All marketing managers would like to consider themselves in the top 1% of their profession, but reaching that point requires passion and a willingness to take on an outsize level of responsibility. The rewards, however, are worth it.
1. Have The Sales Skills
As a manager you are no doubt aware that you are constantly ‘selling’ people on ideas, tasks, and decisions. That in and of itself makes developing some sales skill vital. Yet as a marketing manager you need this even more — your collaborations with the company sales team will tend to be the most crucial, and frequent ones in your career. Your biggest successes will tend to come working arm-in-arm with sales.
Therefore, spend some time working in sales or studying up on the art of selling. You’ll gain invaluable insights into understanding people (and sales professionals) after spending some time building relationships and interacting with customers.
2. Deliver. Always!
Top 1% managers do whatever may be necessary to deliver the project. They don’t see their role bound by any specific limits. They recruit as necessary, escalate if need be, do menial tasks when the situation demands, and otherwise see that the job gets done without excuses.
3. Fill Your Work With Passion
Few people are quite as addictive to be around as those with a spirited, passionate energy for their jobs. Share your energy with everyone and you’ll find it’s contagious, benefiting everyone around you and bringing your projects ever-greater success.
4. Master the Corporate Balancing Act
As a manager you have to satisfy both the executive echelon and the end customers. The upper floors want you to hit certain financial objectives, while the customers want to be satisfied by whatever it is you’re promoting. Sometimes the demands conflict — but mastering this balance is key to excelling in this position.
5. It’s About Results, Not About You
You don’t have to be a ‘grey man’ but being able to work with others in a way that inspires them to do their best is key. You’ll be working with clients, business executives, creative staff, sales reps, production managers, and many more, all of them having their own personalities and principles. Therefore you must adapt and see your ultimate validation in the results you achieve, rather than personal gratification. Maintain strong cooperation and communication, always!
6. Make Everyone Else’s Life Easy
It goes without saying that one of the best ways of ensuring people are receptive to your marketing message is by making their lives easier. The most effective marketing programs, in many cases, are those that are focused, simple, and clear, and your message will often go further when delivered in a simple and easy to digest form. Clean and simple work emanating from your department will be easier for everyone else to work with — which means they in turn produce better results.
Therefore, go the ‘extra mile’ to ensure you make life easier for everyone around you. They will reward you handsomely for it.
7. Engage Your Customers (On Every Level) First
The best marketing managers understand and follow the market better than the competition. An innovative and forward-thinking approach helps you promote and develop products and services your customers — and your competitors — never saw coming. This applies to both your customers in the marketplace and your customers in the executive level also. To the executive team, a trendsetter is indispensable.
8. Understand The Data, And How To Present It
Modern marketing is full of data and analytics, therefore effective marketing management depends on not being overwhelmed or falling victim to ‘data addiction.’ Data can provide an effective map, but the map is not the territory. Understand this when you go to present the results of your work and you will have your ‘executive customers’ eating out of your hand. As Chris Thomas of market research company Play MR puts it, “Unless you specifically ask for a mind-numbing 200-page report written in PowerPoint 2003, there’s a snow-flake’s chance in hell you’ll get it”.
9. Understand Your Domains — All Of Them
Ultimately, no customer cares about your product or your services. They care only about their own problems. Therefore, effectively creating a bridge between your products and the customer’s cares requires knowing both realms intimately. The same applies to your ‘customers’ in your organization.