Kirsty Trainer is the Marketing Manager at Foregenix, the global leaders in data forensics and information security. You can read her insights here.

Your background is in web design originally. How essential a skill do you think this is for today’s modern marketer?

It certainly helps when you’re trying to manage all marketing channels as an in-house marketer. To be able to easily update, propose changes and continually improve the state of your website to match your strategy is becoming crucial. Growth-driven design will be the future of website design, so to be able to have that resource in-house will definitely aid the efforts of the marketing team.

Would you agree that the rise of content marketing and social selling means that b2b marketers have had to adapt their approach to prospective clients?

There has been a big shift in marketing in the past few years. As Gina Balarin from OmPrompt recently shared at TedX Reading, there is a much bigger pressure on organisations to be honest in all of their communications – gone are the days when a company could over-promise and under-deliver, as with a single tweet this can ruin your reputation.

The biggest improvement – in my eyes – is the adoption of Inbound Marketing as a strategy. As a company, it’s important to us that we’re seen as thought leaders and experts, so creating valuable, timely and relevant content is at the core of how we market ourselves. I no longer include ‘selling’ as a major part of my role – educating and understanding the frustrations of our prospects is a much bigger (and more rewarding) aspect.

Do you think your role will have significantly changed in ten years time?

As marketing has changed in the past few years, I firmly believe this will affect the way that sales and marketing work together and the methods they use to draw in new business. As it stands, ‘modern’ marketers – who place heavy emphasis on building relationships, showing thought leadership and creating valuable content need to battle with ‘traditional’ sales techniques. Sales needs to evolve and become ‘smarter’, and with this the lines between sales and marketing will blur.

Additional to this, I predict an ‘Internet of Things’ approach to marketing. It’s time for marketers to get away from their laptops, grab their smart phones and smart watches and discover new ways to communicate with the consumers of the future.

There are so many tools, apps, and platforms out there to help with marketing. Can you give us your top 5?

My life revolves around tools that make it easier to do my job! The main key is finding the right combination for your business (and there’s so many options!)

My day-to-day tools include:

1. Hubspot

If, like us, you’re looking at making the shift to inbound marketing then it’s definitely worth looking at the Hubspot platform as an option. I don’t think I could be without it – it’s worth the investment.

2. Google Search Console/Analytics

This is one tool that’s worth investing time in learning. As a modern marketer, we are to worship the wishes of Google – so using part of your day to understand the inner workings of your website gives you a lot more insight.

3. Asana

We’re very dynamic in our marketing strategy; so keeping focus on several projects at once, as well as changes within the strategy is a lot easier with a project management tool like Asana.

4. Passle

A big challenge within our company was how to release the experience of the experts within our team and turn it into regular content. Getting the balance right between regular content and using their time efficiently was tricky – until we found Passle.

5. VideoScribe

Video is everywhere on social media – and this easy-to-use tool enables quick production for a variety of uses, whether it’s an external product release or an internal training video.

If you could give a key piece of advice to a busy professional new to social media and content marketing, what would it be?

Before you do anything – take time to do a lot of research! Research your company, your product/service, your competitors, and crucially the needs and problems that your prospects will be experiencing. Read, compile information and sources, and analyse what your data is telling you. Giving yourself this level of clarity will make it easier to see the important areas to focus on.