Discover the secrets of excellent leadership and how to apply them to your work in the marketing sector.
There are certain characteristics that all successful leaders share, regardless of their position in the organization or the conditions in which they lead. The way and when you apply good leadership abilities makes all the difference.
For example, an infantry platoon leader in the army must be confident in their decision-making and communicate unambiguous orders to act. This is tactical leadership.
Effective marketing leaders must also be excellent communicators. But their message is quite different. Marketing leaders must build a vision and use it to motivate their teams. The message and leadership style combines tactical and aspirational elements.
In this scenario, both the platoon and marketing leaders are effective leaders. They just have completely different jobs.
Transform Problems into Inspiration
As a marketing leader, you’ve certainly been in this situation before leadership sets lofty goals for your department’s key performance indicators (KPIs) at the beginning of the fiscal year.
Lofty aspirations can be overwhelming and sow the seeds of self-doubt. You may object and discuss if you have the necessary resources to meet the objectives. You may collect some data to help make your argument. The aims may change, but they don’t. There will still be goals to express to your team.
The most effective leaders will spend a day or two to process the numbers, assess the team’s resources, and then offer a strategy to the group. By this moment, the self-doubt has vanished, and it’s time to motivate the team with a plan for how they’ll make it happen.
Create a Culture of Innovation and Empower Your Staff
One of the key distinctions between the platoon leader in our previous example and a marketing leader is how great marketing executives delegate authority while encouraging fresh ideas and inventive solutions. Military personnel must strictly follow orders. If your marketing team uses the same techniques and tactics as last year, it will likely fall short of its lofty targets.
Creativity and risk-taking are a crucial aspect of marketing. Marketers frequently express a preference for A/B tests as a means of experimenting with new ideas. This is especially true in today’s society, where clients are bombarded with messages every waking moment. Without originality and risk, your marketing is just background noise.
Trust is required to foster creativity and risk-taking. If your marketing team is afraid of failing because it would cost them their jobs, there is no need to innovate. To inspire innovation and encourage risk-taking, your staff must believe you have their backs. That brings us back to communication, this time with leaders.
When anything goes wrong, executives want to know what happened. You can obtain confidence to take risks by properly expressing the hazards contained in your approach to your leadership. As a result, you will be better able to instill confidence in your team.
Developing a Growth Attitude and Encouraging Growth
Mistakes are usually tolerated. A pattern of errors is an indicator of a broader issue. Encouraging innovation and risk helps your team develop a growth attitude. Learning entails making mistakes. Growth is achieved by learning from one’s mistakes.
If you want your team’s marketing to stand out, allow them to develop and grow.
Adapting to Change: Managing Marketing Disruption
If a component of your marketing strategy relies on data from third-party cookies, you must prepare for a world without them.
If cold email marketing is part of your plan, you should regularly monitor developments in the email landscape.
There are numerous elements putting strain on traditional marketing methods and tactics. Regulatory pressures influence how we acquire and retain data. Pressure from vendors such as Apple and Google makes it appear more difficult to reach prospects. However, as MarTech contributor Ruth Stevens noted in a recent Q&A, most of the industry’s transformation is due to changes in how today’s purchasers buy.
People generally dislike change. Effective leaders guide their teams through the uncertainty of transition. The most effective leaders inspire their people to change by fostering creativity and risk-taking. They do, however, assist their teams in navigating uncertainty when faced with change.
When it comes to adapting to change, here are three factors to consider:
- Encourage technical innovation and digital transformation.
- Agile leadership.
- Managing remote and virtual teams.
Influencing and Cooperating with Marketing Leaders
Every marketing executive must manage and communicate with various stakeholders. This includes vendors, partners, executives, and others. Each of these parties has a unique communication and collaboration style. Each is interested in a certain part of your position, but they rarely want a comprehensive overview of all you perform on any given day.
Understanding what other stakeholders need to know and how to share that information with them is the key to effective communication and collaboration. This frequently boils down to their communication style. You might spend weeks figuring out their communication style, or you could simply inquire how they prefer to receive information. Guess which strategy is the most effective.
Cross-functional communication is the art of dealing with people from different disciplines. Every organization is unique, but building and maintaining relationships with executives in finance, legal, IT, data, and product positions is critical. Learn what’s important to them, what information your team requires, and how they prefer to interact.
Developing and Mentoring Upcoming Marketing Leaders
As children and young adults, we often think of the manager-employee relationship as one of issuing and obeying orders. This notion stems from decades of pop culture. However, for many of us, our first work as young adults closely matched that description.
The most effective marketing leaders prepare their teams to take their place. That involves giving them opportunities to advance and guiding them along the way.
Mentoring combines parenting and teaching. Parents want their children to handle their problems (with limited coaching as needed). Teachers urge their students to finish homework on their own rather than looking for solutions in the book’s appendix.
Mentoring helps your team members develop the skills and information they need to advance in their careers. This is especially true for the soft skills that managers require, such as communication. The most effective mentors have an underappreciated skill: they know how to listen.