How to assess marketing skills

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In today’s competitive business landscape, companies must market their products convincingly to attract customers. This makes it crucial for any team to have marketing skills in order to drive customer engagement and maximize sales.

Marketing is a broad area and can refer to different skills depending on your business type. For example, a B2B business needs marketers experienced in targeting corporate buyers, whereas a B2C marketer must be able to attract large numbers of consumers. However, successful marketers share a number of core skills. 

In this article, we explain how to assess candidates’ marketing skills and how TestGorilla’s range of tests can help you find your perfect marketing employee.

What is a marketing skills assessment?

A marketing skills assessment helps you identify the top marketers in your candidate pool. The assessment typically evaluates problem-solving and communication abilities, software skills, and specialized knowledge – like branding strategy skills, for example.

The specific tests in a marketing skills assessment vary depending on the role requirements. While problem-solving and communication tests are essential, you may also want to add specific software or skills tests suited to your business needs.

The results from the assessment will indicate whether your candidate has sufficient knowledge and practical experience to manage your brand assets, run successful campaigns, and bring tangible results such as customer growth.

Why are marketing skills important?

Having stellar marketing skills these days is a must for the following reasons:

Boost your customer base

Marketing typically works hand-in-hand with sales to bring new customers to your business. The two departments work together to achieve ambitious customer growth goals through targeted campaigns.

This means approaching customers based on their readiness to purchase, their personal characteristics, the online or physical channels they interact with, and other factors in order to have the best chance of securing their business. 

Enhance your brand and reputation

Employees with strong marketing skills have a huge influence on how audiences perceive your brand and reputation. 

They develop a unique voice for your brand through creative stories about your mission, values, and products – in written, audio-visual, and other formats.

For example, a consistent social media presence enhances brand awareness and can signal to buyers that your company is continuously developing and producing results. 

Maintain existing customers’ loyalty

Your marketing campaigns are useful for reaching not only new customers but also existing ones. This is good news, seeing as retaining customers is five to 25 times cheaper than acquiring new ones.

Employees with great marketing skills target existing customers with personalized messaging, giving them solid reasons to stay on. For instance, they may offer clients discounts on their favorite products or early access to new services. 

Save you money

All organizations must market their products to stay profitable. However, without marketing talent, vital elements like copywriting become less cohesive and impactful – leading to inefficient use of resources.

By contrast, skilled marketers perform key activities more quickly and competently use software to automate basic tasks, saving you time and money.

Spotlight your products more effectively

Without effective promotion, fewer customers will know about your products or services. A marketing specialist identifies your products’ top selling points and matches them to target audiences’ needs.

From producing original content to commissioning creative artwork and analyzing marketing performance, marketers use specialized skills to put a product in the best possible light for its target market.

Make your whole team customer-focused

Talented marketers share their keen customer focus with the entire team. Thus, departments such as sales, operations, and even IT learn the importance of the customer journey.

For example, when product managers work closely with marketers, they design features that customers can use and understand more easily.

Help you understand your customers better

Marketers make decisions based on available information about customers and markets. This research can extend to benefit the whole business. You can better understand, for example, how customer needs change over time, the impact of macroeconomic factors, and why they choose your products over other competitors’.

What skills and traits are important for marketing employees?

list of skills and traits that are important for marketing employees

Market research

A marketer must perform market research effectively to promote your products and services. Understanding factors like market size, competitors’ positioning, and macroeconomic trends is essential to creating an impactful marketing strategy.

Key skills include numerical estimation, hypothesis testing, and using business frameworks such as Porter’s Five Forces (which involves analyzing competitors’ operating environments).

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills also support market research, as they allow professionals to use their findings to draw logical conclusions.

Branding

Your brand is the group of assets that sets your business apart from competitors. A marketing candidate should know exactly how these assets – including visual design, communication style, values, and reputation – can influence audience perceptions.

Essential traits of an employee with strong branding skills include customer orientation, collaboration, and creativity. These enable the candidate to enhance the customer journey while using team inputs to generate new ideas.

Further reading: Learn more about how to hire a branding strategist for your business.

Cross-channel marketing

Marketers often implement campaigns across multiple channels at once – also known as cross-channel marketing. Popular channels include social media, websites, email, print, digital ads, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, and more.

Successful candidates understand the subtle differences in audience, brand voice, user journey, and creative materials that define each channel. At the same time, they’re able to create a cohesive customer experience across the various channels.

Communication

Effective communication is non-negotiable in marketing. Successful candidates should be able to create persuasive communications – whether verbal, written, or audio-visual – to build a narrative and address customers’ needs. 

Therefore, it’s critical to assess communication skills such as writing, editing, and grammar, in addition to coherence and persuasion. You can uncover their communication skills during an interview or in the skills testing stage. Depending on your marketing channels, you may also wish to assess candidates’ experience with short-form copy like social media posts, long-form copy like blogs, and specialized copy such as press releases and advertisement scripts.

In addition, marketers must communicate effectively and proactively with various stakeholders, such as product owners and creative agencies, to discover information relevant to their campaigns.

Digital marketing

For many businesses, digital marketing is central to their marketing strategy. This umbrella term includes executing marketing tasks effectively across all digital channels, such as:

  • Social media

  • Email marketing

  • Content marketing, including blogging

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

  • Paid advertising, including pay-per-click (PPC) and Google Ads

Digital marketing specialists also use the data from these tasks to strategically prioritize those bringing the highest return on investment (ROI). For example, the marketer will invest more time and resources into a Google Ads campaign than an email campaign if it brings in more sales.

