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I just read the most inspiring blog today called 3 Ways Marketers Can Stay Informed and Inspired, written by Jay Baer, President and Founder of Convince & Convert. Among other things, Mr. Baer discusses the difference between running your business and being a leader.  It got me thinking; what is the difference between running a company’s marketing and being a marketing leader for a company?

marketing manager leader

As Jay describes, “running a business is about the tactical” – completing tasks to get something accomplished. And “being a successful leader is about juggling all the demands of the business and staying ahead” of everything else. Although Jay’s article was more about how marketers can stay inspired and ahead of the marketing trends, I thought about the business owners and marketing managers out there that are busy running marketing, but not being marketing leaders.

Here are three things that every successful marketing leader does well in setting the direction for their marketing plans and managing execution of their plans.

1. Managers think about “the what” Leaders focus on “the why

Everyone who works on a marketing team has their own version of why they are doing the tasks they are completing. For a content writer, they might like the fact that something they created is consumed by people to educate themselves. An SEO might like the science behind how to stay up with Google’s algorithm. Leaders are tuned into each individual’s why and works to create an environment where each team member is put into the specific role that satisfies their why and works well with the team’s why.

2. Leaders make sure the team is all working toward the same goal(s)

First, everyone must know what the goals are and be clear on the plans to get there. Strong marketing leaders paint a great picture for others to see where they are heading, but also follow up with the specific metrics they are trying to achieve. For example, (the picture) we want to move our ABC prospects down the funnel with an outbound calling campaign followed by email nurturing campaign that addresses the issues we think they are having – the goal is to get them to qualify themselves. We need (the metrics) to obtain 1,000 new prospects in order to get 70 new leads over the next 90 days with this campaign because we know we can close 10% (7) of those new leads. Each new customer is worth $36,000 so we are going to spend $25,000 to get $252,000 (10% of sales) given our traditional sales closing rates.

You see the vision and you know success metrics.

3. Managers make sure execution on tasks get finished, Leaders guide the priority

There is a time and place for everything. Have you ever been around that person that spouts off ideas like machine gun fire? Great marketing leaders choose when to deliver messages about new concepts or ideas in a way their team can handle them and be inspired about executing those concepts. The marketing manager is the person who makes sure the concepts are delivered on.

Whether your hire a marketing agency like Fannit to execute your marketing or have a staff of your own, make sure you have someone playing the roles of leader and manager so you know where you are going, why you are going there and can get there.

Lead away! … but manage to get-r-done!