Most businesses have a marketing component, and if they don’t they should, but what makes a marketing department successful is the quality of the marketing manager.

A great marketing manager can be the difference between success and failure, or growth and stagnation.

I've been around the marketing scene in Dallas for over 15 years and I've worked with the very talented and some who ended up in marketing due to a misaligned company reorganization. In that case, marketing is being lead by someone for whom marketing is a foreign language.

As I continue to grow my firm, I'll be searching for marketing managers who are strong tactically. They can apply marketing and business tactics to real world situations. They are super organized. They understand analytics and they have a great attitude.
5 Traits of a Successful Marketing Manager

Take a look at your marketing, is it being lead by someone with the following qualities?

1.    Tactical prowess

The best marketers have strong tactical skills. If you are a tactician, you know how to analyze, treat clients and use social media to its best effect.  

A great tactician is a strategic thinker, a pioneer. They are blazing new trails in marketingThey know whose problems they are solving and they understand what problems exist. As the Harvard Business Review notes:  “Strategic leaders take a broad, long-range approach to problem-solving and decision-making that involves objective analysis, thinking ahead, and planning. That means being able to think in multiple time frames, identifying what they are trying to accomplish over time and what has to happen now, in six months, in a year, in three years, to get there. It also means thinking systemically. That is, identifying the impact of their decisions on various segments of the organization—including internal departments, personnel, suppliers and customers.

2.    The art of being organized

The super organized know there is a place for everything. They know the tasks that must be completed on a daily, weekly, monthly and often annual basis. They write things down, process their ideas and keep a log of everything from tactics, to conversations, to goals. They have one inbox and processes to manage that inbox. There is clarity to the correspondence that comes in therefore there is clarity to the correspondence going out.  The super organized marketing manager has a system for everything and that includes client and staff management.

The organized perform.  Writing down tasks, results, conversations, not only keeps a person on track, they also know where they are and where they are going. The great thing is that by being organized your work performance improves, you have more energy, because there is less clutter (physically and mentally) and most importantly you are in control. Your clients feel more comfortable, because they know what is going on in terms of their marketing. So I look for organization in a marketing manager, because the organized marketer is the one who will best look after clients and the portfolio of work that comes in daily to the office.

3.    Understand analytics

If you don’t understand analytics, then you are either at the start of your marketing career or need to get with the times. There’s a great article from Forbes about mastering analytics. A good marketing manager needs to know what data is useful and what is not. They know when to institute analytics on a client’s behalf. They know how to coordinate and utilize data to best suit a client’s situation. They know how to use analytics to make timely modifications in tactics and strategies to ensure their client is investing time and money in the right areas.

4.    Social media sensibility

There are right ways and wrong ways to utilize social media, but the best social media managers do more than just drive engagement. They are content creators and curators. They are social media data analysts and experimenters. They are news junkies who know what audiences are saying and what topics are relevant to which target audience. They are a public relations manager, a customer service representative and a community facilitator. Social media is more than posting on Facebook or LinkedIn, it is about having your fingers in pies and on pulses.  It is not just about driving engagement and building relationships, but also starting the discussion that changes a mindset.

5. Attitude equals altitude

The right attitude can bring in clients, motivate team members, and elevate a marketing manager to heights unheard of. That is why top marketing managers are invaluable. They raise the quality of work for everyone in the organization. As Winston Churchill once said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

These are the traits I want to see in my marketing managers. They are the traits and skills that set the good apart from the best. But to make it in this very competitive environment they are critical to industry success.

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