The ultimate aim of marketing is to give a company’s products or services a competitive edge. That means you’re in the business of building reputations to make money. The jobs market in this popular, demanding, fast-moving industry can be extremely competitive.

So what is the key to marketing success? To attain a mastery in the delicate science of persuasion, you’ll need expertise in business, psychology and technology. Just when you suspect you’re on top of it all, the whole marketing landscape will change overnight due to shifting trends and technical innovations.

If you’re interested in a career in any of the industry’s main specialist areas – Digital Marketing, Social Media & Content Marketing, PR & Communications, or Brand Management – you need to get ahead of the game and the competition.

In order to move forward once you’re in a marketing career, the same rule applies. This is not an industry where you can stand still.

Top tips to help you rise to the top:

Know your audience.

Organisations and marketing teams all specialise in different areas so it could be that the majority of your marketing is targeted towards B2B or B2C. You are likely to have experience in both. When it comes to B2C there are core commercial skills to develop. Understanding consumer behaviour, social-demographic targeting and profiling is fundamental. On top of this, keeping up with legislation and regulation, particularly in regard to digital data, is increasingly important.

Be commercially aware.

As you need to understand the business requirements of clients in different industries, market research is vital. Know their products/services and key staff, their company history and industry issues. Read trade publications and company press releases, and watch the financial markets. Study a company’s previous campaigns and discover whether they were considered a success. Also follow them on social media - twitter, linkedIn and facebook can all reveal a great deal. 

Know how it feels to be a mover/shaker.

Test your commercial skills by putting yourself in the shoes of a marketing manager – or company CEO – behind a major recent campaign in your specialist field. Develop a feeling for the market; work out the motivations and methodology; understand and judge the chosen strategy – and when you discover a potential weakness, come up with a better alternative solution.

Know how to tell a story.

Develop your copywriting skills to communicate your ideas clearly, concisely and consistently. Building on this creative platform, you next need to attract the attention of a customer with a good story. Any marketing campaign needs to appeal on an emotional level. If you know your customer’s needs, you can create a story that they will find compelling – and persuade them to take action.

Interpersonal and communication skills.

Marketing demands that you understand both the needs of your client and the demands of the consumer. You need to build an empathy for the way other people feel, and learn to communicate effectively and thoughtfully as part of a team. Every marketing campaign involves working closely with others, and needs to be perfectly coordinated to ensure effective results.

Know how to listen and learn.

Take on board all the advice and ideas of a respected marketing manager, but don’t be afraid to think for yourself and offer a strategic contribution. You can learn about new marketing trends, customer behaviour and available tech by accessing online blogs, tweets and webinars produced by the world’s best marketers. Why are they willing to share their information and data? In order to demonstrate that they’re the best. Listen and learn.

Technical skills and awareness.

Anyone on the way to the top in marketing will consider new tech their friend rather than as an unknown, lurking threat. You use the latest technology to collate and present market data, and the analysis of customer data can provide the information needed to make vital decisions; but most importantly technology will provide ever-changing channels for future campaigns.

Know how new technology will change the market.

You need to be aware of new online trends before they happen, so that you can offer all the available options for customer engagement, for delivering services and information. New user-friendly apps and relationship-building tools are constantly changing markets and strategies: best find out about them from their IT innovators rather than from rival companies.

What kind of marketer are you?

Are you thinking about a new career in the world of marketing? Looking to explore new opportunities as a marketing maverick in social media, or maybe as a PR guru?

Take our quick quiz to find out what area of marketing best suits your personality!