Throughout my career in data, including roles in product management and product marketing, I’ve been inspired and motivated by the data marketing leaders here at Epsilon.
As a product management director, I’m responsible for managing the multiple components of the data product. For example, I work closely with sales to help them position the product for selling, with marketing for the support of collateral, promotions and events, engineering and developers to ensure the technical development is on-time and partner with multiple vendors. I truly have the opportunity to direct the product and wear many hats.
This multi-faceted role has enabled me to develop my leadership skills. And having ‘on the job’ experience along with the support of our senior data leadership team has not only provided me with growth within my individual career, but has also been a source of inspiration.
Here, I've taken the opportunity to reflect on why women (in particular) are successful marketing leaders.
3 reasons why women are successful marketing leaders
1. Extensive support network: Having the support of your executive management team and senior leaders is essential for success. And women are often the instigators in creating community, bring like-minded people together and looking to elevate each other.
At Epsilon, we’re inspired daily by our leaders, including Stacey Hawes and Cathy Lang, to be the best we can be. In addition to being data disruptors, Stacey and Cathy launched Epsilon’s first-ever Women in Leadership initiative, which has 24 locations across the globe giving 85% of all women at Epsilon assess to onsite programs, networking and training opportunities.
And having joined the initiative back in August 2017, I’m fortunate to now have an active leadership role in our Boston-based chapter. While the support of our female leaders has been so inspirational and has provided direction for growth and new opportunities, it’s admirable how our male leaders also see the value in and support this initiatives.
Having an extensive network both inside and outside of your organization, or as I like to think of it as your ‘personal board of directors’, is important for success.
2. Emotional intelligence (EQ): To be a successful marketing leader, it takes both the hard and soft skills.
The hard skills include things like your college degree, a job-specific certificate or technical skills. Soft skills include communication, teamwork, problem-solving skills, etc. I like to think of the soft skills as those within us. Sure, a lot of these soft skills can be learned (or we can undergo training), but most are a part of our ‘inner skill set’ that are further developed with external training.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is an integral component of the soft skills. EQ is defined by the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions and recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.
EQ is the skill that separates an average manager from an effective leader that teams trust. And women tend to score higher as it relates to the emotional intelligence. In fact, research found that women outperformed men in 11 of the 12 emotional intelligence competencies. As noted in Psychology Today, “Regardless of gender, the most effective leaders within organizations are those who are able to demonstrate emotional and social intelligence. Whether remaining calm during times of turbulence, inspiring and building team consensus, or serving as an empathetic mentor and coach to nurture the next generation of professionals, leaders who tap into their social and emotional intelligence competencies make for highly effective managers”.
This means that anyone has the potential to be a good marketing leader, but it often requires some dedication to develop and grow as individuals, teammates and leaders. And working on both hard and soft skills is necessary for advancement.
3. Turning data (feedback) into results: The majority of employees yearn for feedback. Why?
Because feedback is a confidence booster (especially when it's positive) and helps to clarify the unknown. Women are open to feedback, and this feedback (or ‘data coming in’) is turned into action/results. In general, women have leadership styles that are participatory and collaborative and it’s these qualities that can create a genuine openness to feedback.
As feedback is received, ‘the data’ is processed to determine how results can be achieved. For example, as I mentioned above, within my role, I interact with multiple team members from all different areas of our business. And because I receive direction and feedback from a variety of experts, I have to process all of this data (info) into an actionable plan to fulfill on multiple expectations and put a plan in place that’s going to work for all. Being able to categorize the feedback and identify themes (areas of improvement, etc.) is essential.
As you’re fully embraced within your organization, make sure to take time to assess your ‘fuel for inspiration,’ continue to build your network and establish your personal board of directors to lead effectively and efficiently.