Marketing is a profession that draws creative and strategic thinkers who are energized by the prospect of communicating with various markets to drive behavior and action. To be effective in the field, marketers need a variety of core competencies. Effective marketers will have a combination of competencies that include: vision, creativity, strategic thinking and results focus.
Successful marketers have the ability to develop an articulate a clear vision around their marketing goals and the ability to see opportunity and potential that others may not see. Consider the vision of successful marketers such as Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com), Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Steve Jobs (Apple Computer). But having a vision alone is not enough. Marketers must be able to articulate that vision to others and generate enthusiasm and commitment among people who will be part of the process of ultimately achieving marketing success.
Creativity is obviously important for successful marketing. But creativity is not limited only to creative expression through words and images. Successful marketers will also exhibit creativity in terms of identifying and selecting target markets, creating products and services that meet those markets' needs, pricing their offerings appropriately to generate sales and making sure that the availability and access to those products and services is assured. In addition, creativity will come into play as marketers identify potential collaborators and partners to help expand the market for their products and services.
Marketers are strategic thinkers, able to see the big picture and implement a plan that will incorporate a range of tactics and activities designed to impact a target audience segment toward some desired action. Rather than focusing on the individual tools -- creating a news release or a website, for instance -- marketers who are sound strategic thinkers will consider all of the different elements of marketing (product, price, place and promotion) in combination. They will coordinate each of those elements to ensure a compelling argument for prospects and a positive experience for customers.
A focus on results is a critical marketing competency. Successful marketing isn't simply about doing things -- it's about doing the right things. Developing an understanding of what the right things are requires a focus on results. Mass media campaigns, for example, may measure an increase in consumer awareness or preference based on survey data. Web-based campaigns may focus on conversions to sales from website visits or click-throughs on Web-based advertising. Every marketing initiative should be designed to include specific means of monitoring and measuring outcomes and results.