Boss Lady

The top 5 killer tactics successful women in marketing know


Marketing has changed dramatically over the past ten years. We have new channels to tap, more ways to get creative, but also the constant need to analyze and be data-driven. Today, successful marketing requires a healthy balance between the short-term tactical initiatives and long-term strategies. Success in marketing requires for the marketers — irrespective of gender —  to be iterative, and adapt quickly.

Clearly, women like marketing, but their path to success isn’t always identical to that of their male colleagues. A 2009 study by Brandweek found that both genders perceive women as successful marketers and that women tend to take a holistic approach by combining fact, knowledge, experience, and opinion, which makes them very strong marketers.

A 2016 study found that, in the marketing and media industries, 41% of early-stage professionals are women. By the time people reach executive positions, women account for only 25% of them.

What goes wrong and what successful women in leading marketing roles know and do that the others don’t, in marketing and beyond? Being a successful female marketer is about:

1. Knowing your target audience

And crafting the right message to reach it. Barbara Felix of Felix the Cook donated her cookies to large charity events as she first started her sugar cookies business, which now boasts of catering to UPS, Google Ventures, and The Four Seasons. She knew where her target audience can be reached, and delivered just the right message that helped her build an impressive client list.

But how do you identify blind spots in your customer base when you are unsure of your market? Reach out to your best customers with a short poll, or a brief call to learn about their interests on a larger scale.

Also, follow through. Loyalty can begin with meaningful follow-through connections with your prospects. Are you keeping track of each new user asking for clarifications about your services, or location? Follow up with them on social media when you launch a service they’ve been asking about or tag them on social media when you announce the new feature.

2. Going the extra mile

Successful female marketers understand that, quite often, going beyond their line of duty to propel their project to success is necessary. Doing more means risking, but also immersing yourself in your brand experience, and not only on social media but in reality, too.

Nikki Rappaport, Cava Grill’s Director of Brand and Marketing, initiated a project aimed at getting to know food chain’s customers better. The brand connected with people eating at its restaurants through Instagram geotags, and engaged with people living in nearby neighborhoods.

3. Surrounding yourself  with like-minded people

Successful women marketers cultivate a strategic network of allies, mentors, and sponsors. Build a follower base of people who hold you in high regard and advertise your brand through the word-of-mouth.

Likewise, onboard the right people on your team and delegate. You can’t do it alone.

Also, consider retaining talent by being “cruel to be kind.” Liza Landsman, former CMO and now Chief Customer Officer at, encourages marketers in leading roles to forge an authentic relationship with their workers. Instead of just telling your top talent how great they are, give constructive criticism because this is how they develop further.

4. Taking influencer marketing to the next level

There are many marketing goals you can achieve by developing a strong network of influencers. But when you connect with your influencers and take that interaction beyond the digital realm, you may be amazed at the results. Back to the Cava Grill example, the brand took a SoulCycle class from one of their social media influencers in Los Angeles, expanding its audience by a mile.

5. Committing to an ongoing education

Never stop learning. Make it a daily habit to learn something new about your industry and about marketing. Industry-specific news will keep you abreast of not only the current trends – you might spot the harbingers of things to come and get a competitive edge over your competition. Marketing-specific news, courses, podcasts, and tutorials help to brainstorm and find new ideas.

According to Marie Mouradian, owner of Window Designs Etc., the key to success is to never get too comfortable. The moment you stop growing, you start rolling back to where you started.

Bonus tip – Build your personal brand

The 2016 study on women in marketing recommends that women should do a better job of building their personal brand, which is a key factor in upward mobility. Being humble may be a virtue, but women sometimes take it too far. A social scientist even coined a term “the female humility effect,” which urges women to downplay their accomplishments and abilities. Market your “personal” brand just like you market your company – be visible, vocal, and nurture your professional relationships.

About Tabitha Jean Naylor

Tabitha Jean Naylor is the owner of and a certified Inbound Marketing Consultant with close to a decade of experience in both B2B and B2C markets. A self-described digital marketing machine, she prides herself in her ability to craft text that generates action. Her intimate knowledge of how sales and marketing go hand-in-hand has resulted in a variety of successful campaigns for start-ups through NASDAQ traded companies.  Connect with her on Twitter @TabithaNaylor or visit

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