Five ways to become a better marketing leader

We were proud to be published in the latest edition of Market Leader, the quarterly published by Warc in association with The Marketing Society.

Andy Bird's article, on what it takes to excel at the top of the marketing profession, draws on his recent white paper on customer-centred leadership, and is illustrated by examples from leaders he has worked with over the years.

He offers 5 pieces of advice on how to provide marketing leadership that organisations need and will benefit from.

  1. Think and act like the leader of the business, not just a leader of the marketing function

    Marketers need to think and lead beyond the marketing function. They need to align the entire organisation with the commercial agenda, delivering exceptional customer experience which will ultimately enable them to drive growth.

  2. Centre your leadership on the customer

    A great marketing leader must be engaging and inspiring to the entire organisation whilst also retaining the ability to centre their leadership agenda around their customers. This capacity to represent the customer through a deep understanding of what motivates and influences them, to give them a voice based on insight and understanding, is what demarcates a true marketing leader from a more general leadership role.

  3. Manage who you are being and not just what you are doing

    Whilst engaging and inspiring the organisation to reach new levels of performance, marketing leaders must push past a narrow focus on either their technical or leadership skills. Of course, they need the professional skills to handle what they need to DO as strategic marketers. But secondly they must also develop the right mindsets and behaviours to support the way they need to BE as business leaders.

  4. Build purpose, partnership and performance

    Our ‘customer-centred leadership’ framework offers marketers a simple, structured approach to providing customer-centred leadership.
    Customer-centred leaders need INSIGHT into the motivations and values of themselves, their customers and their business. They then realise their leadership agenda by defining an inspiring PURPOSE, engaging people in and outside the organisation in a spirit of PARTNERSHIP, and driving PERFORMANCE by delivering customer-centred growth in practice.

  5. Develop your capabilities and those of your team

    Being an effective customer-centred leader requires a demanding blend of strategic functional skills and leadership mindsets and behaviours. Helping to build the customer-centred leadership capabilities of your team alongside your own will ensure that you are all driving to create better value for your customers and, ultimately, drive growth for your organisation by making sure the customer is at the very centre of your strategic commercial agenda.

To learn more, subscribers to WARC can access the article here. Additionally you can download our customer-centred leadership white paper or watch a short film where Andy discusses the key concepts.


Brand Learning: Lifting capabilities to drive customer-centred growth
We work with companies across the world to lift the performance of their teams to drive growth by delivering better value for their customers.