An experienced director advises new marketing directors: be comfortable to be uncomfortable



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Martyn Etherington talks about the alignment of sales and marketing in the early days of a new role as CMO.Teradata

Martyn Etherington knows what needs to be done to make the change happen from the CMO office and has many lessons for new marketers. & nbsp; In fact, he practices himself being new. Six a few months ago, he joined

Teradata
, a data analysis company, drawing on his vast executive marketing experiences at

IBM
(Sequential computer systems),

Danaher
(Tektronix), Mitel Networks and

Cisco Systems

As a new member of the management team, the need to align sales and marketing, an eternal priority, is even more evident. "Sales and marketing can be like the Montagues and Capulets of Shakespeare Romeo & amp; Juliette"Joked Etherington. & Nbsp; Even in the best managed companies, alignment is hard to get.

In his view, Etherington's priorities during the first few months laid the groundwork for the alignment that will be needed for the transformation, and provide lessons for any start-up collecting society with a new company.

Goal Setting – related to income and relationships

"The relationship between sales and marketing can sometimes be as well, as Winston Churchill has described in the United States and the United Kingdom," two nations separated by a common language, "he continued. shared language and goals, "not just perceptions." We have one common goal, which is "growth," he summed up.

Etherington stresses that marketing must have an intimate relationship with the business and that the compensation must be tied to the goals of their peer sellers. "I want them to know where we are in terms of revenue, the previous quarter, the beginning of the year," he says. "Are we growing from one quarter to the next, from one year to the next? Are we growing on or above the market? Do we take part? What does our collective sales funnel look like? For this, he examines the size, shape, speed and quality of the entire pipeline, then asks "How can we help improve the funnel?" To stay focused on As he found "without these performance indicators, without this vision and intimacy of our business, we stumble in the dark."

All organizations would like to improve attribution, but Etherington is "less concerned about perfect attribution, or optics. I would much rather spend time determining our impact on the funnel and growing revenue, "he said. & Nbsp; It begins and ends with the definition of key performance indicators (KPIs) and the will to "do good, not just look good."

"Besides my boss, my number one priority was the partnership with my sales peers Eric Tom, our finance director, "Etherington offers. & nbsp; And these relationships extend to all levels of sales organization and between sales and marketing leaders.

Etherington suggests that a good way to start these conversations in your first few days is to ask your sales colleagues: "If we were to use nuclear marketing, what would happen to our company? »& Nbsp; This can elicit a range of responses, all useful for building relationships and putting yourself on the same page with respect to priorities.

"Sometimes you get the answer" nothing would happen ". & Nbsp; Others attribute some of their marketing results to marketing, "recalls Etherington. & Nbsp; He discovered that, thanks to his experience in B2B marketing, "companies estimate that they should get at most 20 to 30% of their funding through marketing". Some industries vary according to the complexity of their offerings, the sales cycle and their nature. a direct or indirect or mixed market strategy, but regardless of the trust placed in marketing to build the pipeline, it is important to create a positive dependence between marketing and sales that is linked to these common goals and the relationships that exist. are encouraged between the functions.

Teradata is business-oriented and sells directly. & Nbsp; Sales are advisory and high touch. In this model, it may be easier to follow the attribution to marketing than other market models, but it still requires vigilance and concentration on the appropriate elements. "Transparency is the key," he adds. "You have to be operational around your own metrics. They must be real and must be metrics that you can manage rather than just controls." As I have also found in my career, marketing has a lot to measure, but anything that is measurable is not important nor leads to the action. "We are interested in converting and finally converting," he continued. "It's more important to us than simple indicators such as touch points." We want to work with our business counterparts to drive growth. "

Culture – a change of mentality supported by the systems

"You can pontificate everything you want about alignment, insight, impact and efficiency, but you must have a business perspective, a taste for operational rigor. and a culture of continuous improvement to drive change, "Etherington said. You need to implement the strategic plan, with the right structures and systems in place, to achieve it. He has worked for companies with demanding operating systems, like Danahar, with red, yellow and green dashboard indicators. He took the opportunity to apply lean best practices to his team at Teradata for deploying strategies, performance metrics, action plans and "Counter-causes of the root cause" approaches. "We have set up weekly stand-ups and started a standard monthly review of marketing operations to make sure we are making progress and reaching the indicators set by KPI," he said.

