- 4th June 2018
Marketing is a thriving industry in West Yorkshire. The region has been gaining more and more business investment each year and as a consequence the number of marketing jobs in West Yorkshire is on the rise. In-house brands and agencies are on the lookout for talented marketers. But how can one marketing candidate standout from another?
A marketer has many core skills. Creativity, research skills and adaptability are some of the most important ones. However, the value of these skills comes crumbling down if communication isn’t a learnt and nurtured part of your skillset.
In this article, we’ll explore the importance of good communication in marketing jobs, and what to aim for in your communication.
What communication skills does a marketer need?
The majority of marketing job descriptions state they’re looking for a candidate with strong communication skills. This means that a marketer needs to be a good communicator both externally and internally.
Most job specs for marketing roles focus on the external communication skills, which are, of course, vital to the role. The best marketers though ensure to apply the same skills they use for their external communication to their internal communication.
What are a marketer’s external communication skills?
- Creating clear messaging within marketing campaigns
- Defining campaign success before any creative is started
- Developing calls to action within marketing messages, which are completed by consumers
- Keeping campaign clients in the loop with project progress
What are a marketer’s internal communication skills?
- Managing brainstorms to get the right campaign concept
- Creating briefs for different members of the team
- Communicating between different teams and across departments
- Effectively managing the project and meeting deadlines
Communication pitfalls of marketing jobs
The concept of “strong communication skills” can lead to misunderstandings. So to help candidates avoid these, here are the most common communication pitfalls in marketing jobs:
Sending lots of emails
Sending lots of emails one after the other can cause a lot of confusion. Instead, summarise your points in one email or use a digital task list like Trello for a more effective communication approach. It also avoids emails getting eaten by that pesky inbox. (We’ve all been caught by the email eating inbox monster at one point.)
Sending long emails
Sending one email instead of four or five is better, but be careful of having a two page essay style email. No one has time to read this thoroughly. If you have lots of minutes from a meeting, try summarising the main actions in the email and include all the minutes as a separate document. This way everyone is in the loop and the team can still refer to the full minutes for clarification if needed.
Following up too soon, too much or not at all
Nothing is worse than being briefed in for a project and being asked for a status update before you’re even back at your desk. It’s really not a good start to any project. Not ever following up with how things are going is also a communication pitfall. But conversely, bombarding colleagues with status update requests isn’t the right approach either. It’s a fine balance. Follow-ups need to happen, but you can safeguard your reputation in the office by discussing when you’re planning to follow up.
Forgetting to speak to people
In our digital age of emails and instant messaging options (like Skype for business, Slack and so on) it’s easy to forget that speaking to people is pretty quick and effective. The most successful marketers know when a written response is needed, and when a phone call or quick chat is the better option.
These four pitfalls may seem obvious, but even experienced marketers don’t always catch themselves committing these communication sins until it’s too late.
These most common communication pitfalls can have a knock-on effect with projects, as well as with your own reputation within a company. But knowing how to recognise them means you can turn communication pitfalls into communication success.
Good communication skills for marketers
Here are some of our top communication tips for marketers.
Always practice Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound communication. Consider using some SMARTER communication too – so that’s adding Ethical and Recorded to the list.
Basically be sure to say what you need, what success means, how it’s going to be done, what the budget for it all is and when you need it by. Then be sure that what you’re planning is ethical (For instance, any newsjacking campaigns you’re doing, be cautious of what type of news you’re jumping on.) and write-down what you’ve agreed the plan is. This ensures that everyone involved is in the loop and can make realistic suggestions to help move the project achieve the best results.
Fine-tune those listening skills
Many marketers are very passionate and talkative about campaigns, which is a great energy to be around. But don’t forget to tone things down a bit, when you’re discussing campaign options. Something completely new could come out of a brainstorm if you have an open mind…and open ears. Check that you’ve given people the chance to speak.
Something that many communicators overlook is their own body language. You don’t need to be constantly checking yourself in a reflection or mirror; just think about what your body language is saying. A meeting where you have your arms crossed the whole time says that you’re NOT using those fine-tuned listening skills (even if you honestly are paying attention).
The brief is in, there were smiles and nods all round, so your job is done until deadline day.
A good communicator follows up on projects and progress in a friendly and timely manner. You’re supporting your team and helping to find solutions, while also keeping track of meeting the project deadline.
Practice makes perfect – Remember to reflect
Once the task is complete, it’s good to take some time in the next catch-up to agree on what went well and what areas of the project could’ve benefitted from a different approach. Be careful not to treat these reflection meetings as a finger-pointing exercise though. Rather this reflection is a chance for everyone involved to grow in his or her role and add to their skillsets.
It’s also a great chance for a marketer to ask for some communication feedback. You can’t see if you’re accidentally falling prey to those communication pitfalls, if you don’t ask.
Communication is a skill that needs constant nurturing. You grow as a person with each marketing campaign and your communication skills can grow with you. The most common marketing campaign mishaps are due to a breakdown in communication.
We hope our marketing candidates benefit from this article full of tips and tricks. Don’t forget to have a look at our latest marketing jobs in West Yorkshire here.
And if you’re currently not one of our talented candidates, why not give us a call (0870 3219788) or contact us via our online form today. As a Gloss Recruitment candidate you’ll receive roles relevant to your career ambitions and one-on-one advice from our expert consultants.
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