Table of Contents:
5 Areas of Marketing Leadership Development:
- Lifelong Learning
- Personal Presence
I have this quote taped above my desk and read it often to remind myself to act and speak with intention: “All of us light up a room, some when they enter, some when they leave.” If you think of the best boss or mentor you’ve ever had, does this quote describe them as someone that burns bright and makes you feel like you can shine, too? Marketing leaders like that aren’t unicorns, they’re people who worked to develop skills in the the five following areas:
1. Lifelong Learning
There are principles of marketing that are timeless. Others depend heavily on the time – what technology is available, how to best deliver a marketing message, who your audience demographic is, when you need to get the information out and where you’re trying to lead them. With this dynamic landscape, marketing leaders need to be willing to evolve and eager to learn about emerging technologies, industry innovations and new resources. In an industry that demands fresh ideas, this keeps boredom at bay and encourages teams to remain curious. One of our values at Orange Label is “team” and we see that in action every day, especially when it comes to education. We subscribe to tools and resources that keep our skill sets sharp, hold meetings and maintain thread chats to share news of emerging technologies, and work as a collective to tackle all aspects of marketing. With the unignorable uptick in AI discussions, our team has leaned into this technology to see what benefits and efficiencies it can provide our organization and our clients – something that 35% of businesses globally are doing, according to IBM.
2. Personal Presence
Personal presence can be broken into two parts: emotional intelligence and your physical presence. For a company’s internal and external teams, leaders with a high emotional IQ are able to regulate their own emotions and understand, interpret and respond to the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence can also impact company culture and brand loyalty, a topic we discussed in depth with Productive Learning President Lindon Crow in a previous podcast. In an increasingly digital world, strong marketing leaders are also able to handle online criticism in a constructive manner and work to resolve issues as productively (and quickly) as possible.
Equally as important as emotional intelligence is capturing attention through a thoughtful physical presence. Columbia research finds that constantly shifting or leaning to one side during presentations can signal uncertainty and unsettledness. This is the opposite of what we see people in sports do when in their most powerful positions, like shooting a freethrow in basketball, serving a tennis ball or swinging a golf club. In those moments, their weight is dispersed evenly. What we can learn from these athletes is that balance is a key component of body language. Therefore, leaders should adapt a resolute stance when speaking, while incorporating hand gestures and keeping their hands calmly at their sides (rather than crossed) to be the most welcoming and captivating. For more insights on personal presence and brand leadership, tune in to our upcoming podcast with author and CEO of UK Body Talk, Richard Newman! Subscribe to our podcast below, so you don’t miss it.
One of the best ways to inspire, motivate and influence change is through story. While facts have their own place in marketing, such as the research and development stages, stories are what capture and move people because they create emotional connections. Some of my favorite memories learning from Orange Label’s owners Debbie, Wes and Rochelle include moments where they shared personal stories. Whether it was lessons learned while traveling or stories of how they got to where they are today, each story added depth to our relationship and served a purpose in the moment. Leaders that master storytelling as a skill can build trust, make complex ideas easy to understand and shape an organization’s culture.
It’s normal to want to present the best, most shiny versions of ourselves to those around us. However, as we learned with professor and author Brené Brown’s widely viewed TEDx Talk on vulnerability, people relate most to the not-so-perfect aspects of our life and lessons learned. To be an excellent and influential marketing leader, people need not only see you as a leader, but as someone they can relate to. With a deep understanding of who they are, strong marketing leaders know how to market themselves and connect to those around them. Another important aspect of authenticity is introspection and owning who you are. When it comes to branding, authentic marketing leaders create strategies, brand values and brand stories that define a brand’s authentic personality and ensure brand standards are maintained.
We’ve heard the saying “Lead by example,” and one of the most important attributes that marketing leaders can demonstrate to their teams and those around them is a balanced lifestyle. This can prevent burnout, inspire wellness and keep people happy. Marketing leaders that make wellness an aspect of their brand can also deepen the purpose of their products or services by contributing to people’s wellbeing. In a recent discussion with one of our clients, gerontologist Dr. Kerry Burnight, she gave a touching quote about purpose, sharing that “Purpose isn’t singular. To be fully alive, I truly believe you need to do a service to others.” Leaders that take care of their own physical, emotional and social wellbeing can provide and inspire that for those around them. This is why our team works with wellness brands that grow when their customers do, to create compelling response marketing that truly makes a difference. Some of the ways Orange Label does this internally are through a monthly wellness allowance, quarterly team events, monthly lunch and learns, and education reimbursements.
Striving to be an influential marketing leader requires continuous development, communication and curiosity. Here are some of the brands we’ve helped achieve market leadership through compelling response marketing.