Lessons in marketing leadership (no matter your job title)

Ellie Norman, Chief Communications Officer of Man Utd
Transcript (automatically generated – might contain errors) Speaker 1: Ellie, you’re just wonderful, so thank you for being a fabulous human being, but could we get started with a potted history of your career, just so everyone has some context as to you and Speaker 2: where you’re from? Of course we can, but Jo, […]

Transcript (automatically generated – might contain errors)

Speaker 1: Ellie, you’re just wonderful, so thank you for being a fabulous human being, but could we get started with a potted history of your career, just so everyone has some context as to you and

Speaker 2: where you’re from? Of course we can, but Jo, firstly, the thanks is all mine. It’s a real sort of honour and a privilege to be joining you and your community today for this conversation, so thank you for all of your time and looking forward to the questions. My potted career history, I’m going to have to take you back a few years because I’m now sort of approaching mid-40s, but that started for me when I actually left school at 18. I did my A-levels, definitely not the most academic person in the world, Jo, but a real thirst for learning, curiosity and being with people. I left school at 18, I got my first job and that was actually, the title was a marketing assistant, but actually it was like just do whatever was needed for a very small start-up company, which was actually a whitening toothpaste, so in the sort of FMCG sector. Now I did, loved going to sort of work and having that sort of routine and just this thirst for what can I learn and shadowing the sort of people in the organisation, but in truth I didn’t do that for that long, so that sort of lasted most probably about sort of 18 months before I was actually at a party with a then boyfriend and met some family friends of his who happened to have a design agency in Brighton and so from meeting at the party I got a call to go for a sort of an interview and I actually left Yanina, which was the toothpaste company and jumped into Blue Hawk Design and that for me was the start of really actually loving the structure that sort of agencies had and starting to learn much more of the sort of disciplines, appreciate it’s right at the end, we’re marketing in that sort of promotion space, but love that sort of discipline and from there I then moved to another agency actually where I spent five years and this for me was a bigger agency part of a network, Japanese network, and it was where I was able to combine a love for cars with again just continuing to really learn and start to do sort of courses and with the IPA as to sort of what is all of this advertising stuff and I really valued during that time understanding the sort of disciplines, the power of great briefs, the importance of relationships particularly between understanding your clients and their problems, but also how to get the best out of your creatives inside an agency. From there Jo, I think as you all know I was really lucky in the sense of my day-to-day clients left from Honda and the Chief Marketing Officer asked the agency whether I would second for them for six months until they sort of found a replacement. Lucky for me that replacement ended up being me and I spent just shy of eight years in Honda and this was an environment I loved. The ability to open my horizon and to really understand everything that comes before you get into the promotional element of marketing, I was able to learn as well as just genuinely understanding much more about how does a business operate, so things like supply chain, manufacturing, understanding from the sort of Japanese R&D team. I just like loved it. From there, so I was at Honda from 2005 until 2012 and I got a telephone call to say there was a role at Virgin Media and it was suggested that I apply for it because it was felt I’d be a sort of good fit and I think part of my sort of mindset Jo is always to think well honestly what’s the worst could happen and to really think about the sort of positives of reframing. I could have thought oh no I’m not going to do that because it’s a sector I don’t know but instead I thought well I’ve learned so much here at Honda, incredibly grateful but do what I’ve never worked in a single country market because I was in a pan-regional role across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia and actually I don’t know the sector so I get to learn a new sector and I don’t fully appreciate all of the commercial drivers when you’re in a single market. I jumped across to Virgin Media, again loved it. I describe it, I describe Honda often as my the creative craft and the rapport sort of chapter and for me my Virgin Media chapter was all around commercial and so this is where I was really able to understand all of the commercial levers, acquisition, churn, profitability, media mix modelling and sort of the econometrics and really do that sort of media planning and so that was a really wonderful sort of five years and again a privilege to be able to work across all the different sponsorship properties from V Festival, so music, we had EGX for gaming, we had Usain Bolt which is like who doesn’t want to learn from the fastest man on the planet, right the way through to at the time sponsoring Southampton Football Club, so like really cool stuff and then I had a telephone call from a couple of Americans and it was essentially we’ve just bought Formula One, we’ve landed in the UK and we need someone to come and set up marketing and communications and we’ve been given your name, where are you at and I was like oh okay well this would be good because I love cars, love speed and I think for certainly for them I was fortunate because when I was at Honda all those years ago I worked with a phenomenal creative agency called Wyden & Kennedy and we had a really good relationship and I think testament to that Wyden & Kennedy gave my name to Formula One and so my boss who recruited me at Formula One is an incredible leader, a guy called Sean Bratches and when he came to the UK from New York he had worked with Wyden & Kennedy New York office when he was running sort of ESPN and so he visited the London office and was given my name so I had a really brilliant cup of coffee with him and was very excited and similarly I thought like what’s the worst that can happen I’ve never built a team from scratch and let’s just give it a crack and so with that I thought well I can bring some knowledge of automotive and cars and I can bring some knowledge and understanding in terms of how a media and entertainment sort of business works in the landscape and subscription which is what Virgin Media was and I love solving like problems and so that took me to Formula One and five incredible years there revitalizing the sport rebranding the sport and then I left Formula One in April of 2022 and joined Manchester United where I currently am in September 2022 and again thinking about my chapters I describe now my Formula One chapter as my transformation chapter because that was a real five-year period where we not me by myself there was a team of us like genuinely transform the sport and so now my chapter in Manchester United I describe as my reputation and resilience chapter because we always have a challenge to think about how we’re

