Have you ever craved making a significant difference? Usually there is an opportunity to do so, but not without some risk and fear. Fear of failure, fear of uncertainty juxtaposed with that tempting opportunity to make an impact. Opportunity and challenge go hand-in-hand. That is marketing today.
Marketing is a powerful force. It is growing in power, impact and significance.
And complexity. Thus being a great marketer is—ironically—more obscure and more important than ever.
The result of effective marketing is always better business results. Period. Marketing is often the most noteworthy differentiator between good and great companies. Positive revenue and ROI are the consequence of great marketing.
Marketing is a dynamic profession in constant flux. The definition of marketing and marketing leadership is continually being redefined and reinvented. It's a simultaneous process of construction and deconstruction. Further, the speed and magnitude of change is staggering, putting new and ever-changing demands on marketing professionals.
It is not easy to map out how to make a significant difference when the target is constantly moving. This is something I aspire to do and to be, so I like to learn from others. Here are some of my observations: Agility, Authenticity and Passion
In order to navigate the turbulent, and exciting, opportunities and challenges for marketers today, marketing leaders need to possess extreme agility, impeccable authenticity and the passion to inspire greatness in others. These traits are required in order to stay relevant and significant.
For me, these traits are not natural default positions.
Agility requires the dedication to embrace ambiguity and loss of control and jump into the moving current and flex with its bends and turns. That's a bit unnerving for many of us.
Authenticity requires choice and vulnerability. That's uncomfortable. Per Brené Brown, "Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen." It is a deep vulnerability. The payoff? Brown states that, "Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change." Now who doesn't want that?
Passion is contagious. It is the fuel which drives us and drives others. Said more eloquently by Tony Robbins, "Passion is the genesis of genius."
Four C's to Significance
In addition to Agility, Authenticity and Passion, there are "four C's" which describe what I believe are the pillars of great marketing today. These pillars must be baked into a marketing approach and marketing department in order to achieve significance. My disclaimer: These may change in the next week.
- Customer-centric. In our customer-driven economy, customer engagement is the most critical, elusive and valuable asset to a business.
- Curious. Real-time, iterative learning to stay current with warp-speed trends and developments is a must-have.
- Communicative. Commitment to communicate and establish clarity can make or break marketing.
- Connected. Building bridges, networks and cultivating relationships is a cornerstone of marketing survival.
More on each of these four C's in my upcoming posts.
Do you have some input that I may share in those posts? If so, please let me know.
Sandra Zoratti is an author, speaker and marketer. You can find Sandra on LinkedIn, Twitter @sandraz and on her website, sandrazoratti.com.