To have success in marketing, you need to balance skill with creativity and hard work. But you also need an extra oomph – a natural talent that sparks your career.
To explore this, we asked our pool of marketing professionals an important question: What non-marketing skill has been your greatest asset?
The results were broad ranging and reflect the diverse skillset of our professionals. We’ve highlighted a few interesting answers below.
Strong Work Ethics
Never be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get into the thick of things. This mentality has helped Erin Blaskie start her own consulting company.
My parents taught me the value of hard work early on. So I carried that through my career, and I was never afraid to roll my sleeves up to get things done. My ability to do almost everything online also helped me immensely.
Try and Try Again
As a marketer, you shouldn’t be afraid to fail. And if you’re unsuccessful, don’t be afraid to try again. This winning attitude has helped Emil Kristensen become CMO and Co-Founder of Sleeknote.
During my childhood, I’ve always been taught that if you fall – you get right back up and try again. This has become a huge part of my mindset not only at work but also in life. It means that I’ve never lost hope that we can achieve great things, and it gives me the power to charge forward in pursuit of new channels, strategies, and clients every single day.
Creative Problem Solver
Overcoming challenges means learning to be resourceful and creative. This mindset has helped Tracy King, Director of Marketing at Martello Technologies succeed.
Though not an easy path, losing my hearing mid-career really led me to develop some skills that serve me well today. I think it’s made me a more resourceful and creative problem solver. So, I tell other people that are in a position to hire – there’s no one more innovative than someone that’s overcome a challenge.
Asking the right questions and learning from others is a great way to develop yourself. This technique has worked wonders for Melissa Suzuno, a Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse Software.
I’ve always been curious and inquisitive. I’m not afraid to ask questions, which makes it easy to learn more about the people around me. I think this skill comes in handy as an editor, too!
Think it Through
An open mindset is great – but thinking through your ideas is even better. This is the concept that Gabriella Rackoff, Creative Director at 88 Creative, applies for success.
I think it’s important to be honest when an idea is missing something, or the concept isn’t adding up. Getting excited about an idea is great, but often an extra brainstorm or two can make all the difference. It can take a concept from just okay or pretty good, to something that ends up being a huge success.
Communicate with Style
A vital and underestimated skill is the art of communication. Delfin Vassallo, Senior Business Consultant at Fluido has mastered this skillset with great results.
I’ve seen a lot of innovative ideas wither away because the authors didn’t know how to communicate them properly. For me, the most valuable asset has been the ability to communicate – from job interviews to chairing a meeting, doing a presentation or pitching an idea to my boss. Knowing how to speak eloquently and efficiently is the most underestimated skill by marketers, who paradoxically are in the business of crafting persuasive messages.
Work with your Talent
Everyone has a natural talent – something you’re inherently good at. Lisa Sigler, Senior Manager at Clarabridge uses her natural skills to excel at her job.
I’m a reader. I love books, blogs, billboards—you name it. This has helped me throughout my career. For one thing, reading makes me a better writer. It reinforces the nuts-and-bolts of messaging, like grammar and vocabulary and how to craft a sentence.
Deliver Under Pressure
To be successful you need to overcome your work stress and deliver on your tasks. This is the solid recommendation from Lucy Screnci, a popular Content Manager at L-Spark.
The skills I picked up in university have helped me become a stronger writer and communicator. We had to work according to fairly stringent deadlines as if we were in a real newsroom, so it taught me how to work under pressure while still being committed to delivering a complete and high-quality piece of content. In the startup world, you need to be agile, think quickly and pivot if necessary, so I feel like my education equipped me to adopt that mindset.
Do Your Homework
This may sound cliché, but being prepared gets you ahead in life. Roger Beharry Lall, Market Strategist at Adlib Software stays well ahead of the curve using this very technique.
I was a bit of a nerd growing up – Straight A’s, superheroes, scientific interests and all that. So perhaps this came naturally, but it’s been a huge differentiator throughout my career. Understanding all the analyst reports, asking more questions, getting hands-on with the technology and studying the market constantly. It may seem irrelevant, but it all adds up. It’s the difference between uttering clichés about A/B testing or the need to ‘try’ vs. confidently knowing the answer.
The lessons you’ve learned in life can be repurposed and applied in your professional career. Jacqueline Lee uses this to sharpen her management and writing skills.
The best thing I ever learned to do, was to learn to read orchestral scores when I was a music major. Taking a score apart and seeing how the composer put it together, in some way, gave me the ability to see individual processes better, so that I could fix operational issues as a manager and, as a writer, understand my clients’ motives and business requirements.
Have a Sense of Humor
Laughter is the best medicine – It’s what Jillian Wood uses to succeed as a Content Marketing Manager at Influitive.
Humour is also one of the best ways to build bridges in personal and professional relationships, either when you’re trying to say sorry, ask for a favor, or connect with someone new. Also, my manager told me it was one of the reasons they hired me, so there’s that.
Leverage your Team
Don’t forget your team’s expertise. Marketing consultant Greg Owens knows how to tap into his team’s knowledge to take marketing to the next level.
As a marketer in a high-tech environment, I commonly rely on highly technical people to help me create marketing messages. Typically, they have a deep understanding of how products work but struggle to explain technology in simple terms. Diplomacy is an important skill in these cases, as it’s incumbent upon me to bridge that disconnect. My job is to understand the technology, then translate any complex information into compelling and accessible messages.
Always willing to help out with a can-do attitude has helped Alyssa Hanson, Digital Marketing Manager at Thinkwrap Commerce thrive.
Anyone working at a startup understands you’re typically wearing many (sometimes ill-fitting) hats. My ability to multi-task has been a huge asset when it comes to developing my skills as a full-stack marketer. I’m not really happy unless I’m juggling multiple projects simultaneously, which is definitely an asset in digital marketing.