Overbuilding for the Neighborhood
Updated: Jul 9, 2019
It’s always interesting speaking to recruiters about the jobs they’re looking to fill for a marketing leader--terms like “out of the box thinker” and “ability to grow and scale a world class team” are the standard cliches that they breeze right by as they breathlessly describe the next Uber or Amazon business and try to entice you to take the next step.
Earlier in my career I used to look for the phrases that would indicate a certain mindset at a company that appealed to what I was looking for--”fast growth,” (or “hypergrowth”), “data-driven,”--we all know the terms.
But what happens when you actually build what they’ve requested of you and they’re not ready for it? I think the biggest issue for CMO’s and heads of marketing today is not the actually “building” of the team, the processes, the tech stack. We all know what these things are, how to do them, and how you go about achieving them (not speaking of the time and effort to get them done, just the process). It’s what happens when you actually hire great marketers and sales teams don’t know what to do with the new competitive insights your team has gained, the SDR’s don’t know how to read the Salesforce screen to see that you’ve actually qualified a lead and can help them have a better conversation, it’s when the rest of the organization doesn’t adapt like your team has.
My old CEO once shared an insight that usually sticks with me but can often fail me when I’m too caught up in my own thoughts--you can only go as fast as the slowest member of your team--it’s like the caterpillar. Their front legs can move as fast as they want, but it’s the back legs that actually dictate the speed it moves.
CMO’s today need to consider not only the skills and talents and insights they’re equipping their teams with (the front legs) but how the rest of the organization can adapt to this new world order and move forward as well (the back legs).