The prolific use of social media in business has brought about a tremendous change in the marketing functions of CMOs and Marketing Managers; most notably, in regard to speed, volume, and integration. I recently asked some of my connections in the world of marketing about this, especially considering the next generation of marketers. My question was:
What trait, skill, or ability is the absolute most crucial for surviving the tumultuous and ever-changing world of marketing?
The overwhelming answer to that question?
The ability to change.
In the world of marketing where the word “new ” is used in nearly every conversation, the ability to quickly adapt, shift, pivot and turn has become the most valuable trait in marketing leadership. Here’s what Kevin Lilly, VP of Marketing at Standard Register had to say:
I think marketers today had better be open to new ideas and ways of doing things. How is this for confusing: I am SVP of Marketing and my company sells Marketing solutions to healthcare Marketers. The marketing automation landscape is so crowded and noisy, it is hardly manageable and the pace of change is amazing. If you can’t keep up, you will be left behind.
Is this paradigm of change something new? Absolutely. And a lot of why this is so vital in leadership is because of how fast everything’s moving. And how much is moving. Tim Hill, President and Co-Founder of Channel Rocket brought up the importance of balance- something that requires a lot of shifting and moving to obtain:
The massive move to social and digital media shouldn’t necessarily be a quandary for marketers. These should just be considered as new media outlets or new parts of the marketing mix that must be addressed and capitalized on. If you don’t embrace them and keep up with them, you’ll miss opportunities to reach new customers, expand into new verticals, build brand loyalty and solicit customer feedback. But if you focus too much on the social and digital media, you’ll suffer on traditional marketing areas like events, traditional advertising, public relations and more.
There’s a case to be made that the ability to change is actually the most important trait for leaders in any industry but I’ll let you chew on that one and decide for yourself (but do check out the CMO article below from Tim).
Thanks to everyone who chipped in with a response for this blog. What do you think?