How B2B SaaS CMOs Should Build their Marketing Teams
Play • 28 min

In this episode, Erica calls on Drew’s experience as a marketing leader to talk about shepherding a marketing organization through hyper-growth, how to get beyond interviews, and how to get insights into candidates’ behavioral profiles to build high-performance marketing teams.

As the first marketing lead in a legacy business that did not have a history of organized marketing, Drew has not just transitioned The Predictive Index brand into the digital world but has also built marketing into a lead and revenue generation function that numbers around 60 members today. What sets Drew’s perspective apart is his focus on culture, values, and healthy conflict as cornerstones of building great marketing teams that can sustain and grow along with the business.

He shares his advice for new CMOs that are reporting into the CEO for the first time (instead of reporting to a CMO), insights on what makes CMOs and their teams fail, and his own THREADS value system at The Predictive Index.

Here are some of the highlights from the conversation:

Marketing leaders need to be able to give away their Legos: marketing typically overlaps with product, sales, and operations; and based on the business context, marketers need to demonstrate that they can keep the things they are amazing at and give away the things other experts/functions are good at.

CMOs – and entire teams - don’t fail because of lack of effort or ability, but due to a lack of alignment and clear role design. They fail because of misalignments between the CEO and CMO around expectations, responsibilities, authority, resources, and incentives.

Even in hypergrowth situations, results are not everything: CMOs should hold people accountable for quantitative business results and also for behaving in ways that match the stated culture of the organization. It is the job of the head of Marketing to manufacture and create the right environment and culture for great chemistry to happen. Drew discusses how he spends more time on the people components of his job, making sure his team members are upholding their core values framework, and celebrating wins around these core values. Net: performance is important but not above values.

An unhealthy lack of conflict is as problematic as unhealthy conflict. Drew adapts Patrick Lencioni’s concept of 5 dysfunctions of the team to share his idea of a layered pyramid: trust is at the bottom, which leads to healthy conflict; the conflict leads to commitment, which leads to accountability. Only when you have this in place can the team start driving towards sustained results. Sometimes, marketers have to pull conflict and differences of opinion out of people to avoid a culture of appeasement.

Are you looking for culture fit, culture add, or culture stretch? When it comes to choosing and integrating new members into a high-growth marketing team, it is important to know when you need what.

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