EQ vs. IQ: Which Do You Need As a Marketer to Succeed?

EQ vs. IQ: Which Do You Need As a Marketer to Succeed?

Any marketing recruitment agency that recruits for top talent always evaluates how emotionally intelligent marketers are when vetting their candidacy for a position. Advanced technical or analytical skills just aren’t enough – even the sharpest marketers won’t be able to succeed if they lack emotional intelligence (EQ).

People with EQ have the ability to identify their own emotions and others’ – and use it to respond in any situation appropriately. They are also skilled communicators, highly motivated, self-aware, empathetic, and intellectually curious. They have an inherent understanding of how humans think, allowing them to be exceptional marketers.

Related Video: 6 Steps to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Video by TEDx Talks

EQ vs. IQ: What a Marketing Recruitment Agency Thinks

Marketing is changing at such a brisk pace, and it is up to marketers to introduce innovation and change throughout their organizations. However, digital marketing recruiters know a technical skill set will only get them so far. Emotional intelligence is just as vital as IQ for marketers, especially for those who pursue leadership positions.

There are three critical areas marketers who possess emotional intelligence are successfully able to fulfill, and where those that lack EQ fall short in:


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Organizations are starting to understand the changes that have occurred in marketing, but don’t always entirely understand what’s truly possible from the perspective of digital. Not only do marketers have to be capable of keeping up with the speed of change, they also need to be able to educate the entire organization of what’s possible and how it may impact the business as a whole.

As a marketing recruitment agency, we know marketers who may not have much senior-level experience but often have to communicate this to people who may be twice their age and with twice the experience. Explaining a complex concept or introducing new ideas to senior-level executives in a simple manner isn’t always an easy feat.

While you may have everything in line, properly building your case and validating your recommendations supported by data and KPIs to someone above you without feeling like you’re stepping on their toes can be challenging. It requires a high degree of emotional intelligence and a good understanding of diplomacy and psychology to successfully do so.

Marketers with high emotional intelligence are better able to communicate and voice their perspectives by being mindful and adaptive to the other end, no matter who it is.

For instance, if you’re going into an interview with someone who’s not a marketer (but extremely business-savvy), you have to separate yourself from other candidates by getting them to successfully understand the change and impact you can make. It’s important to not only demonstrate your expertise in marketing, but the ability to walk the recruiter through what’s possible and how it will affect the business in a way they understand. This requires you to be emotionally aware and capable of picking up cues so you can appropriately react.


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As experienced recruiters, we know there’s virtually no job that exists where you’re not going to have to work with people. Marketing in particular is such an outward-facing, visible function within an organization that having people skills is critical to your performance – whether you like it or not.

At the end of the day, you’re human and so are the people you work with. You want to be valued as an individual by peers and management, and vice versa. Professionals who realize this are more empathetic and know how to properly respond to situations that may be uncomfortable.

Emotional intelligence helps marketers effectively manage, lead, teach, and understand how to best guide people in different situations. This is particularly important for marketing leaders who need to be able to make their team members feel comfortable, and provide them with enough support to succeed.

Having mature EQ opens the door for building more valuable relationships with transparency and a baseline of respect and understanding. Being able to relate and connect with people is important in fostering collaboration.

Whether you’re leading a team or are in a mid-level position, emotional intelligence and the ability to approach different members of the team to drive the most effective collaboration is where this skill cannot be replaced. For successful results, you must be able to efficiently work with others to stay on the same page, build cases for your superiors, communicate with your audience, and support your team members.


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Today, marketers have full visibility into everything and are responsible for the major portion of organizations’ revenues. With the rise of digital, they are also in charge of integrating technology into the rest of the organization to more efficiently close leads and drive profit. They must contribute to the bottom-line and prove their value to the business like never before.

It happens often that high EQ makes it easier to deal with people from different backgrounds; ultimately making it easier to work with others, and for others to work with you. People undoubtedly prefer to work on projects with those that they get along with. And collaboration, as discussed before, is critical in your success.

You can think of a business as an engine. If you’re one of the links that keeps the engine pushing, you must be fully competent. But if you lack in EQ and aren’t able to contribute because you don’t work well with others, you’re slowing processes down and putting your own job on the line.

Are You Lacking in Emotional Intelligence?

As a marketing recruitment agency, we get that not everyone has had enough personal experience to develop sophisticated emotional intelligence. While some people naturally have a higher EQ than others, it doesn’t mean it can’t be fostered and improved. If you find that you lack in emotional intelligence, take an active approach in being more aware of your own emotions and conscious of others.

Take one of these personal assessments on a regular basis and evaluate the areas you need to improve in. The more you take control of your skills, the more you’ll find success in your marketing career.

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