Add more content here...
April, 2024

Why being a successful marketer is not just about marketing skills

Andrew Thornton
AMI Chair
April 2024

In today’s competitive market, professional marketers not only need to be good at ‘marketing’, and up-to date with the latest marketing trends and techniques, they also need to have broader skills to progress in their career.   A marketing leadership role needs you to be savvy in other disciplines, such as sound financial acumen and good governance.

To be successful, the marketing profession must generate a continuous pipeline of highly qualified marketers with the essential competencies and expertise required through all stages of their careers. Competencies that extend well beyond your core marketing skills.

Marketing roles vary significantly. Given that, required skills really depend on the organisation and the individual. But generally, there are a few core skills that senior marketers need to make sure they stay competitive in the field. These include both soft and hard skills.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the core skills you should have:

Soft skills 

An inquiring mind 

Marketers need to be naturally curious and inquisitive about the outcomes of their work and how their work plays out in the larger organisation or how it aligns to company goals and objectives.


Effective communication and collaboration is essential as the marketing team of today now needs to work with so many other teams (like finance and IT) to ensure both fiscal responsibility on projects as well as continued digital innovation in marketing.


It is said timing is everything. Marketers need to be aware of when it’s the best time to undertake a marketing program or when it isn’t. This means being aware and in-tune with what is going on externally to your organisation (or internally) that may impact the effectiveness of your marketing activity.

Hard skills

Financial acumen

Today’s marketers should understand how to calculate an ROI and understand what is on a P&L. Importantly, be able to have the financial conversations around how marketing is contributing to the overall financial success of the organisation.

Good Governance

Governance is not just responsibility of the Board or the C suite. It is the responsibility of all employees and marketers are no exception, especially if you are a marketing leader. Good governance helps you to always act in the best interests of the organisation. More specifically, it can improve the performance of your organisation, help it become more stable and productive, and unlock new opportunities. It can reduce risks, and enable faster and safer growth. It can also improve reputation and foster trust.


No, you don’t have to be a data scientist. However, marketers need to think more like a ‘data scientist.’ You need to have a solid grasp of data—being able to derive insights and not just collect data. This is an area that may require you to go ‘back to school’ to learn contemporary statistics and the tools that can enable you to make better decisions.


Much emphasis is being placed on your ability to create stories that connect with consumers. Equally important is the ability to connect with the CEO, C-suite, Board and employees. Storytelling is as important in driving internal commitment and alignment as it is in engaging consumers.

Value Chain analysis

Marketers need to have, at least, a fundamental understanding of the value chain and how marketing supports or influences it. Value chain analysis is a strategic process where an organisation evaluates its internal activities to identify how each contributes to its competitive advantage. The ultimate goal of a value chain analysis is to pin down the practices and processes that differentiate a firm from its competitors — for better or worse.

Technical skills

These days, the field of marketing requires a level of technical expertise and experience. Marketers use specialised software, tools and equipment to design, manufacture and distribute marketing materials. Marketing leaders should have at least a basic understanding of how the technology in their department works and how it is used. As technology develops quickly, this often requires continuing education.

Both hard and soft skills are necessary for a professional marketer’s career success. The hard skills help you to complete complex tasks while the soft skills aid you in managing and leading your team.

The AMI Marketers’ Competency Framework will enable you to identify and pursue personal development goals and accelerate your career progression. All our learning and professional development programs align with the AMI Marketers’ Competency Framework, so you can easily identify those relevant to your own personal development plan.

Nowhere else in Australia can you get access to such a comprehensive career growth resource.

AMI’s Marketers’ Competency Framework is designed to help you understand and assess your current skills and identify skill gaps.  It covers the essential 25 competencies needed for you to be successful in your career. For each competency, 5 levels of proficiency have been identified with the skills required at each level. AMI has curated courses from around the world to help you build these skills and help you achieve their career aspirations.

Ask yourself: can I afford not to invest in my career?

Download free AMI Marketers’ Competency Framework guide.