First Teams, Daily Wows and Yellow Scorecard Bans: What CMOs Talked About Last Week

May 14, 2020 Matt Heinz

One of my favorite aspects of our weekly CMO Coffee Talk series is the diversity of the discussion.  And even though we weekly designate two peer-voted topics to help guide the discussion, we cover a TON of ground in 60 minutes and both versions (we do separate Eastern time zone and Pacific time zone meetings) are always a little different.

That’s why we try to summarize highlights from both sessions in these recap posts.  In addition to Matt Abrahams’s virtual presentation best practice discussion, here are several other great nuggets shared by attending marketing leaders.

  • The best CMOs are unifiers: They work intentionally to build consensus and direction amongst their executive leadership team peers.
  • Think of the exec team as your FIRST team: Your biggest impact and leverage comes in the relationships you build as a CMO amongst your leadership team peers.  This helps clear the path for your marketing team to have a greater impact across multiple functional units, and increases both teamwork and efficiency.
  • No yellow scorecards:  If you use green/yellow/red to highlight progress in your scorecards, Bryan Smith from Tennant Company says to eliminate the yellow.  In his words, “it’s OK to be red, just own it and tell me how you’re going to fix it.”
  • Spend more time talking about what’s not going well:  Nobody wants to hear you rattle on in a meeting about all the wins.  Those are great, but people in the room can’t help you with those.  Where they can help is with what’s wrong, what’s broken, what needs input to be made better.   That’s where your peers and teammates can best contribute to better results.
  • Good ideas can come from anywhere in the organization:  Get more people involved in brainstorms and foster an environment (especially now) where all ideas are welcome, encouraged and rewarded.
  • Do you need to rebound or refocus?:  The answer might depend on how far your business has fallen in recent weeks, as well as how long you think the rebound for your industry might take.  Some businesses have a long road ahead.  Some are seeing a dip but a narrowing of focus (across all departments) can strengthen and shorten the recovery.
  • Consider a Daily Wow habit:  What could you share across the company, daily, that’s evidence you’re on the right track?  A customer testimonial, a key renewal, an external validation – the “what” can vary, but a steady stream of good news can have a big impact on perception, morale and productivity.

If you’re a marketing leader in your organization I’d like to invite you to our CMO Coffee Talk series, presented by 6sense and Heinz Marketing.  It’s an informal but highly engaging drop-in interactive Zoom meeting Fridays at 8:00 am Eastern and another at 8:00 am Pacific. 

Think of it as coffee with CMOs - you can participate actively or simply watch and read what others are thinking.  Get registered with a hands-free calendar invite here.

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