There are marketing skills, behaviors and experiences you must collect throughout your marketing career. While many will show up naturally in your career, it is possible for you to end up with specific gaps due to specific jobs you have along the way. This is a great opportunity to assess where you stand and which gaps you need to address.
The marketing skills that brand leaders must know include how to think strategically, define your brand positioning, build a brand plan everyone can follow, inspire creative marketing execution that drives growth, and analyze the performance of your business. I will put forward 20 marketing skills you need for success in your marketing career.
The leader behaviors of the best marketers include being accountable for results, use people leadership to build bench strength of your team, exhibit broad influence across the organization, bring an authentic style so your decisions are clear, and run the business like an owner with decisions that drive the success of the branded business. I will put forward 20 leader behaviors you need for success in your marketing career.
As Marketing is a make-it-happen career, the application of the skills and behaviors takes on-the-job work experiences to allow you to learn by doing. These on-the-job experiences are complex and the experiences help you assess your performance and push for improvement each time. The most important on-the-job experiences include leading a strategic brand plan process, managing teams at higher levels, launching innovation through the organization, building successful advertising and leading across the organization.
The marketing skills, behaviors and experiences you need to be successful
The marketing skills you need for success
To achieve your full potential in your marketing career, brand leaders must know the skills it takes to think strategically, define your brand positioning, build a brand plan that everyone can follow, inspire creative marketing execution to drive brand growth, and analyze the performance of your branded business.
- Concerning strategic thinking, you need to use challenging and interruptive questions, take a holistic view of your brand, lead strategic debates on the issues, and make smart strategic decisions.
- To define your brand, you need to know how to find your consumer target, understand the potential functional and emotional benefits, create an ownable and motivating brand positioning statement, then build out your brand idea to guide every consumer touchpoint on your brand.
- To write a brand plan, the skills you need are to lead all elements of the plan, turn your strategic thinking into strategic objective statements, present to senior management, and develop smart execution plans.
- For marketing execution, are you able to write a brief, lead the project management aspect of all execution, inspire your experts, and make smart decisions?
- When it comes to marketing analytics, you need to be able to know the sources of data, dig into the data, lead a deep-dive business review, and write analytical performance reviews.
I have broken each of these five marketing skill areas into 20 overall marketing skills you need to be a successful brand leader. In our Beloved Brands playbook and B2B Brands playbook, we provide every tool you will ever need to know so you can run your brand and achieve your full potential.
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The leader behaviors of the best brand leaders
The leader behaviors of the best marketers include how to be accountable for results, use people leadership to build bench strength of your team, exhibit broad influence across the organization, bring an authentic style, so your decisions are clear, and run the business like an owner with decisions that drive the success of the business.
- You must be accountable for results, holding everyone accountable, getting things done, while staying on strategy and learning to work the system with every functional group throughout the organization.
- Take on the people leadership, managing your core team, and being genuinely interested in your people’s development. You must coach, teach, and guide the team with honest assessment and feedback.
- Exert broad influence across the organization, being the one to make decisions and control the strategy when executing through others, casting your influence into other functions by think of what others need.
- Bring a consistent and predictable style, aware of your impact beyond your team, exhibit leadership under pressure. Be flexible and accommodating to others.
- Run the business like an owner, accountable to both the long-term outlook and show-term profit of the brand, not you personally. Make decisions that benefit the brand, consumers, customers, marketplace, and society. Live and breathe the culture of those who work behind the scenes of the brand.
I have broken each of these five leader behavior areas into 20 overall brand leader behaviors you need to be a successful brand leader. As you move up in marketing roles, these leader behaviors become equal in importance to the skills you collect along the way.
On-the-job experiences you need to live to learn
As Marketing is a make-it-happen career, the application of the skills and behaviors takes on-the-job experiences to allow you to learn by doing. These on-the-job experiences are complex and the experiences help you assess your performance and push for improvement each time.
Think of your marketing career as an interactive process, whereby repeating the skill and behaviors will make you better each time. For many of the most challenging experiences, a Marketer must go through them five times, before you will get comfortable and maybe another twenty more times to really excel. Each time, you will notice new things on what those around you do, and for you, the behaviors that work and do not work. Try to improve each time.
I remember how challenging it was the first time I launched a new ad campaign. I had no clue of the major steps with no one on my side to teach me. Over the years, I would get better and better, learning something new every campaign I led. I struggled the first time I managed a person for the first time. I struggled to launch a new brand. I struggled the first time I led a cross-functional team.
It is starting to sound like I was a disaster at everything. I likely was, with each first time venture. I might be over-exaggerating, but I can tell you, i got better each time. And you will as well.
Many significant on-the-job experiences you will need to learn by doing, and challenge yourself to keep learning every time. These on-the-job experiences include leading a strategic brand plan process, managing teams at higher levels, launching innovation through the organization, building successful advertising and leading across the organization beyond the marketing function.
Build up your marketing skills with our Beloved Brands and B2B Brands playbooks
Learn to think, define, plan, execute and analyze your brand
- You will find strategic thinking models and examples for each of the four strategic thinking methods, looking at core strength, competitive, consumer, and situational strategies.
- To define the brand, I will provide a tool for writing a brand positioning statement as well as a consumer profile and a consumer benefits ladder. I have created lists of potential functional and emotional benefits to kickstart your thinking on brand positioning. We explore the step-by-step process to come up with your brand idea and bring it all together with a tool for writing the ideal brand concept.
- For brand plans, I provide formats for a long-range brand strategy roadmap and the annual brand plan with definitions for each planning element. From there, I show how to build a brand execution plan that includes the creative brief, innovation process, and sales plan. I provide tools for how to create a brand calendar, and specific project plans.
- To grow your brand, I show how to make smart decisions on marketing execution around creative advertising and media choices.
- When it comes time for marketing analytics, I provide all the analytical tools you need to write a deep-dive business review, looking at the marketplace, consumer, channels, competitors and the brand. Write everything so that it is easy to follow and implement for your brand.