Speaker 1: going to respond to most days. I bet well as a as a United fan we’ve kicked off the football chat in the chat here with Lewis and Paul causing trouble with up the blues and you never walk alone so we’re there already but All very good clubs what can I say Joe. Let’s not do this but the thing I love and it was picked up in the chat there as you’re speaking through your story is well there’s a few things but three themes in particular. The first is that you started in that sort of all-encompassing assistant role which I think Nicole sort of put in the chat there like will be so familiar to so many of us who started in that sort of marketing job and then sort of found themselves elsewhere or indeed find themselves in that first role so that was really interesting. The second is I absolutely love how you speak about positivity and I’d love to come back to that a little bit later because that positivity I think is from what I’ve observed from you and how you’ve spoken before it seems to be a really important trait and I’d love to pick up a little bit on that later and then third just to revel in the gloriousness that’s not a word but of your chapter. I like it. Mindset like having chapters like that is such an interesting way of thinking about things which is such a thoughtful approach so I hope there’s like three takeaways right there straight away for folks watching in. Reflecting on all of that period though going back to the title of today’s session which is sort of leadership no matter your job title, how do you reflect on your leadership journey even if you’re in that assistant sort of role and how you’ve progressed as a leader over the course of your sort of 20 years in marketing? It’s a really good question.

Speaker 2: I’m still on my leadership learning journey because every day is a school day. I think certainly the older I’ve got and the more that I’ve sort of read about it or learned about it what I fundamentally believe is everyone has the capability to be a leader and so it does not come and so it does not come with title or hierarchy. There’s a actually a really phenomenal course called The Living Leader which is by Jo, Penny very well but a lady called Penny Ferguson which is often sort of life changing for many people and that came to me sort of way later in life than starting out at the age of 18. That would definitely be a recommendation for sort of people but aside from sort of that actually a lot of what I think about in terms of leadership is I think you can spot leaders throughout sort of organizations and for me it’s who are those people that are able to galvanize others around them, who has their ear to the ground, knows what’s going on, has a really clear sort of vision and a passion and articulation and can take people on a journey sort of with them. Now as I’m sort of continuing to develop and progress for me a lot of what I really want to do as a leader myself is very much to be able to lift my team up and to actually be able to get people to lift their eyes and to really sort of believe and discover that we are all capable of more than we think we are and I think that stems from certainly the leaders that I’ve had have seen something in me that perhaps I didn’t see in myself at that time and have given me those opportunities.

