Every marketing leader asks, “How can we cut through the noise?” There are so many channels, so much data, and so many events that compete for audience attention – and that’s in a typical year.
That’s why the right moves now can help a brand stand out in 2021 and beyond. The onus is on marketers to design campaigns that pop, decide which channels to focus on, and communicate in an empathetic, human tone, all with the goal of building personalized real-time experiences that customers love. This has taken a lot of work, including reskilling to learn new technologies and revamping plans to meet the demands of the remote workplace.
As we head into the holiday season, marketers are in search of new inspiration. Fatigue and anxiety have set in. A Duke University survey found that marketer optimism has dropped to levels not seen since the Great Recession. Teams are looking to their leaders for a spark.
We reached out to the members of The CMO Club, an engaged community of senior marketing executives, to get their thoughts on how to keep teams motivated in the coming year. Read on for some sage advice from six marketing leaders.
JD Dillon, vice president, marketing at Enphase Energy
Enphase Energy, a global energy technology company, delivers solutions that connect solar generation, storage, and management on a single platform.
I consciously begin every meeting with something positive. I also send out a weekly message designed to bring my team ‘up the mood elevator.’ It turns out I should have been doing this for years and will absolutely continue these practices for years into the future.
Suneeta Motala, CMO of AfrAsia Bank Ltd.
AfrAsia bank specializes in private banking, corporate banking, and global banking solutions while capitalizing on its core pillars, including customer focus, teamwork, innovation, and sustainability.
It’s crucial that your vision is painted in the minds of your whole team. At times, this vision may change, and that is perfectly okay. But it needs to be understood by each and every team member.
This gives rise to a sense of self-empowerment, which is critical to any organization’s success. To facilitate this empowerment, the most important aspect is concise, regular, and transparent communication. Involve your people, listen to them, motivate them, reward them, and create unity in all interactions. My experience has always taught me that success follows when you have a passion for people’s success.
Don’t always play it safe – do the unexpected when you can. Your team will be motivated to follow in your steps if they see you leading by example instead of painting a nice picture with words. One common team, one common vision, one common service language, and one common promise – this is what we should aim for.
Involve your people, listen to them, motivate them, reward them, and create unity in all interactions. My experience has always taught me that success follows when you have a passion for people’s success.Suneeta Motala, CMO of AfrAsia Bank Ltd.
Muriel Lotto, head of global brand and marketing at Western Union
The Western Union Company is a global player in the cross-border, cross-currency money movement.
The one word that comes to mind thinking of this past year is flexibility – whether that’s making changes in where and how much to invest in marketing, what COVID and non-COVID-related messages to communicate to our consumers, or accommodating working-from-home practices while juggling childcare and technology demands.
Navigating the short-term constraints or changes in our environment while keeping a North Star on our longer-term goals and strategies has been interesting and challenging. We’ve all had to flex muscles in different and new ways. For me, this has required more flexibility and adaptability than ever, and I will take this newly acquired approach forward in a positive way.
Ben Buckton, chief marketing and people officer at Shakespeare Martineau
Shakespeare Martineau is a top 55 law firm that works with leading companies and individuals around the world.
Stay true to your purpose and your culture – your plans can (and should) change in response to external or internal opportunities or challenges (and there have been a few over the last couple of months). However, never forget to focus on the people, and the rest will follow through.
David Postill, senior vice president, marketing and customer experience at AGI – Ag Growth International
AGI is a global agricultural and food processing equipment and technology solutions business serving the world’s food infrastructure.
It’s clear that there are few factors that impact the success of a business more than effective leadership. The mark of a good leader is the ability to not only help employees transition into their ‘new norm’, but enable them to emerge from this crisis as a more cohesive, agile team.
Indeed, how we treat our employees now and the culture we choose to foster will be remembered far longer than any brand strategy or marketing campaign. More important, however, in our current environment, business can be a transformative force for good. As we guide our teams through these challenging times, we have a responsibility to lead with empathy and be intentional about decency.
As we guide our teams through these challenging times, we have a responsibility to lead with empathy and be intentional about decency.David Postill, senior vice president, marketing and customer experience at AGI – Ag Growth International
Doug Zarkin, vice president and CMO at Pearle Vision
Pearle Vision is one of the largest franchised optical retailers in North America.
Don’t let the quest for perfection stand in the way of celebrating progress. In a results-oriented craft such as marketing, the focus is on achievement, goals, and KPIs. And if you come up short, the dialogue centers on the miss.
However, the craft of marketing is also both an art and a science. And as such, while you may occasionally come up short, you may have actually moved a lot further than you think. So apply the learning from the misses and build on that insight gained to push even harder the next time.
Thank you to our friends at the CMO Club for their thoughtful tips. We’re excited for new innovations and connections in 2021, and ready to tackle the unexpected challenges that will surely come our way.
- Watch Marketing in Motion: A Thought Leadership Event Series, for insights from CMO Club members
- Nominate marketing leaders for the CMO Club Awards