Trust, transactions and relationships

It has been my experience that the people who are responsible for executing the plan need to have strong diplomatic skills. In fact, I often wonder why soft skills (emotional quotient) are not given more weight in this area. Just look at what they have to orchestrate to get results…

In order to execute a marketing strategy effectively, many different functions have to come into play. Taking a b2b IT example, this could involve: engineering, senior management, external agencies/suppliers, partner companies, creatives, sales enablement, PR and product management. Further, take into consideration there are the customers (both those that sign the order and the users often, separate groups), analysts, and the competition (often competitors in some areas are also collaborators in others) who all need to be managed/coordinated/persuaded to deliver on certain items to complete the marketing strategy.

The members and leaders of these teams have a certain view of the world and of their company’s mission, and of their place in it. They also have their own responsibilities, items they are bonused on and priorities.

The person responsible for marketing execution needs to understand the value of the skills of each of the folks in these functional areas, as well as their different priorities and personalities. This situation is similar to a team sport coach who needs specialist players as well as all the supporting roles to make it happen.

To illustrate, think of when a team of four runs a track and field relay race. The three baton passes are each critical moments requiring cooperation and coordination to achieve success. No super star anchor runner can ever make up for a previous single botched baton pass. The coach nor no other runner but the one assigned to each leg can make up for a teammate that does not do their part.

Similarly, effective marketing execution brings together multiple elements to coordinate and cooperate as they mutually support and depend on one another for success. They all have a role to play and must individually perform when it’s their turn to carry the baton.

Marketing execution specialists understand this.

Working across departments and functions involves diplomacy, perhaps the most important thing next to actually understanding marketing.

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