What skills and experience do the next generation of corporate marketing leaders need?

In 2023 what are the skills and experience that will stand you apart from other corporate marketers? If you are looking to progress into a leadership role or further your current leadership position then these 7 tips will help you on that journey.

Data Driven: Without exception, every one of our customers is investing heavily into technology that will provide insights into their business. For example, understanding sales trends and patterns or Individual customer journeys and behaviour.  These insights are then used by marketers to make better marketing decisions. Developing a strong understanding of the technology and processes available in the field of data, AI and machine learning are now essential for marketing leaders.

Commercial: Marketing activity and spend is often directly related to commercial objectives. It’s essential that the marketing leaders of the future understand what the business is trying to achieve and how the marketing budget can be best spent to achieve the organisation’s goals. Keep in mind the age old adage of “ROI for the business” and how impactful marketing has become to the success of most organisations’ bottomline.

Supplier selection: Working in a large and complex, marketing driven organisation, means  collaborating with suppliers. The relationship and effectiveness of these partnerships is often parmanout to a campaigns success. Selecting the right agency and managing that relationship will drive great value for the organisation. On the flip side, working with a partner that’s not aligned with your plans can be expensive and disruptive.

Be close to the CFO: With any large organisation, ensuring you gain the respect of your peers is key to your growth within the business. Being close to your CFO will forge more than just a good professional relationship. During good times marketing budgets will often be available but you will still be required to demonstrate the effectiveness of your spend yet during tough times the relationship will be even more important while departments tighten spending. Demonstrating commercial gains and successes of previous budget spend or how your activity has achieved a milestone for the company will stand you in good stead. CFO’s also like to be challenged and often welcome requests for information, request a piece of information about financial trends or customer spending patterns that may help you with your marketing activity and also highlight to the CFO a greater understanding of the business which will elevate your profile in the eyes of the CFO.

Specialism: As you progress though your marketing career, having a USP will set you apart from others. This USP often comes in the form of a specialism, having a deeper understanding of some specific products or services or the ability to perform tasks that add greater value to a business will make you a valuable member of any team. These skills can come in the form of functional or soft skills but understanding what you have to offer and adding more skills or honing your specialism would be a smart move for your career progression.

Variety of experience: Companies like to hire people that have transferable skills, previous knowledge and the ability to bring something to the table! Being able to demonstrate achievements and previous successes will show future employers that you have the ability and experience to succeed in your new role or project. Whilst gaining this experience you would have coined knowledge of different organisational cultures, technologies and systems. Not to mention, various marketing campaigns which of course are appealing to future employers.

In terms of time scales on your CV, employers don’t want you to have moved around too much too often, i.e. every 12-18 months. Equally, 10 years in one company is not always a good thing. In today’s very fast paced world, a 3-4 year cycle is good.

Corporate experience: Following on from and very closely linked to our previous tip, more often than not, to be successful in a large and complex marketing driven function you need a background of working in similarly sized organisations. This helps with transition into the new business where often systems and processes will overlap from your previous company helping you to hit the ground running.

If you would like any further information or help then please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be happy to elaborate on any of these points and help with your career trajectory.

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