Top 5 Must-Have Skills for the Modern Marketer
Top 5 Must-Have Skills for the Modern Marketer

Top 5 Must-Have Skills for the Modern Marketer

Who is the Modern Marketer? Online DMDA Program from Emerson College

The modern marketing professional cannot rely solely on traditional techniques like cold calling, direct mail, and face-to-face interactions. Marketing in the 21st century is built not only on the media used for communications but the wants and needs of audiences.

Consumers of all ages now rely on social media posts and mobile ads to learn about new products and services, and successful marketers know the best ways to use these tools to reach customers. Leaders in the field also know how to adapt by using analytical skills and social media monitoring for ongoing changes to marketing efforts.

Companies use cutting-edge marketing techniques to keep customers in the fold. According to Marketing Metrics, marketing to existing customers leads to a 70% rate of return compared to a 20% return on marketing to new customers. With this return rate, the best marketers in the world constantly tweak their campaigns to ensure brand loyalty.

A blend of interpersonal and technical skills is necessary for a modern marketer to bring value to their clients and employers. Aspiring marketers might ask how they can acquire the tools necessary to succeed in a dynamic global economy. A master’s in digital marketing and data analytics (DMDA) from Emerson College builds the analytical and creative skills necessary to succeed as a marketing professional. This 100% online program presents courses that appeal to marketing professionals with progressive views of the modern customer.

Professional experiences in advertising, marketing, and sales amplify the benefits of a DMDA online master’s from Emerson College. No matter your experience level, it is important to understand the impact of marketing in the modern world so you can acquire the right skills.


Marketing firms and departments around the world turn billions of dollars in ad revenue into new clients and loyal customers. According to Statista, companies in the U.S. alone were projected to spend $197.4 billion on advertising in 2019. Statista also found an average return on investment (ROI) of $5.97 per dollar of advertising in the U.S. in 2018. The ROI varied from $4.12 for print ads to $11.05 for digital search ads.

The master’s in digital marketing and data analytics (DMDA) from Emerson College helps a modern marketer meet consumer needs and achieve higher ROI than their competitors. Modern marketers can stay ahead of their competitors by understanding the following trends gathered by HubSpot:

  • 90% of online shoppers start product searches without particular brands in mind
  • 59% of American consumers attribute customer support via social media for improved shopping experiences
  • 46% of American consumers check their phones before getting out of bed
  • 70% of Instagram hashtags are branded instead of organic
  • Videos featuring products or services can boost sales by 144% compared to written content

What skills are essential to a modern marketer as they turn data into real-world solutions? Industry surveys by Forbes, LinkedIn, Paladin Staffing, and marketing expert Scott Brinker help us understand the must-have skills for marketing success.


Research firm Gartner asked chief marketing officers (CMOs) in 2018 about their most important priorities for the upcoming year. A resounding 63% of the surveyed executives expected their budgets to increase year-to-year to achieve brand awareness, ROI and customer value goals. In the 21st century, it is critical for marketers to tell brand stories that resonate across multiple platforms. This multi-channel storytelling captures the attention of customers loyal to particular media who might not be targeted by competitors.

One of Emerson College’s goals is to train storytellers who can create relatable narratives for consumers. The DMDA degree explores how marketers can use customer and campaign data to craft their campaigns. Emerson College teaches marketing students to adapt their brand narratives for different media and demographics. Successful students in this online program are also able to stay true to successful narratives and adapt their storylines to changing consumer trends.


Content creation skills are especially important when combined with marketer forays into social media platforms. The overwhelming popularity of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram makes them invaluable tools for marketing campaigns. In 2019, there were 2.7 billion people around the world who use at least one social media platform. With 97% of marketers using these platforms, it is critical for a marketing professional to maximize their potential.

Marketers should understand the different audiences for each platform. Instagram stories, Twitter threads, and Facebook ads can be used to great effect for clients. A successful modern marketer also knows how to cultivate relationships with influencers who reach millions of users. Professionals who emerge from Emerson College’s DMDA online master’s will be certified in Brandwatch, Hootsuite and Google Analytics to help them understand social media, consumer trends and behaviors to more effectively plan and execute targeted marketing campaigns.


Marketing firms and departments gather countless bytes of data each year about targeted customers. A stream of raw data has little use unless it is converted into actionable knowledge. Marketers need to be comfortable processing data to suit their needs. The resulting outputs can be used to evaluate trends and confirm the impacts of marketing campaigns. According to Campaign Monitor, 66% of marketers used customer information on ages, locations, incomes, and family status for personalized email campaigns in 2018.

The DMDA online master’s program takes a marketing professional to the next level by teaching them to frame their marketing campaigns from a consumer-first lens in order to serve the most relevant and targeted content to consumers. The program features courses in advanced consumer insights that determine how customers digest marketing campaigns by discussing how metrics translate across different media as well as the underlying techniques used for analyzing these behaviors.


The modern marketer serves an increasingly progressive audience thanks to young consumers who use digital media. Successful companies like Nike, Inc. are embracing marketing campaigns that are inclusive and show diverse consumers. A FutureCast survey determined that 58% of consumers aged 20 to 35, and 60% of those aged 15 to 19, want ads that encourage people to show their true selves.

Emerson College places being creative and progressive among its key values. Students in the DMDA online master’s program learn how to incorporate diversity, inclusion, and social justice into their campaigns. The university does not just give these values lip service; they are deeply ingrained in the program’s faculty, students, and course materials. Every digital marketing graduate leaves Emerson College with awareness and storytelling skills to properly represent the world as it is.


The aforementioned skills overlap with the idea of hard skills or skills learned through technical aptitude. New technologies and techniques, however, have not diminished the need for interpersonal, or soft skills. Successful marketers are able to empathize with colleagues and consumers in their communications. This ability to understand the needs of others leads to strong listening and speaking skills. Marketers who are able to successfully collaborate improve the outcomes of their campaigns.

The digital marketing and data analytics online master’s from Emerson College allows students to develop industry connections while maintaining work-life balance. Completing the DMDA creates opportunities to work with colleagues and industry experts unavailable in other programs. With professional networks and skills developed at Emerson College, graduates can develop forward-thinking campaigns that are responsive to consumer needs.

As of Fall 2022, Emerson College is proud to offer our reimagined 100% online Master of Arts in Marketing. Previously known as the Master’s of Digital Marketing and Data Analytics (DMDA), we have updated our curriculum to be even more relevant to the modern marketer.