Industry Magazine Get JACK'D Magazine Winter 2019 - Page 15

planning activities that the team ALREADY knew how to measure, the team started focusing on activities, tasks, and plans that would close their ROI knowledge-gap. The team focused on professional growth opportunities instead of tactical execution. The transformation had begun. Ask yourself, what is the one thing you want your team to focus on for the entire year? Make it big. Make it unattainable. But, make it clear. Theme your year In 2014, I arrived in Iowa to kick-off an annual marketing meeting for a company that sells million-dollar printing presses to printers around the world. As I stepped into the cavernous print shop where the event would take place, I marveled at the machines around us. I also wondered why a printer manufacturer decided to host his annual marketing meeting at a client’s shop 1,000 miles away from their corporate headquarters? As the Vice President of Marketing stood up to address his team he proclaimed 2015 to be “The Year of the Customer.” “First-hand client and customer insight will drive every single one of our marketing and sales activities this year,” he stated. “Every single one.” Over the next year, his team would get closer to their clients and customers than ever before. That team planned a “listening tour” where the marketing staff traveled around the world to glean product insight that resulted in their most successful year in the company’s 80-year history. What’s your theme for 2019? Use some outside inspiration One often overlooked item that transforms annual meetings from the tactical to the transcendent is the use of outside inspiration. At a little company planning event in Rhode Island, I watched as every single one of the 23 employees arrived at the meeting with a copy of Content, INC by Joe Pulizzi. As the team sat down to hear the CEO kick-off the two-day event, I realized that these books weren’t new. Some attendees had plastered sticky notes throughout the book; others had dog-eared page after page. Still, others had highlighted passage after passage. “Is this an annual meeting, or a book club?” I thought to myself. Even the CEO’s copy looked tired and beat-up. I came to learn that the entire company, every single employee, had read Content, INC and they’d been instructed to come to the annual planning event ready to apply what they’d learned in the book to their business selling medical supplies. Two amazing things happened that day. First, the whole company had a common vernacular and set of examples, stories, and case studies to discuss and apply to their business. And second, an incredible energy and infectious sense of optimism drove the team to consider and present incredibly creative ideas for their next year. OUTSIDE INSPIRATION CAN BE PRECIOUS. WHETHER YOU BRING IN AN OUTSIDE THOUGHT-LEADER, A FACILITATOR, WATCH A MOVIE OR EVEN READ THE SAME BOOK BRING SOME INSPIRATION TO THE TEAM. Ask yourself, what can you use to inspire your team to grow in new ways? Let your team plot their course If you’ve set a clear vision, themed your year, and provided some outside inspiration, you’ve done your job as a marketing leader. Now, it’s time to let your team chart the course. Remember, the most successful marketing leaders use their annual planning event to focus their team’s professional development. You’ve set them up for success; now it’s time for you to step back and ask them to plan HOW they’re going to improve by learning. If this is the year you want your team to fill their “ROI blind spot,” you want them to put a plan in place to do just that. If you’ve themed 15 the year as “The Year of the Customer” how, exactly, are they going to get closer and closer to the center of your client’s everyday experience and what impact do you expect that to have? If you’ve inspired them with some outside thinking to ignite their creativity, how exactly are they going to explore the ideas you’ve sparked? Your job isn’t to make the plan for them it’s to guide and shape the activities, goals, and objectives they plan. This Year So, this year, instead of asking your team to set their goals and objectives in a vacuum, instead of asking them to come prepared to share their key learnings from 2018, instead of creating an extended version of your weekly team marketing meeting, set yourself, your business, and your team up for unparalleled success. Ask yourself, where do I (and my team) need to grow if we’re going to be more successful tomorrow than we are today? ABOUT ANDREW DAVIS ANDREW DAVIS is a bestselling author and internationally acclaimed keynote speaker. Before building and selling a thriving digital marketing agency, Andrew produced for NBC’s Today Show, worked for The Muppets in New York and wrote for Charles Kuralt. He’s appeared in the New York Times, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and on NBC and the BBC. Davis has crafted documentary films and award-winning content for tiny start-ups and Fortune 500 brands. Recognized as one of the industry’s “Jaw- Dropping Marketing Speakers,” Andrew is a mainstay on global marketing influencer lists. Wherever he goes, Andrew Davis puts his infectious enthusiasm and magnetic speaking style to good use teaching business leaders how to grow their businesses, transform their cities, and leave their legacy.