Every day, there are superheroes walking amongst us. Today, you probably passed several on the way to work. In fact, there might even be some around you, right now.
Now, are they marketers?
That’d be a super no. Don’t get me wrong—being a marketer is certainly a very engaging way to spend 40 hours of my life every week. I love it. But are we saving children while wearing scrubs? Passing laws that define the very structure of our social fabric? Will our children talk about us to an awe-struck group of preteens all saying, “Your parent was a marketer?”
Not so much. (If you have found a way to do any of this as a marketer, please teach me your ways.)
Fortunately, while we aren’t saving lives, being a marketer does come with a few perks. A few superpowers, you could even say. As marketers, we are gifted with and develop a key set of skills that we can use for good or evil and which make us into a slightly more flashy version of a normal human. The Aquaman of superhero professions, perhaps.
Recommended for you: The B2B Marketing Playbook every successful marketer needs
Traits of Super Marketers
If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Or at least blog about it, right?
1. The Ability to Convince Anyone of Anything, Ever
This is honestly probably one of the most exciting skills of a marketer. Being persuasive in itself is an art, but that’s not exactly what I’m talking about here.
Actually convincing someone of something doesn’t mean you’re great at selling—it means you’re great at educating. At the end of the day, B2B buyers are going to find out the truth. Convincing someone of something is only effective if it’s actually true.
“The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.”
Pretty deep for a marketing blog, I know. But let’s face it: lying as a marketer isn’t going to cut it. Advantageous framing, sure. Even strategically enforcing associations to make people see your logo and immediately think “simple, effective, efficient,” sure. But central to any successful marketer’s pitch is a clear strain of logic. If the audience can’t reason their way through what the marketers say, all the “right messaging” in the world isn’t going to make it believable.
Praise be, marketers are not walking around with mind control. However, successful marketers know how to lay out information to be digestible, engaging, and attractive to the right people. Once the information is laid out in the best possible way (a.k.a., creating the right content for the right customer at the right time), your audience will be convinced.
2. Wisdom in Framing Opportunities
One of the trademark phrases from Paralee Walls, our Director of Digital Marketing and Content Operations:
“We have an opportunity!”
Context: It’s usually after something unexpected (a.k.a., bad) has happened and there is a possibility to make it better, which inevitably is going to take time we did not plan for.
So, why are we all so excited to devote time we probably don’t have to a project that already had speed bumps?
Didn’t you hear? This is an opportunity.
In all seriousness, the ability to frame things in their best light—while still not violating superpower number one of being truthful—is a key trait of successful marketers. At a tactical level, this means investing time in semantics, choosing the exact words to leave your audience with the precise feeling you intended. Strategically, this goes beyond just wordplay.
We’ve all heard the buzz around storytelling and marketing. At its core, this just means that to really resonate with your audience, there has to be something for them to relate to. A personality, a story, an opportunity. And, of course, the framing better be top notch.
3. The Ability to Listen to Complaints and Provide a Solution
Ever heard the (very gendered) cliche that men are always trying to solve a woman’s problems instead of just listening to them complain?
Newsflash: Successful marketers do both. The key is actually listening.
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. – Stephen R. Covey
There are a few ways that marketers (sans superpowers) can fall into this trap. One way is selling to prospects who have barely reached awareness and are nowhere near interested in your offering. Another that I see too often is entirely avoiding anything that contradicts the messaging their company preaches.
Now more than ever is the time to engage competitor’s positioning because you can bet your prospects are already hearing it. Why wouldn’t you arm them with the thinking to defend your own message?
Worse yet is, instead of just waiting for your turn in the conversation with prospects, not ever allowing them to speak. Building out and regularly updating personas is the only way for customers and prospects to get their say in—otherwise, you’ll just end up screaming the same message to tuned out listeners while you wear noise-canceling headphones.
That’s not what good marketing is. In fact, that’s not even what mediocre marketing is.
Marketer’s Kryptonite: Technology Fever
With great powers come great responsibility—and great opportunity for weaknesses. I’d like to share a weakness that, as a marketer at an organization that sells software, I see all too often: technology fever.
This comes in several key varieties buying every and all solution, improper implementation, lack of buy-in, and unreasonable expectations for technology, to name a few.
Just a reminder, fellow marketers: you are the hero of this story. Technology is a handy sidekick, but when it comes down to it, we’re the ones behind the scenes, managing people, processes, and campaigns that deliver the right content to the right customer at the right time.