7 Characteristics of Tomorrow’s Best B2B Marketers

If you are looking for another article that lists search, social media, persona development or lead management, this is not it. Those are skills that can easily be learned by the right person.

The more important thing to know is what type of person can learn both the skills they need today and the new ones they will need tomorrow?

Here are 7 key characteristics of B2B marketers that will be able to learn the skills needed today and tomorrow and will be able to identify and pursue new B2B marketing opportunities as they emerge. Isn’t that the kind of person you need on your team?

1. Business Savvy

If B2B marketing will be connected more closely to the business and business results, B2B marketers must become more business savvy. You must understand and appreciate the importance of finance, sales, talent management, supply chain, product development and more to the business.

Tomorrow’s successful marketers will have the aptitude necessary to start today in a wide range of areas of the business.

2. Technical Aptitude

Marketing is increasingly dependent on technology and marketers that understand technology will be able to identify new ways to use the array of technology available to them today.

You don’t need to be a developer or systems manager (yet), but databases, scripting languages and APIs should open the window of possibilities, not make your eyes glaze over.

3. Curiosity and Intuition

Not only do you need the curiosity to always be looking into things, you need the intuition that directs your curiosity to the right place.

4. Appetite for Knowledge

Successful marketers are voracious consumers. However, you must consume to improve your understanding, not to copy the successes of others. The best marketers will constantly be gaining knowledge from everything they consume or observe and will then be able to apply that knowledge in a range of circumstances.

5. Communicators

Communication is critical well beyond creating marketing material. As marketing is increasingly integrated with sales, technology and other aspects of the business, marketers need to communicate effectively within the marketing group and across the entire organization.

6. Analytically Inclined

Marketing is a data-driven discipline. If you do not thrive in data, marketing will be increasingly frustrating. From increasing brand awareness or to driving the sales pipeline, analysis will uncover new opportunities.

7. Service Oriented

As marketers increasingly compete for attention, B2B marketers in particular are looking to stand out by being genuinely helpful to customers, prospects and the marketplace. If you are naturally inclined to help, you will see new ways to help the audience and, in doing so, help your organization to stand out in their minds.

Your Turn

You have my perspective, what is your list of the most important attributes of B2B marketers that can adapt in this changing market? Please share your list in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).

Photo Credit: The Wizard

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  • Jonathan Winch

    Great wish list, Eric. You’ve described someone we would all like to be able to employ or outsource to. The problem, as you surely know, is that this combination is rarely found in a marketing department – and only slightly less rarely found in, for example, freelance talent. Even just the technical/communicator combination is seldom seen in house (although almost every B2B company has at least one person who shines in this respect). I’m always on the lookout for the full list of capabilities, pretty much as you describe them, but anyone that good is already doing something on their own or has ascended through the organization to management level. Perhaps it’s more a matter of figuring out how the skills of a small team of people can work together to deliver the required outcome…

  • Great list! Do I have anything to add? Maybe I would expand #5 to include the “customer focus” and “relation building”; and #4 to include “innovation” and “change”.

  • Julie Schwartz

    An excellent list Eric! Here is ITSMA’s list of required marketing skills compiled from the 20 Marketing Transformation interviews ITSMA did with CMOs on our US and Europe Advisory Boards. You’ll notice a lot of overlap with your list of characteristics and a few additional skills such as strategic thinking, content creation, and community management. So maybe additional characteristics would be creative, social, and strategic?

    Strategic thinking
    Business acumen
    Customer/market insight
    Technology and tools
    Community management
    Content creation and editorial management
    Predictive analytics
    Marketing operations

  • phazeaction

    Amazingly generic article with a link-bait headline.

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