What Makes a Great Marketing Manager?

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The effectiveness of a company’s marketing efforts determines its success–or failure. The marketing manager has the most critical role in a company. There are some qualities that successful marketing managers possess. Depending on the size, nature and stage of the company, all of these qualities may not be necessary, but they certainly wouldn’t hurt.

  • Being a vision creator. A great marketing manager is a master vision creator. He can create a clear, focused concept of a product or service by examining all the products and services his company sells, determine the product’s or service’s niche in the marketplace and simplifying the product’s benefits and features so they are easily understood. He can clearly communicate his vision so that his sales force has clearly understandings what needs to be done.
  • Possess a strong ego. A great marketing manager has a strong ego, meaning he has the self-confidence to stay true to his vision even after weighing differing opinions from staff, customers, salespeople and senior management. Ideally, he should be able to incorporate helpful suggestions while staying true to his product vision, but if he doesn’t, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. A marketing manager with the self-confidence to stick to his vision amidst naysayers has a better chance of selling his idea than one who allows naysayers to cloud his focus of his vision.
  • Posses an artistic eye. While it is not the marketing manager’s job to create marketing materials, he should have a keen sense of visual style. He should be able to determine if the visuals created by their ad agency is right for the marketplace, supports his brand and describes the company well.
  • Understand your market and your customers. Developing a vision and the right marketing strategy for a product or service requires a strong understanding of market trends and customer buying habits and decisions. Even new marketing managers diligently study the industry, talk to their salespeople and visit their customers in order gain an understanding of their market and potential customers.
  • Learn and understand the fundamentals of branding, marketing and advertising. Great marketing managers know the role of print advertising and public relations in a marketing campaign, as well as reasonable goals for direct mail campaign. They create marketing plans and goals that align with these fundamentals and weigh the risks of diverting, being fully aware of the consequences.
  • Great marketing managers don’t micromanage. They keep their eyes on the big picture and delegate detailed tasks to the appropriate people.
  • Learn to be a loose planner. Any marketing manager is ineffective without a plan, but spending too much time on every little detail of a plan can be counterproductive and distracts the manager from his task of leading his company into the marketplace with his vision. The ideal plan is one that leaves room for spontaneity and creativity, where new ideas can be added and old ones deleted without having to redo the entire plan.
  • Know how to deal with internal company politics. Successful marketing managers find ways to include their sales team in their vision. They may even include their superiors and educate them on certain issues to get the financial backing needed to carry out a successful marketing campaign.
  • Have a love for the process.  Great marketing managers love the marketing process and all the uncertainty that comes with it. They love taking risks, diving into the marketplace, delegating tasks and seeing the outcome. If the outcome is not has they hoped, they can shrug it off and immediately start working on a different strategy.

Marie is a writer for Recruiter.com covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.