10 Tips to be a Successful Marketing Director
Posted: 04/14/2021 | Author: Jim Lochner for Creatives On Call | Tags: Guides and Resources
You’ve paid your dues in the marketing trenches, learning all you can about producing content, research, SEO, SEM, public relations, social media, branding, advertising, blogging, email, lead gen, or some combination of any or all of them. But as the marketing director, it’s up to you to captain the ship, focusing more on the overall management of your marketing community. The best team leaders steer others toward success while preventing burnout, inter-team disputes, and costly over-budgeting. Being a marketing director isn’t easy, but we have some tips to help you be your best.
1. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS
Do you know who you’re marketing to? Whether you’re new to the company or a seasoned vet, spend the proper time to get to know the people buying your products and services. Do the research, study analytics, and create those personas. But also reach out to the customers themselves to forge or renew relationships. It’s critical that you understand your customers’ pain points and needs to properly craft your marketing messaging and attract the right people or businesses.
2. KNOW YOUR COMPETITION
Also do your due diligence with the competing companies in your industry. Pay attention to what your rivals are doing. Figure out what works for them and what doesn’t. Be inspired by the former, avoid the latter.
3. GET COMFORTABLE WITH BUDGETS
As marketing director, you’re responsible for the financial planning for your department—paid advertising, social media, mobile marketing, analytics, and other line items. But most importantly, you control the budget for everyone on your team—hiring, firing, raises, bonuses—in fact, their very livelihoods. If you’re not comfortable crunching numbers (and being responsible for the fiscal outcomes), it’s time to up your financial literacy post-haste.
4. COMMUNICATE A CLEAR VISION
There’s a lot of pressure being a marketing director. All eyes are on you for how to market the company, particularly in your department. Without a clear vision of what your marketing efforts should accomplish, you won’t be able to effectively communicate what needs to be done internally or externally, much less how to do it. A lack of vision breeds confusion, mistrust, and wasted time and effort. Who needs that?
5. PLAN AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY
You’ll also need a solid vision of how you’re going to get there so you can properly steer the ship. What are your goals? What do you hope to accomplish? What problem(s) are you trying to solve for your target market? What do you want people to think of your company, and what kind of experience do you want your clients to have? Consider these questions as you set about creating your marketing strategy. As the saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
6. CONSTANTLY TEST AND ADJUST
Your marketing strategy needs to be malleable. Use it as a starting point and a guide, but pay attention to analytics, A/B test, and measure those KPIs. Make adjustments along the way if something isn’t working or you see new areas that need attention.
7. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR FAILURES
Inevitably some of your carefully planned and brilliantly executed marketing efforts will still fail. Marketing is not an exact science. Customers are fickle and don’t always know what they want to buy. As the head of the department, the buck stops with you. Roll with the punches, identify what caused the campaign to fail, and work with your team to do better moving forward.
8. BREAK DOWN SILOS
Marketing affects nearly every department within a company. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the big picture and day-to-day duties in your marketing bubble, make sure your department is collaborating with other departments across the company so that everyone works toward a common goal.
9. MAKE TIME FOR YOUR TEAM
Good marketing directors make time for their team members and ensure that nobody is left behind. Encourage open dialogue in team meetings and one-on-ones, and let everyone on the team become invested in the overall marketing strategy.
10. LEAD INSTEAD OF DO
Top marketing directors give their creatives the space to do their best work instead of hovering, “cleaning it up,” or simply doing it themselves from the get-go. Be the leader with the encouraging word, constructive criticism, and the best leadership qualities. Your team—and your marketing—will be better for it.
This is a time for marketers to step up to the challenge and get creative in meeting current demands and behavior changes. Creatives On Call supports your business through this. Contact us here. We have Marketing professionals ready to start in areas including:
- Strategy & Advisory
- Design and Production
- Content Creation & Management
- Customer Engagement & Experience
- Learning & Knowledge Management
- Digital Technology & Transformation
Learn more here.