9 traits of a kick ass Marketing Director

Great marketing leaders are critical to a company’s success and growth, they will define your brand experience, lead teams who create innovative ways to attract, engage and retain customers and ensure you are delivering on products, services and customer experiences that are best in class.

I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with some genuinely exceptional marketing leaders and have created a list of the top qualities that were evident in all of them.

They own the fact they’re responsible for driving growth

They take responsibility for their role in driving growth and align their strategic marketing objectives with those of the wider company. They also have a deep understanding of the impact and results of their work through data metrics and will rise to the challenge of ensuring marketing initiatives are delivering on their part for customer creation, retention & growth.

They are genuinely customer centric.

They genuinely keep customers front of mind in everything they do, through research, data, customer feedback, talking to their frontline teams and more, they understand customers profiles, preferences and drivers. This enables them to create authenticity and excellence in marketing as they are constantly challenge how the company is providing value, inspiring and delighting customers at every step in their journey.

They champion data driven decision making.

Utilizing data to prioritize decision making is another key trait of the best marketers, too often, even in large organizations decisions are made based on internal assumptions. The best marketing leaders know the importance of collating, analysing and utilizing data insights to nail their offering and customer experience. They know it also enables teams to measure their results creating team cultures of celebrating real success.

They seriously love what they do!

They really love and believe in what they do! They’re the ultimate brand ambassador and are passionate about being the best in their markets. Inspiring their teams, the organization and their customers to love the brand too. Not only do the love the brand, they love the unknown that comes with marketing roles, the fact that no two days are ever the same and that infinite enthusiasm rubs off on those around them.

They’re influencers across the business

Great marketing leaders are also great networkers across their own company silos – they know the value of gaining insights from sales teams who are talking to customers daily; proving ROI to finance to secure future budgets; collaborating with IT to design great digital experiences. They build bridges across departments and help to break down silos to ensure information is shared and teams are truly working as ‘one team’ to achieve growth.

They empower and mentor, they don’t micro-manage!

They empower their team members to deliver their best work, have creative freedoms and to get on with the tasks at hand. They don’t focus on fine tuning every detail of their outputs but rather focus on the bigger picture, setting the vision and goals, providing direction and mentoring to ensure the work is aligned with branding and objectives but ultimately letting their teams shine.

They’re visionaries

They are vision creators and can clearly communicate this across the company, helping teams to understand how the tasks they are doing every day are making a real contribution to that long term vision, resulting in more engaged, motivated employees. Getting customers and employees excited about your company over others, you really need someone that can get people to emotionally connect with your vision and story.

They can adapt faster than most

The marketing world evolves at pace, customers, technologies and channels change, so being able to adapt and make strategic decisions on which new areas to focus on and invest in to add the most value is key. The best marketers have their finger on the pulse and see trends developing, enabling them to understand the market and proactively manage their brand to connect with their audiences.

They’re creative game changers

The best marketers, never do things "the way it's always been done." They are always looking for ways to innovate and do things in a new way. They are willing to take risks and aren't afraid to fail because they know they if they do, they will quickly learn from mistakes and that when they win, the value created from the wins when they do succeed generates great value and legacies.

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