2 Ways to Keep Your Marketing Team Accountable
“Great marketing starts with a great marketing person.”
Marketing is more than we think it is.
Marketing is thinking about customers.
Marketing is adding value to their life.
Marketing is serving our customers.
Marketing is being flexible for our customers.
And, marketing is a broad topic.
Marketing means experimenting.
You experiment, try different things for your customers, and find the best options for them.
This is why it is important to keep your marketing team accountable while they experiment.
At Programming Hero, we follow 2 ways to keep ourselves accountable.
The results are really cool so far.
Accountability Starts From Day 0
Accountability is more than being responsible, fulfilling a commitment. It’s more about being courageous to share our weaknesses, to share our deficiency, to share our mistakes, and most importantly, to share our true self, as a human. Accountability is more about vulnerability.
3 months back, we hired a few marketing people for our team. And we started keeping them vulnerable, thus accountable, hence motivated from day 0, even before they joined us.
We settled an Ice Breaking session for 1 hour where we shared a few things about each other (including us, because we aren't special, we too are learners, and not leaders):
- What is your full name?
- What do you do?
- Where do you work/study?
- Where do you live?
- What do your parents do?
- What is your favorite food?
- What is your favorite smartphone?
- What do you love to do the most?
- Your favorite social media (one or more)?
- What do you think is the one thing you are very good at (your strength)?
- What do you think is the one thing you are very weak at (your weakness)?
- Why do you want to contribute to the Programming Hero Marketing team?
The benefit of this:
- They get adapted to us, our thinking, and the work process.
- They feel connected due to personal but unoffending questions.
- We get to know our strengths and weaknesses (part of being courageous, thus vulnerable).
- We get to know their favorite social media so they can start with that for the marketing experiment. Because they will enjoy it better.
- We are knowing their exact reason to join us so we can add value to their life as well.
Accountability starts with vulnerability.
1. Daily Scrum Is Our Calcium
The same way we humans need calcium for bone health, the daily scrum gives us the nutrients for strong team health.
We have a set time for the daily scrum, a live call for 20 minutes, which rarely exceeds. Why just 20 minutes? We don’t want to discuss and waste time instead of learning and experimenting.
We don’t hold the scrum on an off day, Friday, giving them some space to wander and think and fill up their creative tank, because, that is, a necessary skill for marketers.
We discuss a few things in the scrum.
- We discuss what we have done yesterday. Why? To be updated about our progress, to be accountable.
- We discuss our roadblock or what resources we need to move forward. This is crucial for making them efficient in what they are doing and ensuring that they don’t face any issue.
- We discuss any of the new strategies that we want to implement. This part makes them think and come up with ideas. We embrace this a lot.
- We discuss any feedback/suggestions to each other. This is part of the creative and analytical process. We help them to learn how to give and take feedback, which is, again, a crucial skill for a marketer.
- We discuss any general questions regarding our company, our users, or any programming related question that they don’t know. This is part of clearing the curiosity or the roadblock.
2. 2-Weeks Sprint Is Our Blueprint
We have a 2-week sprint, a 2-week work plan that helps us be on track, finish things according to the deadline, and be motivated because of tracking and reward. Now why 2 weeks? 2 weeks is enough to take on a challenge, learn enough, and experiment enough.
We ask the team members to choose different tasks that they want to do in the next 12 days (2 weeks — Friday off). We don’t force any task on them. We embrace them coming up with their own tasks and finishing those. Why? Because, intention matters in anything we do. If they are happy with the task, we work on to accomplish those with happiness. Sure, we are there for providing feedback to them.
However, the target needs to be measurable (we can't improve what we can’t measure, right?), meaning targets that can be tracked based on reach, subscription/followers increase, downloads/conversion increase, link clicks, etc. And, once we hit a target, we ask them to hit for a higher target. Because we improve when we challenge ourselves. Also, the challenges make the process fun and enjoying and thus it keeps them motivated.
Also, we reward them with certificates based on their achievement, like Top Performer of the Month, Top Learner of the Month, etc.
That's not the end. From time to time, in personal messages, we ask them whether they are enjoying what they are doing or whether they want a change in the process. Because, after all, a company is run by people, and happy, satisfied people means happy, satisfied customers.