Topic 2 Marketing skills for starting own business/or entering the labour market

A job in marketing can take many forms and requires a person to have or acquire certain skills that can lead to greater success over time. Such skills play an important role in any workplace including enterprises. It enhances communication with customers, helps to solve problems and find best solutions, it can strengthen teams and attract new clients.

Below listed some of the most important skills for marketing:

  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Planning
  • Goal setting


Marketers need to think of new and interesting ideas that appeal to their customers and target audience so that they don’t become stale. The ability to think outside the box is key – from design sense to fun concepts.

Thinking creative means finding different ways to stand out from others selling similar products or services. Creativity goes hand-in-hand with innovations, having the ability to “think outside the box” helps to recognize an opportunity in each problem and find innovative solution. 

Watch video “How to Stimulate the Creative Process”:

Communication in marketing

In general, effective communication plays a key role in marketing. It helps to build and nurture relationships between employees and customers. With the right communication, it is easier to research the market, target specific groups and understand their needs.

For an effective marketing strategy marketers must have excellent communication skills. These skills are needed to create a unique emotional connection with customers.

Trying to persuade them to buy the company’s products or services, and to show them how valuable and important they are, will help to build this bond more effectively.

Once this connection is established, the company will have new loyal and trusting customers. However, for this relationship to be sustainable, employees need to nurture it on an ongoing basis. For example, sending weekly or monthly newsletters, information on sales, discounts and promotions are just some of the ways to maintain this relationship.

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Effective leaders know how to communicate well, motivate their team, manage and delegate responsibilities, listen to feedback and flexibly solve problems in a constantly changing workplace.

Tips on how to build leadership skills:

  • Ask for more responsibility: If you have been working long enough to become an expert, you can share with your manager that you want to improve your leadership skills. Ask how you can help – are there future projects that need a responsible person? Are there jobs you can help the manager with?
  • Take initiative: look beyond the tasks in your job description and try to generate ideas and commit to tasks that go beyond the daily routine.
  • Skills to be achieved: If you have a specific skill you want to improve – creative thinking or communication – make a plan to improve your skills in that area. This might mean taking a course, finding a mentor to help you, reading a book, or setting a small goal that will force you to improve this skill.

Critical thinking

Each marketing specialist or entrepreneur has to be able to analyse information and come up with logical decisions objectively without unnecessary emotions or prejudice. This skill enables to find rational, clear, reasoned solutions, while understanding the consequences. Moreover, person who thinks critically, is able to count pros and cons of different options and make thoughtful decisions.

Critical thinkers should be data-driven and question themselves: “Is the argument at each point supported by evidence? And, “Does all the evidence support each other to reach a reasonable conclusion?

According to Kolb (2008) critical thinking process in marketing can be seen as a three-stage process. The first step is to identify the preconceptions of the person about the causes of a problem or potential opportunity. The second step is to use internal research data to challenge whether the same assumptions are accurate and based on facts. The third step is to explore new ideas about the real source of the problem and possible solutions.

Problem solving

Problem solving in order to find solutions, creative and critical thinking are blended. The marketing specialist or entrepreneur should be able to face problems and find best solutions while recognizing own mistakes. Common traits of this skill – ability to show initiative, observe situation, make decision, be persuasive and negotiate when needed.

Problem solving skill helps to see the situation and analyze it in different angles, to solve disagreements between conflicting parties.

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Planning skills

Planning skills include the ability to manage self and/or others, and resources including time and surrounding circumstances to reach a specific goal.

Especially helpful in marketing as this kind of skill encompasses variety of aspects including finances, marketing, production, etc., future marketer or entrepreneur must have strong planning skills. It is advisable to set long-term, medium-term and short-term goals.

Some tips for time management:

  • Priorities – prioritize the tasks. It is recommended to allocate more time for high priority tasks and move on to less important.
  • Objectives – set objectives for every week (start of week) to maintain efficiency.
  • Plans – in order to meet the objectives, it is useful to develop an activity plan.
  • Schedules – making schedules for each month, week and workday could also help achieving better time management.

Goal setting skills

A marketing goal is a specific and measurable objective that contributes to the achievement of wider business goals. Goals should be effective and lead into progress. The most useful starting point for setting marketing objectives is to carry out a SWOT analysis for each market-relevant product to be included in the strategic marketing plan (Wang, 2011).

Common business objectives that marketers might want to achieve:

  • Increase sales
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Expand market share
  • Build stronger relationships with stakeholders
  • Enter new markets or territories
  • Reach new audiences or demographic groups
  • Increase revenue
  • Secure fund
  • Maximise profits

Further reading on SMART analysis for setting up your goals:

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Free marketing tools

In addition to marketing skills, which are important for starting your own business and/or entering the job market, it is also important to know the free marketing tools that can help to plan and develop the marketing strategy.

Below are the list of some of the free marketing tools useful for small businesses:

  • Canva
  • Buffer
  • Google Analytics
  • MailChimp
  • Hotjar
  • Hemingway

To find more free marketing tools check the link:

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Launched in 2013, Canva is an online design and publishing tool with a mission to empower everyone to design anything and publish anywhere. Canva is used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, videos, documents and other visual content. It also allows to create designs alone or together with others. No design experience is required and it is available for free. For unlimited features, paid plans are available (Canva, 2022).

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Buffer is a multifunctional social media marketing software tool. Buffer’s main feature is the ability to prepare and schedule messages to be shared across multiple social networks including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. This tool helps to easily schedule posts, create campaigns and then analyze them. Buffer has the advantage of being able to connect multiple accounts.

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Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic, currently as a platform inside the Google Marketing Platform brand (Wikipedia, 2022). This tool allows to see the origin of the generated traffic. By looking at the statistics, one can understand that a certain social media campaign has attracted a lot of traffic and then shape future campaigns accordingly (Kopanakis, 2018).

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Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing automation platform and email marketing service for small business. This email marketing tool include social media sharing buttons, personalized contact forms, templates for professional emails, etc. It offers the possibility to send 2000 subscribers around 12,000 emails (Kopanakis, 2018).

Find out more:

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Hotjar is the tool to better understand how users behave on your website. It is a product experience insights tool that gives behavior analytics and feedback data to help you empathize with and understand your customers through tools like Heatmaps, Session Recordings, Surveys, and a Feedback widget. Hotjar combines product experience insights, user behavioural analysis and customer feedback to help you see what’s happening on your website and why (Hotjar, 2022).

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Hemingway is free online tool to help improve grammar, sentence structure, fluency and overall style. It is ideal for content marketing, eBooks, presentations or other tasks. The Hemingway Editor will highlight (in yellow and red) where writing is too dense and try removing needless words or splitting the sentence into two. This ensures that the reader focuses on the message. (Hemingway, 2022).

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