More skills, you’ll ask? I need to figure out generative AI first, you might say. I still have KPIs to fill, and you give me more skills to learn? Isn’t it enough that we now have to pick up terms like demand gen and lead gen?
I hate to be the one breaking your heart, but no, it’s not. You and I both are living, as experts would say, unprecedented times. What is the best way to survive in new environments? Learn to adapt. In our case, we just need to learn or sharpen skills to make sure adapting to new ways of working, living, and thinking does not take us by surprise.
In the end, you still want to be employable, right? But most importantly, you still want to be tolerable if likable is too much for you.
Let’s cut to the chase.
Here are the top skills senior marketers need in a GenAI era:
- Customer focus
- Data-driven decision-making
- Emotional intelligence
- Analytics, coding, and math
- Domain expertise
- Growth mindset
- Abundance mindset
- Understanding of AI and Data Science
- Analytical Skills
- Strategic Thinking
- Leadership and Collaboration
- Ethical Awareness
- Understanding of Regulatory Environment
- Lifelong Learning
Now, let’s break down some of them, shall we? I picked six favorite ones.
Here are my top choices as the Head of Content Marketing at a B2B SaaS company, active content and SEO contributor at JOCstudio, and a highly experienced digital marketer with over eleven years of experience in this field we all love and hate.
Adaptability. Collaboration. Strategic Thinking
I grouped these three because I see them working together.
Collaboration is my top favorite because we are stronger together. Lone wolves die faster. Working collaboratively expands your brain, teaches humility, and challenges you to think sharper and quicker. Oh, and trust me, you want to surround yourself with smarter people than you. Being the smartest in a room full of dumb brains is no growth. Get out of there!
Adaptability: Trust me when I tell you it’s time to shut down our egos and start learning how these genAI tools can help us. Yes, yes, you’re a great writer, good for you, but so are your competitors, who are probably figuring out your 1-year strategy in just 5 minutes just because they cracked the code of ChatGTP 4.
Stop bragging and start adapting to these new scary times and be better at what you’re doing. Do you want to know the best way to learn these genAI tools? Create an account and play with them until your eyes hurt.
(btw if you want to figure out your competitors in just 5 minutes, reach out, and I’ll show you my prompt if you show me yours, wink wink.)
Strategic thinking might be my favorite (not sure yet) because, so far, these GenAI tools have yet to figure out how to think strategically, and we gotta hang in on this one. It can be our salvation as marketers. I am following all the free courses about strategic thinking available on Linkedin. I also told ChatGPT that I wanted to learn to think strategically in marketing, so it gave me a complete lesson plan and book references. Adios, free time!
Let’s move on to the other three I invest in daily.
Leadership. Creativity. Emotional Intelligence.
A team using AI can only be as good as their leader. With every new tool I use, it’s more evident to me how AI shapes marketing roles. I am surer today than yesterday that in five years, content marketing will have a whole new definition.
However, the key to success lies in the hands of leadership. Here I am, emphasizing this again. That is why I chose this skill as one of my favorites.
The foundation of your content marketing strategies lies in the business strategy, the visionary approach of companies’ leaders, teams’ managers inspiring speeches, and business founders’ dreams.
The AI tools we’re using right now can’t fix that. They can undoubtedly streamline processes, offer a second layer of efficiency, and expand teams’ capacities, but they can’t inspire; they can’t draft missions that people follow committedly.
Used without direction, the AI tools we rely upon will only lead us to misalignment. Wild Wide West. Each team for themselves. That’s why leadership’s role in the era of AI is more important than ever. These are the best times to upgrade your skills and act like a leader. Offer your team direction, purpose, and a sense of unity.
Unexplored creativity or wasted talent, as I call it, is the death of your career. Go big or go home. Stop being afraid to put your craziest ideas on the table. There’s no such thing as too big. You might not have the budget now, but crazy ideas are like puzzles. You can assemble them piece by piece.
Do you know what you and your teammates should do weekly from now on? Brainstorm. Have brainstorming sessions where everyone shares their craziest thoughts. That’s a superpower in the face of generative tools—brainstorming sessions where everyone just talks about what they think can be extremely fun and also mega helpful.
And here we are to the one and only skill that, no matter how much we train AIs, they will never be able to showcase naturally: Emotional Intelligence.
‘The foundation of all real skills is this one: the confidence and permission to talk to one another. Not to manage, belittle, intimidate, or control. Simply to seek to be understood and to do the work to understand.’
In this beautifully crafted article, Seth Godin published Ideas.Ted.com, he gives us a fresher, more human-centric view of what we called for too long ‘soft skills.’
I resonated with every syllable in this article because I’ve lived the reality of working with people with zero emotional intelligence skills, and it was a picture taken from a dystopian movie, trust me.
I love how Seth encourages us to rebrand our perception of what soft skills mean and call them by their true name, real skills.
‘Vocational skills can be taught: You’re not born knowing engineering or copywriting or even graphic design. Therefore, they must be something we can teach. But we let ourselves off the hook when it comes to decision-making, eager participation, dancing with fear, speaking with authority, working in teams, seeing the truth, speaking the truth, inspiring others, doing more than we’re asked, caring, and being willing to change things. We underinvest in this training, fearful that these things are innate and can’t be taught. Perhaps they’re talents. And so we downplay them, calling them soft skills, making it easy for us to move on to something seemingly more urgent.’
Emotional Intelligence skills will be the foundation organizations need to have thriving teams, healthy employees, and growth cultures in an AI era. It’s as simple as that.
Here we are at the end…
I hope this unconventional article motivates you enough to start upscaling your skills and not take anything for granted.
Believe it or not, we are going to witness a massive transformation in the marketing world. Keep up the pace!
If you want to talk some more, we’re waiting for your DM on Instagram.
With care for your brand,