Marketingmoves asked Clare Grant three questions:

Tell us about the ‘changing face’ of marketing

I’ve been in marketing over 20 years and traditional marketing such as product marketing, and marketing communications have made way for the new ‘digital’ marketer. Channels to market have increased exponentially. Unless a marketer understands technology and how they can use it to better understand buyer behaviour, they will struggle to stay relevant in today’s business environment.

In the next five years, the CMOs best friend will be the CIO. Together they need to be working out and implementing a tech strategy for marketing. I’m talking about technology to support CRM, that’s marketing automation software, analytics tools, social media monitoring and how these all integrate to help a company respond in a very precise way.

Marketers are under far more scrutiny than ever before. They are under pressure to understand and use data analytics to prove that their decisions have benefited both the customer and the company that they work for.

What makes a great marketing leader?

Today to be a great CMO you need to understand the business and what’s driving it. You need to be focused financially on what is driving ROI and presenting it clearly. You need to be an innovative thinker with a focus on ideas that help increase that sales pipeline. Marketers also need to be the voice of the customer, sometimes even before they know what they want! Brand champion is an obvious one – as CMO you need to be the keeper of the corporate reputation

To be a great marketing leader you need to listen well. And by that I mean being constantly open to new ideas in the broadest sense. We all fall prey to spending much of our time in internal meetings, and not enough looking externally at the marketplace and spending time with customers to get valuable insights.

The dynamics and the shape of teams have changed and a great marketing leader will build team confidence and help members to develop a diverse set of skills. They also need to be a great business partner who works strategically with the rest of the management team, investing time to understand the other departments they interact with and acting like a company-­‐wide leader. They need to continue to develop their leadership style which could mean networking with other senior marketers, getting proactively involved in industry associations and staying connected.

Please share some of your key learning on ‘your way up’

The most important learning is to keep an open mind, be open to new opportunities and take responsibility for your own learning. Make sure that when you make your next career move it offers you personal growth – whether that’s new skills, responsibility or great people. I was very lucky to start my career in Sony where I spent 12 years – which is probably unheard of nowadays! They had a policy of investing in people. They had great mentoring schemes and worked closely with individuals to advance them into new positions that challenged them. Looking back, environment is really important to me . Always spend time to evaluate where you are, what you’ve achieved and be clear on what your next challenge should be . What has been important to me over the years is, to have the freedom to develop my ideas and to deploy them. It’s a style that I use with those that work with me.


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