We know that crops change slowly. & Nbsp; "We are at the beginning of a trip," said Etherington. "We started our transformation. Our strategic objectives are in place and aligned with the goals of our business. Our key performance indicators are defined and documented, we have action plans and forums that we can inspect and improve. "It's a start, but there is still a lot to be done." "We do not have all the answers," he continues. "How much can we say that we are contributing to With only our first monthly Marketing Operations Review under our belt, I can not say as much as we should be … Now that we know where we are, our starting point, we have more than one way to go! "

Any experienced leader will tell you that change, at the scale of a business transformation and a redefinition of the meaning of marketing for an organization as a whole, can test the patience of leaders and business. 'organization. & Nbsp; This can result in organizational fatigue, misalignment or impatience to rush to find answers when problems are not yet fully understood. & Nbsp; Etherington finds that the power to get results begins with a willingness to see the problems, with vivid details, and confront them head-on.

"The transparency, accountability, and responsibility associated with this approach is one of the biggest challenges in moving from activity-based marketing to results-based marketing," he says. "We are in our infancy in our marketing effectiveness strategy and most of our key performance indicators are currently in red." & Nbsp; The ambitions of the organizations and the standards defined by the team are not yet reflected in the reality of the company. "This is not a comfortable feeling for many people," he observed. "We are all bred to covet the golden star or turn a red metric into green." Everyone wants to do well and wants to do it as fast as possible.

"One of the things that was close to my heart since I was working at Danaher was the notion of" living in the red. " In the monthly transaction reports, if your KPI was green, we did not talk about it. It's good. It's on the plan. We wanted to discuss the key red performance indicators – deviations from the plan. "Living in the red means asking questions such as:

  • What is the cause of the miss?
  • What are the corrective actions in progress?
  • Are we making progress on our goal?
  • Are the details of the Supporting Action Plans specific to ensure that we are firmly committed to the KPI?
  • Are we stretching enough?

Constant attention must be focused on the elements that require attention, action or course correction. & Nbsp; "It could take several months before KPI goes green, but it forces you to think differently, to adopt a state of growth and to be ok, although not comfortable, being in the red, "said Etherington. "Trust comes when you use the tools and you know that with the discipline applied, you will get lasting results." & Nbsp; Etherington knows this from experience. & Nbsp; "It works," he advocates. "This has proven itself and has greatly contributed to my success and to some of the companies for which I have worked." & Nbsp; Leaders must feel uncomfortable and help their organizations do the same.

Of course, these organizational principles include a multitude of strategies and tactics that the CMO and teams must implement from the beginning to succeed in the new role and for years to come. Searching for data to inform decisions, build a large team and structure it to succeed, influence and be influenced by customers and create a culture of continuous improvement takes time and judgment. & Nbsp; Focusing on shared goals, as well as the systems and mindsets needed to reach them, even if they are uncomfortable at first, is a great starting point for any new marketing executive, directing an organization towards the green .

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Martyn Etherington talks about the alignment of sales and marketing in the early days of a new role as CMO.Teradata

Martyn Etherington knows what needs to be done to make the change happen from the marketing director's office and draws many lessons for new marketing directors. In fact, he practices himself being new. Six a few months ago, he joined
Teradata
, a data analysis company, drawing on his vast executive marketing experiences at
IBM
(Sequential computer systems),
Danaher
(Tektronix), Mitel Networks and
Cisco Systems

As a new member of the management team, the need to align sales and marketing, an eternal priority, is even more evident. "Sales and marketing can be like the Montagues and Capulets of Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet", Pleasant Etherington. Even in the best managed companies, alignment is hard to get.

In his view, Etherington's priorities during the first few months laid the groundwork for the alignment that will be needed for the transformation, and provide lessons for any start-up collecting society with a new company.

Goal Setting – related to income and relationships

"The relationship between sales and marketing can sometimes be as well, as Winston Churchill has described in the United States and the United Kingdom," two nations separated by a common language, "he continued. shared language and goals ", not just perceptions" We have a common goal: "growth", he summed up.

Etherington stresses that marketing must have an intimate relationship with the business and that the compensation must be tied to the goals of their peer sellers. "I want them to know where we are in terms of revenue, the previous quarter, the beginning of the year," he says. "Are we growing from one quarter to the next, from one year to the next? Are we growing on or above the market? Do we take part? What does our collective sales funnel look like? For this, he examines the size, shape, speed and quality of the entire pipeline and then asks "How can we help improve the funnel?" To stay focused on the action. As he found "without these performance indicators, without this vision and intimacy of our business, we stumble in the dark."

All organizations would like to improve attribution, but Etherington is "less concerned about perfect attribution, or optics. I would much rather spend time determining our impact on the funnel and the growth of the business figure, "he said. It begins and ends with the definition of key performance indicators (KPIs) and the will to "do good, not just look good."

"Besides my boss, my number one priority was partnering with my sales counterpart, Eric Tom, our revenue manager," Etherington offers. And these relationships extend to all levels of sales organization and between sales and marketing leaders.

