5 Traits Marketers Must Have To Succeed In The Digital Innovation Economy

Are you afraid digital technologies will make you obsolete? That your hard-earned skills haven’t prepared you for the fast-moving digital future? 

These were two of the questions I asked in my Marketing:Health column last month. Today, I want to move from highlighting the problem to proposing a solution for marketers interested in figuring out how they can thrive in tomorrow’s digital health landscape. 

You know the game has changed in health. Some of the skills, habits and strategies that got you to this point in your career are becoming less relevant because of digital technologies. 

I also know (from conversations with marketers like you) that you’re frustrated by clients and colleagues who only view you as a commodity, and don’t respect your input, strategic vision and more. 



I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but these problems are only going to get worse as health becomes more digitized. (I explain some of the reasons why in this Marketing:Health column). 

What can you do about it? Well, one solution is to begin practicing the traits of successful marketers, communicators, entrepreneurs and others who are creating game-changing campaigns, products, services and brands. I call these people digital health mavens. 

I’ve listed five of the most important traits of digital health mavens below. 

  • Cultivate Your Curiosity: I know you have a crushing workload, little time for your family and challenging clients. But, people around you are demanding that you make connections others can’t see, find new opportunities to capture attention and much more. Taking time to do new things, consume content that (at first glance) has little relevance to your day-to-day work and more will help you cultivate the curiosity you need to boost your success.
  • Pursue Insights: It’s not enough to simply gather and regurgitate data. Your colleagues, supervisors and clients are demanding that you use digital information in ways that will help them drive more revenue, convince skeptics and more. Meeting their needs will require you to turn data into game-changing insights. Look for ways to find relevant insights in every piece of information you come across — whether it is related to health or not. 
  • Put Humans First: As outlined in this Marketing:Health essay, I talk about how consumers are asking for more relevant, personalized content and digital experiences. It’s easy to say customer-centricity is important, but much harder to do. Constantly ask yourself whether you’re truly putting end users, your colleagues and team first when engaging in any initiative. 
  • Embrace Flexibility: In a world where margins are becoming ever tighter, being able to show ROI is vital. But, succeeding in digital requires making continual adjustments and creative long-term thinking. “Fail fast” is a popular saying in the digital community. I prefer the term “embrace flexibility,” or working to maintain a singular vision and purpose despite the many changes required to develop high-impact campaigns, products and services.
  • Practice Bravery: I know from experience that being a marketer can be very scary. It’s hard to keep up, you’re often stressed and much more. Yet, being truly innovative in digital requires a lot of bravery. This holds true whether you’re recommending a novel campaign, building an app or doing something else. Seek out the stories of people you admire who you feel are particularly brave in your industry for inspiration. Practice being brave in large in small ways in your everyday life and career. Working your bravery muscle will do you a lot of good. 

Did reading this help? I hope so. 

If you’d like to learn about (and be inspired by) digital health mavens working in marketing, building stellar products and more, please click here to view my recently published SlideShare presentation.

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