Do you remember brainstorming with your team new ideas that would be the catalyst to reaching your census or occupancy goals? Or maybe you enjoyed coordinating the tactical strategies such as print advertising, direct mailing or event planning. I don’t know about you, but when it came time to discuss the outcome or ROI with my C-Suite, it was nearly impossible to try and convey the ROI for this type of strategy. It’s definitely a frustrating feeling, wouldn’t you agree?
Different Leadership Skills
Your role today as a marketer at every level is not easy. You are expected to know and understand everything from brand awareness to inbound digital marketing, sales enablement and inbound sales, new business development, website management, and graphic design – and these are just the tip of the iceberg for today’s marketers.
The function of marketing has been transformed by the evolution of the internet, and so has the role of the Marketing Director, VP of Marketing and CMO.
Marketing Leaders are expected to bring innovative solutions that result in positive bottom line growth, and improved efficiencies and productivity. They are expected to manage their teams through rapid changes, and adjust to constantly evolving buyer behavior. It’s critical today that marketing leaders demonstrate their relevance to the organization.
The marketing role today shifts from creative and tactical to executive level skills of data analysis and strategy development. If you’ve been actively executing an inbound digital marketing program, you understand how valuable data is in directing the program and demonstrating the ROI. Both of which make for more robust and respected C-Suite level conversations regarding occupancy goals.
5 Essential CMO Skill Sets
As a marketer, what skills are essential for you to demonstrate relevance, earn respect, and achieve the goals you are responsible for ? Assess yourself using the following 5 skill sets and determine where you may need to invest in professional development.
1. Understand Data Analysis & Application
The digital age requires marketing executives to be data-driven. Let’s face it, data analysis was not part of the 4 P’s of our marketing curriculum in college. However now there is a critical need to learn how to analyze data and be able to apply it to the development of a strategy that drives measurable change and demonstrates the value of the ROI. This is how you demonstrate bottom line impact to the rest of your C-suite.
By using data and buyer behavior insights obtained through digital marketing, marketing leaders can maximize the impact of their overall marketing strategy and enhance the personalization of their marketing strategy to their potential resident or family. This also means that outcomes of data analysis should also affect people (management of your team), processes (efficiencies and effectiveness), technology (systems and tools), and strategic partnerships. This approach provides the holistic view of evaluating all elements associated with your marketing program.
2. Embrace & Leverage Technology
Understanding how to utilize and integrate technologies such as automated marketing platforms and CRMs is imperative to working with lean principles such as efficiency, time savings and increased productivity.
In addition, adapting to mobile technology to create positive seamless user experiences that result in high quality lead interaction is necessary to stay at the forefront of competitive positioning and minimize lost opportunity cost.
3. Customer Focused
I know this one sounds silly, however, simply take a look at your collateral, website, or other mediums where your brand message appears. Does it focus on you or does it focus on your prospect? To capture the attention and loyalty of leads and customers today, you need to ensure that your marketing approach is based upon helping to solve your resident’s, patient’s, or family’s challenges and are making their lives better.
It’s imperative that you stop the old “push marketing” methodology and replace it with strategies that establish relationships with your leads and customers to become their trusted advisor. By using data, you understand each stage of your buyer’s journey and how to create value that results in a positive, consistent experience across all channels that are used by your leads to interact with your brand.
The days of one size fits all mass media approach to reaching new leads is expensive and isn’t measurable. More importantly, it doesn’t build rapport and relationships with those leads you are trying to capture.
Having a thorough understanding of your persona(s) and their buyer’s journey provides the foothold for creating higher levels of personalized connections with them at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Digital marketing enables personalization strategies through various channels.
5. Catalyst for Change
The swift pace of change in marketing and technology continues to accelerate, and ensuring that marketers are flexible and agile is imperative. This means that planning and strategy development aren’t one time events, but an ongoing process that is directed by data, technology, trends and competitive awareness. It also means that continual ongoing learning is essential to keep up with the continual changes in the digital realm.
Marketers need to be the change agents that keep up with the changing needs and wants of digital savvy customers, stay one step ahead of their competitors and lead the way with innovative strategies for continued business development growth and strong brand recognition.
Marketers of today and the future are and will be held to a higher level of expectations, authority, and opportunity. Leaders who lead using data-driven marketing methodologies, will not only achieve greater results, but will also be able to prove the ROI of their strategies. Earning and managing this executive-level Influence that is based upon customer-centricity leads to gaining more power and voice at the executive table. Thus ramping up a collaborative cross-functional style as well as technical, financial and strategic skills will support the CMO’s, VP of Marketing and Marketing Director’s goal of showing (and proving) how inbound digital marketing can help reach the organization’s occupancy goals.
About the Author
As founder of Marketing Essentials, Patty’s continual quest and drive for helping businesses grow is her passion. With over 30 years of strategic business management and leadership experience, she is known as a catalyst and understands the challenges CEOs and marketing leaders face in executing inbound digital marketing & sales strategies that yield results. No surprise you will find her feeding her hunger for life long learning with a good book and latte!