Transforming marketing for the digital age is difficult enough, but if we are not clear on what marketing capabilities, competencies, skills, features, and culture mean, we will be compounding the misery.

We can all agree marketing transformation is the cornerstone of the digital transformation of enterprises. The marketing function is no longer stuck in the past where technology enablement meant faxing creatives.  Today, marketing is an analytical function with data driving decisions, creative otherwise.  To accomplish the digital transformation goals, marketing capabilities, competencies, skills, features, and culture are all important.  So, let’s get the definitions of these important terms right so that there is no ambiguity and confusion of what these terms mean.

To accomplish the digital transformation goals, marketing capabilities, competencies, skills, features, and culture are all important.  So, let’s get the definitions of these important terms right so that there is no ambiguity and confusion of what these terms mean.

Definition of Transformation terms like marketing capabilities, competencies, skills, features, and culture:

Marketing Capabilities:

Marketing capabilities list or marketing capabilities model is a distinctive term that is a part of the business architecture realm.  We all tend to use the word capability to mean many of the other things in the list, but to be clear, a marketing capability is what marketing does and has the ability to do. While the definition of marketing business capabilities is beyond of the scope of this post, there are other insights addressing these matters. A marketing business capabilities model is a logical and increasingly granular decomposition of marketing and related functions into a coherent and cohesive list.

Marketing Competencies:

Marketing competencies are the inherent and innate set of behaviors required to drive marketing outcomes. In general, a competency is defined by Wikipedia as “A competency is a set of defined behaviors that provide a structured guide enabling the identification, evaluation, and development of the behaviors in individual employees.”  For example, many competencies are generic, such as “teamwork” or “leadership”, and are useful not only in marketing but across the board.  However, there are some competencies that are more relevant to marketing, such as “creativity” or “storytelling”, or  “cultural awareness” etc.

Marketing Skills:

Marketing skills are the more technical abilities required to execute marketing strategies and operations.  These skills are necessary for understanding the nature of the job and excel in it.  For example, SEO (Search engine optimization) is a technical skill required to succeed in a digital marketing role.  Another is “Copywriting” which is an ability to capture the essence of marketing message into concise and compelling statements.

Marketing Features:

Marketing features are functions or modules that one needs in a marketing software or platform.  The IEEE defined a software feature as, “A distinguishing characteristic of a software item (e.g., performance, portability, or functionality).”  A marketing feature could be something like “Account-based marketing” in a CRM software platform.

Marketing Culture:

Of course, marketing culture is the foundation of any enterprise is a set of beliefs, behaviors, values, and approach that determine how marketing works in a firm.

Now that we are clear on what marketing capabilities, competencies, skills, features, and culture mean, let’s go and transform marketing to meet the enterprise needs in the digital age.

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