approach and mindset to B2B marketing.
While knowing how to use the technology is great, thinking proactively with a buyer-centric mindset is a whole other skillset.
Unsure of whether your teams are thinking about marketing with the right mindset? Your marketing team may not be where they need to be if any of the following points occur:
The buyer isn’t considered
A great looking marketing campaign means nothing if it’s not targeted towards the right buyer or the correct stage of the funnel they’re in. Marketers may pick the right campaign, but not correctly match it to their audience, which could result in lacklustre results.
Business outcomes aren’t determined
Marketing should serve a purpose – to propel the business and help it meet its goals. Running a campaign without clear KPIs or benchmarks is a waste of time and money. Knowing the desired outcome of a campaign is a crucial part of marketing and creates a through line to assess against throughout.
Reporting isn’t prioritised
There’s no point putting the work into building a beautiful campaign if your team can’t measure the results, or if marketers aren’t looking at the right data.
Often digital marketers will look at things like clicks and impressions but not focus on whether leads are progressing towards a sale.
There’s no accountability
Not using a campaign as a learning experience – whether the outcome was successful or not – damages the impact and effectiveness of future campaigns. There should be ownership and takeaways from all marketing activities.
The attitudinal and foundational skills for marketers
On the surface, these look like easy fixes. But it’s pretty tricky to do. According to our Senior Digital Marketing Specialist and Team Leader, Brittany Shipton, addressing these problem areas requires the right attitude and foundational skills to build confidence in your thinking process. After all, these aren’t technical problems, so why would they require technical skills to solve? Brittany suggests that to boost productivity and performance beyond being great on the tools, it’s vital to adopt these key B2B marketing skills:
It can be easy for marketers to want to take everything on board, especially when they’re passionate about what they do. Unfortunately, we don’t have all the time in the world to tick off everything on our lists, and striving to do so could negatively impact output.
If you have something on your plate that can be handed off to someone else, do it. When looking at your list of tasks, rank them based on their importance to your professional development vs. their significance to the client. This practice will give you a clear view of what should be sitting with you and what could be delegated to someone with more time on their hands.
2. Time management
We all keep some form of a to-do list, whether it’s frantic scribbles or calendar entries, but there are ways to do this that will result in a much smoother organisation of your day-to-day tasks. Ad hoc tasks inevitably come up in digital marketing and should be written down as soon as they arise to serve as a reminder of upcoming tasks.
A way to help visualise the importance of tasks is to prioritise them. A long list of tasks can be quite intimidating, but by ordering them by importance, deadlines, and other factors, it allows marketers to focus on the top priority things.
Nobody is perfect. After all, the best workers are those who seek out new learnings every day. After all, this is one of the only ways that digital marketers will see continuous improvement. What often trips people up is that they’re too nervous or unwilling to ask for help.
If your team are not asking questions, they end up making more work as a result. By sitting quietly and struggling to get something complicated or new done, marketers risk handing in work that misses the mark, wasting the time of everyone involved. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; it’ll avoid frustration and lead to more productive use of time.
4. Passion for learning
Have an idea for a campaign but don’t think you have the skills to execute it efficiently? Don’t wait around for someone to teach you. Many B2B digital marketers sit idle, expecting opportunities and improvement to come their way. Encouraging learning should be a high priority for businesses.
The truth of the matter is that if you want to learn something new, you should do it. Teach yourself that new tool, ask for more responsibility, put in the extra time to master your craft. If someone has the right attitude to learning and is proactive in their work, this will typically trickle down and influence other marketers to do the same, leading to significant growth in output.
Lastly, be realistic about current capabilities and efforts. Professionals can only ever do their best at a particular task, even if they’re a specialist in a particular tactic or tool. By recognising this and striving to do so, marketers can act with integrity and poise in difficult conversations where things don’t go according to plan.
By being self-aware of your productivity threshold, you can identify when you may not be putting in the best effort that you’re capable of. This mentality allows you to understand where you could be putting in a bit more work for next time.
A new way of thinking
By communicating and encouraging these skills in the work you and your team do, you maximise opportunities for growth and career progression. As you apply these ways of thinking to your day-to-day tasks, you will develop a clearer understanding of the buyer’s journey and naturally become more confident in addressing the correct focus areas in your work.
This mindset will not only help your marketing teams but will lead to a greater quality of output and results for your clients.
Developing these skills in yourself or your own marketing team takes time, but is well worth the investment. But if you’re short on time and are looking for some marketing support with all these skills already built in, we can help you out.