Steve Jobs once rightly said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”. This well defines the dynamic Indian marketing professionals that the country has today. Marketing as an industry is ever evolving and to keep pace with it, marketing experts need to be on their toes 24X7.
At its heart, the role of marketing is to enhance customer ‘pull’ i.e. to drive demand-led profitable growth by enabling the whole organisation to excel at delivering superior customer value. So great marketers can’t just be functional specialists, they also have to be great leaders.
Marketing industry needs professionals who are a step ahead when it comes to evolving ideas with passion and thereby creating impressions that will directly create an impact on consumer decisions. A marketing leader has to create hope. He has to create a plausible story for consumers and involve his team at every step of planning and executing so that everyone is able to see the rainbow and catch a part of it.
This requires creating trust in people. And to create trust, the leader has to subscribe to a value system; protocol for behaviour that enhances the confidence, commitment and enthusiasm of people. Trust and confidence can only exist where there is a premium on transparency. The leader has to create an environment where each team member feels secure enough to be able to disclose his or her mistakes, and resolves to improve.
In a conversation with exchange4media, at the IAA Leadership Awards, industry stalwarts such as Ajay Kakar Chief Marketing Officer, Aditya Birla Group - Financial Services; Aditya Swamy, EVP and Business Head, MTV; Pradeep Guha, IAA Regional Director (Asia Pacific); Tarun Katial, CEO, RBNL; Chandramouli Venkatesan, Executive Director - Snacking, India & Strategy, South Asia & Indo-China , Cadbury India (Kraft Foods); Gayatri Yadav, Executive Vice President Marketing & Communications, STAR India; Arun Srinivas, Vice President, Skincare and Make-up, HUL; Mayank Pareek, Chief Operating Officer (M&S), Maruti Suzuki India; Anil Dua, Senior Vice President - Marketing and Sales, Hero Motocorp; Sujit Ganguli, Head - Marketing, ICICI Bank; Sam Balsara, Chairman and Managing Director, Madison World; and Kaushik Roy, Chairman, IAA Public Service Committee share what leadership means...