Marketing director jobs: what makes a great marketing director?

Whether you are looking to hire a new marketing director or seeking your own next step on the career ladder, it’s important to know what is expected of today’s marketing directors. As the marketing function changes, businesses need different skills and experiences, in addition to fresh knowledge and perspectives that can bring strategic advantage to the business.

Let’s take a look at some of the most in-demand qualities, skills and traits in the market today before we explore marketing director vacancies in Manchester.

1. A holistic viewpoint of the business
Today’s marketing directors need to know more than ‘just’ marketing. For example, they will need to be well versed in areas such as finance, management and digital transformation, as well as customer services. Sales is a given! Marketing is a core enabler for a business and campaigns will only work where decision-makers understand the broader operating context of the brand.

2. Digital understanding
Today’s hires need to have a sound and evolving understanding of digital marketing and digital transformation as a whole. They will need to be well-versed in integrating digital channels into traditional campaigns, how to leverage analytics to measure campaign effectiveness and to plan, in addition to experience with the latest techniques, such as re targeting. Where in-house skills aren’t available to directly deliver all necessary marketing activity, the director will have sufficient knowledge in these areas to bring in the right external and specialist resources.

3. Resourcing expertise
Experienced directors will have sourced their own effective in-house teams and outsourced certain key functions to strategic agency partners alike. They should have a view on the best fit and will understand how a blended approach to marketing skills resourcing should be managed. Contacts, hiring expertise and a clear view of the necessary skill sets needed – and at what level – are all important for building the right team to take business marketing forward.

4. Committed to aligning sales and marketing activities
A great marketing director will not only understand how the sales and marketing functions work together, but they will also have a clear drive to facilitate this and make the relationship work. It can be challenging for businesses to translate marketing campaigns into defined sales results, but a close working relationship between the functions greatly assists results.

5. A smart risk-taker
At director level, any marketing professional needs to have vision, passion and a desire to take the right risks when they are needed. Success in this field often requires trying new things and a culture of innovation demands that risks are taken now and again. Look for someone who has a track record in trying new things – intelligently – and who is prepared to operate outside of their comfort zone to get results.

6. A natural communicator
All C-suite roles demand excellent communication skills, but few require it as much as the marketing director who will need to sell visions, ideas and creative campaigns across business functions and different levels of the business. Marketing directors must inspire passion and excitement in their people in order for them to deliver creative campaigns. They must also be able to manage complex working relationships across operational functions and between in-house and outsourced agency and freelance functions, which again, requires excellent and natural communication.

7. Genuinely passionate about marketing
Nearly all marketing manager jobs in Manchester will talk about passion for marketing as a theme. But directors need to live and breathe everything that encompasses marketing, recognising that most of today’s businesses are essentially driven by marketing in order to succeed. Their passion will see these individuals constantly scanning the market landscape, understanding what competitors are doing, assessing market trends, stimulating creative ideas, supporting their teams to be creative and productive, building relationships across the business, always seeking feedback and developing a clear focus on delivering exactly what the customer wants and needs.

8. Calm and analytical
For such a creative function, it is interesting that executive-level marketing roles require individuals to be calm under pressure and to have naturally analytical minds. The function can be fast-paced, stressful and experience various ups and downs. Marketing teams need support and guidance to succeed, with excellent leadership at all times. At at the same time, modern marketing functions must have data at the heart of everything that they do and analytics must be driven from the top. Today’s leaders must have calm, considered and numerate minds alongside their natural creativity and innovation.

There is certainly no “one size fits all” when it comes to finding the right marketing director. Diversity is a wonderful thing in bringing in fresh talent, new ideas and radical approaches that change the game. Be open to hiring someone who may not fit your picture of a ‘typical’ marketing director, especially if you are keen to change the function within your business and to reinvigorate it with zeal.