Technology is transforming how marketers operate and how they connect with their audience. With the proliferation of new products and opportunities, it can be difficult to prioritize what to invest money in. But what often gets overlooked in a busy workday, is what you should invest your time in – what are the new skills you need to develop or advance to stay relevant and competitive in your job when you don’t have time for endless webinars or online courses?

Every month we hand over the blog reins to one of our Templafy experts to share how they solve business problems and improve their work processes. Today we’re learning how to develop our marketing skills to handle new technology with our CMO, Jesper Termansen.

1. What is different about B2B marketing in 2016 and what impact has tech had on the profession?

A lot has happened in marketing over the last couple of years and marketing departments have had to evolve into insight, education and strategy departments. Marketing has moved on from creating glossy brochures and shallow messages to producing content that engages people emotionally and continues to engage over time, to make you their provider of choice.

Technology has changed the way people behave today. Consumers are no longer passive. They don’t expect to call your toll free number and be placed on hold. On the contrary, they expect to get the attention of someone on Twitter or Facebook quickly. And if not, they will attract the attention of plenty of others about their problems.

The consumer attention span is also shorter now. Today, as a business, you have to use your platform to make your consumer’s lives more meaningful. You can’t just provide a wonderful product anymore. Consumers are no longer the target that marketing people have traditionally seen them as; they’re people with innumerable options now.

2. There seem to be endless tech product launches, hyped solutions and whitepapers on the primacy of the mobile phone – as a marketer, what tech stuff should I actually be paying attention to?

My advice would be to focus on the technology that can help you reach and engage with your customers. Companies who engage with customers using a campaign-centric, instead of a customer-centric methodology, can no longer survive disruptive forces. You have to become relevant in every single touch point with the customer and leverage the technology that enables you to understand your customers’ needs and engage with them right here, right now.

3. …and what skills do I need to actually understand and use this stuff to its full advantage and to get the benefits they all allege?

You can no longer attend a marketing conference once a year and expect to keep up. As a marketer, you need to work closely with data specialists, web developers and social media professionals. I believe that the marketer of the future needs to combine marketing and creative skills with an understanding of real-time technology. Marketing teams today need to have data scientists, engineers, developers and user experience experts who all work together in small project teams to generate growth. This is a rather big change from the way traditional marketing departments worked a few years back.

4. How do I get these skills? Can I Google my way through it or does it require a greater investment?

You can definitely use Google for inspiration and I truly believe that Google is one of the most useful tools in the world. That said, as it comes to acquiring new skills, I believe testing is key – learning by trying. Marketing disciplines perform differently across industries. Plan, test and learn. Collate, document, provide and use data to enable effective planning and execution. And surround yourself with curators and be your own curator of what’s important.

5. I miraculously find a free hour between meetings – what’s the best way to use that hour to help me upskill?

, Of course, you can always spend time reading through articles, research, and documented data on current trends and marketing disciplines, etc. But honestly, I don’t believe it’s about a particular technology or discipline. It’s about being curious about other possibilities because the tools we will use in two or three years time will be different from the ones we were using two or three years ago. The future marketing stars are the ones who can balance a passion for technology, data, and creativity at the same time.