Speaker 1: I love that and like that feels really important, that last point there about when folks have recognized you even when you’ve not seen it in yourself. Do you have any stories or examples of that and how it made you feel or the mechanisms that they used or whatever it was because that as an opportunity for folks watching in feels like a takeaway if we could find one.

Speaker 2: If I think back to some of my previous sort of leaders or those people that have perhaps seen something in me and sort of lifted me up. The first is a guy called Ian Norman, we’re not blood related but he ran the agency that I worked for at the very beginning where Honda was a client and I think what he gave to me was the opportunity being like really young and very junior to be in front of the client because he saw my sort of work ethic and the approach to just this thirst for trying to take my time to listen and to understand as much as I could and that was that was such a confidence boost and a lift to think that I was trusted as a sort of young very junior person but to be there sort of representing the agency and being sort of in those client conversations and then when I was in Honda a Scottish guy called Ken Kear was the president of Honda UK and this is at a time where making the incredible campaign work with Wyden and Kennedy and it really was I’m slightly biased but some of the best sort of back then and the only question he would ever ask when we were taking campaigns to him was does it make you feel scared and that was the most empowering question particularly with the creative that we were wanting to create for Honda of really elevating it to a higher human truth and really sort of looking at it playing the sort of the long game of building the power of dreams and that was almost yes number one empowering but with a sense of like keep going keep going don’t be fearful don’t hold back and I really took so much from that amazing and then actually the first the first female boss I had was at Virgin Media and that was a lady called Keris Bright who’s now the chief customer officer at BBC and Keris is like a doctor so she is like phenomenally bright but again it was the support I had from Keris of putting me into I say situations but into like environments where she was constantly stretching me and my abilities and my learning so I’ve always had a I’ll say a heavy skew towards brand and creativity but I didn’t really have that commercial muscle and so she really stretched me and put me into those situations to grow that commercial muscle and to understand the levers and like this is a P&L and this is what we mean by media mix modeling and sort of that I’ve I can honestly take an example from every single chapter of where I feel like I’ve been given those opportunities by my bosses my leaders and I’m so grateful for that actually if I’m to be a good leader and obviously my team’s past and present will be the judge of that but my sense is I have a responsibility to be lifting up those around me and also to be giving others those

Speaker 1: opportunities as I’ve received them. I love that, thank you, it’s wonderful and I hope folks can take an awful lot from that because I think there’s so many strong examples of leadership in action there and as you were speaking it reminded me of an analogy that I heard only yesterday actually which was from someone who was describing their relationship with their child and they were saying very much about like how they teach their child to do things and certainly not comparing marketers to children in any way but it’s a decent analogy nonetheless and what he said was that if his child goes out with an umbrella and it’s raining then the thing that he will do in that circumstance will be that he won’t give them the umbrella he’ll wait for them to sort of learn the lesson they’ll get wet and then next time they will they’ll go out with an umbrella because they’ve learned the lesson they got wet once so this time take the umbrella. However if the child is about to step out in front of a bus then that’s the time to sort of grab them and sort of bring them back and bring them back and sort of look after them and it’s almost that push and pull of leadership and listening to your answer I you use words like fearlessness and being fearless in your action but I wondered how you go about that because I think that release for some leaders is quite difficult to sort of say I’m going to let you go off and figure things out and do this for yourself so how do you determine what’s an umbrella and what’s a bus for the folks that you’re working with

