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What Skills Do You Need for Marketing in 2021?

What Skills Do You Need for Marketing in 2021?

Digital marketing is increasingly becoming a more complex subject. As it keeps evolving rapidly, there’s a need for marketers to continuously develop their knowledge and skills in this area.

2020 was all about remote engagement for different businesses.  Digital marketing has played a pivotal role in running businesses this year. While the newly adapted ways of marketing & selling are expected to stay.

Due to the pandemic the past year has seen various organizations practice digital transformation.

The current era focuses on the constant use of technology for finding innovative answers, ignoring key marketing skills can be harmful for a business. So, it's important to know that paying for technical tools without mastering the basics won’t help. This is why a proper strategy will be crucial for this.

The right kind of marketing and the power of technology leads to a fruitful recipe for success of any business. The industry keeps changing, and this is why we have outlined the top marketing skills that you must know for running a successful business in 2021.

Top 10 Marketing Skills That You Need for 2021

There has been a huge demand for marketers with skills such as social media, content, data analytics, etc. Since the onset of the pandemic, the top marketing skills have evidently seen a raise and these are analytics (46.1%), ad serving (84.6%) as well as web content writing (30.3%).

Let’s take a look at each of these in detail:

  1. Data Analytics

Understanding the data and analytics is incredibly important. As a digital marketer, you must know how your work influences the marketing and sales of your brand. There are a plethora of tools available such as Google Analytics, Marketo, etc which can be used to calculate how well you are doing. These calculations must be understood, transformed into insights and finally delivered to the other team members in a simplified manner.

If you are not able to know or measure the success of your work, you won’t be able to know how effective it was or how to improve it. Businesses take digital marketing decisions on the basis of data, so having the skills required to work with various analytics tools is a must.

  1. SEO & SEM

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are two very important skills of the digital marketing industry. However, this is not something that you can learn once and never look back, as it keeps evolving. SEO is a strong lead generation tool.

So, a marketer must have some fundamental knowledge of SEO practices to increase visibility on Google search. You will have to ensure that you meet all the expectations of all the popular search engines.

To effectively satisfy customer’s needs, SEO offers a proper foundation for building various marketing efforts. SEO ensures that your brand is visible to the relevant audience and the right time.

Following are few basic SEO skills that can be implemented:

  • Use of relevant keywords
  • Understanding high-quality content
  • Understanding how a mobile version of a site works
  • Adding external links
  • Optimization of the website load speed

  1. Content Creation

Marketing is baseless without apt content, be it text or visuals. A digital marketing professional must be proficient with its principles, strategies and trends that follow.

The power of good content can never be underestimated. Impeccable writing skills and excellent storytelling techniques can set you apart from your competitors.

In the digital marketing space, content can mean a lot of things, such as:

  • Blogs, articles & guides
  • Website content
  • Email content
  • Advertising content
  • Social media content

A compelling copy can be only written if the marketer knows what type of content will resonate with the target customers. Besides, content marketers must also be a part of the strategy process, and not to mention be fluent in using the right words in order to catch the reader’s attention and drive traffic.

  1. Paid Advertising Knowledge

Understanding how the world of paid advertising works can prove beneficial to your business. You can run paid ads on different social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Having proper advertising skills can make a large impact on your business. A digital marketer has to fix a task including a goal, tone of voice, buyer personal portrait, as well as a budget.

Then there are PPC specialists who manage online advertising campaigns. It all depends on the strategy, SEO, design & implementation along with the analysis of ad performance. Therefore, they must have thorough knowledge about the social media platforms, JavaScript & HTML, tracking, good use of tags and all this is not important for a digital marketer.

  1. Social Media Skills

Social media advertising plays a huge role in the marketing of a business. Alone or with the help of a social media manager, you can build your brand, generate leads and more revenue for your business.

If you wish to interact with your customers, there’s no other place like a social media platform to make it possible. Therefore, it's important to train your employees to have excellent social media marketing skills in order to stand out from the crowd.

Just posting 1-2 posts a week isn’t social media marketing, and it needs a lot more effort to leave a mark in your customer’s minds.

A social media marketer must be well-versed with:  

  • Latest rules and principles of social media marketing
  • Community management trends
  • Social media algorithms
  • How to study social media data

Also, different social media platforms cater to different audiences and require different approaches altogether. Plus, the social media strategies created by a marketer must align with the business’ objectives.

  1. Communication Skills

Good communication skills in order to maintain healthy relationships with the customers becomes integral for digital marketing. However, it's not just limited to customer relationships. Creativity in marketing is not just a single person’s responsibility. The employees of a company must be communicative & collaborative enough for creating campaigns.

Clear communication is the key to effective marketing and this applies to both internal & external relationships.

  1. Video Marketing

Video marketing is a skill every digital marketer must develop in order to make their business flourish. YouTube is the best platform for video marketing. Though, video marketing demands a lot of effort from the video creator as well as the marketer.

A professional marketer must have the proper knowledge of YouTube video-ranking rules and should be able to synchronize the video content with all the stages of the customer journey.

Explainer videos is also a popular form of video marketing that provides a brief description of a product or service while compelling viewers to take action.

  1. Project Management

A marketer must successfully manage both the time and project timelines for effective campaigns. Possessing project management capabilities in the digital marketing world is like an icing on the cake. Today’s fast-paced and competitive world requires efficient fixing of goals, reporting, tracking, etc.  

  1. Knowledge of Right Tools & Software

Everything from SEO, SEM to analytics & data is important. However, knowledge of the right tools is as important as this. Your team must know how and when to use the right tools for several purposes.

Upskill your team or employees with different tools and software and get away with manual processes and streamline workflows.

  1. Email Marketing Skills

A little complex, but email marketing can work wonders for your business. An email marketing specialist must understand all the necessary principles of email marketing. The design, messaging, strategy, coding, deliverability are quite unique and must be properly addressed and attended by the marketer.

Does in-house marketing help?

In-house marketing is proving beneficial due to various reasons, such as:

  • Offering more control over output
  • Encouraging sharp working
  • Providing businesses more control on the budget

If we talk about improving the essential marketing skills of your employees, in-house marketing becomes indispensable. It promotes creativity, enhances collaboration and makes it easier for in-house creatives with the skill enhancement and CPD.

Working with an in-house marketing team helps you know what skills you are better at. This also helps in knowing where people must be upskilled and where you can use the tools.

Additionally, in-house marketing helps you realise when you need to outsource. It isn’t feasible for businesses to keep every marketing in-house. This is where the hybrid marketing agency model comes into play. A lot of brands explain their in-house marketing model to be hybrid. It helps you get a clearer picture of the resources that are available.


It’s imperative for your business to have the right marketing skills in order to excel. We hope that this guide gives you a clear understanding of what marketing skills you need to run your business efficiently and effectively.

Once you get a proper view of your team’s skills you are sure to reap the benefits.

Getting the basics right is the key to success. From offering ongoing CPD to taking the help from necessary tools & software, you will be able to create a powerful marketing team.

Author Bio:

Pavnendra Bahaduria is the founder and CEO of Essence Studios, India’s top explainer video production company. When he is not busy running the business, he shares his knowledge and experience in the field of digital marketing through blogs. He is also an avid follower of cricket.