It’s undeniable that the marketing profession has seen an incredible rise in marketing operations lately. Marketing technology is more sophisticated than ever; things move fast towards a “digital-first” marketing mix. So, strategic marketing operations leaders need to enhance their skills to take up this challenge.
Did you know that companies that invest in marketing operations can experience a 25% increase in overall marketing effectiveness? Since marketing operations are seeing constant growth, leaders like yourself have to think even more strategically. Nevertheless, at the same time, you’ll need to execute complex programs. Hence you must evolve your marketing skills, talents, and capabilities.
Now’s the time for marketing leaders to take the reins and guide highly technical teams to success!
But what does a successful and strategic marketing operations leader look like? Which critical skills do you need to succeed and bring business growth?
In this post, we explore the 7 crucial skills of influential marketing operations leaders. Keep notes because we’re going beyond technical expertise!
Top Marketing and Leadership Skills A Strategic Marketing Operations Manager Must Develop
All marketing operations leaders should have in mind how to accelerate business growth. In order to do so, as an operations leader, you have to ensure your marketing strategy delivers business value.
Even if you’re not at the top of your game with all the skills in this list, you’ll understand the strategy aspect of it. Then you can decide how you can improve your marketing skillset.
At the end of the day, it always comes down to strategy. But to build your strategy, you need the right tools AND skills for your marketing plan to work. So, please, let me explain.
First off, what is marketing operations?
A simple definition of marketing operations is that it is an end-to-end optimization and governance of marketing processes.
Strategic marketing leaders that practice constant optimization have a lot to gain. With technology and automation integrations, you can effectively deploy campaigns, optimize funnels, and define goals.
In this way, you always keep your team in focus. The best way to do that is by tracking data properly and utilizing reports that help you gain insights and then apply them.
All this makes budgets easier and your marketing plan more actionable. Plus, you get to have smoother communication routines within your marketing team and other departments as well.
Marketing operations is the foundation of marketing success and growth mainly because it enables your business to scale.
Having the definition in mind, now we can proceed to explore the marketing skills you need to develop to a) improve your career goals b) help your business grow.
Here are the marketing and leadership skills you’ve been waiting for:
1. Project Management
A strategic marketing leader can’t deal with the pressure without improving project management skills.
You’ll find organizational skills very beneficial, especially if you manage multiple tasks or projects simultaneously. It’s a no-brainer that you’ll have to frequently make decisions regarding numerous assignments. Most times, these may be at different stages of development as well. So, to not miss deadlines and keep track of important information, you have to up your organizational skills game.
Trust me, this will help reduce stress, plus you’ll manage to perform your managerial duties more efficiently.
As a marketing manager, you’ll need to coordinate events and meetings. Of course, you’ll also have to record and file documents and tons of information. Also, there will always be a need to create strategic schedules for major projects. And, between juggling all the above, you’ll have to be there for your team, helping members with their tasks and ensuring they finish assignments on time.
Hence, communication skills go hand in hand with project management. During your day, you have to communicate with a range of people, including coworkers, team members, and your company’s customer base.
Thus, you must find smart ways to communicate requests, expectations, and ideas as clearly and as effectively as possible. Collaborating with your team to make decisions is essential. Plus, you’ll have to develop rapport with clients and customers. So, marketing leaders have to improve active listening. In addition, they must be able to address feedback and criticism.
Finally, another big part of your job will be to write press releases or quarterly summaries of how effective your efforts are.
Of course, there are several team collaboration and project management tools you can leverage.
For example, you might become a big fan of Slack, Asana, Wrike, and Zoom if you get to know them!
2. Leadership Skills
The responsibilities of strategic marketing managers are never-ending. You need sound leadership, good communication skills, and data analysis expertise to help make strategic decisions.
Your goal should be to ensure that processes keep running smoothly. Indeed, you can provide the data and build out strategies, but above all, you need to be a problem solver and set the tone for what will happen next.
Soft skills are your best friend when it comes to showcasing sound leadership. Even if you’re not a good communicator, please know that it’s something you can learn and improve.
Such skills usually have to do with how you interact with other people. For instance, as a marketing manager, you must have the ability to manage a conflict that arises among your team members peacefully. Enhancing your soft skills will aid you in managing and leading your team effectively.
Managers in the eLearning industry are responsible for leading their team and motivating every member to achieve a specific goal. Hence, this job will often require you to oversee and facilitate various activities from different offices and departments.
Guiding each team in working toward those objectives while setting common goals is crucial. So, begin with making sure that you are establishing strategic goals. Then, to bring the results you need, you have to find ways to motivate employees to perform well. Some of the best advice I can give you here is to mentor less experienced team members. Of course, monitoring and tracking KPIs is also vital.
Finally, delegating tasks to other employees is a key skill you need to conquer. So, you must learn to trust your team members and see that they will get to the finish line!
3. Revenue Growth Mindset
Nowadays, focusing on strategic marketing operations has become the growth center of eLearning organizations. Along with the influence and impact of awareness, acquisition, adoption, and advocacy, you hold the power of bringing money to your business.
Hence, eLearning marketers must look at themselves as the chief growth officers of the organization. For this reason, you must continually work to identify opportunities. That’s a prerequisite to taking the business forward.
As a marketing operations leader, you must know that efficiency and structure are the foundation of your organization’s marketing department.
However, the real growth occurs when you influence revenue.
To make it happen, you have to keep your team priorities aligned with the most critical business objectives. Also, you need to figure out if you are spending too much time on projects that won’t significantly impact growth and sales.
Having a growth mindset means that you need to think about the bigger picture. That’s how you get new clients on board.
4. Competitive Analysis & Content Marketing Expertise
Having the charisma and being business savvy are hallmarks of the strategic marketing opportunist.
Content marketing is a cost-effective way you can use to bring organizational agility and help your marketing career and organization thrive.
By applying your content marketing skills to the annual marketing strategy and operating plans, you can make the right decisions to help your business excel.
To make the right competitive moves, you need to know where you stand in your niche as a business. What’s your position against your competition? Having a clear idea of what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong will help