When you’re taking on a role at a new company, it can be easy to dive right in and put your nose to the grindstone. But like you invest in a discovery phase with new customers, you shouldn’t neglect the discovery phase in your new role.
Marissa Homère is the VP of Marketing at Irwin, an investor relations and capital market software company based in Toronto. In this episode of The Content Callout, we’ll talk about building, scaling, and leading a B2B marketing team.
Outline of This Episode
- [0:58] Learn more about Marissa Homère
- [3:00] Learn more about Irwin’s tool
- [5:18] Marissa’s rapid-fire tips for marketers
- [8:23] Why you need to focus on discovery
- [12:54] How to make marketing a revenue center
- [18:03] Emotional intelligence and empathetic leadership
- [21:05] The work-from-home era is changing the workforce
- [23:19] Marissa’s experience taking a lead role at Irwin
- [24:51] How to structure a team to scale your business
- [30:09] Does a gated white paper generate leads?
- [33:42] Your ideal customer profile is just a building block
- [36:45] Best practices aren’t best practices for everyone
Why you need to focus on discovery
What are the expectations from stakeholders in the business? Executives want results immediately. Their first questions often revolve around, “What can you do right now to get leads, sales, or revenue?” There is pressure to execute right away, which takes away the ability to be able to create long-term programs.
You’ll create short-term tactics that may realize some success, but inevitably, that runway runs out. When you expect a small team to take on a massive amount of expectations, it kills the ability to do great discovery. You can’t execute for everyone, immediately. You lose sight of everything that you could accomplish because you’re in the weeds.
How do you convince leadership to pause and spend time on discovery?
Some leaders will never give you that time and space. They have their own ideas about marketing. You need the right type of leadership in place so you can say, “I’ll give you the best work if you give me the time to figure out how to do it.” Sometimes, you can convince people to give you that space. You can argue that they’ll see a return on the time you have to put in.
If you have a leadership team that believes that you’re capable and that the learning phase is an investment that they’ll see a return on later, it makes a huge impact. But some will enforce the “We need results now” mentality. If that’s where you are, find ways to knock out low-hanging fruit, i.e., a “peace offering of results.” But make sure you manage their expectations. Offer to do things in the short term that will get results while working on a long-term sustainable program in the background.
Emotional intelligence and empathetic leadership
Some of these leaders may still be embracing an old-school mentality. Marissa notes that younger leaders tend to have higher emotional intelligence and a higher willingness to trust you to do your job. You hired someone because you think they’re great—allow them to be great. It makes a profound difference in building teams and programs.
If a team member is engaged and you trust them to get their work done, why not do it anywhere? The “walk the halls” leadership style where you constantly monitor your team’s work is over. The pandemic stripped away what modern-day culture had become.
The foosball tables, beer, and other “benefits” were inconsequential. You have to invest in people. If the culture is toxic, stripping away those things shows you what’s left. It’s evident when a culture is strong versus when it isn’t. Marissa has found that the value of a workplace is built on the relationships you have with your team.
Why is your ideal customer profile just a building block? How do you make marketing a revenue center? How do you structure a team to scale your business? Marissa shares a ton of valuable insight in this episode of The Content Callout. Don’t miss it!