In the online marketing world, there’s no bell curve. There’s a sharp, exponential growth curve in terms of marketing success. The majority of online marketing tactics, especially those relegated to the inbound field (e.g., content and social media marketing) see a lukewarm return, while a handful of truly exemplary efforts end up going viral.
Quality and originality are big factors for this breakout success, but there’s also a sense of timing involved — and achieving all three is almost impossible if you’re relying on conventional wisdom or forced brainstorming.
So what’s the “extra” ingredient that these marketing geniuses have?
“Genius” is only a word
First, drop the misconception that some marketers are natural “geniuses,” while others lack the potential to create high-caliber campaigns. For some people, certain skills come easily or naturally, but that doesn’t mean others can’t acquire those skills. Through education, practice and refinement, any average marketer can become a “genius marketer” in his or her own right.
If you want to create more powerful campaigns and make more of an impact in your niche, these are the skills you’ll need to do it:
1. Technical familiarity
First, you’ll need to have some degree of technical familiarity with strategies like SEO, web design and user experience. You don’t need to have expert-level knowledge here, but you need to know enough to help you brainstorm the logistics and peripheral effects of your work; this way, all your strategies can remain interconnected and mutually beneficial.
2. Research aptitude
Research lies at the foundation of any marketing strategy; not only will you need to research the latest trends, but you’ll also need to research your target market and your competition. Getting access to the latest information and knowing how to utilize that information properly is key to creating highly successful marketing initiatives.
3. Professional writing
If you’re in the field of content marketing at all, you know the importance of professional writing. You have to create personal, engaging, and most importantly, unique material to support your brand. But beyond that, you’ll be writing up your formal strategies, setting agendas and creating reports on your progress — so writing is indispensable at every stage of the process.
4. Communication and team management
Unless you’re a solo entrepreneur, you’ll probably be marketing as part of a team; and no matter how much of a genius you become, you’ll still be relying on them for at least a fraction of your potential. Learning how to communicate effectively and manage the responsibilities of your other team members will help you ensure your campaign is executed smoothly (and help you get better ideas at the start of your campaigns).
5. Client management
This is mostly a skill for marketers at an agency, though if you’re running the marketing department for a separate organization, you can think of the upper management as your client. Being able to balance what the client wants with what’s best for the campaign is necessary if you want to produce something truly valuable; and you’ll also need to know how to manage expectations if you want to keep your position.
6. Data analysis
Good ideas don’t come out of nowhere. They’re born of inspiration. And the best way to get inspired is to take a look at what’s worked and what hasn’t. Your campaign sports tons of data, from how many visitors you’ve gotten to how you’re faring against your competitors, and this information can tell you exactly what you need to do next — if you know how to analyze it properly.
7. Quick learning
Things change quickly in the online marketing world. How many blowout marketing campaigns can you think of that utilized old platforms or dying trends? If you want to be a “genius” marketer, you need to be a quick learner, adapting to your new circumstances without hesitation.
8. Creative brainstorming
Few “great” ideas come from an individual; instead, they’re gradually expanded on and improved by a team or network of individuals. Because of this, knowing how to manage and draw power from a creative brainstorming session is key to generating truly memorable campaign ideas.
Genius marketers don’t merely react to situations, and they don’t jump on trends already in progress. They proactively engage with promising situations, and they start new trends from scratch. This is tough to learn, but through experience, you can gradually learn to see these opportunities in advance and jump on them.
Your campaign probably isn’t going to pan out the way you thought it would, but rigidly adhering to your old ideas will only make things worse. Instead, you need to adapt your ideas, refining it to better suit your changing circumstances.
Work to become a genius
These skills can’t guarantee that every piece of content you create will go viral, nor can they even guarantee you’ll see a high ROI on every campaign you touch. This isn’t magic, and it isn’t a foolproof system. Still, successful marketers generally share these 10 important skills, so if you can learn them and develop them for yourself, you’ll be far more likely to achieve your marketing goals.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.