Source: Canva, Credit: Anastasia Collection

What makes a successful marketer?

A review of The Marketing Society Book Circle: The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader - Thomas Barta and Paddy Barwise

We’ve all worked with average marketers. 
We’ve likely worked with terrible marketers. 
But how many truly successful marketers have you worked with?

It was both refreshing, and energising, to hear how marketing leaders can boost their relevance and influence within a business. The ‘12 Powers of a Marketing Leader’ shares the recipe of truly successful marketing professionals.
The book circle was inspiring, and covered a wide array of topics, whilst stimulating some great conversation amongst the attendees. My main take-outs were:

Marketing is hard with three main gaps.

There is a skills gap, notably around digital, but also other areas. There is a trust gap, largely because marketers talk about the future (hence uncertainty) whereas most other departments within a business talk about the present or the past. And there is a power gap, because the marketer's job is reliant on a myriad of other departments of which there is no direct control (distribution, packaging, sales, finance etc). 

Success is possible.

There was a debate around what marketing success actually means, and how successful marketing doesn’t necessarily mean a successful marketer. Supported by the broadest and most wide-ranging research of its kind, we discovered that there is minimal effect on success when it comes to B2B v B2C, gender, or personality. Marketing skills themselves played a 15% factor, with the company itself having a 25% factor. By a country mile, leadership skills carried a 55% effect when it comes to marketing success.

The secret sauce...

Focus on broader business leadership skills to augment marketing skills. Mobilising direct reports, mobilising colleagues from beyond marketing, mobilising bosses, and mobilising yourself, are all essential to marketing success. Galvanising the organisation around marketing, making the C-Suite board find you useful, influencing those that you can and cannot control, can make all the difference and help marketers become truly successful.  
Reassuringly, Thomas Barta and Paddy Barwise have not reinvented the wheel here - whilst broader leadership skills are essential to enable marketing success, the fundamentals of marketing remain – identifying the overlap between customer needs, and company needs. Getting everyone else within the organisation to share this view is what makes a successful marketer.

The Marketing Society Book Circle







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