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Which channels do Modern Marketers need to master?

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Is it better for a Modern Marketer to master one or two channels? Or to be a generalist with a strategic approach, cross-discipline competence and a strong grasp of data that enables them to make better-informed decisions?

Which marketing channels should the Modern Marketer be mastering? 

Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, WeChat and Pinterest? Social commerce? Livestreaming, KOLs (Key Online Leaders), or ‘the next big thing’ coming from China?[1]

Or should they be focusing their attention on more traditional channels, like email marketing, PR, TV and advertising?

Our answer to this might surprise you.

Is it better for a Modern Marketer to master just one or two channels? Or to have a very firm grasp of a number of channels? – Image source: The Muse

The Modern Marketer excels at many things

A Modern Marketer isn’t a specialist or master of one or two channels. 

A Modern Marketer is an ‘all-rounder’ with a broad knowledge of the fundamentals of brand building and traditional marketing, as well as a wide range of digital tactics. 

They will have a strategic approach, cross-discipline competence and a strong grasp of data that enables them to make better-informed decisions, such as ‘is this the right channel for us?’. a

The Modern Marketer should be constantly curious, quick-thinking, and adaptable. But with so many new channels emerging all the time, there’s no way that the Modern Marketer has the capacity to ‘master’ specific channels – but they should have a very good understanding of as many of them that could be relevant to their brand as possible.

That means that they might know what works on TikTok or how KOLs can be used effectively to influence sales, but also realise why it’s important not to disregard traditional channels like outdoor advertising or TV. 

In fact, the best Modern Marketers know that traditional and digital channels can complement and elevate one another to deliver the utmost impact.[2] It’s about having a really strong cross-channel approach rather than channel specialisms.

The Modern Marketer should be able to assess and decide whether a channel like TikTok is one that your brand should be marketing in – Image source: TechCrunch

It’s not all about digital

It might be tempting to get into the mindset that traditional marketing channels are on the wane, and that all marketing these days is about digital. That would be a mistake.

As the quarantine has shown us, television is still a very powerful channel, especially now that the likes of Netflix are using algorithms that will allow brands to laser-target audiences with product placements based on their viewing preferences and behaviours.[3]

Brands are beginning to take advantage of the product placement opportunities offered by Netflix and its audience targeting algorithms – Image source: New York Times

There’s also a very good reason why print magazines and newspapers are still around – people still read them. Many publications have very specific, niche audiences, and getting directly in front of them with advertising or strategic PR could be more effective than trying to capture more general and undefined audiences through over-saturated channels. 

Equally, physical point-of-sale and outdoor signage continues to be highly impactful, particularly when unified with online point of sale to improve shopper experiences and ease-of-purchase.

The Modern Marketer marries creativity and data

What the Modern Marketer will have is the ability to combine the power of data and analytics with creativity. 

Some have said that the Modern Marketer is ‘part-artist, part-scientist’. It sounds a rather fanciful way of putting it at first, but it’s largely true.[4]

The Modern Marketer should be able to combine the power of data with their inherent creativity – Image source: Shutterstock

On the one hand, inbound marketing is hot right now, so they will need great writing skills, a good sense of what works visually (and what doesn’t), a really good grasp of up-to-date social media techniques, and know what an effective email marketing campaign looks like.[4]

On the other hand, they will know how to track performance using digital tools, manage budgets, understand and be able to act on trends – and always put the customer at the centre of everything.[5] 

How do you find these Modern Marketers?

You won’t have to look far for people with the potential to be Modern Marketers – they’re probably in your teams already, but need some investment in their capabilities.

That’s where the organisation and its leaders come in – because that investment in capability building is crucial if you expect your marketers to keep pace with the way the landscape constantly changes. 

But consider this: only 27 per cent of marketers say that the organisations they are employed by invest in their capability building requirements.[6]

That statistic is remarkable when you think that marketing (and the rapidly changing skills and knowledge required for marketing excellence) has never been more vital than it is now.

Building modern marketing capabilities

Modern marketers need a roadmap that enables them to develop cross-discipline competence so that they can learn how to integrate communication with modern tools, get to know their audience better and improve their technical skills.

Sounds straightforward? Well, it can be with the right guidance along the way.

“eBusiness Institute delivered a series of global interactive webinars that have been instrumental in driving our organisational capability – I highly recommend them!” – Zeno Adami, Global Brand Director, De’Longhi

Praised by the likes of De’Longhi, Modern Marketer is eBusiness Institute’s Capability building interactive webinar series.

Modern Marketer is designed to offer marketers an online training framework and holistic curriculum that will enable them to upskill their capabilities and excel in this new landscape.

Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about how we can upskill your marketing teams and develop your people into Modern Marketers

This article was written and created by the eBusiness Institute team.

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