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Social Strategy Series | 12 Traits of Great Marketers


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Finding great marketing talent is no easy task! But in my experience of working with marketers over the past 20+ years, I claim they all share these 12 traits.

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Social Strategy Series | 12 Traits of Great Marketers

  1. 1. #socialstrategy series |“TOP 12 TRAITS OF GREAT MARKETERS” @JeromePineauan enterprise perspective
  2. 2. caveat the following are based on my 20+ years of experience working with all sorts of marketing people most of which have taught me a lot of what I know. it’s only my opinion. your mileage might vary. and I could be wrong.
  3. 3. 1. discerning in a sea of numbers, KPIs, goals, pronouncements, trends, opinions, and other numerical noise, great marketers can quickly identify an organization’s core economic driver(s) then strategize and execute against them. there are usually only one or two fundamental drivers at most no matter how complex the organization.
  4. 4. 2. listener contrary to popular belief, successful marketing people are first and foremost keen listeners. you cannot market exclusively from a desk. marketing is being out in the field and walking the plank with both staff, customers, and prospects. marketers are customer advocates. to advocate, you have to know your tribe inside out. and many times, they’re a fickle bunch.
  5. 5. 3. analytical you don’t need a PhD in analytics, but you do have to love data. far from being spreadsheet junkies, successful marketers know how to respect yet tame data. they understand both its power and its limitations. they use it to strategize, persuade, protect, and compete. but never to intimidate or impress.
  6. 6. 4. opportunistic “we jump out of the trees and hijack passing stagecoaches” is how one marketing genius described to me what working with him would be like. having a knack for smelling then seizing opportunity in real time without causing damage is virtually essential in this marketing day and age.
  7. 7. 5. manager great marketers are talented managers because the profession is a team sport and successful teams have each others’ backs. they know how to give out clear, crisp tactical direction all of their people can quickly understand and follow. they’re rabidly loyal to their staff and often “out there” with their people whenever and wherever needed. they know how to nurture, coach, mentor their teams, and ensure their visibility in the organization. and they don’t suffer fools easily.
  8. 8. 6. communicator a great marketer must be an inspiration to his people, his customers, and sometimes even his competitors. this requires exceptional communication skills as the essence of marketing is communication. great marketers are compelling, passionate speakers and excellent writers.
  9. 9. 7. high-velocity great marketers understand they evolve in space and time. the latter being critical. analysis time, reaction time, execution time, turn-around time, correction time –all these require an appreciation of speed as a major competitive weapon.
  10. 10. 8. intuitive by nature or nurture, great marketers are intuitive beings. the best ones navigate elegantly between hard cold data and what their hearts and experience tell them. that left-brain/right-brain juggling act often defines the best in the business.
  11. 11. 9. workaholic great marketers are always “on”. partly because great, out-of-box ideas always come in the shower, or in the middle of the night, or while eating, or during a flight –but never during a regular business meeting.
  12. 12. 10. deciders there’s an art to decision making –as it is usually emotion-driven notwithstanding claims to the contrary –and great marketers know how to make good decisions quickly and consistently. they cut through the noise and nonsense with a knife. indecision kills in this business. but then so does rash behavior. great marketers know how to walk that line.
  13. 13. 11. design flair for some reason, great marketers seem to have a flair for great design that can pull emotional chords at the right time and place. they’re painters. they have “good taste” and associative qualities with an obsession for detail and a “got to look just right” acceptance criteria. this is true no matter what industry you look at.
  14. 14. 12. passion maybe a no brainer, but I’ve met marketers who were just in it for the money. they just didn’t care about product. but I’ve never met a great marketer who didn’t have passion for whatever he or she was selling. no matter how good you are, you cannot market a crap product or service. these days are long gone. the best marketers never even get involved with junk.