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Better Way Webinar Recap

Antenna had the pleasure of hosting a panel with Dena Mayne, CMO and EVP at Ergotron, Brett Boyum, VP, Marketing and Offerings at Uponor, and Nancy Jerdee, Global VP of Marketing at Pearson VUE. The discussion focused on trends found in Antenna’s Better Way report, and how these trends are affecting the way marketing leaders work. Of the six trends from the report, our conversation focused on the pressure for business growth with fewer resources, how a test and learn approach leads to innovation, finding the right marketing talent, and keeping remote teams engaged.

Here is an overview of the panel’s comments:

Marketing leaders are under tremendous pressure to grow their businesses with fewer resources, under more stress.

Knowing the only constant is change, leaders need to proactively build the planning and process infrastructure needed to infuse fluidity into your marketing approach. While a longer-term strategic plan is important, a short-term roadmap is critical to guiding immediate decisions. With frequent progress checkpoints, it also gives your team more opportunities to pivot, connect and reallocate budget, time and talent based on what you’re seeing in the market and uncertainty ahead.

Consider implementing a stop, start, keep method and review it on a monthly basis to ensure you are doing the right things to keep the business moving forward. Help the team prioritize and adapt to new opportunities that can affect the business short-term and build capabilities that will benefit the company in the long-term for future success.

A test and learn approach leads to marketing innovation.

Rather than defaulting to carrying forward what’s worked before, start with the motivations and barriers of your customers and then workshop your way towards new experiences and tactics your brand has yet to try. From there, express diligence by developing learning agendas and more adaptable ways of marketing that will increase your chances of evolving from test and learn to tried and true.

Learn from your customer. Take these learnings driven by the market and decide if it needs to be scaled, shelved, or discarded. In an example from Brett’s experience at Uponor, their marketing team advocated for a TikTok channel due to insights from their customer base. This was not an obvious channel until their customer experience team pushed the idea forward, guided by insights. If failure happens based on customer insights, it’s a great opportunity to learn and evolve.

Connecting the right marketing expertise to the right work at the right time is critical.

Given the constant change all marketers face, finding the right marketing expertise at the right time can feel like an elusive concept. To succeed, marketing leaders should always have numerous ways they can adapt their teams beyond the baseline of hiring an employee or agency. From Dena’s experience in her role at Ergotron, it starts by taking a step back, looking at where the organization is headed, determining what is the vision, and determining how marketing plays a role in delivering on that vision. What are the capabilities the marketing team needs to have, both internally and externally in order to deliver on that vision? By taking a futuristic approach to talent planning and examining the current capabilities of the marketing team, there can be clear path to identifying the short-term and long term skill gaps that need to be filled in order to deliver on the organization’s vision for success.

The challenge of keeping remote teams engaged isn’t going away.

The move from in-office to remote work needs a variety of solutions to help individuals stay motivated and connected to their teams. These solutions will vary based on work culture, personality type, job function and more. Rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach, find ways to connect with each of your individual team members based on their needs, schedules and personalities. Engage your team to discover new ways of working and gain input and feedback along the way.

Nancy emphasized the employee-first culture at Pearson VUE where the staff determines how they want to work. Remote, onsite, and hybrid work are all encouraged and supported. The number one driver with this approach is employee retention and attracting new employees to the organization. While it can be a heavy lift for leadership to make sure the team is engaged, contributes, and knows their value in a remote environment, it is a critical component to retaining talent, especially in the midst of the great resignation.

Thank you to our incredible panel for being part of our inaugural Better Way webinar. Be sure to watch the entire webinar with more insights and discussion on these topics. Download our Better Way report with detailed marketing trends and methods we developed based on insights from our proprietary research study conducted with more than 150 marketing leaders to help companies find a better way to make marketing work.

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