Igor Scaldini

August 26, 2023

Beyond average – how to stand out as a marketer

If I ask you to describe a marketer, how would you describe it? 

In my experience, most people imagine a marketer as someone like this…

Someone extremely creative, who won’t follow the rules and is always full of outside-the-box ideas. “That guy” with weird clothes who enters the office in total energy, talks to everyone, and is always ready to experiment with the next disruptive app. 

Sure, some marketers would fit this description, and being creative is definitely an important trait. 

But just creativity will never make a good marketer. Actually, creativity – the use of your imagination to come up with new and exciting ideas or ways of doing things – is not even close to the most essential trait a marketer must have. 

What makes a good marketer, then?

Simply put, a marketer is someone responsible for increasing sales by implementing strategies for client acquisition, engagement, and retention. To accomplish this, a marketer must understand the product or service being sold, what problems they solve, how they solve, and what potential rejections the target audience may have.

In my experience, there are five knowledge pillars a marketer should deeply understand to stand out.

1. The Market

The market is the field where the marketer must perform. There are many economic theories to describe a market, but simply put, every time people are willing to buy (to solve a problem or fulfill a desire) and people willing to sell products or services, there will be a market. 

Of course, as our society gets more and more complex, it’s impossible to understand everything about the market. But, as a marketer, you must at least understand the market in which your product or service is inserted. Who are the main players? How do people behave on it? What makes it change? What is the current demand and offer? Those are some questions a good marketer should always be ready to answer.

2. Behavioral Psychology

Although most of the time we see “the market” being represented by charts, at the end of the day, it’s made of human beings trading stuff. 

And we, human beings, are complex creatures. We often don’t know what we’re doing, have no idea what we’re feeling and most of our decisions are irrational. But we have needs, and by understanding human being needs through behavioral psychology you can better “fit” your solution in the market – or, in some cases, create the need for it.

Behavioral psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on how people’s actions, or behaviors, are shaped by their environment and experiences. It’s about studying why we do what we do. 

Of course, you don’t have to be an expert on it, but by understanding the key concepts linked to marketing, such as cognitive bias and the science of motivation, you’ll be ahead of the curve as a marketer.

3. Technology:

You may deeply understand your product and have a good idea of the needs of your target audience, but it’s hard to imagine a successful marketing campaign if you don’t know how to navigate the technology components of an operating strategy.

I’ve seen, for instance, dozens of marketers being fired by a client because they didn’t know how to set up a tracking strategy through Google Tag Manager, or had no idea how to audit a Facebook Ads campaign – both highly technical endeavors that can sabotage any strategy. 

I’ve also lost count of how many strategies failed because a marketer overlooked a malfunctioning of websites, emails automation and reports. 

Of course, technology is a very broad term and it’s constantly changing, so it’s naive to think that someone will ever understand everything. However, as a marketer, you must at least to understand tracking, channel behavior, and how data is processed on the internet and/or the information system your campaigns will rely on. 

You don’t want to not understand something that can literally kill your results, right?

4. Business

Years ago, I had an e-commerce client who simply refused to invest more in advertising because she couldn’t find someone to help her on the production site. Our ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) was over 10, meaning that for each $1 dollar spent we would get at least $10.

But, still, we couldn’t invest more to drive more revenue to this business because they couldn’t figure out how to hire and train someone to the production side of the business. So I had to help him to fix it, in order to invest more in media and ultimately drive more revenue. 

In another circumstance, a client almost went bankrupt because his profit margin was too low and he insistent on investing more and more, even with his CAC (Client Acquisition Cost) increasing. I had to help him to outsource some of his operation, to make it cheaper, before scaling his investments. 

Of course, this kind of thing happens all the time, and most marketers won’t be aware of that because they think their job is just to write briefings, manage deadlines, and comment on the tone of the blue color in the website’s banner. 

However, if you want to really out stand as a marketer, you must take ownership (or at least knowledge) of every factor within a business that may affect your results

5. Project Management:

What you know doesn’t matter that much if you don’t have the management skills to make things happen.

I’ve seen people with an astonishing amount of knowledge being fired in a couple of months because they couldn’t get simple things done, and also seen people with very little knowledge being promoted for CMOs within a year, because they were savvy and proactive for transforming ideas into actions.

The reason is simple: no company will ever hire someone to theorize. Companies want results, and results come from actions. 

That’s why knowing how to manage and execute a project is crucial for a marketer. There are too many ideas, constraints, and variables at play, and knowing how to plan and prioritize will allow you to not get stuck. 

Of course, Project Management is a field that can get complex at an advanced level, but you should at least know how to implement a PDCA Framework, the most common Agile Methodologies, and how to create a burn-down chart for your project. 

Final thoughts on how to stand out as a marketer:

Yes, knowing these things goes far beyond what people have told you a marketer’s job is. But this article isn’t supposed to teach you how to be an average marketer.

If you’re confused about where to start, here is an actionable checklist:

  • Read it again and make notes of everything I mentioned it’s important to know.
  • Spend 1-2 hours researching how to learn more about each item
  • Develop a study plan that fits your schedule – I personally like to study 40 – 60 minutes every day.

Of course, learning is an infinite journey, but my hope is that these three actionable steps will put you on the right track and, hopefully, spark your ambition of being an excellent marketer

Want to let me know what you think? Get in touch on Linkedin

About Igor Scaldini

Marketing, Business & Growth