Great leaders are generally few and far between.
However, if you want your business or company to move beyond commonplace problems and grow, you need a great leader.
Qualities Of Great Leaders
Over the years, a few consistencies around great leaders and great marketers are noticeable.
Image: Harvard Business Review
Among these is that great leaders are curious and love to learn. They’re voracious, and don’t shy away from new technologies or information.
Instead, they embrace and absorb it, and go beyond their initial discomfort to get to the potential that lies on the other side.
They get excited by opportunities just as marketers would, to expand their comfort zones, with a continued desire to apply the new things they learn.
Because of this curiosity and desire to learn more, great leaders have more in their professional toolkits, so they’re able to approach things creatively.
This broader knowledge range allows them to adjust and apply new tricks on the fly.
Trustworthiness & Collaboration
Besides the love for learning and discovery, great leaders are collaborative and trustworthy. They like to bring team efforts together in collaboration to achieve revenue growth for the business.
In this way, they encourage vocalization of opinions from team members, showcasing of talents, and support for each other.
They understand that trust is the foundation for strong teams, and their teams know the leader always has their back and looks out for their interests.
They’re also able to manage expectations both at the top and bottom levels, and translate these into actionable tasks for the team.
Great leaders also consider actions in the long-term, and from a strategic point of view. They’re not easily discouraged in the face of challenges along the path to their goals, and know that success depends on the decisions they make.
For them, each choice is an opportunity to advance the team closer to the business goals.
Like great strategic marketers who put choices into context, to benefit the less-experienced in the team by growing their thinking, great leaders create a lasting impact overall.
For most marketers, thinking and acting like a leader in business is one of the most integral components to success.
They fuse the long-term strategic vision of the business with a strong bias for marketing integration, while balancing creativity with marketing and financial data, and measurement.
Innovative & Daring
Great leaders are also innovative, and continually ask themselves how they can transform their role and the business as a whole.
This mindset is what great leaders possess, which has birthed the perception that they’re great marketers too.
A good example is Steve Jobs, when he created the iPad after perceiving what customers wanted first, before the customers knew it.
Similarly, Netflix built its brand around delivery of DVDs in-mail, and is continuously reinventing itself making the latter business obsolete.
Great leaders take the intimate understanding of what marketers need, and fuse it with a unique business model and powerful revenue engine, to build fast-growing companies.
They’re not afraid to question how things are, experiment, and test new things. They also think big, move fast, and flawlessly execute their tactics and strategies.
Qualities Of Great Marketers
Great marketers have specific traits that set them up to lead their team and steer marketing in a company or business. These include:
Image: Espresso Marketing
Great marketers are design-focused, understanding design theory and thinking to tell the company’s story in a relatable way to the masses. They also collaborate at each stage of the design process, not just approving designs.
They also understand the customer or buyer’s journey and know how to acquire, engage, and retain them at every stage. They know the tools to use, how to measure, and which campaigns drive success along the customer lifecycle.
They’re data-driven, which is one of the primary reasons behind their success. This not only proves the value of marketing, but also helps them communicate the value of their work.
It also helps them understand the company’s budgets, forecasted reports, and operating plans for better growth.
Great marketers are also well versed in a variety of marketing channels, and understand the technical landscape behind products and operations.
Great marketers, like great leaders, are visionary as they stay ahead of the market and can rally their team to forge easily into the unknown.
They also have great intuition about people, and bring together the right people that can collaborate, play, support, and thrive together.
They’re great communicators and facilitators, too, as they’re constantly looped in to business meetings to discuss the roadmap from their perspective.
Strong Business Sense
Like great leaders, great marketers are business-focused, and view the business from a holistic point of view.
They work closely with other departments to make sure marketing activities are linked to the company’s goals and objectives.
They’re revenue and growth-focused, and constantly find new ways to retain and engage customers, while keeping them front-of-mind.
Personality Traits For Success
Among the common traits found with great leaders that great marketers also possess include curiosity, accountability, detail-driven, humility, and risk-taking.
For the most successful marketers, an adventurous spirit is a must. Great marketers assume risk and crave the adventure that comes with launching bold campaigns and large-scale impact.
Let’s now read about some great leaders who are known for great marketing skills –
As we’ve seen from the qualities of great leaders and great marketers, the line between the two is somewhat blurred.
Both leaders and marketers possess the ability to take a company to the next level, and realize great business growth and revenues.
The list of great business leaders below, considered the corporate titans in the business world, is based on the value of their business or company assets, revenue and growth, market performance, and more.
As you will note, these leaders also make great marketers based on their leadership qualities, personality traits, and influence. All these have together seen their brands consistently rank among the top in the world.
1. Larry Page, CEO, Co-founder Google
When he formed Google almost two decades ago with Sergey Brin, Larry Page opened a revolutionary window into how we access information.
Today, Google has grown beyond just a search engine, to one of the most powerful companies in the world.
