November 2016

The Qualities of the Best Marketing Leaders

If you haven’t listened to any of the Marketing Cloud Cloudcast Podcasts yet - they are well worth a listen. Led by Cloudcast hosts Heike Young and Joel Book this 50th episode - featuring Tim Kopp, Venture Partner at Hyde Park Venture Partners, former CMO of ExactTarget - is one of the most informative.

Tim was deeply involved in the acquisition of Exacttarget by Salesforce, but has a background of important CMO roles at Procter and Gamble and at Coca Cola as well. The conversation begins with the three talking about the fact the Salesforce Future of Marketing Report predicts, that CMOs and VPs of Marketing will spend 75 per cent of their spend on digital by 2020. Tim actually isn’t surprised by this and asks what in 2020 won’t be digital? If it isn’t digital - he says - there’s no way to integrate it all back to a common view of customers.

Then the discussion moves to what is at the heart of digital marketing - customer experience, CX. When thinking about what is key to success in this realm, Tim explains that most of the brands and companies that he sees winning today - are “making it simple”. Apple is the perfect example of this he says. Of course that is easy to say, but tough to do. Generally this requires considerable cultural change, the breaking down of silos and must be driven right from the top - from the CEO. Unless it has support in the C-Suite, this transformation is going to fail.

What makes a modern marketing leader?

As a former CMO, Tim’s believes “there has never been a better time to be in marketing”. However the bad news is that “everything is marketing” - there‘s so much to do! His advice about tackling this challenge is to “focus on the what before the how”. Marketing leaders need to define the four or five things that need to be done, and then to have a crystal clear vision of what success looks like.

Tim remembers his time at Salesforce how he was was able to use Marc Benioff’s V2MOM (vision, values, methods, obstacles and measures) planning tool to help him focus on what is critical and not get distracted by the “bright shiny things”. He urges marketers to use a tool like this to help them maintain the laser-focus on what is important.

Transformative marketing leaders are rare because the role requires a perfect blend of right and left brain thinking - as Tim describes it, they need to be as comfortable in Excel as they are in Powerpoint. Communicating vision is critical to the role but at the same time they must be able to understand the nuts and bolts of revenue, finance and analytics. Together with all these hard skills, Tim reminds us that EQ is also important - the soft skills. But also, good marketing leaders need to be very agile.

Very few people can do all of these tasks and this is why Tim believes that a key attribute of a good marketing leader is the ability to recruit and build a team. So these leaders need to be able to appraise their weaknesses and recruit help in those areas.

Creating a winning culture

Tim is at pains to remind us that we focus too much on what good culture “looks like” - it isn’t just bright colours on the wall. Because people want to serve a movement, something bigger than themselves - and so this is what you want to create - a movement. At ExactTarget, for instance, they had a mission to “transform the way marketing was done” and that was something that they found Millennials in particular could really get on board with.

Finally, Tim stressed how sales and marketing should really be a line item together, they are attached and married at the hip. This is something that is often and forgotten, that marketing is all about driving sales success and so building a solid relationship between the two is a crucial role of the modern marketing leader.

In a short space of time, Tim talks about so much more than this as well, particularly when he talks about his current role as a Venture Partner at Hyde Park Venture Partners. Check out the podcast now and learn the secrets to successful marketing leadership.


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