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Marketing Research Resource Websites

Marketing research is the planning, collecting, and analysis of data relevant to marketing decision-making and the communication of the results of this analysis to management (McDaniel & Gates, 2015).

Businesses that are looking to create strategic marketing plans and learn more about their potential market engage in marketing research activities. In this section of Marketing Binder, I present a list of resources for marketing professionals, academics, and business owners who wish to engage in market research activities.

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Essential Soft Skills for Marketing Managers Career Success

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As a marketing manager, you’re passionate about all that is marketing. You have a lot of time invested in developing your hard skills; your education, professional development courses, and certifications. Late nights in the office are a welcomed — solemn — relief to the pressured, deadline driven, chaotic day where you’re tethered to a cubical — cloaked with personal memorabilia and empty Starbucks cups with dried foam from yesterday’s discarded lattes —all within the four walls of an understaffed marketing department. Heck, you may just be a marketing department of one — like an army of one.

The occasional — sacrificial — weekend chains you to projects or marketing campaigns that must be completed by Monday morning because if you are not done you are kindly reminded — by your sardonic boss — about the stack of resumes from past applicants all too eager to slide right into your position. Yet, you thirst for more. More challenges. More responsibility. You want to grow as a professional marketer with the aspiration of becoming a marketing director in a larger organization, a VP of marketing, or, better yet, a member of the highly coveted C-Suite — the holy grail of marketing positions — a CMO: Chief Marketing Officer. You have moxie and lots of it!

The path to the promised land — so you think — is to acquire more hard skills. You enroll in online courses — digital marketing, marketing analytics, data-driven marketing, behavioral economics, and on and on and on! You’re obsessed with the pursuit of knowledge: it’s the basis of your existence. You ruminate the idea, “the more I know, the faster I will climb! I am — after all — a marketer of one!”

It is not uncommon for marketing managers to think that the more knowledge they stuff in their cranium — about everything marketing — the easier and quicker it is for them to ascend the corporate ladder or land that next — dream — marketing job.

Unfortunately, packing on more hard skills does not — necessarily — guarantee access to the holy grail of marketing or that next job. A marketer’s hard skills are just a drop in 5-gallon bucket when in it comes to career advancement; okay — I exaggerated — it’s more like a drop in a 1-gallon bucket, but you get the idea.

Sixteen-percent of employers, according to CareerBuilder.com, believe that possessing soft skills are more important than having hard skills when it comes to employees getting hired or advancing their careers. Seventy-seven-percent say soft skills are just as important as hard skills. That leaves just a few “morsels” — 7% of employers — believing that hard skills are the only requirement for career success. That’s 93% of employers that place some or all of their value on hiring employees who have strong soft skills. This does not mean you can forego your education or training and advance your career — or be hired — on your “touchy feely” side. What it does mean is that – in addition to your hard skills — soft skills are a requirement for that dream job or career advancement. So, what exactly are soft skills? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Soft skills — as defined by the Oxford Dictionary of English — are “personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.” So, if hard skills are the technical ability and factual knowledge, soft skills are the characteristics that make up our “human” — or as I call them, the touchy-feely — side such as common sense, flexibility, positive attitude, interpersonal skills, etc. The soft skills are the core competencies that can make or break a career, not to mention, keep you from ever reaching the promised land: that special seat in the C-Suite executive lounge.

The National Soft Skills Association — interestingly, there exists such an association —identifies 10 top soft skills for career success: dependability, motivation, communication, commitment, creativity, problem-solving, flexibility, teamwork, leadership, and time management. With the help of colleagues in the marketing profession, I identify an additional 13 soft skills that are essential for marketing managers serious about their career growth. Drum roll please…and they are:

Growth Mindset

The ability and desire to focus attention on self-improvement over changing or blaming others. Marketing managers with a growth mindset can look at adverse situations and learn from them versus viewing the difficult situation as a failure that leads to their defeat. Marketers are often faced with adversity and difficulty on the job. Sometimes ridiculed by peers or superiors over failed campaigns. Seeking solutions rather than blame in these situations poises the marketing manager for a growth mindset.

Self-Awareness

It’s like common sense for the self. Marketers with self-awareness understand their driving forces: what angers, motivates, inspires, embarrasses, or frustrates them. Observing yourself objectively — during difficult situations — and understanding how your perceptions of yourself, others, and the situation drive your behavior and actions.