Marketing software knowledge

Marketing professionals regularly use software that supports or even automates email marketing, social media posting, customer data analysis, content scheduling, and other tasks. 

Candidates often adapt quickly to new software if they have experience with similar products. However, your company may use a complex marketing platform with custom features. (One popular marketing software is HubSpot, which combines cross-channel marketing with customer databases and automation tools.) In that case, you might require candidates with experience in that specific product.

Data-driven decisions

Data-driven marketing decisions not only help you achieve your business targets but also make it easier to track and improve marketing performance accurately.

Successful marketing candidates are confident using analytics – such as web page views and email open rates – to track campaign outcomes. This helps them understand how to improve future campaigns and which activities bring the greatest benefits.

Skills and traits tests for marketing professionals

Testing relevant skills and traits early in the hiring process means you’ll meet your top candidates faster. It also prevents skilled individuals from getting lost during resume screening due to human error or bias.

TestGorilla offers a wide variety of tests for marketing professionals, with most taking just 10 minutes to complete. You can personalize these further by adding custom questions.

Branding Strategy test

This test assesses the strategic branding skills candidates need to develop and grow a brand, including their ability to: 

  • Develop brand identity and positioning

  • Grow a brand’s impact through brand management and advertising

  • Use visual identity and messaging as branding tools

  • Lead a rebranding process

The test also covers decision-making abilities with the use of real-world scenarios. You can even add custom questions with scenarios relevant to your business priorities.

Pro tip: Assessing job-specific skills is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to hiring a skilled branding strategist. Start by writing a strong branding strategist job description to attract top talent, then move to pre-employment testing to find your perfect hire.

Verbal Reasoning test

Our Verbal Reasoning test assesses analytical skills in candidates’ use of language. You’ll find out how well they can:

  • Understand logical relationships between words

  • Draw evidence-based conclusions 

  • Identify analogies

A candidate with a high verbal reasoning score is likely to do well in producing targeted content such as blog posts and pitch decks. Verbal reasoning skills also help marketers collaborate with their teams and communicate persuasively with stakeholders.

Problem-Solving test

TestGorilla’s Problem-Solving test reviews analytical skills and responses to complex situations. You can use it to check if candidates can:

  • Analyze numerical and textual data

  • Draw conclusions based on available data

  • Prioritize actions based on a given set of rules

  • Create and modify schedules

This test is especially suited for marketers with project management responsibilities, who need to make smart decisions under pressure. Excellent problem-solving skills also support independent working with minimal supervision.

Marketing Analytics test

Our Marketing Analytics test checks candidates’ ability to analyze and optimize marketing performance using available data. It assesses skills including:

  • Using essential marketing metrics 

  • Understanding key performance indicators (KPIs)

  • Collecting data from multiple sources

  • Making data-driven decisions

You can expect candidates with high marks on this test to use marketing analytics in a way that improves business performance while saving time and money. They’re also likely to adapt quickly to relevant analytical software and processes.

Email Marketing test

This test evaluates email marketing skills – from campaign planning to execution and analysis. You’ll know if candidates are skilled at:

  • Developing a campaign strategy 

  • Implementing email campaigns

  • Using email analytics to assess performance

  • Using A/B testing to increase engagement rates

You can expect high scorers to use email marketing tools skillfully to offer a great user experience and convert more customers to your business.

Google Ads test

The Google Ads test assesses knowledge of the platform’s essential functionality across paid and organic campaigns. Use it to discover a candidate’s ability to:

  • Understand general Google Ads concepts and terminology

  • Decide when and why to use specific features

  • Set up and monitor organic and paid campaigns

  • Analyze and optimize ad performance

This test is especially suitable for marketers that are responsible for growing brand awareness and generating demand.

HubSpot CRM test

This test assesses HubSport CRM knowledge at an advanced level. A high-scoring candidate may also be able to adapt to competing CRM platforms.

Candidates are quizzed on their ability to:

  • Understand the functionality of the Contacts, Conversations, Marketing, and Deal features in HubSpot CRM

  • Coordinate tools including website building, content publishing, and customer engagement via social media, email, and support

  • Automate workflows to increase efficiency and sales 

In addition to indicating a level of knowledge of HubSpot CRM features, this test evaluates candidates’ ability to collaborate with your sales team to bring in new deals. 

Google Analytics test

TestGorilla’s Google Analytics test evaluates candidates’ experience of using the platform to effectively analyze web traffic and use it to inform future work.

Candidates must demonstrate they can:

  • Understand Google Analytics’ data structure

  • Set up the platform for website tracking

  • Interpret data

  • Use data to make decisions

This test is particularly useful for marketing employees that are responsible for increasing website traffic and customer conversion and supporting strategic digital marketing decisions. 

How TestGorilla can help you find the right marketing employee

Marketing roles require a combination of skills that are almost impossible to verify just by looking at candidates’ resumes. For example, a marketing director's skill set should be a mix of market analysis, leadership, people management, and critical thinking skills. A pre-employment marketing skills assessment is an essential step in hiring the best marketing employees, bias-free.

TestGorilla offers a wide range of marketing skills tests – from general problem-solving and verbal reasoning to specialized analytics and email marketing. Our tests can also evaluate candidates’ experience with marketing software, including Google Analytics and Hubspot CRM.

By mixing and matching our tests and customizing your questions, you can build tailored assessments that reflect the specific requirements of your marketing roles. Check out our plans and get started today.

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