Posted on by Skyline Marketing Solutions

According to Walker Sands, there were close to 1,900 martech companies across 43 different product categories at the beginning of 2015. Based on YoY estimates, that means the market nearly doubled from 2014-2015. Interestingly, despite rapid market growth and high demand, 51 percent of marketers don’t think their companies are investing enough in these solutions — an opinion that very well may change soon considering the large investments being made in mobile advertising and marketing technology heading into next year.

So, as we move into 2016, what buying trends do tech companies need to know in order to get in front of key decision makers and win more business? Not only will these more general skills give you a boost at work, but they’ll also help you out in your personal life, too. So, rather than run down a list of everything to land a promotion, it would be more fun today to give you a list of good life skills. I narrowed it down to seven that I think will only improve the way you do things—in the office and at home.

The best part? They’re all easy enough to pick up by the end of the year.

  1. Image Editing

As you know, Photoshop’s a powerful tool used by designers, photographers, marketers, and content editors to manipulate images you see every day. (Nothing is real!) Knowing the fundamentals of editing will let you create images for content, annotate product mock-ups, or touch up your newest LinkedIn profile pic.

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Sign up for a 30-day trial of Photoshop; it’s the industry standard and the one to learn. Then watch a few tutorials (like this one, this one, and this one) and give yourself a project to do. It can range from volunteering to design an image for your company to just creating an awesome holiday card to send out to your friends.

  1. Email Marketing

Speaking of email blasts, how about learning how to make messages people will actually look forward to seeing in their inboxes? Email marketing is one of the most time-efficient and cost-effective ways for companies to reach customers. But you probably already know that since you currently receive a ton of email from your favorite brands.

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Sign up for an account with ConstantContact, one of the most popular email marketing services, and work through its Getting Started guide. Then pick a group of people and shoot out an awesome newsletter to them.

  1. Web Analytics

Yes, it’s expected that every company (and every person) has a website now. But just having an online presence isn’t enough to get ahead. To compete in 2015 (and beyond), you need to know how effective your site is—how many visitors it gets, what visitors click on, and how long they stick around. With this information, you can make more of what the people like (and less of what they don’t) so that they’ll keep coming back again and again.

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Set yourself up with Google Analytics and sign up for the Google Analytics Academy. Then put the analysis to work, for example, on your own website. You should be able to pull the following metrics: unique visitors, pageviews, time on site, and bounce rate.

  1. Content Management System

CMS  is a tool for handling online content like web pages, blog posts, images, videos, e-commerce, and so on. So any company with any content at all has a CMS. While they’re all a little different, once you learn one, you can figure out almost any other.

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Make a site just for fun (or finally launch that blog you’ve been dreaming of) with WordPress and start getting to know how a site’s backend works. You don’t have to actually publish anything; by just spending time learning how all the pieces fit together, you’ll gain knowledge on what it takes to go from idea to completed post. If you need help getting started, check this tutorial for design tips and the WordPress “Blogging University” for post creation tips.

  1. Social Media Management

Of course companies need to be available and active on social media now if they want to stay in touch with their customers and build a following. As do you if you want to become any kind of thought leader in your field. But wrangling all the different online outlets day after day can get tricky. That’s where social media management tools come in. Learning how to plan and schedule tweets, posts, and pins in an organized way will make any type of branding (company or personal) more efficient.

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Sign up for Hootsuite basic and/or pro, read through the quick start guide and commit to scheduling out your own social media for the week.

  1. Coding

You don’t have to be considering a career in IT to benefit from learning to code. By knowing even the fundamentals of tech, you’ll both understand more about how the tools you use every day work and be able to complete more tasks on your own.

Get Started for Free

Sign up for the Skillcrush 10-day Bootcamp to learn the basics of the languages used to create websites, HTML and CSS, and wield your new tech superpowers to code your first web page.

  1. Project Management

Keeping track of tasks and schedules is crucial in every job (as well as almost every large friend group), and, with apps and services that allow collaboration and constant updating, understanding at least one of these is becoming a must.

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There are so many project management tools out there. Looking at a long list can be overwhelming to say the least, so I’d recommend just starting with one that allows sharing tasks like Trello, Wunderlist, or Sococo—but just using it to manage your own to-do list at first. Then, once you find one you like, share the love by setting it up for your team.

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