by Lucy Render-Kaplan | Featured Contributor
In an industry where the only constant is evolution, how do you know what to look for when hiring a Marketing Manager? If you were looking for an accountant, you would know to look for someone with accounting skills and who went to school specifically aiming to work in accounting, but very rare are marketing managers who possess an actual degree in marketing. And that’s ok! Because I believe that if people have these 10 traits, they will be just as good (and usually better) than someone that spent four years or more studying what I have been focused on learning for the past 16.
- Boundless Enthusiasm: Great marketers have passion for what they do oozing out of them. You never doubt they love this field, and you will never hear them say “God. Work is SO boring.”
- Creativity: Great marketers don’t do things “the way it’s always been done.” It isn’t that we’re trying to reinvent the wheel, but I’d argue that we’re always trying to look at that wheel in a way that no one else ever has before. And we can make you look at it that way, too. Great marketers are willing to take risks with what some may call a “crazy idea.” They aren’t afraid to fail because the WIN feels so good when those ideas connect. I’m willing to bet these people have notebooks full of ideas scribbled down, and at the ready wherever they are and ideas might come.
- Loyalty: I might not drink the beverage that I worked on when starting my marketing career, and in fact, I actually drink their main competitor daily, but I go on auto-pilot if I hear someone say something about that first brand that isn’t true. Great marketers don’t just work for a brand, they live that brand. That brand’s products or services are part of their daily lives.
- Know Their Audience: I always think of the line “I’ve made a living out of reading people’s faces…” when I think about what I do. You generally only have a couple of seconds to grab someone’s attention, and great marketers need to be able to tailor their message (I hate the word ‘pitch’) to differnet people so it makes sense to THEM. For example, I’m not going to try to sell someone in their 80s on the benefits of coconut water for strenuous workouts, nor am I going to talk about why a mental focus supplement is great for students, to a mom with 2 kids in her grocery cart and a very pregnant belly.
- Adaptable: No matter how much you plan, or how good you are, problems arise. Plans change. New legalities pop up. A great marketer can pivot and adapt and switch their entire focus at any point in any project. They don’t get too tied into one plan.
- They are Great Listeners: If you marketers are anything like me, you love to watch people. Find out what they like, where they go, what they do. What their habits are, what makes them NEED a product…We know what questions to ask to help draw people out and allow us to get to them, when we begin as total strangers.
- They’re Great Sales People: It might be a cliché, but it’s repeated so often for a reason. Great marketers CAN truly “sell ice to an Eskimo.” And they can get that sale before the Eskimo even realizes he needs ice. If you ever come across someone in marketing that hasn’t made sales, or thinks they don’t or won’t need to, move along! If sales puts items on a shelf, it’s the marketers that take it off, and that is because they know how to communicate clearly and show people WHY they need your product or service.
- See The Big Picture: It’s so easy to get bogged down in details, who needs to go where, looking at analytics, becoming overly focused on wanting to attach the brand to a specific event…it can be hard to take a step back, but we need to. The overall goals of the company must always be top of mind, and our first thought when deciding what to get involved with, what can wait, and what we can pass on.
- Storytellling: You definitely want someone that can tell great stories that not only draw people in, but are able to relate to. To get people excited about and choose your company over any others in the same category, you need someone that can get people to FEEL deeply and emotionally connect with the stories you are telling. You want someone that can get people to see themselves already using your brand in their lives, not just thinking it might be fun to try once. You want consumers, both potential and existing, to see themselves in the brand stories you’re marketing manager is telling.
- Team Player: Great marketers know they don’t work alone. Marketers best work is not born out of a boardroom or silo. Sales, Finance, Logistics…marketing is dependent and must work well with all of the employees in these various divisions. Teamwork is KEY to great marketing, and great marketers are humble enough to realize this.
I wish Top 10 Lists went to 11. There are so many other qualities that great marketers possess. What are some you don’t see on this list? Tweet me @lucyrk78 and let me know!
Lucy is the founder of Arkay Marketing & PR. A writer from an early age (who could forget the 88 page “Bears” novel from an outspoken 3 year old?!) she’s excited to be writing for She Owns It and loves the feeling of camaraderie and empowerment of the group. When she’s not staying in and writing marketing plans or celebrating wins with clients, she can be found taking selfies with her 15 year old mutt, Desi.