Marketing is a crucial element of the modern digital age. While the online marketplace has led to a Renaissance in the marketing world, it’s also created a pressing need for genuine, informed, and bold marketing leadership as companies attempt to navigate through the endless parade of expensive and overwhelming marketing options that are available.
Here are three of the most important reasons why a company should always have an invested, competent, and strategic leader to head up their marketing endeavors.
Pioneering: Staying Ahead of the Curve
The first consideration revolves around the pioneering aspect that is always part of a marketing manager’s job description. While a marketing team can work together to understand and implement new marketing tactics, it’s often up to leadership to inspire and drive their team forward in search of innovative marketing strategies.
For example, some of the marketing trends that are impacting the modern business landscape include automation, artificial intelligence, and experiential marketing. All of these are fascinating, technologically-powered subjects that are likely to produce a slew of successful marketing testimonies in the years to come. However, as is usually the case with ground-breaking ideas, they will also inevitably lead to countless stories of failures and missteps along the way.
That’s where strong marketing leadership becomes essential. An employee isn’t likely to put their career and reputation on the line for a high-risk, cutting-edge marketing strategy if failure could end in termination. A marketing manager, however, is expected to look ahead, gauge the options, and then boldly guide their company towards the most likely chance of success. Marketing leaders are also more likely to garner executive buy-in to new marketing ideas.
It requires strong marketing leadership to help a company maintain an elite, cutting-edge marketing strategy that doesn’t become dated over time, a situation that is far too easy to occur in our ever-developing modern world.
Steering the Ship: Creating Strategies
While a marketing leader is essential for finding new concepts, they’re also important for overseeing their company’s current marketing strategies.
Each member of a marketing team is typically focused on specific details of a project or campaign, and each has different, complementing talents and abilities. It falls to the marketing leader, however, to harness all of these skills into one departmental unit and then delegate them to achieve the greatest results.
A good leader can step back and take in a 10,000-foot view of your business’s marketing goals and capabilities. They can then use that information to tailor and tweak things to weave together strategies for customer experience, sales, online vs. brick-and-mortar focus, branding, financials, and any other aspect of your marketing strategy.
For example, when the travel giant Thomson rebranded itself to TUI (its German parent company), it required bold leadership to steer the company through the potential loss of SEO traffic that the shift could spark. The company reacted to the possibility by compensating with the focus on a personalized, user-generated, emotionally intelligent delivery of content.
Individual employees may have easily overlooked the potential side effects of the rebrand and may even have completely avoided the innovative attempt to implement the emotionally intelligent tech in response. However, having marketing leadership and proper vision allowed the potential impact to be foreseen and prepared for.
Adapting: Reacting to Circumstances
Finally, having marketing leadership allows a business to react and adapt to changes quickly and decisively. For example, in the wake of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were forced to shift to a 100% remote workforce. While this would have shut most businesses down a decade ago, many companies were able to maintain their operations by shifting to a remote work model.
Establishing a remote workforce requires intense effort and organization, however, even when it comes to marketing online. The presence of strong leadership can allow companies to weather unexpected challenges of this nature by guiding the response. Marketing managers are the ones who can set up remote employee workspaces, choose what online platforms to use, and ensure that everyone is still on the same page as they work. Strong leadership can also find ways to make small yet significant adjustments, such as measuring outcomes rather than hours worked, a common theme in the remote work world.
The key takeaway? Without a strong marketing leadership presence, it can be difficult to respond to challenges and crises properly, which can lead to significant manpower and resources being wasted.
The Essential Nature of Marketing Leadership
It’s easy to look at a CEO or a CFO and pin their importance to the obvious value of their activities. It’s a comparison that often leaves a CMO, a small and medium-sized business (SMB) equivalent, with the short end of the stick.
However, whether they’re pioneering new strategies, overseeing existing campaigns, or reacting to shifts and challenges, having a marketing leader is a boon to any company’s bottom line, putting them on par with any other individual from the “C” suite.
Sam Bowman, often called a “business guru” by his peers, is a professional writer and health enthusiast. Fascinated by the latest technological trends, he brings people up to speed by crafting bite size explanations. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.
Also published on Medium.