Marketing Team Leadership


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The heart of great brand marketing is passionate, creative, hard-working people. If you feel the same way, these perspectives about supporting, coaching and developing your teams will add immediate, practical value to your playbook.

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Marketing Team Leadership

  1. 1. Perspectives for the TALENT PLAYBOOK Developing Great Marketing Teams Image from © 2014 Tilly Pick
  2. 2. The heart of great brand marketing is passionate, creative, hard-working people. If you feel the same way, these perspectives about supporting, coaching and developing your team will add immediate, practical value to your playbook.
  3. 3. Gifts
  4. 4. I recently participated in a conference facilitated by Peter Block, a highly regarded Organizational Development visionary and expert on community-building and civic engagement. He let us know that he is working on the same deficiencies today that he did 60 years ago, observing that our society is too focused on shortcomings and blind to our gifts. He cited an example of that blindness as the Vatican’s attempt to take over the organization that oversees the majority of America’s 56,000 nuns. Your company’s marketing activities are an outcome of the unique gifts of your people. Acknowledging their gifts will mean a lot. Leverage their gifts, and it will mean even more.
  5. 5. Permission Marketing 2.0
  6. 6. Think about permission marketing, but with an internal orientation versus the original idea of two-way dialogue with consumers that was coined and popularized by Seth Godin. Marketing people have a fire burning in their belly. To truly unleash that potential and the value your team can create, they need to know that you have their back. Beyond promising empowerment, they need to know that you are overtly and actively giving them permission to be passionate zealots, conceive crazy new ideas, contest the status quo, and connect dots in totally new ways. Watch what happens when you communicate that. You can count on it being better than the best motivational speaker.
  7. 7. A Leadership Dial
  8. 8. The special stuff which powers every one of our people is what yields the best ideas. Some time ago Mike Buchner, now CEO of Fallon, introduced me to Situational Leadership to harness both the uniqueness of the individuals and the collective power of my group. (Formal credit belongs to Dr. Paul Hersey at The Center for Leadership Studies.) The core premise is simple: adjust your approach to an individual’s willingness and skill based on different degrees of influencing or directing his or her behavior. I bet you’ll see the quality of your team’s work increase dramatically when you adjust your leadership to their need.
  9. 9. 1010110011010001010111010100101001010010111 1010110110011110100011100111101010100110010 1011010010100101111010101001010101001010111 1010101010101110011010100101001110011101001 0101011010101010111010101010100101001111000 Expeditions 1010001010101010101000101010110101011010101 1101010110101011010111001110010011100011110 to discover 0101010010101001010100101010110101010110001 1101011001100010100110101101001010010101000 1010100101001010010101011110011001011001010 WHY? 0101001010101001010101010101110001101011000 0110100000111010100101010100111011111010010 0110001110010101010101110101001000100100010 0100101010110101010101110101010101010101010
  10. 10. The more you get your team fired up about data possibilities, create curiosity and foster exploration, the better. But, be sure to balance the “what” with the “why”. This HBR blog post is a good reminder of why it is important to know and relate both hard and soft data about customers and prospects. What especially resonated is the perspective that “companies feel they ‘know’ their consumers, but that knowing about someone is not the same as knowing them.” Ask your team to think about what the data is telling them and what it is NOT telling them. More than likely, completing the story will be an interesting adventure for them. And, it could yield new and powerful insights to fuel growth.
  11. 11. The shadows of CREATIVITY
  12. 12. Some time ago Alex Bogusky commented that creativity happens when you put two things together that don’t belong together. It may seem like a tangible, easy recipe for inspiring your team to do great work, until you consider all that might be attached to the things that are being mashed together. It says to me that conflict and tension may be living in the shadows of creativity, which is opposite the perception that creativity comes from laid back, wacky, artistic types. You most likely have the best vantage point from which to spot that dynamic and provide unwavering support as your team continues to mash things together.
  13. 13. left right
  14. 14. The Brand Gap, by Marty Neumeier, is refreshingly honest about how we work as individuals, teams and companies. It touches on some fundamental truths in an engaging way, making for a tangible, timeless and fast-moving narrative about marketing. I especially agree with Marty about the dynamics between the left brains and the right brains you likely have on your team. That tension is both critical and healthy, but it also has to lead to positive results. Sharing The Brand Gap with your team and talking with them about this important dynamic offers nothing but upside.
  15. 15. more think ing room
  16. 16. By Tom Fishburne
  17. 17. As we run fast and furiously to chase the latest technologies, are we still thinking enough about our customers? In a keynote speech at a 2012 Google event, Tom Fishburne, a talented marketing cartoonist, suggested that we need to “create marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing and stories that are inherently worth sharing.” While today’s marketing landscape demands speed and agility to succeed, I enjoyed his speech as a wonderful and fresh reminder of the importance – and the power – of creative thought.
  18. 18. Leader as Teacher
  19. 19. As leader of your team, consider the two traits that St. Augustine believes make a good teacher. The importance of knowing your subject matter thoroughly, and being passionate about it, is one trait. Loving your students is the other. And, if you have to prioritize, focus on the latter. More than likely, you are the passionate subject matter expert in spades. But, when was the last time you met with your team and didn’t work? Perhaps this small example offers some inspiration. A few years ago, I gave a group of junior account people Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go! as a holiday gift. A very kind and thoughtful creative director at the agency, Steve Mietelski, read it to them. He may not be John Lithgow, but Steve came very close.
  20. 20. creative experience + organizational insight BETTER OUTCOMES
  21. 21. Great teams leverage creativity to solve problems and conquer new opportunities. Increasing scrutiny of marketing, a crazy long list of possibilities thanks to social technology and media trends, and the customer experience contributing more to brand differentiation than ever before, tells me that complementing your team’s creative experience with a better understanding of organizations could yield significant returns. Take a listen to this podcast interview as one example about better seeing and understanding conflict. With additional knowledge like that, your team will be much better equipped to bring people together around ideas that fuel success.
  22. 22. tell meNOW
  23. 23. Fallon McElligott’s “on-the-level” feedback philosophy left a lasting impression with me. Better than traditional performance reviews, OTL is about learning and growing in the moment. This white paper on mentoring frames OTL as an inclusive, reciprocal and upfront approach that can improve the growth and development of your team. Since it is not a stretch to say that the downturn has gained some permanence, OTL may be a worthwhile approach to explore with your marketing team especially right now. It could help them rise to the occasion.
  24. 24. “My” Charity
  25. 25. We have all participated in charitable activities through work. Some great, some falling short perhaps because they didn’t feel all that relevant. When that happens, you are missing an upside — teams better getting to know each other, pulling together around a shared goal, and returning with a high level of energy and motivation. You could change that and instead nurture your team’s values by gaining them permission to explore charities separate from the company agenda. Here is one potential approach and how it lives and breathes on Facebook. Notice the 9 million “likes”. Aside from the inherent team-building benefit, just imagine the incremental positive brand awareness that could travel across the social net.
  26. 26. We are definitely in an exciting time for marketing. Through our work we contribute to business and organizational activities in ways we never have before. You can click on this paragraph to explore a dozen or so viewpoints by a diverse group of leaders about the future of marketing that tell a very similar story. Tilly Pick