New year, new career aspirations. Maybe you have been job searching for a while or maybe you waited until the new year to start the hunt. Either way, there is one field that is brimming with opportunities -- marketing.

According to research by Deloitte, chief marketing officers say they are in the process of hiring 7 percent more marketers this year. And 56 percent of those companies intend to either hire or train new people with the skills to bolster the organization's marketing abilities. For both, the focus is on hiring folks whose experience with marketing technology and overall creativity will help the organization develop breakthrough marketing campaigns.

Why the increase? Because in today's digital-first world, there is more "noise" out there than ever before and customers have higher expectations as well. Companies need professionals who can break through that noise to find new ways to connect with customers in authentic ways.

It makes sense that companies are staffing up within marketing. As the co-founder and CEO of Aha!, I can say that investing in marketing has always been a priority. We look for people with deep expertise in their discipline, whether it is digital or content or product marketing. However, we also look for broader skills that indicate how well a marketer will perform in their role.

Here are four skills that will define successful marketers in 2019:

Curiosity

If you want to succeed in marketing, you need to be relentlessly curious. This is because you need to deeply understand your customer and their pain points. Are you really giving them what they need? Are you crafting the right messages, communicating through the right channels? To develop this way of thinking, make it a daily practice to question everything -- be curious about what has (or has not) worked in the past and what you could be doing better.

Communication

Marketers need to be master communicators, clearly conveying a company's message to teammates and customers. Start by developing your own message. If you are searching for a job, think about how you want to position your career -- how you got to where you are, your greatest challenges, and how you have overcome them. Then, practice communicating this story. It could be as simple as telling your story to a friend or writing a new cover letter.

Collaboration

Marketing requires a great deal of teamwork -- not just across the organization, but also within the overall marketing team. Seek out the people around you and ask for feedback on what you are working on now, whether it is a project with your current job or maybe even your resume. Be open to hearing critical feedback and acting on it.

Creativity

As a marketer, you need to know how to seek out fresh ideas and solutions on a regular basis. So, push yourself to get more creative right now. This might mean reading a book you would have never picked up before or taking on a challenging new hobby (language lessons, for example). The point is to challenge your old views and start seeing the world in new ways.

It does not matter if you are a marketing generalist or if you specialize in product, digital, or content marketing -- you need to be both strategic and innovative. The above skills will help you find that balance. Start fine-tuning now and you will put yourself in the best position to be hired this year.

What other skills do you think marketers need?

Published on: Jan 10, 2019
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