Given that they’re often in charge of the company’s promotional output, public image, online personality and campaigns that should drive plenty of leads into the sale department, the modern marketing manager needs to be quite an impressive individual. Marketing evolves constantly. Every week, there’s a new trend to explore, a route to market to figure out or form of content marketing to get your head around.
So, if you’re either looking for a marketing manager or want to become one yourself, how on earth do you find the qualities you need to keep on top of all this stuff? The good news is brilliant marketing managers exist. Equally, if you’re just starting your own marketing career, there’s plenty of routes you can take to become capable of reaching the position of manager. You just need to know what to look for or invest your time in developing, skills-wise. In this post, we’re going to look at what we think are the ten most important elements of a brilliant marketing manager.
1. They know how to be a team player
The best marketing managers on the planet know they shouldn’t work alone. They know it’s absolutely a team effort. They also know that they need to be one of the team, rather than someone who stands above their minions, barking orders from an ivory tower. This extends to the rest of the business too, which is why great marketing managers know the role their department plays not just with sales, but also with finance, HR, logistics and more.
2. They tell a great story
Marketing has always been about telling stories. You build your company’s brand by telling its story, you add personality to it by telling the stories of the employees who work within its four walls, you launch new products by telling the story behind their conception. This is why marketing managers need to be great storytellers.
They need to know how to describe a product, service or the company itself in a way that draws people in and keeps them engaged. Marketing is all about driving emotion throughout the business, both internally and externally.
3. They can see the big picture
With big data and the countless analytical platforms that can be used to decipher it, marketing managers can all too easily get bogged down in the detail, but the best know how to step back and take into account the bigger picture. The overarching goal of every marketing campaign – no matter how lofty it might be – needs to be firmly in the mind of the marketing manager at all times. Every small task that needs to be undertaken to reach that goal should, therefore, contribute exactly as intended and help with progress.
4. They’re pretty good at sales, too
Forget everything you’ve learned – marketing and sales are virtually the same thing. They’re both designed to sell stuff as efficiently and profitably as possible. This is why marketing managers should also be brilliant salespeople. Their skills need to be transferrable into the sales department without hesitation and, obviously, they shouldn’t show any animosity towards their sister department, it should be their second love.
5. They’re great at listening
Marketing isn’t just about telling stories, it’s about listening to them, too. If you want to learn your craft and become the best you can be at it, you need to spend a great deal of time listening to what others have to say. Marketing managers who are worth their salt are brilliant listeners. They listen to their team, the industry and – most importantly – the competition in order to make sure their campaigns and marketing strategies are as successful as they should be.
6. The can adapt
As previously mentioned, marketing changes so rapidly that in order to be a brilliant marketing manager, you have to adapt – quickly. Best laid plans and strategies change, and the right marketing manager will be able to pick themselves up off the floor when defeated and swivel on a sixpence when new challenges or skill requirements arises.
7. They know their audience
There’s little point in telling stories if you don’t know who’s listening.
Marketing managers need to know their audience, intimately, if they’re to develop stories that engage people fully and tempt them to act. And, just as marketing itself changes regularly, audiences do, to.
8. They’re loyal
Loyalty in business is hard to come by, but when you find it in a marketing manager, you’ll benefit from a member of staff who is absolutely, 100% committed to the company. Due to their level of expertise and competence, they’ll certainly be chased down by competitors and will undoubtedly be presented with offers designed to prise them away from your business, but if they’re the right type of marketing manager, their loyalty and love of the company they serve will mean they’ll stand resolutely by your side.
9. They’re creative
It goes without saying that a great marketing manager needs to be highly creative. Only, they need to tread that fine line between having a creative mind and being open to criticism.
Many creative minds struggle with this, believing that their ideas are the best and that any thoughts against them are simply subjective. As a marketing manager, you need to take criticism on the chin and appreciate that your idea might be trumped by one of the employees you manage.
Creative leadership should originate from anywhere within the team, and the best marketing managers embrace this.
10. They’re enthusiastic (almost annoyingly so)
For your business to become successful and put itself ahead of the competition, it needs boundless enthusiasm. Where does it get that from? That’s right – your marketing department! And, because enthusiasm should be driven top-down, it’s up to your marketing manager to be the most enthusiastic person in the business. They might even border on being irritating at times, but it’ll be endearing and demonstrate that they are completely dedicated to making a success of the business.
Marketing is one of the most exciting and rapidly developing elements of business. You just need the right person to lead it. We hope the ten tips above help in your search for the best marketing manager. And, if you’re considering becoming one yourself, our tips will help you mould your approach in a way that makes you the obvious hire.