Saad Raja - Marketing leader

What makes an effective marketing leader?

Marketing has changed beyond all recognition. Today, marketers can give brands the kind of exposure that just didn’t exist before digital communication channels became mainstream. To avoid getting lost in among the many resources and channels available to us as marketers, it’s vital to keep an eye on the end game.

The goal of all marketers is to give customers a memorable experience to increase business. While this could sound daunting, it’s always worth remembering that we have so many resources at our fingertips. There are so many ways marketers can develop the following attributes and use them to ensure they deliver the business outcomes required.

Communicate clearly about final goals

Goals are about more than just being accountable. They offer people targets to work towards and, when reached, clearly defined project milestones to celebrate. Effective marketers must understand how to engage customers, and then how to educate and entertain them.

These efforts serve a greater purpose, and that is to meet a brand or business objective. Producing compelling and memorable marketing work is synonymous with better business outcomes. When marketers forge a two-way open dialogue with brands about the focus of the strategy, the chance of meeting the goals increases exponentially.

Think ‘human-to-human’

It’s all too easy for marketing professionals to consider themselves in a category, such as ‘B2C’ (business to consumer) or ‘B2B’ (business to business). It’s actually a lot simpler than that. No matter who the audience is, all marketers are communicating with human beings.

Consumers are increasingly rebelling against brands that appear to ‘talk at them’. Today, consumers expect to be full participants with a brand, rather than observers who simply receive cultivated messages. In short, talk to them like you would any other person who needs to make human decisions. Marketers must always think of new ways to engage customers, whether involving them through competitions or authentic social media interactions.

Keep track of how well you’re doing

Marketing professionals are expected to utilise the technological tools available for tracking and reporting on a strategy. Data is key, and analysis means marketers can accurately see which parts of their strategy are working, and which aren’t.

Marketers should follow the metrics of content and collateral penetration closely and frequently. These will determine whether changes should be made and help to determine what they should be.

Work with positive customers

We live in a review-orientated world, with customers asked to give their opinion on everything from the restaurant they ate in to the shoes they wear. And if a brand wants people to trust its claims about products and services, then the best resource is its own happy customers.

Around 40% of US adults said in a survey by Pew Research Center that they “always/almost always” check reviews or customer ratings. A further 42% say they “sometimes check”, and for younger people the percentages were even higher.

Marketers should monitor reviews and ratings and ensure that retaining reference customers is the number one priority. Whether that’s in the form of offering exclusive opportunities or free gifts to people who give feedback, or consistent and rewarding social media feedback, these customers are worth their weight in gold.

Reward customers

The most effective marketers understand that customers don’t want to feel that they are just a transaction to a brand or company. When they say something positive about the brand in question, marketers should be communicative and inclusive.

The idea is to avoid customers feeling detached from the brand and instead like they’re on your team. The best way to do this is to interact with them on social media platforms and publicly acknowledge their contribution.

Saad Raja