Leadership As a Marketing Strategy? – A Complete Guide
Leaders are a key component of successful organizations. But do you know that leadership development can be one of the most powerful strategies that modern businesses can use for marketing?
Almost 83% of organizations agree that leadership should be developed at all levels (Go remotely). Consumers trust leaders and influential personalities who are masters of their field. A marketing plan advises on what to say and who the target audience. The decision on how the information should be delivered is determined by the top executives.
Top reasons why leadership is critical for marketing success
Here are some reasons to think of leadership as a smart marketing strategy.
1. Influential marketing starts with leadership (always)
Let’s face it; the business landscape has become much more intense and competitive where everyone is required to achieve more with less.
With the uncertainty that seems to stay forever, businesses are looking for industry leaders who resonate with their brands and products and portray an authentic image to the target audience. Who should be a better choice for articulating a brand’s value than the leader himself?
All the cutting edge marketing individuals we know as of today are inspiring. They know how to motivate people (i.e. employees, customers, and even rivals). Marketing employees enjoy working with leaders who know how to activate the best version of people so that people will go beyond their usual job duties.
2. People trust leaders
People trust word-of-mouth more than branded ads. In the end, leaders are also people.
Industry leaders are trustworthy; they have a large fan following; they know industry trends, and have vast field knowledge.
Collaborating with industry celebrities has long been an effective marketing strategy. The biggest sports brand Nike has been doing it with sports figures for years.
The 33-year-old soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been promoting Nike’s products for several decades. According to the latest news, Nike has been signed a lifetime deal with the celebrity for $1billion. The real Madrid footballer clearly thinks that he owns the title.
3. Leaders help businesses creates the finest impression
Without a doubt, leaders have the expertise, technical skills, and a great personality to make an unforgettable first impression.
The most memorable leaders exactly know how to win over people naturally. They are mindful of what people like and don’t expect them. This unique ability to understand people’s intent enables them to create a safe environment that drives engagement and an environment of trust.
In fact, leadership is all about people.
Here’s how they do it.
- Warm welcome: Being attentive, friendly, and making good eye contact.
- They are interested in what matters to customers: They find commonalities with other people and tell stories that humanize the brand and increase their likeability.
- Knowledgeable: They know business dynamics and are experts in their field.
- Humorous: They know how to fuels excitement.
According to a study by Stanford University, humorous leaders are likely to build resilient cultures. A Forbes study claims humor as a success factor because it is a stress buster, builds trust, and put customers and employees at ease.
4. What examples do we have?
I personally admire the presentation skills of Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple Inc. He is the best storyteller the world has known. Important lessons from Steve Jobs’s keynote presentation
- Create a road map: He always revealed in the begging what he is going to discuss. For the iPhone launch he announced that he would introduce three revolutionary products: 1) an iPod, 2) a new phone, and 3) an internet communication device.
He later revealed that there is a single product called the iPhone. It was dramatic and set the stage for the audience.
- Giving the audience the experience of owning the product
Leaders who can get their prospects to imagine holding the product and stimulate the feeling of having it are truly amazing. It is a fantastic strategy. Jobs do this by giving live demos, showing features, and by using sentences like ‘the website in the palm of your hand’ or ‘touch your music’,
- Attire makes a leader
His unvarying signature looks in all his presentations was part of the brand’s identity. He was always consistent with his black mock turtleneck, blue jeans, and a pair of sneakers. I personally believe that consistency is what builds brand successful.
He always WOW his audience with surprises. ‘One more thing’ is the most popular phrase of Steve Jobs that he always used in his keynote presentations.
How to implement it in your marketing plan?
Think about the key advantages that you can reveal at a later time. For instance, a discount might convince your customers to buy the deal. He used facts and figures to explain a complex idea quickly. He always simplifies his messages by using simple slides with minimal text and graphics.
When he gave an update on Apple’s Macbook performance, he used the whole screen to display the number.
5. They lead by example
A lot of leaders observe the game, rather than jumping into it. Sometimes leaders need to get their hands dirty, for the good of the organization or a specific department. It is a surefire way for marketing success. Here’s how.
When you lead by example, you set the tone for the entire organization, not just the marketing team. Leaders can lead by example by showing the marketing squad how to popularize the brand and its products and services. They should pitch the clients with the same tone they expect from marketing employees.
Getting involved in the actual transactions gives leaders a clearer view of the challenges the staff daily go through, but it also helps build stronger ties. People will respect them more for the energy they bring in their message for the team and for the customers.
My personal advice: never suggest others of something that you have never done before.
6. They create and use the power of networks
Networking in leadership is about developing and leveraging networks for building lasting relationships and strengthening alliances for mutual benefit (Center for Creative Leadership).
Leadership networking isn’t about exchanging cards, following each other on LinkedIn, and getting to know about the latest tech jobs. It is about building connections in your own industry and outside of it that directly or indirectly help you achieve organizational goals and objectives.
Here are some tips on why leaders should build high-quality networks for marketing.
- You can leverage professional events and conferences for building brand awareness and make it noticeable.
- You can be a mentor for like-minded people.
- You get the opportunity to educate other people, industry experts, and even customers about your product.
- Networking opens up opportunities to increase sales and revenues.
- It enhances your credibility.
7. They are good at verbal and non-verbal communication
Good communication is the backbone of effective marketing. According to a study by Dissertation Assistance, inefficient internal communication by leaders causes stress in employees. Many employees failed to achieve their performance goals while many missed their project deadlines.
On the flip side, good leaders help their people grow. They are good at internal and external communication. They know the fundamentals of two-way communication and ensure that their message is delivered.
Their body language is not threatening (include speaking, tone, dress code, and gestures). People around them feel comfortable.
They are willing to learn about people and what they have to say.
Take criticism lightly
They are OK with the fact that not everyone will accept their ideas. They don’t get defensive when face criticism.
Don’t be afraid to copy what works for you
If a particular leadership marketing strategy, your rivals and giant companies are using already, that doesn’t mean ‘YOU’ can’t use it. Why not create a similar and better plan?
Even the Lei Jun, the CEO of Xiaomi smartphones, is killing it with Steve Job’s iconic statement ‘One more thing’. See the proof. In 2020, this Chinese smartphone company has surpassed Apple in terms of smartphone sales (Hypebeast).
While I don’t suggest you to be a copycat because copying your competitors can sometimes get you into troubles, Steve Jobs also said repeatedly ‘Think Different’.
The lesson for you: You don’t need to be extraordinarily creative to be successful.
The bottom line
Leadership is still an unappreciated tool in the field of marketing because there’s a widespread belief that a leader’s role is limited to setting goals and giving orders.
Amanda Jerelyn is working as a Content Executive at Crowd Writer, the only place to get cheap dissertation writing service UK at incredibly low prices. She’s been helping business startups grow and thrive with her knowledgeable opinions and expert tip. She also provides free advice on her social media account.