Sometimes I think the whole marketing ecosystem is broken. Outdated business magazines still are used as a soapbox for marketers who want to talk about themselves so they can become legends in their own minds. Great marketing people are the ones who understand how to listen to consumers and prioritize tactics by ROI to the brand.
Talented marketers have a great track record of accomplishments and ensure that they never become bigger than their brand or company. One of the reasons that Yahoo has failed so terribly is that Marissa Mayer became Yahoo while the brand suffered from a series of strategic mistakes. The fact that she had a personal PR person should have been a clue that her talents were not in-line with her press.
So what makes a really great marketing person?
1ne: They have spent time in the trenches in positions like product management and have a basic understanding of “how things get done” and “what customers want”.
2wo: They listen to people working in their organization who dealt every day with customers.
3hree: They know how to build great marketing teams and challenge people to reach higher goals.
4our: They don’t hog the credit for successful initiatives and ensure their teams get recognized.
5ive: Rather than report just data, they tell a story to organizational influencers to turn on the “I get it light”.
6ix: They know how to separate the “hype” from the reality of new ways to market to busy consumers.
7even: They get out of the office to both conduct research and watch how consumers interact with brands at retail.
8ight: They always ask “how can we have done this better”, even when they succeed. They are always looking for ways to get better and smarter.
Finally, they know that most of the free research available online might not apply to their brand and its customers. In addition, we have to accept that we are always learning as our market evolves and consumers needs change. To me, it’s about being passionate about what we do and the love of marketing.