At the VP Marketing or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) level, success comes from your leadership, vision, and ability to get the most from your people. If you are good at your role, you might not even need to do any Marketing, other than challenge and guide your people to do their best work. Your greatness comes from the greatness of your people. Invest in training your people as a way to motivate your team and keep them engaged. At the VP Marketing level, it is more about people. The equation is simple: smarter people make amazing work, that delivers outstanding results.
1. Your people come first
At the VP Marketing level, focus on your people, and the results will come. Smart people produce great work and in turn outstanding results. It would help if you had a regular review of the talent with your directors. Build a system to provide feedback to everyone on the team, preferably quarterly.
Train your people
Invest in training and development. Marketing Training is not just on the job, but in the classroom to challenge the thinking of your people and give them added skills to be better in their careers. Marketing fundamentals matter. Your people need to know how to strategic thinking, define their brand’s positioning statement, write a Brand Plan, write a Creative Brief and judge advertising. People are NOT getting the same development they did in prior generations. Investing in training, not only makes them better, but it also motivates them to know that you are investing in them.
2. Run the process and the system
The best VP Marketing should run the P&L and all the Marketing processes. You have to run the P&L and make investment choices. Bring an ROI and ROE (Return on Investment and Effort) mindset to those decisions. These choices will be one of the essentials to making the numbers and gaining more freedom in how you do the job. Regarding process, it has always been my belief that smart processes in place—brand planning, advertising, creative briefs—should not restrict your people, but instead provide the right freedom to your people. Get your people to drive all their creative energy into great work that gets in the marketplace, not trying to figure out what slide looks cool in the brand plan presentation.
3. Be the visionary
The best VP Marketing bring a vision, not just for the direction of the brand but the inspiration for the team. Come up with a theme that taps into the purpose, beliefs, expectations and the behaviors you will reward. You are now the Mayor of Marketing. What’s your campaign slogan? Get up, walk around and engage with everyone on your team. You can make someone’s day, motivate and encourage them to deliver excellent work. Set a high standard, and when your team put an outstanding idea up for approval, and it is fundamentally sound, then approve it. Do not do the constant spin of fear. It makes you look indecisive and bureaucratic.
4. Put the spotlight on your people
The best VP Marketing let their people own it and let them shine. It has to be about them, not you. Do not be the super-duper Brand Manager. By making all the decisions, you bring yourself down a level or two, and you take over their job. Instead of telling; start asking questions. Challenge your team and recognize the great work. It might be my own thing, but I never said: “thank you” because I never thought they were doing it for me. Instead, I said: “you should be proud” because I knew they were doing it for themselves.
5. Be a consistent, authentic, approachable leader
The best VP Marketing have an open door and make it easy for people to engage them. You have to set up an avenue where they can approach you and feel comfortable enough to communicate the good and bad. A hidden leader scares people. No one wants to share concerns or bad results, for fear of how you will react. Don’t get left in the dark. Open communication keeps you more knowledgeable. Get your people to challenge you. Inconsistent and unpredictable behavior by a leader does not “keep them on their toes.” It creates tension and inhibits creativity.
Be consistent in how you think, how you act in meetings and how you approve. Leadership assumes “follower-ship.” Create an atmosphere that will make people want to go the extra mile for you. Once you show up ready to listen, you will be surprised how honest they will be and how much they will tell you.
Quintessentially, rule #1 is you have to make the numbers
Your primary role is to create demand for your brands. You are paid to gain share and drive sales growth to help drive profit for the company. The results come from making the right strategic choices, executing at a level beyond competitors and motivating your team to do great work. Making the numbers gives you more freedom on how you wish to run things. Without the numbers, the rest might not matter.
The VP Marketing role can be very lonely
I remember when I first took the job as VP, I found it surprisingly a bit lonely. Everyone in marketing tries to be “on” whenever you are around. Moreover, you don’t always experience the “real” side of the people on your team. Just be ready for it. It takes a while to get used to the distance from your new peers (the head of sales, HR, operations or finance). It is far greater than you might expect and it may feel daunting at first.
Your peers hope you to run Marketing and let them run their functional area. Also, the specific problems you face, they might not appreciate or even understand the subtleties of the role. Your boss also gives you too much rope, which can be either good or bad. There will be less coaching than you had in prior positions. It is crucial for you to have a good mentor or even an executive coach to give you someone to talk with that understands your role.
At Beloved Brands, we run brand management training programs that will make your brand leaders smarter, so you have added confidence in their performance in driving brand growth.
Our Beloved Brands training follows our brand playbook methodology to help you realize your full potential. Your team will learn the strategic thinking methods, looking at core strength, competitive landscape, consumer relationship, engagement and the situation you face. Brand positioning starts by building a consumer profile and using our consumer benefits ladder, with functional and emotional benefits. From there, we explore the step-by-step process to come up with your brand idea and bring it all together with a tool for writing the ideal brand concept.
With brand plans, we go through each element needed for a long-range brand strategy roadmap and the annual brand plan. Learn how to build a marketing execution plan that includes the creative brief, innovation process, and sales plan. I show how to make smart decisions on execution around creative advertising and media choices. With brand analytics, learn to write a deep-dive business review, looking at the marketplace, consumer, channels, competitors and the brand.
Our Brand Management courses we offer:
- Why being a beloved brand matters
- How to think strategically
- Mapping the consumer journey with insights
- Defining your brand positioning
- Aligning everything around your brand idea
- Building a brand plan everyone can follow
- Leading deep-dive analysis of your brand
- Brand Finance 101
- How to write a smart creative brief
- Leading the advertising process
- How to make creative advertising decisions
- How to make media decisions
You will find this type of thinking in my book, Beloved Brands.
I wrote my book, Beloved Brands, as the playbook for how to build a brand your consumers will love.
Beloved Brands has everything you need to run your brand. You will learn how to think strategically, define your brand with a positioning statement and a brand idea, write a marketing plan everyone can follow, inspire smart and creative marketing execution and analyze the performance of your brand through a deep-dive business review.
- How to think strategically
- Write a brand positioning statement
- Come up with a brand idea
- Write a brand plan everyone can follow
- Write an inspiring creative brief
- Make decisions on marketing execution
- Conduct a deep-dive business review
- Learn finance 101 for marketers
Available on Amazon, Apple Books or Kobo
We have the paperback and e-book version on Amazon. Click here to order: https://lnkd.in/eF-mYPe
We are also on Apple Books, which you can click here to order: https://lnkd.in/e6UFisF
If you use Kobo, you can find Beloved Brands in over 30 markets using this link: https://lnkd.in/g7SzEh4
At Beloved Brands, we help build brands that consumers love and we make brand leaders smarter.
Help create a brand positioning statement that motivates consumers to buy, and gives your brand an ownable competitive advantage.
Build a marketing plan that forces smart focused decisions to help organize, steer, and inspire your team towards higher growth
Align your marketing execution behind a brand idea that tightens our bond with consumers and moves them through their buying journey
Use a deep-dive 360-degree assessment of your brand’s performance to trigger richer thinking before you write your brand plan
Our brand training program will help realize the full potential of your brand leaders, so they are ready to grow your brand.
To learn more about our coaching, click on this link: Beloved Brands Strategic Coaching
To learn more about our training programs, click on this link: Beloved Brands Training
You have my personal promise to help you solve your brand building challenges. Above all, I will give you new thinking, so you can unlock future growth for your brand.
If you need our help, email me at email@example.com or call me at 416 885 3911