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5 Marketing Leadership Skills You Need to Succeed

What’s in this article:

  • These five marketing leadership skills will help you create more value for your company

With consumers increased demand for digital experiences, marketing departments have been placed in a position to deliver strategic direction and growth. But without the right leadership skills, marketing leaders will fail at this task. About 86% of senior marketers believe lack of leadership capabilities has resulted in missed revenue, growth, and customer acquisition opportunities.

Here are five leadership skills marketing executives need to succeed in a business world that’s constantly changing.

1. The perfect blend of customer acquisition and custom retention  

As customer behavior continues to shift, businesses looking to achieve their growth goals can’t afford to sleep on either customer retention or customer acquisition. Marketing executives need strong customer relationship management skills to build a balanced marketing strategy that drives repeat purchases from existing customers and acquires new customers.

To fuel customer acquisition, marketing executives take the lead in monitoring customer behavior and plan innovative strategies to drive brand awareness. They use data to determine what consumers value and identify new product strategies and profitable collaborations in their ecosystem to gain new customers.

Placing top priority on enhancing customer loyalty, marketing executives roll up their sleeves and implement marketing campaigns that drive customer engagement, introduce new products and mitigate churn. They also monitor and maximize customer lifetime value strategies to ensure maximum profitability. This ensures businesses engage customers with messaging that speaks to their needs and values and establish a continuous relationship rather than a transactional one.

Marketing executives should also have the ability to use data and analytical tools to understand the customer journey. Uncovering what customers want at each stage of the customer journey allows marketing executives to bring meaningful innovation in products and ensure they interact with customers in ways that build and deepen relationships.

2. The ability to invest wisely  

Multiple conflicting forces are leading to budget pressure, and marketing faces inevitable cuts. Gartner’s research shows that marketing has likely faced significant budget cuts this year, and this will continue in 2021. To get the most out of their marketing dollars, marketing executives have to treat their budgets like investments and focus on initiatives that drive meaningful customer connections.

With an eye towards optimizing marketing spend, marketing executives must review their monthly marketing expenses to identify the impact of each on current sales performance and use the insights to prioritize programs that are aligned with their growth strategies.

Being strategic about allocating marketing budget ensures investments are directed to strategic marketing initiatives that support growth and digital business acceleration. Marketing executives also need to have effective spend management skills to track and manage how marketing dollars are spent. This helps drive lean marketing, enable agile decision making and catalyze future growth.

3. Speak the language of revenue

As companies move from survival to a focus on profits, marketing executives need to be skilled at translating marketing activities into a financial language to assure CEOs and CFOs – that marketing budgets haven’t become a black box activity. In fact, 83% of global CEOs said they look to marketing to be a major driver for most or all of a company’s growth plan.

Moving beyond the role of being brand storytellers, marketing executives should have the ability to establish and embrace business metrics that members of the C-suite can understand, such as ROI, customer lifetime value (CLV), and net promoter score (NPS).

Aware of their organization’s business goals, marketing executives lead their teams to focus on the longer-term pursuit of sustainable revenue growth. To succeed in their roles, marketing executives must establish a process for measuring marketing ROI and focus on key measurable profitability metrics for each marketing program.

With a head for numbers, marketing executives demonstrate the impact of marketing spend on their business by using analytics and various program measurement methodologies to determine program effectiveness and measure ROI.

To gain solid footing with senior leadership and buy support, marketing executives must have the capability to position their customer insights not as marketing objectives but as ways to help their C-suite colleagues reach their own goals. As a result, marketing budgets are more likely to avoid cuts during a downturn.

4. An agile mindset 

Marketing is an industry where nothing stays the same for long. So having an agile mindset is key to navigating the changing tides of marketing.

With marketing teams now being pressed to respond to events in real-time, marketing executives must be skilled at building agile and cross-functional teams that are incredibly responsive to keep their brands competitive amid rapid marketplace shifts. Marketing executives assign tasks to teams based on their capabilities and empower them to make quick tactical decisions by putting in place the right processes.

Having a growth hacker mentality, marketing executives also lead rapid experimentation across marketing channels to execute campaigns in a matter of days, optimize activity and unlock growth.

Marketing executives should be able to leverage data platforms to translate raw customer data into actionable insights in real-time. This will enable the marketing department and organizations to understand how customers are changing so that they can adapt accordingly. For that, brands must use next gen tech and AI to better scale their customer marketing.

5. The art of personalization

As consumers begin to get digital fatigue, there’s rising demand for relevant, timely, and contextual experiences across all touchpoints. Consequently, marketing executives have to master the art of personalization to engage customers.

With technology being key in delivering personalized experiences, marketing executives must get fluent in technology and get more involved in strategic technology investments. Taking a seat at the C-suite table in this manner ensures marketing executives get to talk to members of the C-suite about their technology needs and provide marketing teams with the right Martech stack to deliver personalized experiences.

With a goal to deliver relevant omnichannel personalized experiences to customers, CMOs lead the “good data” agenda and ensure marketing teams have access to valuable customer data and a single source of truth through a Customer Data Platform. This gives marketing teams a 360-customer view, advanced segmentation capabilities and the ability to send customers the right message, on the right channel, and at the right time.

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