Next generation marketing skills start now

By Posted in - Public Relations on November 10th, 2011 0 Comments

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, marketing specialists lived in their own little castles. “Mad Men” advertisers lived in one kingdom and PR pros in another. Sometimes the two would meet, but often times not. Clients moved between the two groups with a set of strict direction and then *poof*, like magic, a marketing campaign would be born.

Luckily, this is one fairy tale that’s long gone by the wayside.

Anyone who’s been in marketing for the past decade or so knows the silos have been blown up. Clients expect everyone to work together to produce stellar results, and the lines have blurred in terms of which group owns what.

PR firms practice digital media. Traditional shops employ non-traditional guerilla marketing strategists. Non-traditional firms sometimes have to (gasp!) buy an old school print ad. And it works.

So how does the next generation of marketers prepare to service the ever-changing branding landscape? I came across Maureen Morrison’s article in the Nov. 7 issue of Ad Age (“Skills Wanted: What’s Required of The Next Generation of Marketers”), and it raises some great discussion points about how marketers (new or otherwise) can continue to evolve and provide relevant ideas for clients to support their business initiatives.

At Full Circle PR, we proclaim ourselves public relations specialists, not marketing generalists. We “get” PR and have worked hard to stay ahead of the trends in our industry, so we can generate awareness and conversation about things our clients are doing.

But not only do we understand PR, we know how it fits in to the larger marketing picture, and we work alongside strategic partners to bring a creative vision to life.¬†We put into practice big picture ideas that bring home real results for our clients because at the end of the day if we’re not doing that, we’re failing at our jobs.

As Maureen’s article points out, the best marketing specialists not only know and can apply their discipline effectively, but they understand the full spectrum of branding. They can make sound recommendations and generate creative ideas across the board, even if it’s not in their immediate wheelhouse. They know how to make it happen.

In PR, it’s not enough to just know how to write a news release in AP-style. You have to know how to announce and share news not only with the media, but to also connect with bloggers and influencers. You have to know how search plays into your client’s initiatives, you have to know how to monitor the conversations happening online and off so your client can engage accordingly. And you have to know how that client fits into the larger conversations that are happening.

What’s required of the next generation of marketers — data expertise, creative genius, community management, concise writing — isn’t limited to people graduating from college looking for a job. These skills apply to all of us now. It’s the new world order of marketing, and I for one, think it’s the best time ever to be involved in this business.

What skills do you think are the most crucial for marketers to have right now? And what skills are on their way out?

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