Do a quick search for “questions every marketer should be able to answer” and you’ll quickly be overwhelmed with everyone’s thoughts on the role we play as marketers today (some are pretty insightful). There are certainly many questions that call for an answer directly from the marketing department, but it may be more meaningful to break down the core areas of marketing knowledge, rather than listing dozens of specific questions.

Each competency area has its inherent set of questions on which you should be well versed, and will want to dig into further.

I’ve grouped these genres and a few of their accompanying questions into the following three categories:

  • Contact Generation
  • Meaningful Action
  • Your Numbers

Let’s dive into each..

How are you generating contacts?

This is where you’ll want to have an in-depth understanding of how contacts are entering your marketing funnel, at what stage they are entering, and where they are coming from. Understanding how you’re building the contact database is key for understanding big picture items like paid traffic optimization, page SEO, social reach, etc.

Key Questions:

1. How do contacts move from one stage to the next in your funnel?

2. Which traffic sources produce the highest quality leads?

3. What channel should you invest more marketing dollars in?

How are you adding value to prospect and customer experiences?

This may involve online and offline actions, depending on your industry. Meaningful actions could be form fills, content downloads, email signups, demo requests, etc. They are a direct result of your efforts to convey the value of your product(s) to prospects and customers. It’s vital to know, and constantly work to improve, conversion rates and user experiences to develop and refine a meaningful engagement strategy.

Key Questions:

1. Where are the conversion points on your website?

2. In what ways do consumers interact with my brand?

3. What value does this piece of content provide for the end user?

What are the numbers?

This is intentionally broad and encompasses truly every aspect of our work as marketers. It spans the previous two categories as well, but deserves it’s own grouping because thoughtfully planning out what will be measured, how it will be measured, and deciding on appropriate data-backed action items is so very important to your work. You should not only be able to report the numbers, but you should also have a good idea if they’re reliable and trustworthy through a data science perspective.

Key Questions:

1. What trends are you able to identify in the data, and how will they guide your decision making?

2. How are you tracking against goals and KPIs?

3. Where is there room for improvement in your marketing strategy?

More on marketing analytics here.

There are many aspects to being a competent marketer, and by no means did we touch on all of them here. The goal is to have your finger on the pulse of the core areas of contact generation, lead paths, and reporting so you can ask yourself the right questions and become a trusted source of marketing knowledge.

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