Speaker 2: when you’re in a leadership position? That’s a really brilliant question I think Joe reflecting I think I’ve mostly carried a little bit of that from being a kid and actually been quite comfortable being unconventional so I’m really happy to go down different paths or not follow the normal path and so when I where I am now when I think about your sort of umbrella question versus bus question I will tend to actually ask a lot of questions and time is always a factor and the context is always a factor but I’d rather start with asking questions and almost take a genuine coaching approach on the umbrella side and then be really clear when are we in a bus moment and so for me when you’re in a genuine crisis that does call for a bus more often than not and that’s how I try to sort of determine things and sometimes you just don’t have the time or there is a genuine crisis and then I can be very instructional because we need absolute clarity and this is what we’re doing bam but actually I did a over the last sort of year actually I’ve done a coaching qualification and that the power of a the power of good question is so important and actually as human beings inevitably we’ve all got the answers inside ourselves but we just need someone to ask the right question and so as I continue to sort of develop I’m very conscious with myself to say well what language am I using can I use a question when shall I offer an observation and to think about it I like now I’m far from far from perfect and haven’t mastered it but I have the intent and that’s what I’m sort of practicing sort of each day from having done the sort of qualification.

Speaker 1: I love that thank you there are two questions that come to mind and it’s a terrible interview practice to ask two questions at once but I’m going to do it and feel free to forget one if so the first on that questions is like do you have any specific phrasing of questions that you tend to gravitate to when you’re in these scenarios and then sorry for the terrible practice but like on the flip side have you any examples of when either you or someone who in the hierarchy is beneath you has managed up and sort of used these same techniques on you and sort of because one of your points earlier was about everyone can be a leader position and stuff like that so I’d love to know that’s a good sort of leadership position

Speaker 2: too. Yes so I think the first and keep me honest here Jo in case I forget part two because I like I like everything super simple part one sort of questions or phrases by this in fact what this comes from Wyden and Kennedy so in their London office I don’t know if it’s still there but the first thing you would see when he walked in was almost like a mannequin okay and it was a I’m going to say a guy dressed in like a really wide pinstripe suit like proper old school bowler hat and a briefcase but he was holding a sign that said walking stupid every day and actually that is that is something that I carry with me every day which is I have enough knowledge and awareness to know that I don’t know everything and therefore actually a lot of my start position will be to listen and to observe and particularly in meetings you will often be with people who have a really strong point of view or a perspective on things and so when there’s conflict and I love bringing harmony right and getting to this win-win and collaborating and the sort of rapport and so actually for me it’s very much like oh okay that’s interesting what have I missed help me understand help me understand your point of view better so it will almost be that of trying to literally extract more and more so that we can understand well is that is that a fact is that a feeling or is that fiction and that for me is like no let’s just spend time together because so often you can start and we’ve all experienced it you can start from like a place that is so far apart but actually we can bring everything together so yes it requires people knowing what the non-negotiables are what are the areas to compromise but you can do that through sort of conversations so for me it’s I might be on say paper the most senior person in the room but it doesn’t mean I have the right answer but collectively we can get to the right answer so again it’ll be like okay that’s really interesting I hadn’t thought about that what have I missed help me understand that more so I try to think more about the what’s in the house whereas and less about the why which can maybe feel sometimes more accusationary and that was part one your question wasn’t it joe yes that was that

Speaker 1: was perfect though and then so part was part two was about folks managing up or leading up to you so even if they’re not hierarchically yes up there yes being a leader nonetheless yes

Speaker 2: do what I really love is I love it when the team will come to me with ellie here’s a heads up because I love a heads up the worst thing is like surprises but like heads up I know this has happened or this is happening and they’ve spent the time doing the critical thinking and it’d be like okay so this is the situation this is where this is where we’re at these are the options and I’d like to recommend this come have a conversation about it that for me is a brilliant demonstration of managing up because I’m seeing that development in those individuals versus sometimes people be like oh my goodness something’s happened and they come to you with a problem okay but what’s the solution now it might be that you don’t know what it is but this is how I’ve thought about it and can we talk about it this is what I think we should do but are you on board with that and what have I missed and to then talk about it like that for me is like brilliant it sounds

