Leadership skills and technology: what does the modern marketer need to succeed?

this is about a different drive from the top in terms of what the operating model is right because if people are reluctant to change or don't have an imprint of what that new way of working might be like then it really is going to come down to how the leadership it hurts together everything comes from from from the topics it should do the culture the objectives everything that we do as a company if it doesn't start there we're gonna have a challenge but what we're seeing there's a resistance to that a lot of the change is actually originating that the opposite that the bottom people are changing the way that they're working because the way they're doing it at the moment isn't working they're finding new ways of things they're finding new ways of collaborating and it's that kind of groundswell but we've got to connect that with leadership and leadership Scott to realize that the world is changing and it's changing faster than organizations are a lot of that's being driven by technology technology changes an expert an exponential rate the organization's change logarithmic logarithmically so there's a disconnect and we've got it we've got to bridge that because otherwise we're going to be out of tune with our customers and our audiences just struck me she said oh this is like the worst time to be a middle manager because when you have that kind of people who actually do the work on the ground wanting to change trying new things and then you've got a leadership they're trying to understand new models and new ways of leading if you're stuck in the middle you've got the old and the new absolute it's very tricky right and the way that we're being trained to be managers going back it's it's this old world view it's about command and control it's about you know telling people how to do things whereas leadership today in management's day needs to be much more servants it's about how do you create the conditions how do you create the environment for your teams to succeed and then empower them to do that they are in the best place to work out what to do they're at the coalface and it's about how do you create that environment for them to actually then succeed in Opera so teams I'm just thinking about that does that require a different set of leadership skills and a commonality of leadership skills I think I don't think the the leadership skills have sort of changed over the years to be honest with you I think about the role I play you know back to your point around is it the worst time to be a middle manager it I I think it's probably a very important time to be a middle man to whatever a middle manager is but that kind of connection between people that are doing the work in executing and sort of the leadership I mean you know for me Dropbox were I relative ly or about two and a half thousand people so it's a significant organization marketing teams for 130 people but it is you know what we find that is really important it's not just the connections within marketing but outside marketing as well so it's just kind of the skill set for me that I look for when we're hiring people or I look for in somebody that there's going to be you know this middle manager is somebody that can connect other parts of the company we like this kind of cross-functional leadership skills being able to you know really pulled together the functions of whether it's CX product you know we started this conversation talking about frictionless experience or frictionless sale you know we're trying to uplevel that now and have a conversation which means a complete frictionless experience with the customer right so that's their interaction with the product which to me is the first sort of the first sort of you know bar in terms of creating frictionless experience but then it comes down to marketing it comes down to sales it comes down to CX all those functions so the ability to be able to connect those and you know from time to time as marketing leaders we have to do more of the legwork their internet connection but it's got a cross-functional leadership I think is really important does that mean that in terms of the talent then that we're trying to hire for we're looking for more breadth and depth rather than kind of traditional character career paths where you stay within a very specific aspect of marketing yep I think possibly I mean I think you know like what James and John have said here that you know I think marketing play a real role in bringing alignment throughout the business right and aligning the company around around its customers I was trained my first first job out of university 20 years ago that that our marketing sales people had to be the eyes and ears of the organization and I think that's why I don't like it's argument about sales and marketing alignment or even the topic because it's it's moot it's beyond the point it's actually what are all the things we're doing to align behind the customer and and to that extent I think we need our marketers will probably be or our upstream marketers to be a little bit less promotional and take a real role in driving the vision of the company annunciate eval use and actually supporting our CEOs in doing that it's it's a paradigm shift for marketing and all levels in marketing working closely with our sales colleagues in terms of articulating the value of marketing and you know the best thing to do that is in terms of you know you know the pipeline effectively in terms of okay this is what the marketing programs that we have done over the last X months have delivered to you then in my experience sales get it right okay so I do need to work with marketing to follow up on on this event this this campaign etc so that you are able to make a business case for more funding in X region and it's it's it's continual you need to work with sales in my opinion on a continual basis and then they will feel like more okay it is a partnership and I need to provide this input back to marketing so they can work to get additional funds additional campaigns or to serve this market and that just needs to happen on an ongoing basis and that's certainly something that I instill into the team but also instill into me on a regular basis do you think that good marketing