Engage the stages of learning to take on new marketing skills

As you go through your Marketing career, there is a repetitive nature, as we tend to work on the same essential types of work streams over and over. There are stages of learning as we continue to build our collection of marketing skills. We try, repeat, tweak, improve, and perfect. And then we share those marketing skills with others. 

learning new marketing skills

While every career path is as unique as a fingerprint, the best marketers must learn to think, define, plan, execute, and analyze. 

The major work streams for marketers to build their skills include:

  • Strategic planning.
  • Establishing brand positioning.
  • Launching product innovation.
  • Building successful brand communications.
  • Running the business.
  • Leading future leaders. 

We might first engage with these same work streams in the early stages of our marketing career. Then, we keep seeing them as we move up to mid-level manager roles, to director-level jobs, or even to the CMO level. We need to get better and better at each stage.

Learning new skills

The four phases of learning for brand leaders:


Unconsciously incompetent: Try

As we jump in on a new marketing skill, we struggle through and do our best. However, without any experience, we have no idea of the right way to do it, so we are unaware we are doing it the wrong way. We start with our instincts, but if we are not successful, we risk losing our confidence. 

Consciously incompetent:  Repeat and Tweak

We begin to feel the friction and tension as we struggle with each repetitive attempt. We might use some trial and error as we tweak our ways and eliminate the bad. At this stage, feedback from peers or managers can open our eyes to know the flaws and mistakes in our execution. We are now aware of the need to improve.

Consciously competent: Improve 

With a series of good and bad experiences, we perfect the details and apply the best methods to achieve consistent success. 

Unconsciously competent:  Perfect and Teach others 

With vast experience, the tasks become second nature. We exhibit full confidence and are able to stay in the moment and execute with brilliance. At this stage, there is an opportunity to share our knowledge through the teaching and coaching of those at the other levels.

You will go on your own journey

To simplify this model, we always start completely lost. And we have no clue how to fix it. We need to be open to feedback on any new marketing skill area. Be aware of our struggles and accept them. We need to critique ourselves. Hear out others with more experience. We need to keep trying and failing. 

With each new marketing skill, you need to be realistic about which phase you are in with a given marketing skill area that will help you to take on that skill and continue to improve. When we match the appropriate activity to the experience level, it allows entry-level marketers to learn many of the same marketing skills and behaviors on executing a coupon they will use many years later as a CMO when making decisions on a Super Bowl ad.

Marketing Skills

The marketing skills you need for success

To achieve your full potential in your career, you need to be able to think strategically, define your brand positioning, and build a brand plan that everyone can follow. Learn to inspire creative marketing execution that drives the brand’s growth and be able to analyze the business’s performance.

To illustrate, click to zoom in on the marketing skills needed in a marketing career.

  • Concerning strategic thinking skills, use challenging and interruptive questions, take a holistic view of the brand, lead strategic debates on the issues, and make smart strategic decisions.
  • To define your brand with brand positioning skills, you must know how to find the consumer target, understand the potential functional and emotional benefits, and create an ownable and motivating brand positioning statement. Then build out a brand idea that guides every consumer touchpoint on the brand. 
  • Be able to write a brand plan that everyone can follow, leading all elements of the plan. Turn your strategic thinking into strategic objective statements, present to senior management, and develop smart execution plans. 
  • To be skilled with marketing execution, you must know how to write a brief, lead the project management aspect of any marketing execution, inspire the experts, and make smart decisions. 
  • When it comes to marketing analytics, you need to know the sources of data, dig into the analysis, lead a deep-dive business review, and write an analytical performance report.

Breaking down the 20 core marketing skills

The best marketers are able to think, define, plan, execute, and analyze. In the presentation below, explore the 20 core marketing skills. Our brand training goes through four skills for each of strategic thinking, brand positioning, marketing plans, marketing execution, and brand analytics. 

Use > to move through the marketing skills presentation or x to see the full screen. 

Marketing fundamentals

When your marketers jump straight to tactics, they miss the underlying issues that are hurting the brand. 

Without taking enough time to think strategically, marketers fail to build on their brand’s core strength, create a bond with consumers, win the competitive battles, or improve the business situation of the brand.

When brands try to be everything to anyone, they end up being nothing to everyone. 

Without a clearly defined brand positioning, the brand never establishes an ideal reputation with consumers. This allows competitors to define the brand. The execution team lacks direction, so the brand messaging appears random and confusing to consumers. 

When your marketers try to do too many things in their plan, none have enough resources to make an impact. 

Marketing plans that fail to make firm decisions spread their limited resources across so many tactics, that none of the ideas create a big enough impact to make a difference. With a lack of vision, the plan meanders and confuses those who work behind the scenes of the brand.

When marketing execution is not organized and aligned to the strategy, everyone operates in silos. 

The brand communication, new product innovation, and sales never gain the benefit of working together. Consumers get frustrated by the disjointed execution, and they never feel connected to the brand. 

When your marketers don’t go deep on analytics they miss the underlying issues facing the brand. 

They miss out on understanding the consumer trends, competitive dynamics, evolving technologies, shopper channels, and brand performance. The problems fester and the untapped opportunities are stolen away by competitors.

At Beloved Brands, we have designed our marketing training program to build the fundamental skills that will help your team reach their full potential.

To illustrate, click to zoom in on the marketing fundamentals needed in a marketing career.

