I have worked in marketing since I got out of college. I love the people, the work, and the culture of marketing. It combines the two things I love most: (a) measuring and adapting campaigns and programs based on test-and-learn (my MBA is in marketing and statistics), and (b) interacting with people—the buyers and users of the products we market—who are unpredictable and driven by emotions, and who often surprise me with "irrational" behaviors.
Through the years I've watched marketing adapt to technology, the Internet, and two-second attention spans, but I've probably spent the most time thinking about how change has affected how I've had to adapt to effectively manage my teams.
1. The Death of Command and Control
Fresh out of college, we followed the rules and paid our dues. There was a boss, and a set of directives, and we did what we were told. We didn't always know how our work affected the department or the business, and it didn't matter: It was what we were asked to do. Today, that wouldn't fly. According to Marc Prensky, "Future leaders will be much more directly influenced by those whom they lead, in a true democratization of all organizations."
That doesn't mean teams don't listen to their leaders, because they absolutely do. But they are listening for different things. Leaders need their teams to think, speak up, and—most important—do things in the best interest of the business. So the leader needs to make sure everyone knows what the goals and priorities of the business and Marketing are, and then they need to help their team get those things done.
Today that means more coaching and listening than what my early bosses did with me! Luckily, my interesting, geographically diverse team of all ages has great perspectives on marketing, and they are constantly bringing fresh points of view to the marketing challenges at hand.
2. Equal Access to Information
First there were desks and offices, then Silicon Valley introduced the "cube." Facebook popularized bullpens and if you watch House of Cards on Netflix, the new journalism—Slugline—happens in a beanbag-filled room where the reporters are encouraged to file their reports from their phones in the field.
Take the first step (it's free).
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