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How to Lead a Marketing Team

leadership and management Oct 27, 2022
Marketing Team | Girls in Marketing

When it comes to being a manager, how do we really know if we’re ready and when and where do we learn the skills to not only manage our own workloads, but also manage a marketing team? 

Considering 45.1 percent of UK managers are ill-prepared for the role, it’s clear that leadership is a difficult skill to learn and can often be misunderstood and massively oversimplified. I’m sure we can all think of really great (and really not-so-great) managers that we’ve experienced throughout our careers. 

Here are some top tips on what makes a good marketing manager and how to lead a marketing team.

Set goals and expectations

To succeed in leading and motivating a team effectively, you need to set clear goals and expectations. 

If your team members don’t understand what is expected from them, you’re setting them up to fail. Providing clear and concise goals is the best way to show your team that their work is valued and that you believe in their ability as marketers.

Your team’s goals should be a combination of your expectations of them and their own personal career goals. Empowering your employees to reach their own career goals will make them more motivated to perform.

A great way to understand your team’s career goals is to encourage them to complete a professional career plan, both for the short and longer term. This will help you to understand your team and inform the goals that you set for them.

Lead by example

When considering how to lead a marketing team, you should consider the qualities that you value in a leader and try to incorporate them into the way that you lead. 

Any expectations that you have for your team need to be applied to yourself as well. If your team don’t believe that you do, or would be willing to do, the things that are required of them, how can you expect them to respect you?

Leading by example is a clear way to demonstrate support for your team and will make them feel more comfortable working with you and more likely to work towards the goals that you have agreed.

Provide training and support

Providing your employees with adequate support and training is vital to ensuring they feel valued. Training and support can be anything from regular 1-1 meetings so that they can discuss concerns or development opportunities, to funding professional memberships such as the Girls in Marketing Membership

According to a recent survey, 20% of workers don’t trust their senior leaders and management. If managers don’t provide support to their teams, they damage any trust between themselves and their employees, inevitably leading to a breakdown in communication and job dissatisfaction.

The training and support that you provide to your team should be based on their needs as marketers and give them the tools that they need to succeed in their roles. Using your team’s professional career plans is a great way to identify the right training and development opportunities to provide.

Trust your team to do their jobs

Whilst ensuring that your team trusts you as a leader is incredibly important, it’s also vital that you put your trust in your team. All too often marketers’ creativity and drive is stifled by ineffective leadership and unnecessary approval processes so that they feel unmotivated and distrusted.

Give your team the autonomy, responsibility and trust that they need to fulfil their roles and you will benefit from a more engaged and dedicated workforce.

When considering what makes a good marketing manager, trust is arguably one of the most important things and it can be shown in many ways. Some practices that you can start to implement today are:

  • Allowing your team to lead on projects in their area of expertise
  • Giving your employees a platform to share their ideas with the rest of the team
  • Taking your team’s ideas to other senior leaders and crediting them for their work

Find out more daily practices to hone your leadership skills and sign up to our mailing list to receive more advice about leading a marketing team and hear about our upcoming webinars to support you in your progression a manager.