I was having a very interesting conversation with a client that specializes in recruitment recently, and since he had done quite a lot of recruitment for sales and marketing professionals, we got into an interesting chat about what kind of personality makes a good marketer.
This caused me to reflect on my own 20-year career in marketing, and the many kinds of people I have met who were good marketers. Is this important to you? If you’re looking to hire a marketer, then absolutely yes, it is important. If you’re a marketer, I think you’ll largely concur…and we’d love to hear what you have to say.
Companies hire marketers to tell the world about what they have to offer. A shy person, or one who doesn’t like chatting with people, is at an immediate disadvantage. The extroverted personality enjoys making connections, asking for advice, finding out new ways to build opportunities. Even if the marketer isn’t selling directly, extroverts generally speak a little more boldly, and this comes through their writing and their ideas. If you’re a client, look for the strong handshake, the direct eye contact, and a sincere smile when selecting a good marketer.
Marketers need to believe that something will sell. The day they feel negative about their ability to make an offering sell is the day that the customer picks up on that doubt and then doesn’t buy. (I personally had a family crisis about 5 years ago which killed my optimism and left me drained. I went months without landing a single new client!). If you’re a client, make sure the marketer believes in what you’re selling and sees the benefit. This “buy in” from the marketer will give you an extra “oomph” in your marketing — a little more creativity, throwing in a few personal connections, sometimes a little extra time to make your work a “showcase” versus the marketers ‘other clients. This could get you a better price on your services, especially if the offering has a personal connection to that marketer.
I’ve noticed that good marketers/sales/advertising types generally have a sense of what looks good on them, and how to make the most of their looks. They realize that getting a little positive attention and projecting confidence through great shirts, shoes, or eyewear is an advantage. Clients expect that a good marketer will help them “look good” in the market – and so they expect that person, whether hired as an employee or external consultant, knows something about projecting an image. As a client, you should look for attention to detail in appearance, good health, and energy. There are degrees of this – an “over the top” look might mean a person isn’t grounded or has an overdose of Ego (see point 5) but a good, confident look is a good thing!
Marketers are often artistic people, who are sensitive and intuitive. Many of them enjoy hobbies that include art and music, because marketing is a lot like that (for more, see my blog on how marketing is like songwriting!). As a client, if you are buying strategy, creativity, branding, and writing, you may believe that you can simply “buy” a marketer’s greatest work. In fact, it is more likely that you will need to sell yourself. In other words, you need to transfer your deep enthusiasm for your product or service over to the marketer, so that he or she believes in it as much, or more, than you do…this will give them the “inspiration” they need to bring strong passion through their work, that ultimately draws in the customers.
I’ve never seen myself as “slightly arrogant” – but I took a personality test recently that revealed this may be the case. At first it concerned me…and then I realized that for every question that asked me whether or not I was capable of doing something – I answered “yes” time and time again. Now, there is a difference between this and “bold arrogance.” Bold arrogance means a person thinks they are better than all others – which is offensive to customers who must be made to feel important. But imagine the meek, modest marketer – the one who simply can’t believe you should command top dollar for your offering. They would be under-selling you – recommending a price that’s a too low or panicking when a sale takes a little longer than expected, resulting in a discount. A good marketer has a decent dose of ego – call it strong confidence, or lack of fear. And having that ego will ensure your marketers helps you realize full value for your offerings.
Now, within these five personality characteristics, I believe there are infinite kinds of people from all walks of life – but I think you’ll agree – the above qualities definitely help in the field of marketing.
Are you a client? Or a marketer yourself? Go ahead – agree or disagree – we love a good debate!