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How to Thrive as a Marketing Leader in 2024

As we navigate through the uncertainties and challenges of 2024, marketing leaders find themselves at a critical juncture. With economic pressures, budget cuts, AI disruption, and organisational uncertainty looming large, it is crucial for marketing leaders to adapt and evolve their approach to steer their teams and organisations towards success. In this article, based on insights from Thomas Barta, we will explore the key strategies and mindsets that will enable marketing leaders to thrive in the face of adversity.

WHAT’S YOUR WORK’S VALUE?

In 2024, bridging the "time gap" between short-term and long-term results is more paramount than ever before. Marketing leaders must demonstrate the value of marketing investments by leveraging data, estimates, and – if data is in short supply – a compelling "what would we have to believe" logic. Articulating the connection between marketing efforts and tangible business outcomes was always important. This year, it matters even more.

Secondly, marketing leaders should clearly position themselves as the go-to source of customer insights for the C-suite. By consistently feeding relevant customer data and insights to top management, even during difficult times, marketing leaders can elevate the relevance and perceived value of their function. But watch out: no CEO cares about “likes” and “brand love.” Find the 2-3 data that really makes the C-suite sit up. Tip: your CFO can help.

To further solidify marketing's role in driving growth, leaders must develop a robust "Value Creation Zone" plan that aligns both customer needs and company goals. This requires a deep understanding of customers, market trends, and the organization's priorities. Customers alone are just half of the job. Only by crafting a compelling plan that links marketing initiatives to tangible value creation for the company, leaders can make a strong case for investment and gain the support of key stakeholders.

How about B2B? For marketing leaders in this space, establishing their teams as strategic insights partners is key to success. By leveraging marketing data to provide unique insights to Sales and Product Development teams, marketing leaders can transform perceptions and demonstrate their value as growth enablers. Quick wins and tangible examples of how marketing insights drive business outcomes can help solidify marketing's position as a critical function.

BE THE CHIEF MOOD OFFICER

However, thriving as a marketing leader in 2024 goes beyond just making a case for investment. It also involves being a beacon of support and stability for your team. As the "Chief Mood Officer," marketing leaders must look after the well-being and morale of their team members. This includes providing clear communication, offering support and resources, and creating a positive team culture that fosters resilience and adaptability. But watch out: “put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others.” Taking care of their own well-being, leaders can show up as their best selves and guide their teams through challenging times.

BE BRAVE: FIND YOUR QUESTION

As AI continues to make answers more accessible and abundant, the true differentiator for marketing leaders will be their ability to ask the right questions. Developing the skill of crafting insightful, provocative questions that reframe problems and unlock innovative solutions will be the new leadership currency. By cultivating a culture of curiosity and encouraging their teams to embrace this mindset, marketing leaders can stay ahead of the curve and drive meaningful impact.

While AI tools can undoubtedly enhance productivity and efficiency, it is crucial to carefully assess which tools truly add value versus those that merely cut costs. Leaders should educate themselves on the capabilities and limitations of AI, engage in test-and-learn initiatives, and have open and honest dialogues with their peers and executives about AI adoption. By shaping the AI narrative and ensuring its productive application, marketing leaders can harness its potential while mitigating risks.

In conclusion, thriving as a marketing leader in 2024 requires a multifaceted approach. By bridging the time gap, becoming the voice of the customer, making a compelling case for growth investment, supporting their teams, harnessing AI productively, and asking the right questions, marketing leaders can navigate the challenges of the future with confidence and resilience. Through proactive, insights-driven leadership, marketing leaders can not only survive but thrive in the face of uncertainty, positioning their organizations for success in the years to come.



Note this article was AI generated and human proof-read following the webinar from Thomas Barta held on Linkedin which you can watch again here, or read more in this article: https://thomasbarta.com/what-is-marketing-leadership/

If you want to find out more about the Marketing Leadership Masterclass run by Thomas Barta and Syl Saller visit our webpage or request more information here.


Written By Rachel Letham, Head of Brand and Communications at The Marketing Society

Published on 25 March 2024

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