Marketing skills, behaviors and experiences you need for success

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There are marketing skills, behaviors and experiences you must collect throughout your marketing career. Many show up naturally in your career. But, you will 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 start with strategic thinking. You must be able to define your brand positioning. Build a brand plan everyone can follow. Inspire creative marketing execution that drives growth. And, know how 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.

Marketing is a make-it-happen career. You need on-the-job work experiences to allow you to learn by doing. These on-the-job experiences will 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. You must manage teams at higher levels. Launch innovation through the organization. Build successful advertising. And lead across the organization.  

Beloved Brands playbook

Our Beloved Brands playbook goes in depth on everything you need to build a brand consumers will love. Learn to about strategic thinking, brand positioning, writing brand plans, advertising decisions, media planning, marketing analytics, and financials.

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Our readers tell us they keep our Beloved Brands playbook close by for whenever they need to take on a new project. Clearly, we are thrilled that 89% of Amazon reviewers have given Beloved Brands a 5-star rating. Also, we wrote a B2B Brands playbook and a Healthcare Brands playbook

Marketing skills

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.  

  1. 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.
  2. To define your brand, start with defining 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. 
  3. 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. Learn to present to senior management. And, develop smart execution plans. 
  4. For marketing execution, are you able to write a brief? Learn to lead the project management aspect of all execution. Know to inspire your experts. And, the skill in making smart decisions. 
  5. When it comes to marketing analytics, you need to be able to know the sources of data. Dig into the data. Learn to 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.  

Leader behaviors

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, know to run the business like an owner with decisions that drive the success of the business.

  1. You must be accountable for results. Hold everyone accountable. Get things done, while staying on strategy. Learn to work the system with every functional group throughout the organization. 
  2. Take on the people leadership. Manage your core team.  Be genuinely interested in your people’s development. You must coach, teach, and guide the team with honest assessment and feedback.  
  3. Exert broad influence across the organization. Be the one to make decisions and control the strategy when executing through others. Cast your influence into other functions by think of what others need. 
  4. Bring a consistent and predictable style. Stay aware of your impact beyond your team. Exhibit leadership under pressure. Be flexible and accommodating to others.  
  5. 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. 

Marketing experience

On-the-job experiences you need to live to learn

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. You repeat the skills and behaviors will make you better each time. For many of the most challenging experiences, a Marketer must go through them five times. Only then will you get comfortable and maybe another twenty more times to really excel. Each time, you will notice new things on what those around you do. Learn 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. And, I struggled the first time I managed a person for the first time. I struggled to launch a new brand. Most importantly, 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. Challenge yourself to keep learning every time. Learn to lead a strategic brand plan process. Figure out how to manage teams at higher levels. Launch innovation through the organization. Build successful advertising and leading across the organization beyond the marketing function.

Marketing Careers

On a classic marketing team, there are four key levels:

  • Assistant Brand Manager.
  • Brand Manager.
  • Marketing Director or Group Marketing Director.
  • VP Marketing or CMO.

To illustrate, click to zoom in on the brand management career pathway. 

In simple terms, the Assistant Brand Manager role is about doing, analyzing and sending signals you have leadership skills for the future.

At the Brand Manager level, it becomes about ownership and strategic thinking within your brand plan. Most Brand Managers are honestly a disaster with their first direct report, and get better around the fifth report.

When you get to the Marketing Director role, it becomes more about managing and leading than it does about thinking and doing. To be great, you need to motivate the greatness from your team and let your best players to do their absolute best.

And finally, at the CMO level, you must create your own vision, focus on your people to make them better and shine, drive the business results, and run the processes.

Our Beloved Brands Marketing Training program will make your team smarter.

If you are running a marketing team, you will always benefit from having a smarter team. When you invest in our marketing training program, you will help your team gain the marketing skills they need to succeed. As a result, you will see them make smarter decisions and produce exceptional work that drives business growth.

We’ll work with your team to help them learn more about the five core marketing skills: Strategic Thinking, Brand Positioning, Marketing Planning, Marketing Execution, and Brand Analytics. Most importantly, your marketers will learn new tools, concepts, and ideas to trigger new thinking. To help their skills, we get participants to take each tool on a test run. Then, we give feedback for them to keep improving. 

To illustrate, click to zoom in on the brand management career pathway. 

Strategic Thinking:

Our marketing training teaches brand leaders how to ask tough strategic questions to slow everyone down and engage in debate of options to move forward. To start, you will be given various tools to approach strategy in a thoughtful, analytical way. Importantly, marketers need learn how to change brain speeds to move from a strategic thinker style to uncover what is holding back a brand, and onto an instinctual thinker style on marketing execution. 

