Whether you’re a recent graduate looking for your first job or a seasoned vet striving for a promotion, your marketing strengths are more important than ever.
In today’s competitive landscape, companies must shout their value proposition from the digital rooftops. And they need employees who know how to capture that vital attention.
Your unique skill set helps companies do just that: stand out from the crowd. Leverage today’s top marketing skills on your resume or use our list to understand what in-demand skills you can improve on to perform even better.
The 10 best marketing soft skills
Most skills needed for marketing fall into two categories: soft and hard skills. The former are less concrete and trainable than the latter. These more nuanced soft skills allow you to be an effective team player and create a more positive and productive work environment, among other things.
Here are 10 of the most in-demand marketing soft skills.
As a marketing professional, you must reach your target audience with a clear, actionable message. This requires expert communication skills. No matter what you do in marketing, employers need you to use your communication style to reach their audience and effectively work with your colleagues.
Marketing is rarely a solo endeavor, and you’ll often work with a team and cross-departmentally, like with sales professionals. To be a good marketer, you must communicate your vision, accept feedback, and collaborate with team members, employers, and external stakeholders (like an influencer you’re partnering with for a campaign).
The average American sees 4,000–10,000 ads every day. If you want your work to stand out from all that noise, you need to think outside the box and be creative. This skill will help you develop innovative solutions for tricky scenarios, like designing a new marketing campaign, conducting more effective research, and driving engagement on social media.
Successful marketing doesn’t just tell people about a product or service. It creates an emotional attachment between the audience and what you’re marketing. And one of the best ways to stir up emotions in your audience is through compelling storytelling, so it’s vital to develop this skill.
The skills that make managers and supervisors great leaders — like effective communication and delegation — are valuable in every employee, no matter your specialization or position in the company hierarchy. And because marketing is so collaborative, developing a leadership style that helps you help your team is a requisite for success.
Despite your best efforts, your work projects may suffer an occasional snag or two. When that happens, your team must think of creative, effective, and efficient solutions.
While true of any department, effective problem-solving is a vital skill for marketing managers because you’re often working on highly complex initiatives that require employer, teammate, and client feedback and approval. This complexity might increase the bottlenecks and roadblocks you come up against, and if you know how to think critically and creatively you can navigate these setbacks with ease.
Campaigns that inspire engagement and drive sales today may not yield great results a year later. You must practice adaptability as a marketing professional and constantly try new approaches to attract consumer attention.
Creating successful marketing strategies requires thinking strategically and from several perspectives. This involves gaining a bird’s eye view of the broader issue and then narrowing in on specific pieces to develop a comprehensive and thoughtful plan. You must be future-minded and open to getting out of your comfort zone so you consider every option and build something agile and innovative.
9. Public speaking
About 40% of people are afraid of public speaking, but it’s par for the course in the marketing world. You might have to give a presentation to your supervisor to showcase an upcoming marketing campaign or share your ideas in a brainstorming session. Developing solid public speaking skills ensures you advocate for yourself well and can communicate effectively and persuasively with stakeholders.
Modern marketing is a beast with many arms: social media campaigns, print media, customer management, and more. As a marketer, you should possess the organizational skills necessary to prioritize, strategize, and manage all these arms simultaneously.
The 10 best marketing hard skills
While soft skills are transferable to nearly every position and company, to work in marketing, you’ll likely need some job-specific experience and application knowledge — this is what hard skills are.
Here’s a marketing skills list for the 10 most in-demand hard skills.
1. Digital marketing
Today’s world is increasingly online, and many companies have pivoted their marketing strategies to reflect this new-ish paradigm. Social media marketing, email marketing, and other types of digital advertising attained a global market of $531 billion in 2022. Marketers must have a solid grasp of these strategies to excel in their industry.
To effectively reach an employer or client’s target audience, you must thoroughly understand this demographic. Excellent research requires learning to find, organize, and update information in a way that’s easy for your teammates to access. You must also know how to compile and present important data so clients understand it.
3. Project management
Once you’ve created a marketing strategy with your team, it’s time to implement it — and that requires effective project management. This combines organizational and teamwork skills to prioritize and track tasks, delegate effectively, and communicate progress to all stakeholders. You might also need experience in a job-specific project management platform like Notion or ClickUp.
While you don’t need to be a top-notch web or graphic designer to succeed in marketing, design is closely tied to marketing products — like creating blog posts or a website — and having some design skills can boost your resume. The more types of content you can help with, the more value you bring to the table.
5. Content marketing
Content creation (social posts, website landing pages, podcasts) is at the heart of most marketing strategies. Producing valuable content increases your chance of attracting your desired audience, so familiarize yourself with the basics involved in your client or employer’s most popular content types.
While you might not work as a content or copywriter, you’ll need to understand what makes quality writing. Understanding writing best practices, like how long a blog post should be and how to break up text to help the reader along, will help you make your copy — and overall marketing efforts — more effective.
7. Search engine optimization (SEO)
An increasingly in-demand skill specialization within digital marketing that you could acquire is SEO. Most people click on the first few links of a Google search results page. To gain these valuable clicks, businesses aim to rank as high up this page as possible.
Knowing how to optimize content for search engines is invaluable to gaining traffic for your employer or client. You’ll likely need to learn how to use a job-specific SEO platform, such as SEMrush or Ahrefs.
Most marketing campaigns require advertising initiatives, like creating effective ads for Facebook and Google Business Profile. Overall, you need to know how to market a brand and product — but you also must have the technical know-how to budget for and run ads across various platforms.
Even if you don’t directly close deals, your ultimate goal as a marketing professional is to bring leads to the sales team, so you should understand their process and skills. And the more you know about sales work, the more value you bring to your entire department or, if you’re a freelancer, to your client.
To track campaign progress, pivot when necessary, and deliver persuasive metrics to your employer or client, you must understand how to gain and monitor analytics data. You’ll likely use a job-specific tool, like Google Analytics or SEMrush’s metrics tool.
How to showcase your marketing skills
If you have all the skills listed here, congratulations — you’re an incredibly proficient marketer. Now you need to market yourself so employers know that.
Resumes: It’s common for job seekers to add skills to their resumes. But if you want to showcase your marketing skills on your resume, you need to present more than a bulleted list. If possible, provide quantifiable data illustrating the impact and value your proficiencies have brought to previous brands (like “Increased sales by X % over a Y period”).
Portfolios: Gathering data about your marketing campaigns can be challenging. If you can’t share data on your resume, show them your work with an eye-catching portfolio so they know exactly what to expect if they hire you.
Interviews: Sometimes, the best way to communicate your marketing abilities (and showcase those communication skills) is by talking about them. During the hiring process, discuss your marketing experience by giving examples from previous work. No matter what type of interview the company conducts, your ability to explain the value you’d bring to the marketing team is sure to impress.
Market yourself for career success
Whether you’re a beginner fresh out of college or an experienced professional, your marketing skills will give you an advantage over other job seekers. From your initial cover letter to the interview, highlight how your skills benefited brands in the past — and how your marketing efforts could help your next employer reach the next level.