Speaker 1: unbelievable it’s I can imagine we’ve got Nicole in the chat saying bring solutions not problems we’ve got Kerry with a full-on oh my god massive fan of the heads up too we’ve got Christine saying one problem three possible solutions it goes on so you’ve got a lot of people agreeing with you here I want to take it to a slightly different perspective folks I can see by the way that there’s 24 open questions so we will absolutely get to these and so with that the only thing I could request is that you give a thumbs up to the question that you’d like prioritized in the Q&A and we’ll make sure in the last sort of 20 minutes or so that we get to those questions so if there’s any in the Q&A that you like make sure to give them a thumbs up and we’ll do that one thing I wanted to ask you though because I’m placing myself in your shoes well I’m placing myself in your situation here which is that you described your career as a series of really amazing progressions but you’ve ended up in a place with undoubtedly a degree of status or job title that people will put on some sort of pedestal whether possibly you like it or not have you ever had like the imposter syndrome sort of kick in and if you have like how do you deal with that personally because I’ve noted like themes about positivity and resilience and stuff like that yes but yes I am a very positive

Speaker 2: optimistic person and have a sort of a high degree of resilience I do have imposter syndrome and that for me stems back to that decision to not go to university and so for me that’s the voice in my head will often be like oh am I going to get found out should I be here oh I’m not qualified to do this and again the positive side of that is actually it keeps me really curious because I’ve always got this voice which is which is never to be complacent and therefore what is it that I can learn or what else should I be sort of doing so whether it’s some of the Mark Ritson courses or the marketing sort of leadership masterclass with Sil Salarin like Thomas Barter or the sort of coaching qualification I did last year with Wisdom 8 so it’s part of the association for coaching now I’m playing Joe with AI because I certainly don’t know enough about it but it’s here for sort of all of us and if I’m going to encourage my team to bring the outside in and we talk about what’s inspiring us or giving us energy it’s as much on me to be playing with stuff or sharing with my team something that I’ve I found inspiring made to me it could be a podcast it could be something I’ve seen on TikTok or YouTube right the way through to just I love being out walking and just seeing something that’s called I taking a photo and sharing it so I think that impost that’s a positive side of my imposter syndrome. I love that it’s fuel you

Speaker 1: know it really feels like fuel for fuel for action which yes is a really admirable thing and it I reflect on the past few weeks of talks because we’ve had Sir John Hegarty we then had Ledge yes absolute legend we then had Joe Lane who was the formerly the CMO of Tony Stracoloni and now you sell favorite chocolate yes it’s going well it’s going absolutely well but like the thing about all three and I’m counting yourself in this is this positive mindset and someone as someone who has at times allowed sort of negativity to seep into my life one way or another I just find this really refreshing and so I just wanted to highlight that as a point because like I think that’s just absolutely wonderful like I feel really quite something about people being drawn to positivity and sort of embodying it so I just and also Joe

Speaker 2: you do an incredible job for your community and the generosity and the kindness that you bring and you will be worrying I’m sure about whether you’re doing enough or what else you could be doing and I have the same sort of worries of what am I doing my job but when I think about coming out of my bubble so my bubble is a marketing community but when we think about the world or the country and people like people doing phenomenal jobs I had an amazing conversation with a doctor yesterday the first name is Emma PhD and is essentially looking at the impact of climate change on health and that’s a conversation where I’m like oh my goodness I feel like the smallest person on the planet because there are so many incredible people with real smarts that are wanting to really make a difference and to benefit society and so that’s what I always think about of back to like what’s the worst that can happen yes I want to do a really good job but I work in marketing and comms I’m not saving lives as important as I think my job is yes

Speaker 1: there is a pragmatism which yes I adore that’s lovely as Nicole has put in the chat we say at work it’s PR not ER and so yes there’ll be versions of that so true people will be very bored of me speaking about my shoulders relaxing on these webinars by this point but my shoulders will relax now so thank you let’s take some questions from the community because there are a bunch and we always want to make sure that

Speaker 2: I’m just going to go like that because I saw a question saying I wonder what’s in the picture behind me it is a I’m going to say a ram because of the horns I’m in a wee work space

Speaker 1: you’re just not massive into your farm animals well you say that Joe I am a

Speaker 2: farmer’s daughter so I did grow up on a farm so I’m pretty good with farm animals lambing season calving you name it I’ve done it it’s a wonderful time of the year