Page is the principal architect of Google’s success, with his relentless drive to take advantage of unprecedented opportunities in the tech world.
His strategic long view has seen some of his big bets pay off, with an astonishing ubiquity from a mere search engine, to the addition of Chromebooks, Maps, AdWords, and more.
Google is now a player in virtually every corner of technology, advertising, and media.
As a great marketer, Page builds technology that everyone loves to use, and that affects everybody; intuitive and beautiful services and technologies that are used constantly all day, every day.
With a driven and intense personality, Page strives to broaden the company’s horizons, while providing big products and services that deliver worldwide impact.
Ventures such as self-driving cars, super-fast connectivity (Google Fiber), and drones, are just some of the huge impact projects Page is working on at the moment.
Despite Google Plus not having clicked as a social network, Page still keeps his focus on the future and how to create it, while powering the organization towards this future.
2. Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
Following his legendary predecessor’s footsteps, Cook is well on his way to legendary status as well.
He’s also a great leader and marketer, just as Jobs was, and has put Apple as the first company to hit the $700 billion mark.
Cook cares about the happiness of Apple’s customers, whether or not they upgrade their devices as fast as he wants them to.
In an interview with CNBC’s “Mad Money” program, the Apple CEO mentioned the three most important things to the company: customer satisfaction, loyalty, and innovation.
To him, as long as existing Apple customers are pleased with their products, he is satisfied because his joy is seeing the customers happy.
Under Cook’s watch, today Apple is the world’s first trillion-dollar company, having hit this landmark valuation in August 2018 when the company’s stock hit $207.05.
Cook almost tripled the company’s revenue during his tenure, earning the highest annual revenue in the company’s history in 2018, making $265.6 billion.
This, despite the worries from industry analysts that he wouldn’t increase revenues significantly owing to the “law of large numbers”.
But he has proven pundits wrong, as Apple thrives in every arena in which it competes, with its Apple Watch being a big sleeper hit.
Since he took over, the company has invested in progressive values such as inclusion, privacy, diversity, and environmental initiative with investments in green power and renewable energy.
3. Indra Nooyi, CEO, Chairman, PepsiCo
Image: Business Insider
Indra Nooyi held the reins as CEO of beverage giant, PepsiCo, for a little over a decade before her replacement Ramon Laguarta was announced.
Nooyi, who was the company’s first female leader and still holds the chairman position, saw the brand’s net revenue grow at an annualized 5.5 percent rate during her tenure as CEO.
To achieve this financial success, Nooyi brought to the company several large strategic changes such as pivoting to healthier foods.
This is something she’s always been keen on, after overseeing the company’s acquisition of Quaker Oats and Tropicana in 2000, and 1998 respectively.
When she shoots, she scores. It’s no wonder the shift to healthy snacks saw the growth of the company’s Frito Lay unit rise to comprise 46 percent of the company’s operating profit and about a quarter of its sales.
Nooyi also doubled down on emerging markets, with international expansion as a priority, thus increasing the company’s sales by targeting the middle class in those markets.
As a leader, she displayed great marketing qualities that enabled the company clinch awards, unseat Coca-Cola Company as the official NBA food and beverage partner, and sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show.
4. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Co-founder, Chairman, Facebook
Zuckerberg changed how we stay informed, connected, and entertained.
Despite the hue and cry over losing influence among the millennials market, Facebook is still going strong with billions of monthly active users on the platform.
Zuckerberg’s focus on mobile advertising, which has the potential to turbo-charge the company’s growth, places him on this list as a great leader and marketer.
Similarly, Instant Articles, a product of Facebook, may also herald new opportunities and changes in the delivery and distribution of digital content.
5. Jeff Bezos, CEO, Founder, Amazon
Despite the number of publicity failures tied to Amazon search in the recent past, Jeff Bezos has grown it into a mighty Ecommerce company at the intersection of commerce, content, and technology.
Bezos plays a huge role in the company as it shapes consumer tastes and defines pop-culture. His ambitions for the company and industry at large are sky-high, what with his proposals to have drones deliver goods to consumers.
Just recently, Bezos explained the company’s growth narrative tied to its ecommerce channels, future expansion into new areas through iterative approaches, AWS, and making smart bets innovative.
He’s also willing to lose money should an experiment not work.
The Amazon founder keeps innovation going as they disrupt the ecommerce space, and anticipates continued growth in several markets outside the US where penetration has been minimal generally.
The company is founded on four pillars: customer centricity, innovation, corporate agility, and continuous optimization.
This way, Amazon manages to keep its focus where it belongs – on foundational principles for spurring growth and profits.
From the three global leaders in business, we can see a strong correlation between their leadership and being great marketers.
The qualities held by a strong leader are also similar to those held by great marketers, who also hold leadership roles in their marketing departments.
Ultimately, seeing the customer happy and realizing business revenues and growth drive both the great leader and great marketer.