According to St. Joseph’s University, a sign of a good leader is his or her ability to keep a positive group dynamic. Leaders must learn to identify issues, assess situations and above all keep group emotions in check.
There are a couple of things that consistently top the list when it comes to being a great marketing leader. According to The CMO Manifesto by John Ellett, there are essentially 12 best practices. Another thought leader, Ashley Friedlein from eConsultancy, recently published an update to his Modern Marketing Manifesto, which also happens to have 12 points. This manifesto has a slight digital marketing bias but is quite compatible with John Ellett’s point of view.
Condensed and put into a fairly succinct summation of the 2 manifestos byGerardo A Dada, here are the top 4 traits of successful marketing leaders in no specific order:
1. Revenue ownership and accountability. More than metrics or revenue orientation marketing leaders need to be accountable for revenue, at least share this accountability with sales, which will drive collaboration. Modern marketers no longer can claim success with ambiguous metrics like brand value or impressions, they need to show how marketing directly impacts the business and make sure everyone on their team have this focus.
2. Smart adaptability. As customers change, marketing must change: use of social and mobile, for example, or how millennials behave differently from other generations. Adaptation must be smart to distinguish buzzwords (like big data) from real trends and to make the right investments in these new areas that allow for experimentation and learning.
3. Customer centricity. It’s the role of marketing to champion the voice of the customer and to share market insights that lead the company. No company can be truly customer-centric and market driven unless the marketing leader takes this role seriously. Marketing must lead the fundamental corporate strategy decisions (where to play and how to win) and be the evangelists that help everyone in the company understand market opportunities, customer expectations and how the company adds value to customers.
4. Team builders. Marketing is more and more complex. Today’s marketing includes social, SEO/SEM, market research, paid ads, pricing, and many more disciplines. It is impossible for a marketing leader to be an expert on all these areas. One of the hardest tasks for a marketing leader is to build a team of specialists that is highly competent, action oriented, customer centric and revenue accountable. The marketing job never ends: there are always more channels, more opportunities and more activities than anyone can do. Focus and leadership are key.
What is obvious by reading this column or any other marketing book is that the marketing function is getting more complex, is evolving to play a more strategic role and is becoming more and more interesting.
It’s a good time to be a marketer.