We introduce our Strategic ThinkBox that allows marketers to interrogate their brand. Importantly, our ThinkBox pushes you to take a holistic look at the brand’s core strength, competitive landscape, tightness of the consumer bond, and business situation.

Brand Positioning:

Our brand positioning process teaches how to decide on the target market, consumer benefits, and reasons to believe. To start, you will learn to define the ideal consumer and frame the definition with their biggest needs, consumer insights and their enemy. Then, we provide our benefit cheatsheets to help learn how to discover the functional benefits and emotional benefits that a brand can deliver. Importantly, marketers need to make a decision on trying to stake out a unique space that is motivating to consumers, and ownable for the brand. 

Learn to use our brand idea tool and see how it helps to communicate the brand idea to everyone across the organization. Finally, marketers will learn how to take the brand positioning work and translate it into a brand concept, brand story, and a brand credo.

Marketing Plans:

We see the marketing plan is a decision-making tool on how a brand will spend their limited resources. Moreover, the marketing plan communicates the expectations to everyone who works on the brand. Importantly, we teach marketers how to put together the vision, purpose, goals, key issues, strategies and marketing execution plans

Learn how to write key issue questions and strategic statements that forms the foundation of the marketing plan. In addition, our marketing training provides various marketing planning templates including our one-page brand plan and ideal Marketing Plan presentation deck

Marketing Execution:

Our marketing execution training starts with the concept of our Marketing PlayBox that matches up to the Strategic ThinkBox. To keep marketers on strategy throughout the execution stages, our Marketing PlayBox helps find in-the-box ideas that meet four dimensions: they are focused on our target, fit with the brand, deliver the message, and execute the strategy. 

To start, we show how the creative brief sets up the PlayBox, serving as the bridge between the plan and execution. We go through the creative brief line-by line  and give you examples of the best and worst. Importantly, you will learn to use our Creative Checklist to help make smarter decisions on creative communications. We workshop how to give feedback to your agency based on gaps you see with the checklist. 

Learn to make media decisions that match up to your consumer’s purchase journey. In addition, we provide a similar Innovation Checklist to compare innovation ideas. 

Brand Analytics:

Our comprehensive brand analytics training teach brand leaders how to lead a deep-dive business review. We outline the best analytical thinking so you can become a well-rounded marketer. 

Learn to look at the marketplace, consumer analytics, channels of distribution, competitors or other brands in their industry. And, learn assess the brand itself. Importantly, you will learn how marketing funnels can help assess the brand’s performance. We provide 64 analytical questions that marketers can ask of their brand. Finally, we show how to understand the financial performance indicators of the brand.

Our training looks at three specific streams; Consumer Marketing Training, B2B Marketing Training, and Healthcare Marketing Training. With each program, all the of the examples are tailored to the type of marketer. Undoubtedly, we believe marketers will be at their best when the can see the concepts or tools working on their type of brand.

Take a look at our Marketing Skills assessment tool to see how you or your marketing team measure up.

For more information on our Beloved Brands Marketing Training programs, click below or email Graham Robertson at [email protected]

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We believe that marketers learn best when they see our marketing concepts applied to brands that look like their own. We have come up with specific examples – consumer, B2B and healthcare – to showcase our marketing tools. Click on the icon below to choose your interest area.

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beloved brands

the playbook for how to create a brand your consumers will love

With our Beloved Brands playbook, you will learn to think strategically, define your brand positioning, write a marketing plan, make execution decisions, and analyze your brand. Our readers tell us they reach for Beloved Brands as a reference tool to help them with the day-to-day management of their brand. We are proud that 89% of online reviewers have rated Beloved Brands a 5-star. As a result, Beloved Brands has been a #1 bestseller in brand management. We also have the B2B Brands playbook and our Healthcare Brands playbook

Marketing Training

The smarter your team, the better the results you will see!

As a marketing team leader, you know that your team’s success is essential for your company’s growth. Our Beloved Brands marketing training gives your team the skills they need to make strategic decisions, produce exceptional work, and drive business growth. They will learn to define brand positioning, write effective plans, improve brief writing, make informed execution decisions, and analyze their brand’s performance.

We have designed our marketing training program to build the fundamental skills to help your team reach their full potential. We will work with your team to help them learn to take on Strategic Thinking, Brand Positioning, Marketing Planning, Marketing Execution, and Brand Analytics. 

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