A lot of people will argue that the leader of a business shouldn’t mess around too much in marketing. After all, isn’t that why you hired someone to do the marketing for you? The marketing department of most businesses are the only people who will get involved with the advertising campaign. People like to make a strong distinction between the business leader and the marketing leader. This is understandable, of course. After all, a business leader is someone who is going to have a lot on their plate already. It’s why they hire people to do these sorts of jobs for them.
But none of this means that your leadership can’t affect the marketing of your company and brand. There are certain things that only you can do when it comes to marketing. The way you communicate to the public, the manner in which you choose to show yourself – these are very important aspects, too. There will also be a bunch of business-wide decisions that only you can make. After all, the marketing department works for you; it’s necessary for you to help shape it.
1. The problem with traditional marketing thought
Marketing in the business world used to be a very different beast. We used to treat marketing in a much simpler manner. We would get some advertisements out there, then hire some copywriter to write about how great the brand is. Things just aren’t that simple anymore, if they ever were. But have you noticed that a lot of businesses still take this very simplistic approach?
There are a lot of problems with traditional marketing thought and approaches. There is, of course, the fact that technology is ubiquitous, especially social technology. Everything seems to be getting more personal as these platforms creep into our daily lives. This can be used to our advantage, of course. But neglecting to use this technology to our advantage isn’t just you missing out on a great opportunity. It’s also actively harming your marketing. By not engaging with it, people will assume you’re as non-human a business as they come.
There’s also the growing consumer cynicism to take into account. People are tired of hearing companies go on about how great they are. They’ve steeled themselves against it. Traditional advertising simply isn’t as effective as it used to be. Consumers need more. And what that “more” is can often only be provided by unique leadership traits.
2. Overhauling marketing techniques
The first responsibility a leader here is to make sure the marketing department can do their job effectively. This will mean that you will often have to consult with them about their needs. It may even require you to seek their advice before you make any public moves. In this sense, a marketing department can work a lot like public relations. After all, the public response should be their speciality!
But it’s not just about the dialogue. You have to make sure they have the tools with which to do their job most effectively. This is probably the simplest and most obvious way a leader can affect marketing. Making sure the department have the right budget is the first thing many people will think of. Getting them all set up with the right software is also crucial. A good ad management platform, for example, is going to help them do their job right. But there may be times where the best thing you can do as a leader is to simply let them take the lead.
3. Follow the leader
The fact is that people care more about who the leader of a company is these days. The names of business leaders aren’t just names you hear occasionally in economic and business news. Leaders have become more recognizable, more personable. Cults of personality have even developed around them. Even leaders who weren’t loved by their employees could become loved by the public. They could make a direct impact when it came to the marketing of a product. They help sell their products to the public based on the strength of their personality. Just look at someone like the late Steve Jobs. His presence at conventions/demonstrations set social media and other business discussion platforms alight. It meant that something big was going to happen. His charisma went a long way to determining this.
Your marketing department may be holding the reigns of advertising operations. But you still have a responsibility here. More eyes are on the leader than ever. The way your present yourself is going to affect just how well the marketing department can do their job. In short, this means that it could very well be that you need to endear yourself to the public. This fact goes some way to explaining why so many business leaders are more active than ever on social media. Engaging with customers directly when you’re a business leader sends a strong message. And it’s a message that is extremely useful when it comes to marketing.
Intimacy with your customers is an absolute must when it comes to effective marketing. Being quick to respond to customer thoughts and inquiries is essential. The image of your company is going to rely greatly on how people perceive you as a leader. There’s no longer any doubt that personality is an extremely important part of the success of any modern business.
4. The business as leader
Of course, when people think about the word “leader” in a marketing context, they think of something else. They think about a particular company as a whole being a leader. That could mean being a leader in the particular industry they’re in. It could mean being a leader in marketing efficacy. While this isn’t precisely what we’re talking about in this article, it’s important to remember this. After all, your actions as a business leader will determine how much of a leader your company can be in any of these arenas.
Becoming a market leader, of course, is no easy task. But if you know how to steer the ship, then you may be able to achieve just that. And being a market leader is pretty much the ultimate marketing slogan!