You are a highly talented marketer. You know it, your mom knows it, heck, even your dog knows it. You’re the one guy who shares stories about how your SEO strategy led company X to increase its marketing leads with 469% (you actually know this percentage by heart, which is kind of sad, really). The problem is: you’re not this marketer. Yet. You’re a student. An aspiring super talented marketeer nonetheless, but still on the search for the single best job out there. The only things that are now missing are your degree and a set of skills that set you apart from the thousands of others highly talented marketers out there. Who are also after the same job as you. So how will you give yourself the competitive edge you’re looking for? In this blog we highlight five skills that every marketer in 2019 should have.

1. Coding, coding, coding...

You might think to yourself: ‘pff, all this coding stuff, it’s too hard. I can’t do it. To which I think: ‘darn it, of course you can’. If you can read, you can code. It’s as simple as that. Maybe you don’t know where to start, but that’s something different. There are hundreds of free online courses, ranging from novice to absolute hardcore coding professionals, that you can start with straightaway. Take a look at codecademy and DataCamp.

And of course, you don’t have to be the best. But a basic understanding of coding is absolutely necessary. This you can easily study from home and expand upon with experience once you land a job. And whether you like it or not, coding is the future. Larger companies are now beginning to embrace big data, with companies such as KLM and Wehkamp who are constantly looking for data scientists. The numbers (pun intended) don’t lie. Big data is the future, also for smaller companies.

2. Bro, do you even graphic design?

Graphic design is one of those key skills that come in handy for a variety of tasks. For an employer, it is always nice to have some people in-house that can design a flyer or business card, since it saves costs on outsourcing. For you as a professional marketeer, it also helps to more critically assess graphic designs made by others. You will see that once you get better at it, you will also be more critical of your own designs, which definitely contributes to the overall look and feel of the marketing communications you and your team put out.

If you want to learn this skill, I can definitely advise you to take a look at skillshare. On this website, there are hundreds of courses that teach you how to do just that. Some are very specific, while others are very broadly and are put together in order to teach you the basics.

Bonus: if you know your way around Photoshop, you can then also (mis)use this skill to prank people. Yes, I know you’ve at least thought once about trolling your friend by face swapping theirs onto someone else’s.

3. Write wickedly awesome copy

Ah, you wouldn’t have expected this one to be on the list, would you? Well, got some news for ya, copy is alive, kicking and more in demand than ever before. A good marketer knows how to compose an email for a colleague as well as writing a business proposal for a freelance marketing job. As a marketer, you might be asked to write a compelling blog post, whitepaper, press release, landing page, product description or any of a hundred other things. The only way to actually learn how to do this is by practicing. Write, write and write some more, until you’ve found your style and perfected your writing. But knowing how to write goes a long way. You can only understand what people want to read by reading a lot yourself, too. So pick up a book every now and then. Educate yourself and then inspire others.

But how do you write good copy? One good tip is to address your audience personally. You should know who you’re writing for before you actually start writing. Sounds logical, right? Well, if you read blog posts and news updates, you might realize this isn’t always the case. In order to write excellent copy and write texts that people actually want to read, then you first have to know who your target audience is. And as a marketer, you have to know who your customer is before you actually market your products.

The second awesome tip is to incorporate a bit of humor in your writings. You don’t like to read long and boring texts, so why should your audience do that? If you want to know how to best incorporate humor into your text, you should invite me over for a copy coffee ;-).

4. Web designsz

Most of the corporate websites are made in Wordpress. Wordpress has made it incredibly easy to build and maintain a website, which is one of the reasons so many companies have grown fond of it. If you know the basics of Wordpress, you are definitely well ahead of most other students. Companies probably do not expect you to know CSS, java or HTML5 in great detail, but knowing how to make adjustments to their website, adding a blog post or changing a header are skills that are very nice to have. Once again, they then do not have to outsource this to other companies, which saves money that’s better invested in other projects. Just like with the other skills there are tons of free courses online, so you can start straightaway.

5. Tech-savviness

This might be one skill that’s a bit harder to learn if you don’t already have it. Being tech-savvy is knowing how to work your way with all sorts of digital products and programs. You should comprehend the basics of a CRM-system, marketing automation, social media, newsletters, and much more. More importantly, you should also be able to figure out when new technologies emerge how you can deploy these in the company you work for. For some people, this is a long stretch, while for others it’s as easy as making their bread, but I’m sure you don’t want to be *that person* who does not know how the printer functions.

Bonus tip: the personal touch

You can have all the diplomas, certificates and skills that might be necessary for your dream job, if you’re not a cool person to hang out with, you might just miss out on landing it. So don’t just invest in gaining the “hard skills”, but also invest in the soft ones. Make yourself as irresistible and exciting of a person you can possibly be. Try new things, go out and meet people and step out of your comfort zone. If you’re one of the two people left for a job and you’re equally skilled on some subjects, but you are a daredevil who has a black belt in taekwondo and also a diving certificate from his kick-ass holidays in Thailand, then who would be the more interesting person to hire? Always look for ways to improve yourself.

This list is far from complete. There are many more skills you as a marketer should definitely have, but having the ones described here give you a nice head start. Good luck and have fun educating yourself!