No matter your speciality, you can always improve as a marketing professional. From learning new skills to looking at how others are doing it, here are some tips for becoming a better marketer this year.

Get mobile.. fast

Mobile is such a huge element in any marketing strategy these days that you need to get on board. By 2016, local mobile search is expected to exceed desktop by more than 27 billion annual queries, according BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Local Media Forecast. The growth in mobile search has significantly changed where content should be shared or displayed.

Whether is recommending your clients work with a brand (take a look at the methods of SMS Marketing from GlobalMessaging, for example) or whether it’s simply updating all the websites you work on with a responsive site, mobile is the way forward and you’d miss out on a lot of opportunities if you ignore mobile.

It pays to communicate

Communication is a huge part of marketing but a lot of marketers squirrel themselves away while they work in big projects. No comment is not an option. Get social..quick. Stay in touch with both customers and prospective ones. Answer questions related to your industry and brand on social sites.

Don’t do this: always set time aside to engage with your followers on Twitter or get out to networking events. These are great places for meeting people and telling them about your work. You may also learn something simply by putting yourself out there and speaking to people in your industry.

Use business relationships to your advantage

If you know someone who is a pay-per-click whizz, speak to them if you have a question about a new campaign. All the connections you make can be valuable, even if it’s something as simple as a few conversations over social media. You shouldn’t take take advantage and never repay the favour, nor should you exploit the people you know but definitely don’t ignore people with skills who might assist you.

Be a real person

Business is personal. Make it personal. Let your clients and colleagues know who you are. A faceless brand is never exciting or intriguing. Also, if you can get across your own story, people are more likely to trust you with theirs. Show the human side of your business.

Customers relate with real people better in business. Don’t automate too much if you can. Nobody likes that. Share stories about how your business started and how you got to where you are now. If people identify with you, they are more likely to like your brand and share your story.

Tell an amazing story that sticks

Your story as well as the story of those you work with is so important. Stories evoke emotions and the ability to tell a story is what makes a good marketer. People are more likely to listen, respond, connect with media they can connect with.  You should work on on the art of storytelling, first with your personal branding then on your clients.

Look at what everyone else is doing and do it better

It’s all well and good looking at what your competitors are doing but the information won’t be helpful unless you can do it better. Improving on what your competitors are doing is going to put you ahead of the pack, if you simply copy their results then you’re just going to stay in the middle.

The trick to improving is to look at trends in the marketing techniques of your biggest competitors. Try and think ahead and see where marketing is going, if you can forecast trends then you’ll be able to offer innovative ideas to your clients before anyone else gets there.

Get some tech know how

Educate yourself on growth marketing techniques. It can’t hurt to get a bit of technical knowledge to back up your marketing skills. Learn how to build a website that converts better or get some basic programming skills under your belt. Understanding how your colleagues and suppliers work can make it much easier to collaborate.

Becoming a better marketer is all about evolving with the industry and a willingness to learn.