Marketing Leadership Traits

One of the core characteristics of a strong leader is their ability to maintain a upbeat and positive group dynamic. In order to make this happen, leaders must be able to identify problems, size up situations and above all, keep group emotions in check. There are a handful of traits that are at the top of the list when it comes to defining strong marketing leadership more often than not. Both John Ellett and Ashley Friedlein outline 12 core points in their respective marketing manifestos. Gerardo A. Dada summarizes the two manifestos into 4 essential traits. Here they are, in no specific order.

Marketing Leadership

1.) Revenue Ownership and Accountability

More than metrics or revenue orientation, marketing leaders need to be accountable for revenue, at least share this accountability with sales, which will drive collaboration. Modern marketers no longer can claim success with ambiguous metrics like brand value or impressions, they need to show how marketing directly impacts the business and make sure everyone on their team have this focus.

2.) Marketing Leadership Requires Smart Adaptability

s customers change, marketing must change: use of social and mobile, for example, or how millennials behave differently from other generations. Adaptation must be smart to distinguish buzzwords (like big data) from real trends and to make the right investments in these new areas that allow for experimentation and learning.

marketing leadership

3.) Customer-centricity

It’s the role of marketing to champion the voice of the customer and to share market insights that lead the company. No company can be truly customer-centric and market-driven unless the marketing leader takes this role seriously. Marketing must lead the fundamental corporate strategy decisions (where to play and how to win) and be the evangelists that help everyone in the company understand market opportunities, customer expectations and how the company adds value to customers. 

4). Team builders

Marketing is more and more complex. Today’s marketing includes social, SEO/SEM, market research, paid ads, pricing, and many more disciplines. It is impossible for a marketing leader to be an expert in all these areas. Furthermore, one of the hardest tasks for marketing leaders is to build a team of specialists. This team of specialists needs to be highly competent, action-oriented, customer-centric and revenue-accountable. The marketing job never ends: there are always more channels, more opportunities, and more activities than anyone can do. Focus and leadership are key. 

Closing Thoughts

Marketing leadership is getting more complex. It is evolving to play a more strategic role and is becoming more and more interesting. That being said, it’s clear that now is a good time to be a marketer.

Scroll to Top