Marketing Career

Managing your marketing career from ABM to CMO

There are four main levels to a marketing career:
  • Assistant Brand Manager.
  • Brand Manager.
  • Marketing Director or Group Marketing Director.
  • VP Marketing or CMO.
In simple terms, the entry-level Assistant Brand Manager role is about doing, analyzing and sending signals you have leadership skills for the future.
At the Brand Manager level, it becomes about ownership and strategic thinking within your brand plan. Most Brand Managers are honestly a disaster with their first direct report, and get better around the fifth report.

When you get to the Marketing Director role, it becomes more about managing and leading than it does about thinking and doing. To be great, you need to motivate the greatness from your team and let your best players to do their absolute best.

And finally, at the CMO level, you must create your own vision, focus on your people to make them better and shine, drive the business results, and run the processes.

To illustrate, click to zoom in on the success factors at each stage of a marketing career.

Marketing Training

Strategic Thinking:

Our marketing training teaches brand leaders how to ask tough strategic questions to slow everyone down. They need to approach strategy in a thoughtful, analytical way. We created a Strategic ThinkBox that allows marketers to interrogate their brand. Most importantly, it helps them look at the most important issues of the business. Furthermore, we force marketers to take a holistic look at their brand’s core strength, competitive landscape, tightness of the consumer bond, and business situation.

Brand Positioning:

Our brand positioning process starts by finding out the ideal consumer is and how they would benefit from the brand. We teach marketers how to find the emotional and functional benefits their brand can deliver. Then, we show how to find a unique space for their brand that is interesting, simple, motivating, and ownable. Furthermore, we introduce our brand idea tool and show how to communicate that brand idea across the organization. In addition, marketers learn how to write a brand concept, brand story, and a brand credo document.

Marketing Plans:

The marketing plan is a decision-making tool that communicates the expectations to everyone who works on the brand. We teach marketers how to put together the vision, purpose, goals, key issues, strategies and marketing execution plans. Our training provides various tools including our one-page marketing plan and ideal presentation deck. Most importantly, we go into detail on how to write key issue questions and strategic statements that forms the foundation of the marketing plan.

Marketing Execution:

Our marketing execution training starts with the development of the creative brief, which serves as the bridge between the plan and execution. We review line-by-line of the creative brief and give you examples of the best and worst. Furthermore, we even provide participants with a checklist to make smarter decisions on your next marketing campaign. We introduce our creative checklist to help make smarter decisions on creative communications. And, we emphasize how to match up media choices to the consumer journey. Essentially, the skills will help your team get better work from their agency partners.

Brand Analytics:

Our comprehensive brand analytics sessions teach brand leaders how to lead a deep-dive business review. They need to know how to assess their brand’s performance, and set up smarter strategic thinking for their marketing plan. As a result, we get marketers to look at the marketplace, consumers, channels of distribution, competitors or other brands in their industry category. Finally, we show how to lead an audit on the performance indicators of the brand.

To illustrate, click to zoom in on the learning stages for taking on a marketing skill in your marketing career.

Get the right marketing training for your team

Our brand management training programs are offered in three streams: 

  • Consumer Marketing
  • Healthcare Marketing
  • B2B Marketing


To help the participants, we use relevant brand examples for each of our marketing training programs. We believe they learn better when they see marketing concepts applied to a brand like theirs. As a result, it makes it easier for them to understand and apply their newly developed skills to their own business. 

To illustrate, click to zoom in on our example brands from our Marketing Training. 

Online Marketing Training

Brand Management Mini MBA

Our Brand Management Mini MBA certificate program is perfect for ambitious marketer, looking for an online marketing training course to upgrade their marketing skills and reach their full potential. 

The Beloved Brands Brand Management Mini MBA will teach you about strategic thinking, brand positioning, brand plans, advertising decision-making, and brand analytics.

We designed our Mini MBA to replicate our in-person training program that we have delivered for many of the best companies around the world. While this type of program would typically cost thousands of dollars, you can get all the content and tools for $750 USD.

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Graham Robertson

Contact info:

[email protected]


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Brand Case Studies

If you are a marketing professional, you can learn from what some of the best brands have been doing. We use case studies to showcase the fundamentals of marketing.

Our video lessons

Everything a marketer must know how to do

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How to uncover strategic key issues

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How to build your brand positioning

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Contact Information

Graham Robertson

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 416–885–3911

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beloved brands

the playbook for how to create a brand your consumers will love

With our Beloved Brands playbook, you will learn how to think strategically, define your brand positioning, write a marketing plan, make execution decisions, and analyze your brand. Our readers tell us they reach for Beloved Brands as a reference tool to help them with the day-to-day management of their brand. We are proud that 89% of online reviewers have given Beloved Brands a 5-star rating. As a result, Beloved Brands has been a #1 bestseller in brand management. We also have the B2B Brands playbook and our Healthcare Brands playbook

Marketing Training

The smarter your team, the better the results you will see!

As a marketing team leader, you know that your team’s success is essential for your company’s growth. Our Beloved Brands marketing training provides your team with the skills they need to make strategic decisions, produce exceptional work, and drive business growth. They will learn how to define brand positioning, write effective plans, improve brief-writing, make informed execution decisions, and analyze their brand’s performance.

We have designed our marketing training program to build the fundamental skills that will help your team reach their full potential. We will work with your team to help them learn take on Strategic Thinking, Brand Positioning, Marketing Planning, Marketing Execution, and Brand Analytics. 

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Brand Toolkit for consumer brands, Brand Toolkits, brand plan, brand positioning, business review, brand toolkits for B2B brands, brand toolkits for consumer brands, brand toolkits for healthcare, brand toolkits for retail brands
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