Getting to the top of the marketing tree

To provide fuel for debate at B2B Marketing’s Leaders Forum, Circle Research recently surveyed 100 senior B2B marketers. Between them they control budgets worth £188 million. 

There was one particular question which had me on the edge of my seat: What attributes does a successful B2B marketer have?

I was excited because those answering the question were marketing leaders in some of the UK’s largest B2B companies.  In other words, people perfectly placed to provide a blueprint which aspiring marketing leaders can follow.

There was consensus a strong marketing leader displays four attributes.

They have a particular mindset and thinking style. They:

  •  Are strategic, big picture thinkers with a clear vision
  • Have business acumen and a commercial focus
  • Couple strong analytical skills with a liberal dose of creativity

To turn strategy into action, a marketing leader also needs to be a ‘statesman’:

  •  Their mind is tuned into the wider business and they have an acute awareness of non-marketing colleagues’ agendas
  • They are able to navigate within their organisation, work collaboratively across functions and join up siloes
  • They have outstanding communication and influencing skills – they articulate their ideas well, they inspire people and they bring everyone on the journey

They also need knowledge - a deep understanding of their market, real insight into what makes customers tick and experience in all the key marketing disciplines.

And you can always spot them by their attitude. Look for the person who:

  •  Is open minded, forward thinking and embraces new ideas
  • Leads by example and isn’t scared to get their hands dirty when it’s called for
  • Is determined, tenacious and fights their corner
  • Is gutsy and willing to take a calculated risk