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5 Business Competencies Marketers Should Develop

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Tuesday 10 September 2019
Updated: Friday 6 September 2019

business competencies for marketers

As marketing professionals, it is critical that we understand our organisation - internally, its purpose, priorities and strategic direction, externally, the commercial context and trends that influence the internal factors.

Practical business knowledge, planning, project management, change management and customer focus are some of the competencies addressed in this section. These business competencies will serve you throughout your career, regardless of role or level. 

This week, we're looking at five business competencies that marketers should develop to grow in their career.

These are based on the Marketer Pathways framework, which was developed by the Marketing Institute following consultation with over 50 senior marketing practitioners from across a range of sectors.


1. Action Orientation

Approaches initiatives with high levels of drive and energy. While understanding the importance of effective planning, the person has a bias towards taking action. Will set clear goals for success and will display urgency and enthusiasm. Sees the value of building momentum as a means to creating support. Will seek to win over supporters through their own personal commitment energy and enthusiasm and will act as a role model for others. Proactive and resilient in their approach to work, they will deal effectively with setbacks and will seek practical solutions to overcome significant challenges and obstacles.

Assess your level


2. Change Orientation

Comfortable operating in an environment where there is ambiguity and where priorities and business objectives change and adapt. Sees the necessity for the organisation to be flexible and agile and advocates the need for change as a key driver of business success and continuous improvement. Adjusts to accommodate changing situations and responds positively to new demands or circumstances to achieve better results.

Assess your level


3. Commercial Awareness

Seeks to develop a broad and deep understanding of the business and is not limited to a “marketing view, of the world”. Can assess the likely commercial implications and possible business consequences of significant marketing decisions; for example changes to, the product and service portfolio, pricing, marketing communications and service delivery. Keeps up to date with high level developments such as business and industry trends and with marketing and consumer trends. Can make a well informed assessment of the likely commercial impact of such trends. Can provide strong commercial insights into the strategy and business planning processes across the organisation.

Assess your level


4. Continuous Improvement

Has a strong ability to continuously review how the organisation operates with a view to maximising efficiency, enhancing overall quality and creating a culture of ongoing improvement to work and business processes. Leads marketing and cross functional teams to drive overall business efficiency, enhance quality, drive organisational compliance, as a basis for achieving business success. Creates and leads a culture which demands excellence regarding business efficiency and the development of work and business processes. Seeks to counter and challenge complacency within the organisation with regard to quality and overall business efficiency.

Assess your level


5. Customer Focus

Has a clear focus on meeting the evolving needs of customers, as a key driver in achieving overall business success. The use of customer data to successfully manage the customer relationship. Using customer insights to better understand customer priorities and needs and deliver the best possible customer experience. Demonstrates a clear commitment to meeting customer’s product and service expectations, in ways which provide a sustainable return to the business.

Assess your level


Learn more about the Marketer Pathways framework.

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