5 Ways to Keep Growing as a Marketer

Quick, name a marketer that inspires you and why.

Did you do it? Chances are, you thought of someone that is making waves in their respective industry or who has so effortlessly aced brand culture that you just want to sit down for coffee with them and ask…..”But, How?”

Well, we did the asking for you – and racked the brains of our CMO Club members for which traits and habits they believe make a great marketing leader.

1. Find your tribe

You may have heard this thrown around casually online amongst tie-dye clad millennials at music festivals, but hey, they may be on to something. Constantly surrounding yourself with a good mixture of both peers and people you look up to as leaders will only inspire greatness within yourself. Listen, join the conversation and share your own experiences. This is how you grow as a leader and marketer.

One way to do this is – yes – networking. It can be easy to drop off attendance to events and industry meet-ups as schedules get busier – especially if you aren’t looking for a new position (and let’s be honest, you don’t really like going to those events anyway). However, do a little research and you’ll be able to find a network of people that inspires greatness in each other, whose members exhibit the characteristics you’d like to develop yourself.

Plus, you never know whom you might meet, or the next opportunity you may find.

2. Hit the books

If you don’t already have one, now is a great time to start a daily reading routine.

With all of the apps, email subscriptions (hello, The Skimm) and podcasts out there, there is simply no excuse for not being up to date on what’s happening. The best marketers said they are constantly absorbing new information. And many said they spend a little time each day catching up on emerging technology and platforms, marketing news and industry-specific updates.

Good intentions, yes, but easier said than done.

Some tips CMOs have shared with us? Listen to an audio book on your morning commute, take a book with you when you travel, or spend 10 minutes reading before bed each night.

3. Get out of the weeds

In case you’ve never heard that, it simply implies that you need to be able to think big picture, organize a great team and then get out of the way.

From overseeing the daily tasks of your team to orchestrating a national campaign, your ability to hone in on details are what make you a good marketer. But maintaining your short-game success while keeping an attentive eye on the big picture is what will make you a great leader for the long haul.

The only thing more difficult than implementing great marketing tactics is leading a unified team in implementing great marketing tactics. That being said, it’s crucial to craft a vision for your team and be certain that each action moves your brand steadily toward it.

4. Play the role of investigative reporter

Elisabeth Charles, CMO of Athleta recently said: “It’s important to not be afraid to ask tough questions and be willing to challenge the status quo in order to move companies forward.”

One of the best ways to do this is to be curious about everything. As the customer advocate within your company, it’s your responsibility to constantly be thinking “why.” In a world of ever-growing data, a leader that moves campaigns forward with actionable data, not hunches, is an invaluable person to have.

5. Articulate your goals – and then repeat yourself

Good communication is one of the most common answers cited when asking people what it takes to be a great leader. One great way to do that is by giving yourself and your team a very specific starting point, destination and timeline.

Think about these two statements: “Increase Email open rates next month” and“Increase email open rates 7% by June 15.”

Which one is more actionable? Which one gives you a better place to start? Don’t be afraid to make your goals larger than life. Our CMO Club members have said that if you don’t feel a little bit of nervousness about a goal, it’s not big enough.

So, how does this all add up? It gets you taking action – and that’s what great marketers do. They are constantly doing, changing, testing and growing. There’s never any one checklist or one single piece of advice that will help you become a great leader. As marketers, we know that all too well.