Marketing is a Team Sport

Guest post: Susan Andrews, a Silicon Valley marketing executive, provides us with her perspective on why Marketing is a Team Sport. Susan has worked for companies big and small, and in capacities such as channel marketing, marketing programs and sales.

Q. What do you mean by Marketing is a Team Sport?
A. To execute outstanding marketing programs you need to leverage the expertise across the organization. You must work with a cross-functional team involved from inception of the idea, as you develop the plan and all the way through execution and results. It is important to share results with the cross-functional team.

Q. How do you go about sharing the results?
A. It is vitally important to recognize each individuals’ contribution. In tech, everything moves at such a fast pace I often use an email to share results. Later we may do a post mortem to go through the program – what worked, what didn’t, how it can be better next time.

Q. On these cross-functional teams what functions have you found are most critical to include?
A. Sales strategy, finance, marketing communications or brand management and people who are on the front line dealing with customers (e.g. sales or call center).

Q. How is this concept of “team sport” different in small and big companies?
A. It’s equally important in both environments.

In a small company individuals wear many hats. A cross-functional team may be smaller and some people may represent multiple points of view. Team members may be from outside the company, like an agency. And you may want to open up the team and include executives in the brainstorming.

In a larger company it’s important to get and keep the team focused. Your team may be an extended team and it could be more difficult to get something done. It’s important to identify your advocates who will move the ball forward. You can also have status meetings with the boundary group. A boundary group may include people interested in the program and the outcome, but who are involved on the periphery. As an example, a boundary group may include representatives from legal or call center operations.

Thank you Susan Andrews for sharing your views, experiences and perspective!

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