Have you ever taken one of those self-help quizzes in popular magazines? You know, ones with titles like “10 steps to a healthier you” or “five quick and easy ways to improve your relationships?” These are popular in magazines like Cosmopolitan and Men’s Health.

While this isn’t one of those quizzes, it is entertaining and even a little bit enlightening to consider ourselves in such condensed terms. You may have seen questions like this in a survey: questions such as “Please describe the way you feel about Company X in a few short words.” If marketers had to settle on a few short words to describe themselves, what might they be? Below are a few ideas. This is not a conclusive list, nor anything remotely scientific. Just a candid and good-natured look at the marketing persona.

  • Inquisitive. Marketers, by nature, must be curious about the changing world around them. Consumer demographics are in a state of constant flux and marketers must be on top of that. It doesn’t matter if you earned a BA or even a master’s degree in marketing, journalism or a related field 15 or 20 years ago. The world is a dramatically different place than it was in 1995. Marketers, just as much as the companies they work for and advise, must constantly find ways to stay relevant and current. An inquisitive personality can make this happen. Modern marketers will seek to learn more about the world around them, availing themselves of resources such as business books, blogs, relevant websites and social media outlets. The best way to stay young, both personally and professionally, is to never stop learning. Check out great business books like Grow, Good to Great and The One Thing,
  • Likable. Marketers simply cannot afford to have gruff and abrasive personalities (that’s what CFOs are for – just kidding!). What may have worked well in boardrooms in the 1950s and 1960s won’t fly today. Just as much as the companies and products that help sell, marketers must also successfully sell themselves. This means coming across as open, honest, caring and even loving. It is the goal of every marketer to help consumers come to love a person, product or company. They must also help their clients and employers love them.
  • Analytical. While a good part of the marketing job function lies within the creative realm, successful marketers must also have at least a cursory knowledge of math and analytics. Rather than locking horns with chief financial officers and accountants, the analytical marketer knows at least enough to talk shop with them and can hopefully defend their financial decisions based on substantive data and information. It’s kind of like walking onto a new car lot. You want to know enough about both the vehicle in which you are interested and the sales process to hold your own with the salesman. Successful marketers will care enough about their role to back up the importance of what they do with good, solid numbers. Modern marketers must be adept in such concepts as ROI, cash flow, income statements and bookkeeping.

These are just three words that describe the modern marketer. A more comprehensive list could easily include hundreds of words (both flattering unflattering). Marketers, more now than ever, help chart the course of their own professional destinies and define who they are both as individuals and as a profession. Words like inquisitive, likable and analytical help start this process. What words might you add?