High Emotional Intelligence
As a marketing manager, you deal with multiple personalities — daily.  Your resolve is tested with every campaign you direct. You may deal with unruly sales professionals, superiors who try and play marketing manager — giving you misguided direction — and peers who like to throw in their unsolicited ideas. All of these personalities require a high degree of emotional intelligence. That is, they require you to think clearly and objectively without reacting in an adverse manner.  This means check your ego!

Self-Confidence

Marketing managers need to believe in themselves and their abilities to accomplish marketing objectives. Nothing kills the credibility of a marketing professional — or anyone else for that matter — than a lack of confidence. Companies spend a lot of money on marketing initiatives. If your superiors do not believe you have confidence in creating effective marketing initiatives that help navigate the organization in a forward and profitable direction. Guess what? You don’t have a job.

Resilience

There are and will be plenty of disappointments in marketing. Even the most seasoned professionals encounter failure and disappointment on the job. But what sets those at the top apart from those who will never get there is resilience. You need to bounce back after a disappointing setback no matter how big or small. You need to stay focused on the mission — business objectives — and learn from your setback, continuing the journey forward.

Persistence

Maintaining consistent energy and dedication in all that you do, learn, and achieve in your day-to-day operations and your career, despite setbacks, failures, and oppositions. Persistence is about getting up day after day and working toward the mission despite the obstacle and roadblocks that try to derail your efforts.

Perceptiveness
Marketers deal with people daily. It’s part of the job. You need to pay attention to the unspoken cues, developing cognitive or empathy for other people’s situation and perspective. You will receive a lot of input on projects you did not ask for. You need to set aside your thoughts about how you feel or what you will say next and allow room to understand the actions and intentions of others around you. If you fail to understand other people’s intentions, you may encounter difficulties with them and not even know why.

Presentation Skills/Public Speaking

Marketers are considered — by many organizations — as a spokesperson for the company, especially in organizations that lack a communications director. As the marketing manager, you need to effectively present your work to organizational stakeholders. Public speaking is part of this soft skill. Even though you may have a great stage presence and speak eloquently, you will need to also present information and ideas in a way that engages and motivates your audience.

Sales Skills

It’s no secret that in many organizations sales and marketing do not get along. However, as a marketing manager, you need to possess some sales skills for two reasons: to understand the process your sales team undergoes when working with customers and because as a marketing manager you need to sell your ideas, decisions, or actions to your team or organizational peers.

Mentoring

If you are not a marketing department of one, that is the only marketing professional within the organization, chances are you were working with a team. You may be the leader within your department and keeping your minions on task is key to your success. Additionally, you need to not only act as their supervisor, but their coach, providing them with constructive wisdom, guidance, and constant feedback that helps them perform their role effectively and leads them to individual success.

Interpersonal skills

Perhaps one of the most important soft skills of the entire list is this one — interpersonal skills. This skill is effective at building trust and healthy relationships with peers, vendors, and customers. It’s the glue that binds all other soft skills on this list.

 

Now, we come to the big question, can you learn these soft skills? Yes, you can, however, some of these soft skills can prove to be a challenge, depending on your personality type.  As an example, if you are an introvert, public speaking may not be the easiest to grasp right off the bat. I suggest that you list the soft skills you need help with most and begin to tackle those first. Once you have mastered a soft skill, move on to the next one, and so forth. I also recommend that you enlist a friend, colleague, or life coach as a mentor to help gauge and support your learning. I am living proof that with effort, time, and persistence — one of the essential soft skills — you too can achieve your soft skill Bodhisattva.

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Share of Wallet Formula and Calculator

Share of Wallet Meaning

Share of wallet refers to the proportion of money that customers spend on a specific brand compared to their overall spend within a specific product category. For example of share of wallet, see share of wallet definition in the marketing dictionary.

Share of Wallet Formula

Share of wallet can be calculated based on percent of revenue or units.

Share of wallet formula


Share of Wallet
Calculator – Units

Use the following marketing calculator to calculate share of wallet based on units sold.

Share of Wallet
Calculator – Revenue

Use the following marketing calculator to calculate share of wallet based on revenue.


 

Developing the Optimal Value Proposition that Drives Market Success

For a business to achieve market success, it must create superior value for their customers, collaborators, and the organization. Peter Drucker, famed management theorist, stated that the purpose of business is to create a customer and that business enterprise has only two functions, marketing and innovation. Thus, the responsibility of creating value and winning customers falls on the shoulders of marketing.

