The Heart of Marketing is the Art of Communication


3 Core Skills the Modern Marketer Must Have

1.   Writing

“A word after a word after a word is power.” 
   – Margaret Atwood

Of all the marketing skills I’ve learnt writing has probably been the most valuable. I started my first marketing job three days after my final university exam as a Marketing Assistant and from day one I was expected to write copious amounts of copy; everything from company profiles, product marketing documents and newsletters, to advertisements, newsletters, press releases and web copy. What astounded me was that I was not taught a shred about copywriting in my entire marketing degree, hopefully things have changed.

Words are powerful and if you learn to use them well in your writing it will give you a solid foundation for all your marketing endeavours.  The ability to write well is more important now then it’s ever been due to the rise of content marketing.  If you’re interested in honing your marketing skills this ebook The Marketers Pocket Guide to Writing Well is a good place to start.

2.   Reading

“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.”
       – A C Grayling, Financial Times 

Most of my ideas begin with things that I’ve read, not just marketing books but a variety of genres. The more you know is the more you realise that you don’t know and reading is a great way to get in the know. I don’t necessarily mean reading books, it could be industry blogs, magazines and content from thought leaders on social media. The point is that knowledge multiplies at such a rapid rate that if you don’t read, you’re likely to be left behind.

Twitter is my source for a lot of the information I read, it allows me to scan what’s new and drill down to the information that interests me, I simply follow some great people and a few relevant hashtags like #SmallBiz #Marketing etc. Audible is also a good option. The most important thing is that you are regularly updating your knowledge in relation to your customers and market, the channel or medium you use to do this is less important.

4.   Listening

“To succumb to the disease of not listening is to become mentally and intellectually deaf”
    – John Adair

As John Adair states in John Adair’s 100 Greatest Ideas for Brilliant Communication It’s very easy to confuse hearing with listening, the latter is about thoughtfulness and openness towards what’s been said. A lot of times what we call listening is simply what we do while waiting to talk.

It’s amazing how many ideas are stimulated when we truly listen to others, I like this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Everyone is my superior in that I learn from him or her”

My point is this; great communication is at the heart of great marketing, master the art of communication and you’re well on the way to becoming a stellar marketer.

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