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Six Characteristics of High-Achieving Digital Marketing Leaders

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John Fildes provides marketing and leadership insights on what you should know and how to apply it in your organization. Tips provide cause and effect insight so you clearly understand the reward for your investment. It's consumable in less than 3 minutes and immediately actionable.

Six Characteristics of High-Achieving Digital Marketing Leaders

John Fildes

Learn How to Stand Out as a Digital Marketing Leader That Gets Results

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Ask people what makes a high-achieving digital marketer and you’ll receive many different replies. You’ll hear responses related to tactics or specific to marketing channels and execution. While tactical digital marketing skills are essential, they are not the difference between good and high-achieving.

Many of the traits that distinguish high-achieving digital marketing leaders aren’t as obvious as the tactical skills. Intangible skills like leadership, strategic thinking, thoughtful planning, attention to detail and analytical assessment are the skills that put high-achieving digital marketers above their peers.

Lead From The Front

It doesn’t matter if you’re a good digital marketer if you can’t get others in your organization to support your strategies and plans. High-achieving digital marketers consciously develop core leadership skills and use those skills to help others visualize the positive impact their work will have. They also use leadership skills to mobilize and motivate people to rally around the work and contribute their best efforts. And most important, they roll up their sleeves and lead from the front, to help the team succeed.

Focus on Business Outcomes

While high-quality digital marketing is a top priority, high-achievers’ first responsibility is defining and delivering business outcomes. Outcomes may include quantifiable improvements in sales, increased revenue from specific products or services, or escalated brand ranking in a specific target market. High-achievers care about metrics, such as clicks and increased website visits, but they use those metrics as controls to drive business outcomes instead of treating them as independent measures of success.

Strategically Align Plans

In addition to defining business outcomes, high-achieving digital marketers are especially talented at aligning their plans to achieving those outcomes. They understand activity does not guarantee results. Results require thoughtful planning of what’s created and how it’s executed to achieve an intended outcome. High-achievers assess the likelihood their work products will produce the intended result and compare their plans against other approaches to gain clarity and confidence in their actions.

Sweat The Small Stuff

Executing marketing across digital channels requires incredible attention to detail. Rightsizing messages, applying settings, and completing setup within channels requires many moving parts to be managed in parallel. Doing it right requires significant thought and care, iterative adjustments, and specialized templates and tools. High-achieving digital marketing leaders understand attention to small details are required to achieve big success, and they are willing to invest the necessary time and energy.

Use Data to Improve Results

High-achievers also have a continuous improvement mindset and use data to steadily monitor what’s working and what’s not with campaigns, channels, segments, and more. Instead of waiting for results to debrief on lessons learned, they make real-time adjustments to improve performance. They actively benchmark progress against predefined goals, as well as against their own average performance. They thereby pinpoint the best drivers of success and further leverage them to reinforce results.

Master Fundamentals

The best digital marketers deeply care about marketing fundamentals such as brand positioning, message development, and customer targeting. These foundational marketing skills fortify their ability to successfully use digital media in driving awareness, differentiation, preference, and purchase. It’s digital marketing leaders’ commitment to excellence in these areas that further differentiate them and their work from the crowd. Instead of just knowing the fundamentals, high-achievers master them.

In Summation

Being a high-achieving digital marketer takes more than tactical digital marketing skills. To take your digital marketing to the next level, you must broaden your awareness and develop your business and leadership skills. By doing so, you’ll be better enabled to understand business objectives and align your work to target business outcomes. You and your work will clearly standout as a result.

Read business and leadership books and articles to get started today. Quickly supplement your reading by finding mentors and role models for reference on what “great” looks like and how to chart your course to get there. Once you have momentum, seek new ways to continually improve across both tangible and intangible skill sets and commit to lifelong learning to maintain your advantage. You'll quickly see a remarkable difference in the effectiveness of your work, and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with increased growth in your organization.

About John Fildes

I grow the bottom line by connecting marketing to business strategy. By leveraging powerful positioning, content marketing, and client insights, I help CEOs drive qualitative and quantitative results at scale.

I've built an amazing network of incredibly talented people over the years. What I've appreciated most is those who have invested in me, mentored me, and helped me become the talented professional I am today. I pay it forward by doing the same for other high performing professionals and entrepreneurs.

Learn More: Marketing Leader | Experienced Entrepreneur | Trusted Mentor

All views are my own and not those of my current or prior employers.

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