3 Powerful Tips to Become a More Successful Marketing Director
If you're a marketing director, you've already invested the time to learn as much as you can about the numerous facets of marketing, from the broad branding strategy to the more specific elements of content development.
However, in your capacity as the marketing director, you are the ship's captain, in charge of steering the enterprise's overarching vision and course rather than participating in the individual crew duties that keep the ship afloat.
The best marketing directors support employees in their endeavors while preventing burnout, disputes within teams, and excessive overspending.
Although this is a demanding and weighty role, we have put together 3 powerful tips to help you become a more successful marketing director.
1. Deeper Understanding of Customers
How well do you really know your customers?
Are they just bits of demographic info on a spreadsheet to you, or can you get inside their head and understand everything it is to be in their shoes?
If you want to be more effective, you should always assume you don't understand your audience as well as you could.
You can sometimes learn more by looking at the data you already have, but the best way to find out what your customers think is to simply ask them, "Why?"
Why did you buy?
Why didn't you buy?
Why are you interested?
It amazes me how many marketing directors don't know much about their customers beyond a few demographic data points. Most of them have never even spoken to one of their customers like a real person.
So, if you want to learn more about your customers' lives, thoughts, and feelings, try to have a real conversation with them in which the goal is to really understand what it's like to be them, to feel empathy for them, and then to ultimately help them.
"Imagine your customer is your best friend—listen to their concerns, be a shoulder to lean on and then shift the focus from what went wrong to how you can help make it right." - Rachel Hogue
When you have a clear idea of how your product or service helps your customer on an emotional level, you will be able to lead your team's marketing efforts much more effectively.
Set aside time to regularly have a personal conversation with a real customer
Build in more feedback loops into all of your team's marketing efforts
Update your buyer persona to be more specific than it already is
2. Represent Yourself Even Better
You must be good at marketing yourself at least a little bit, or you wouldn't have gotten the job. This is not the time to stop putting your best foot forward.
Because your main job is still sales and the best sales people on the planet know that they are really selling themselves long before the product or service is even considered.
The market is aggressively superficial nowadays, and the truth is that people won't think of you as successful if they don't think you know how to make friends and get things done.
As the director of marketing your mindset should be one that thinks in marketing terms, always.
If you don't try to market yourself to your team, that same attitude will seep into how they think about your company's products or services, and it will affect every graphic they design, every piece of copy they write, and every mockup they make.
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. —John Maxwell
More than just directing what your team should do, you are showing them how to do it.
So always be sure to be conscious of how you are being perceived, and take full responsibility for that perception.
Dress the part and take even more pride in your appearance
Never eat alone. Use lunch time to get to know, understand, and empathize with your team
Move around at events and conferences and get better at working a room
3. Improve Systems & Processes
Although goals are crucial, they aren't all that useful by themselves.
A goal is like the destination of a long journey. It helps you to determine which direction to go, but it doesn't actually help you to navigate the course along the way.
The only way to maximize the efficiency with which you can achieve any goal is by installing systems and processes.
Systems are sets of things that work together in an interconnected way
Processes are a series of steps or actions performed in a specific way
Systems and processes allow you to create habits within your marketing efforts that consistently and sustainably move you toward your ultimate goal.
This automation of activity is far more effective over time than any single project, campaign, or task could ever be—just ask a concert pianist how he mastered the piano.
If you want to improve the results of your marketing efforts, look first to auditing and improving the systems that are in place.
If you improve a system by only 1% every day, at the end of the year it is 37x more effective!
That's the magnificent power of installing and optimizing systems - and the compound effect of tiny gains over time.
Audit the current marketing systems top to bottom and look for areas that can be optimized. Even 1% is well worth the effort.
Maximize automation. If your team spends 30 minutes a day on tasks that can be automated, you're losing 115 work hours (14 full days) per employee each year! How much of your marketing budget can automation reclaim?
Encourage your staff to track and assess productivity and have regular optimization sessions. Everyone managing their time even slightly better will help the bottom line dramatically.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Please leave a comment below with any additional insights, tips or questions.
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Nathaniel Nunziante is the owner and director of Intrigue Studios, a full-service video production agency that specializes in effective TV commercials, corporate videos, and explainer videos.
His 16 year career working with hundreds of marketing directors and managers to produce marketing videos for various industries has given him a clear perspective on what behaviors, strategies, and habits separate high-performing marketing directors from the rest.
He also spent several years functioning as the marketing director for Intrigue Studios, and has acted as a marketing consultant for several reputable brands throughout the country including MetLife, Northcoast Financial, LG Electronics, Christie & Co and more...