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personality traits of successful inbound marketers

Here’s today’s obvious statement: marketing – whether inbound or outbound – is executed by human beings.

Thing is, the talkosphere tends to sometimes downplay the human element, as if to suggest systems and tools are all that’s required to become the next Apple.

The people you task with inbound marketing matter: the way they function, they way they think, the things that piss them off and make them feel good.

Your inbound team, or agency, has to have players with specific personality traits.

Here are 4 personality traits of successful inbound marketers

  • Empathy. Reams of blog posts, white papers and other content have been published about the failure of big brands to get social media and content marketing right. Companies “don’t get that it’s not supposed to be self-promotional” say the ninjas. Failure in most any marketing – but certainly marketing that involves producing content that is supposed to help, educate, or delight a target group – is almost always the result of an empathy deficit. Your content marketing team cannot be made up of self-centered, me-first type people. They have be able to regularly put themselves in the shoes of your prospective buyers and existing customers. If they can’t/won’t/don’t, the content they produce will miss the mark. Empathy is one of the most important human traits in any situation, and a must-have for versatile content marketers.
  • Curiosity. Incurious people make bad content marketers. They may be able to produce work for specific clients, or segments that matter to your organization, but their lack of interest in new things will limit them. Marketing must evolve as a dynamic business environment changes. Incurious marketers almost always fail when this occurs. Your marketing team or agency should be staffed with knowledge hungry people who ask a lot of questions and are open to the new.
  • Studious. Your inbound team or agency should full of be data hounds that are interested in studying analytics and making adjustments based on findings. Some people are just not studious. It’s fine, but not in a game where data should inform every decision.
  • Thick skinned. Sometimes content goes over like a lead zeppelin (apologies to Keith Moon). This is not the audience personally insulting the content creator. It does not mean the audience is “stupid.” It’s simply that sometimes inbound marketers work hard on content that doesn’t resonate.  Individuals who can take failure in stride and quickly move on should be prized.

I’d be interested to know what sort of traits you look for in an inbound marketer (if you do). Please leave a comment.

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