What does it take for marketing executives to climb to the top management as CMO?
Julie Woods-Moss, CMO and CEO Nextgen Business at Tata Communications, drops three personal advices for marketing executives to pave their career path to get to the highest point.
1. Be fearless
Everybody has an opinion on marketing. When it works, people take it for granted; when it fails, people think it is a waste of money. So always open to criticism and stand for your ideas.
To climb up to a huge strategic role as CMO, you need to stay away from playing around the little things and go for some big bags. Look for white space in the market and look for changes.
Avoid focusing only on tactical marketing; try to add something that you believe is meaningful to your portfolio. Ask yourself what you can do that will change how your company will be perceived in the future.
That requires you to be fearless because that means you have to be looking into white spaces that is not driven by data.
2. Be business-oriented
When I am going to the boardroom I am expected to have data, data and data.
Never say “I think”, say “I know”. (A common mistake that was made by the CEO of Yahoo when she was talking to product marketers or managers)
“I think” is an intuition while I know needs to be backed by facts.
Senior marketers have to balance factual information -which is “I know” – with “I think”, which is from one’s expertise and personal experience. Blending intuition with data is a big task.
3. Be passionate and intellectually curious about what you do
It may seem trivial but to stay passionate about your job is the most important characteristic for being a senior marketers or CMO, as they should be one of the biggest brand advocates. If you are not passionate in marketing, you can’t be senior marketers with integrity and authenticity.
For example, CMOs of lifestyle brands should take care of their appearance and believe in their own wellness so as to represent their brands well. It is an emotional quality from the inside-out that needs to be supported by passion and devotion to your work.
As passion is unlikely to be encouraged by money, so focus on your job and don’t worry about the returns. Do something you love, be great at it, and the money will follow.