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What Are the Most Important Hard Skills for Marketing?

It’s easy to guess the soft skills that marketers might need to excel at their jobs: excellent communication, creativity, the ability to persuade others to try your product, among others. On the other hand, the more technical hard skills can be difficult to pin down. Competency in these marketing hard skills can mean more informed decision-making, more effective customer outreach, and more consistent growth. 

Whether you’re hoping to go into marketing yourself or are hoping to scale your marketing team with the right candidates, it’s essential to know the most important hard skills for marketing so that you can have a highly functioning team. 

What marketing hard skills do I need?

Marketers need to excel in one or more of the following marketing hard skills, depending on their speciality. Marketing generalists typically need to have mastered each of the following hard skills. If a marketer has focused on a specialty, they might only need to excel in one of the following, depending on their role. 

  • Data analysis: Marketing departments rely heavily on data analysis that helps them gain insights into customer behavior, website traffic, social campaign results, and more. Analyzing information and creating a marketing strategy based on those findings is critical to a marketing team’s success. While marketers don’t need to be trained mathematicians, they do need to know their way around many forms of analytics. 

  • Writing: From blog posts to eBooks, website content to ad and social copy, writing skills are highly important for high-functioning marketing teams. Marketers often need to shift tone and style to reach a variety of customers and draw them to the brand, so effective written communication is an essential skill. Communicating with stakeholders, team members, third-party vendors, and potential and current customers requires marketers to be versatile and able to craft value-driven emails and marketing copy. 

  • SEO: Optimizing content for search engines has become one of the best ways for companies to get their products and services in front of customers, build brand recognition, generate leads and sales, and increase ROI. A marketing team needs to stay at the cutting edge of SEO best practices in order to excel. Marketers should have a strong understanding of the variety of ways SEO can help push marketing goals forward.

  • Social media: As important as SEO, social media is a critical element to any marketing department’s skill set, as it has become an invaluable tool for most companies over the last decade. Marketers often need to create engaging and potentially viral content for a range of social media channels, engage social media influencers for product placement, utilize hashtags to grow brand awareness, and respond to customer queries via direct messaging. 

  • Technology: These days, marketing is inherently reliant on technology, from managing websites to software for scheduling social media campaigns or e-commerce options for selling products and services. Marketers need to be capable of using marketing tools,  CMS, CRM, and project management software in order to maximize their marketing activities. 

While marketers might not graduate from college or university with all of these marketing hard skills, they can typically be learned in internships or entry-level marketing positions. By the time these professionals are ready for a marketing specialty or to be a senior member of a marketing team, they will have mastered these important hard skills. 

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