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The Three-Step Writing Process in Business Communication

Effective business writing is essential to a company because it helps create efficient communication that leads to increased productivity, faster problem solving, stronger decision-making, and increased profits. It also helps boost the organization’s credibility.

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Marketing Weekly Roundup – June 18, 2016

This week on Marketing Weekly Roundup: stories that get shared online, apps that challenge marketing strategies, and trade show lead generation techniques, and more!

10 newsletter writing tips for effective newsletters

10 Newsletter Writing Tips For Effective Articles

Newsletters are still an effective way to communicate your company or brand with your customers. They allow you to position yourself as an expert in your industry as well as promote your products and services. Newsletters, if done correctly, can be a very powerful tool in your marketing communications tool box. This daily marketing tip discusses 10 newsletter writing tips for effective newsletters.

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Lead Generation Path Way

Prioritizing Your Lead Generation Strategy – Part 3 of 3 in a Series

In part 1 of this 3 part series, I discussed Setting Lead Generation Metrics for your lead generation strategy. In part 2, I talked about Establishing Lead Generation Goals and using the S.M.A.R.T method to write goals.

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Custromer Reviews

6 Ideas for Improving and Avoiding Negative Customer Reviews

To survive and thrive in today’s digital, customer-driven, market environment, you need to stay one step ahead of your customers. Customer’s, empowered with social media and consumer reviews sites, can help build your business or destroy your business with their online reviews.

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Lead Generation Goals

Establishing Lead Generation Goals – Part 2 of 3 in a Series

In part 1 of this 3 part series on Establishing Lead Generation Goals for Your Business, I introduce a series of lead generation metric questions to ask your sales and marketing team. By answering the questions in part 1, you began to formulate your lead generation goals. In this section, part 2, I discuss the process for Establishing Lead Generation Goals.

Looking back at part 1, where there any answers to the questions that resonate with you or your team? These are the building blocks to your goals. They help you determine what you are trying to accomplish with your business.

Essentially, are you seeking more social media conversions? Perhaps you are interested in increasing brand awareness with your business or product and services. Maybe you are seeking more leads or better-qualified leads that result in higher conversions.

The answers to your questions do not necessarily lead to one specific lead generation goal. It’s possible, and probable that you want to create multiple lead generation campaigns, each with their own set of goals. The questions in part 1 are just to help you understand what is important now, and what you may want to focus on at a later date.

Once your area, or areas, of concentration are established, the next step is developing measurable goals. See the article on “Writing S.M.A.R.T. Marketing Goals” for a detailed explanation on writing time-bound, measurable goals.

Finally, establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential for gauging success in reaching your lead generation goals.  KPIs are the litmus test to each established goal and if you are on the right path to achieving success. If you are not meeting KPIs, it’s time to make adjustments to your strategy and/or goal. If you are hitting your KPIs, then your goal may be too easy and you need to make changes to your goal. See the Sidebar below for an example of establishing KPIs.

SIDEBAR: Establishing Lead Generation KPIs

To establish Key Performance Indicators for lead generation goals, let’s assume that one of your S.M.A.R.T. lead generation goals is to generate 5 new qualified leads in your pipeline per week from a specific landing page on your website. For simplicity sake, let’s assume you are currently generating 3 qualified leads per week from this specific landing page. To acquire the 3 qualified leads, you are publishing 3 new pieces of content to you site weekly and that drives 300 unique visits to your landing page.

To get to your lead generation goal of 5 new qualified leads per week, let’s make the assumption that you need to drive an additional 200 unique visitors to your website. As a result, you need to publish 2 additional pieces of content, a total of 5 content items, per week.

The KPI you set to get to 5 new weekly qualified leads is 5 new content pieces per week. In theory, this should get you to your goal.

If you fall short of the 500 weekly unique visitors after you publish your 5 content items per week, you are not reaching your KPI, and thus, you may be at risk of missing your target goal of 5 new qualified weekly leads. At this point, you will need to explore why your KPI is lower than expected. A possible outcome could be your content is not the right subject matter for your target audience.

Next Steps

Once you establish your lead generation goals and campaigns, you are ready to develop the roadmap and plan for reaching your goals. This is the topic of part 3 in Establishing Lead Generation Goals for your Business.