can reduce the sales the enterprise sales cycle make it faster yes I can in terms of nurturing nurturing you know opportunities through the funnel I've seen that set to good effect trace link where we have nurtured leads from you know 20 percent 30 percent in the funnel right through the closure whether it be from additional content or participation in additional events whatever the tactics yes I do think that because no disrespect to sales I can't rely on sales just to be following up one thing activities in the funnel because sometimes they don't get followed up for it for a variety of reasons more than not it might be a collection a system yeah and unless you dig into it to find out why these opportunities haven't been followed up you're never gonna know the real answer behind it and by you know getting into the weeds as we say a trace link you know you won't know until you've actually dug into it and you can then use those proof points to go back to sales surround side and surround sound and continued engagement totally yeah okay no Moses am you know if a few years back you know five ten years back it was all around pipeline generation yes for the job of marketing generate pipeline its kind of job done let's move on to the next thing to talk about you know and over the last few years I've seen changes in the way that you know marketing is measured so we now have a metric or a goal around close one revenue all right which historically I've never have taken I'm like a look at you can you explain that yeah so you know will will generate pipeline to a certain stage we use Salesforce a certain stage and Salesforce but there's no point generating X million dollars worth of pipeline if nothing's closing yeah all right so are closed one metric is a proxy for the quality of the pipeline that we're generating yeah all right and then you know back to your point you're kind of looking at the full funnel and we have this kind of funnel physics kind of mentality yeah so from top of on the middle to bottom closed one and you have to kind of be forensic as you say in terms of really understanding what the the reasons that the blockers are for pipeline not kind of progressing you know so I think it's a real shift to me from just focusing on pipeline or brand awareness or those kind of things to really kind of working with sales through the entire sales like I mean we you know I've worked at companies that have sales cycles for two years versus you know a month versus six months our sales cycle at Dropbox tends to be sort of not as significant as long as the typical enterprise sales cycle so the role of marketing actually is is even more important in terms of that that's what a length of the cell cycle and how we get involved in that so and we also have you know back back to the original question you know in terms of should Sales and Marketing be together we're seeing this kind of intersection as well of roles that could be cells and could be marketing yeah right so we have whether SD LDRs BTR's having a debate at the moment is unpopular but there kind of been kind of all the same well they're like you know leave development rep sales rep so they're kind of like the this the the lead capture the sales capture no more junior sort of sales wrong so I think you know we are doing all we can in terms of better targeting industries personas to surface better leads that close better yeah our best source of leads are inbound leads they tend to close better as well it's back to this kind of forensic and a mentality which is follow all the way through the sales cycle right to the answer what do you think yeah I think this is an opportunity now for the marketers to really marketed the salespeople you know in essence so you know when we look at can we accelerate the sales cycle it's not just about closing that deal because now we look at the lifetime value of a customer so this is where marketing now is really kicking in in terms of you know what does the brand mean to you know to the customer but doing some really interesting things for example looking at social selling so one of the things that we've looked at doing especially with the relate relating to the pipeline is creating a LinkedIn community and inviting only those that are in the pipe as a way of generating interesting conversations because we know there's a role for peer to peer influencing so again what we've tried to look at doing is going to a third party so no one in the company no salespeople allowed in that community I'm not allowed in that community but we have a third party that manages it the brands associated to the community and what we do is we just seed conversations in and actually what happens is there's a natural evolution of the conversation because there's a lot of peer to peer influencing going on individuals you know talk about their pain point in that close community environment and in a three-month period we saw that community grow to 3,000 and what was interesting although we seeded it with the initial pipeline contributors it was their network that were beginning to solve like really amplify the message and that's where you can have an influence on accelerating the sales cycle

1 thought on “Leadership skills and technology: what does the modern marketer need to succeed?”

  1. Hi Hot Topics Team,

    Your YouTube channel is amazing! I reckon I'm going to listen to all the videos and learn a lot of things – critical business and other things from the discussions carried out by the business leaders and executives.

    I would like to watch more videos of yours on Marketing and Sale strategies – Digital or non-Digital, how to get into the Marketing function even you're not in marketing area of the business, how to improve business communication, how to become faster in executing things/plans, how to become a good multitasking person in the business world, how to get the work done effectively, etc.

    "How to" videos will be ripper for all.

    If possible, please bring the above topics of mine to the table when you internally discuss what your next video content strategy should be from your team for the audience to enjoy and learn.

    I would love to hear back from you!

    Thank you so much!

    Murtuza Ali

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