If you are reading this, I assume you’re either a business owner, an entrepreneurial spirit, or someone who has a very good friend who is all of the above.
If not, maybe it’s time to consider being one of the above.
Inevitably, every business eventually grows beyond the capabilities of the entrepreneurs who founded it. The need to expand and better serve your customers becomes more important than the desire to take advantage of the occasional trendy trend and make a quick flip.
This is when the role of the C-level executives (sometimes referred to as the “VP of [Insert Fun Business Here]”) emerges. If you’re reading this, I assume you have a fairly high opinion of yourself and your abilities. I would go so far as to say that you probably believe you’re the best person for the job and that no one can do it better. (I would, of course, argue the opposite, but you probably already know what I mean.)
Before you go further, stop for a moment and consider what it means to be a senior VP of [whatever your favorite business is].
While it’s great to have a title, it also means you’ll have a lot of administrative and management responsibilities. Someone has to be the face of your business, and with your own level of involvement, that responsibility will be increasingly difficult to fulfill. If you want to continue being effective, you’ll have to learn to delegate and rely on others – something I’m sure you’re not used to.
So let’s get to the good stuff – the actual reason you’re here! What makes this role compelling is the opportunity to shape the future of your industry. More and more, businesses are relying on their websites to carry their weight in the online world. With the right marketing and tools, an amazing website can become a powerful tool for any business.
Websites are a fantastic medium for marketing any product or service. Not only do they provide the opportunity for businesses to connect with customers where they are, but they also allow for businesses to engage with customers where they are – on the phone, via email, or even in a live chat box.
With so much opportunity, it’s no wonder executives are choosing to occupy this position. You can imagine the kind of control you’ll have over the entire marketing process – from design to execution to analysis and everything in between.
Roles & Responsibilities
As I mentioned above, being a senior VP of Marketing is not a title to aspire to; it’s a responsibly that comes with a lot of accountability. Before we get into the nitty-gritties, let me state clearly that I’m not asking you to fail. (Well, maybe a little bit.)
I’m asking you to grow and evolve with the times. To keep up with the rapid technological changes that are impacting every industry, you’ll need to learn to rely on a team of experts and to delegate more. Most importantly, you’ll need to be open to new ideas – which, of course, you’ll be leading. (Again, not a bad thing.)
Here’s a short list of the essential roles and responsibilities that make up your job as a senior VP of Marketing:
The first and most fundamental responsibility of a senior VP of Marketing is to develop and execute a marketing strategy.
You’ll need to consider various factors, including brand awareness, lead generation, and customer engagement. You’ll need to be open to new ideas and willing to act on them. You’ll also need to balance short-term profits with long-term growth.
An essential piece of the marketing strategy is a solid marketing plan. You’ll want to work with your marketing team to develop a plan that takes into account all the moving parts of your marketing strategy. From social media to SEO, email marketing, and web design – you’ll need to consider every aspect. (It’s also a good idea to get an expert outside opinion to help you formulate the plan. A CMO can help you assess your current strategy and determine where you need to go next. They can also advise you on which tactics to use and how to properly implement them.
Once you have a clear idea of how you’ll approach marketing and have developed a plan, you’ll need to follow up with the execution. This entails getting the plan in motion and seeing it through to fruition. While it’s a good idea to take a top-down approach and work with your marketing team to get the plan implemented, you’ll ultimately need to be the one to ensure it gets done. (Just as you would with any project.)
To start, you’ll need to set a course of action and then work with your team to get the plan executed. First, you’ll want to make sure everyone on the team understands what the plan is and how they fit into it. After that, you can get down to business and start executing. (Hopefully, your team is up to the task and feels empowered to bring their A-game.)
Along the way, you’ll need to be available to answer any question and offer support as needed. (To be clear, this is a fairly passive role and doesn’t require a lot of hands-on work. However, you’ll still need to be involved in the decision-making process and be the one signing off on the end product. This is why I say it’s a responsible that comes with a lot of accountability.)
After you’ve implemented your marketing strategy and gotten the initial results you’re looking for, it’s time to take a step back and do some analysis. This entails looking at the data you’ve gathered and considering what you’ve learned. (As a senior VP of Marketing, you’ll be expected to know how to properly analyze data and interpret results.)
For example, if you’re running an online store and have integrated email marketing with your marketing strategy, you’ll need to consider what is and isn’t working and how you can improve upon it.
You’ll also need to consider other metrics, like cost-per-acquisition and user-generated content.
At this point in your career, you’re more than likely familiar with the role of the marketing manager or director of marketing. While this position serves an important function in many companies, it doesn’t quite fit in every situation. If you’ve got someone on your team who is already occupying this role, re-evaluate your situation and see if there’s a better fit for the two of you.
The Bottom Line
Being a senior VP of Marketing is a lot of work and not for the faint of heart. It takes a certain type of person who is both bold and able to roll with the punches that come with growing a business.
If you are reading this, maybe it’s time for you to consider being the best you can be and taking the next step towards greatness. You can start by looking for the opportunities that exist and taking advantage of them. (Just make sure you don’t get ahead of yourself and forget to take care of your team – they are the ones who will help you reach your full potential.)