Etherington suggests that a good way to start these conversations during your first days of work is to ask the following question to your peers: "If we were to do nuclear marketing, what would happen to our company? ? " This can trigger a variety of reactions. , all useful for building a relationship and putting yourself on the same page regarding priorities.

"Sometimes the answer is that nothing happens. Others attribute some of their sales results to marketing, "recalls Etherington. He discovered that, thanks to his experience in B2B marketing, "companies estimate that they should get at most 20 to 30% of their funding through marketing". Some industries vary according to the complexity of their offerings, the sales cycle and their nature. a direct or indirect or mixed market strategy, but regardless of the trust placed in marketing to build the pipeline, it is important to create a positive dependence between marketing and sales that is linked to these common goals and the relationships that exist. are encouraged between the functions.

Teradata is business-oriented and sells directly. Sales are advisory and high touch. In this model, it may be easier to follow the attribution to marketing than other market models, but it still requires vigilance and concentration on the appropriate elements. "Transparency is the key," he adds. "You need operational rigor around your own metrics. They must be real and be indicators that you can manage rather than just controls. As I have also seen in my career, marketing has many things to measure, but not everything that is measurable is important or actionable. "We are interested in conversion and, ultimately, in conversion," he continued. "This is more important to us than vanity indicators such as touch points. We want to work with our commercial counterparts to generate growth. "

Culture – a change of mentality supported by the systems

"You can pontificate everything you want about alignment, insight, impact and efficiency, but you must have a business perspective, a taste for operational rigor. and a culture of continuous improvement to drive change, "Etherington said. You need to implement the strategic plan, with the right structures and systems in place, to achieve it. He has worked for companies with demanding operating systems, like Danahar, with red, yellow and green dashboard indicators. He took the opportunity to apply lean best practices to his team at Teradata for deploying strategies, performance metrics, action plans and "Counter-causes of the root cause" approaches. "We have set up weekly stand-ups and started a standard monthly review of marketing operations to make sure we are making progress and reaching the indicators set by our KPI," he said.

Cultures are known to change slowly. "We are at the beginning of a trip," said Etherington. "We started our transformation. Our strategic objectives are in place and aligned with the goals of our business. Our key performance indicators are defined and documented, we have action plans and forums that we can inspect and improve. It's a start, but there is still a lot to do. "We do not have all the answers," he said. "How much can we say that we contribute to our business? With only our first monthly review of marketing operations under our belt, I can not say as much as we should be. Now that we know where we are, our starting point, we have only one way to go! "

Any experienced executive will tell you that change – on the scale of a business transformation and a redefinition of what marketing means for an organization as a whole – can set the patience patience of the leadership and the organization. This can lead to organizational fatigue, misalignment or impatience to rush for answers when problems are not yet fully understood. Etherington finds that the power to get results begins with a willingness to see the problems, with vivid details, and confront them head-on.

"The transparency, accountability, and responsibility associated with this approach is one of the biggest challenges in moving from activity-based marketing to results-based marketing," he says. "We are at the beginning of our marketing effectiveness strategy and most of our key performance indicators are currently in red." The organization's ambitions and the standards set by the team are not yet reflected in the reality of the business. "This is not a comfortable feeling for many people," he observed. "We are all bred to covet the golden star or turn a red metric into green." Everyone wants to do well and wants to do it as fast as possible.

"One of the things that was close to my heart since I was working at Danaher was the notion of" living in the red. " In the monthly transaction reports, if your KPI was green, we did not talk about it. It's good. It's on the plan. What we wanted to discuss was the key red performance indicators – deviations from the plan ". Living in the red means asking questions such as:

  • What is the cause of the miss?
  • What are the corrective actions in progress?
  • Are we making progress on our goal?
  • Are the details of the Supporting Action Plans specific to ensure that we are firmly committed to the KPI?
  • Are we stretching enough?

The focus must be constantly on items that require attention, action or course correction. "It could take several months before KPI goes green, but it forces you to think differently, to adopt a state of growth and to be ok, although not comfortable, being in the red, "said Etherington. "Trust comes when you use the tools and you know that with the discipline applied, you will get lasting results." Etherington knows this from experience. "It works," he says. "This has been proven and has greatly contributed to my success and to some of the companies I have worked for." Leaders must be comfortable to feel uncomfortable and help their organizations to do the necessary. even.

Of course, these organizational principles include a multitude of strategies and tactics that the CMO and teams must implement from the outset to succeed in the new role and for years to come. Seeking data to make informed decisions, build a large team and structure them to succeed, influence and be influenced by customers, and create a culture of continuous improvement take time and judgment. Focusing on shared goals, as well as the systems and mindsets needed to reach them, even if they are uncomfortable at first, is a great starting point for any new marketing executive, directing an organization towards the green .