Speaker 1: my favorite I love that Kerry says is there is there nothing this woman can’t do so plenty let’s take this question from Simon so Simon himself is a wonderful human being and Simon says I’m wondering how you manage a marketing function that has so many moving parts owners players doing strange things media gunning for you trying to make a news story out of nothing how do you manage all of this stuff

Speaker 2: not perfectly all of the time but what I would say is you need to be really great at knowing what the noise is and not becoming distracted by the noise and so we’ve Manchester United is a really big club we’ve got lots of talented people inside the organization and so my sort of team works across brand and creative content communications and fan engagement and then in my colleagues team they have the sort of consumer marketing and sort of really driving the sort of acquisition and sort of churn sort of prevention or reduction and stuff and so number one for me it’s being really aware of the system of which you’re operating and you’re right joe all of those things the league table doesn’t lie so that has a sort of huge influence you have players stakeholders which could be from owners to the rest of the sort of executive leadership team that I’m on in sort of teams fans as like the most important stakeholder commercial partners it’s a multitude of complexity and for me it always comes back to what are we doing why are we doing it who are we talking to so it’s really sort of understanding the noisy landscape but turning off that destruction distraction and coming back to the really important questions of who are we talking to what do we want them to think feel and do and then what are we going to go and do and how are we going to measure it or see whether it’s working or not and then pivot or evolve from there it’s easier said than done but it is trying to keep that frame of reference because otherwise I think you would be you would you would just not have any focus because you would literally be pulled to pillar to post now in truth we do get pulled from pillar to post a lot but it is always trying to come back to say what’s our priority or do what if there is a new priority that’s fine but what are we going to stop because we’ve got a finite amount

Speaker 1: of people finite amount of resource it’s a clarity thing yes that clarity of mission and direction as you say it strikes me that is harder said and done I think I heard you say that you got 1.1 billion fans across yes across your various channels so you got a lot of voices so it must that must be a muscle that is almost incomparable to almost any other situation that you would find yourself in as a marketer if I could follow up on that one specific aspect and sort of speak to drowning out the noise and sort of focusing like have you is that just a muscle memory thing that you’ve had to build up over the course of time or have you got any sort of like techniques or anything like that for finding that clarity and the reason I ask is that like of the leaders I’ve spoken to recently all of them seem to have that in common that sort of clarity of customer clarity of message or whatever it may be and so they don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the other things and that feels like a really enviable trait if not one that should be celebrated so I’d love to know your approach to that if it’s just not intuitive which it may well be

Speaker 2: I think part of the way I think about things is just trying to simplify everything and for me that simplicity comes with having clarity about what are we doing what are we not doing and also again just really laddering it up into sort of highest point because inevitably in teams and in all organizations people will have specific projects that they’re working on and therefore for them that project is the number one priority but for me the importance of communicating across your function or across the organization so let’s ladder this all up because that might be your number one priority and it doesn’t mean it’s not important but what for the entire business that might not actually be in the top five it’s going to contribute or it could enable but I think my job is to be really clear on well no what are those things for the business and what’s that mean for us and then how does that get sort of communicated through the team and how do we help the team to sort of understand what should be a priority or not or if actually a load of requests come in it’s like well where’s that conversation that we can then have with the other team or function that says right we’ve got all of these requests what would you like what do you like first yes nice and just sort of talking to that and things do change and sometimes things happen and you have to stop and then react to that and we’ve had a few of those things as well joe but I think it’s maintaining a level of flexibility and agility but always coming back really regularly to say right where are we on these I know five things where are we on these ten things whatever it might be so with the time that you have in the day are you using that to do one of these five things one of

Speaker 1: these ten things I love that and I don’t know whether you do this on purpose but what was really interesting as you gave that answer is that everything you discussed was framed as a question as well which sort of comes back down to what we were speaking about earlier with that leadership thing and like maybe it’s second nature by now but I just thought that was a really interesting way to answer the question to sort of pick up on everything that we’ve I appreciate that observation so it’s one of those things you can’t help but notice it but when it it’s amazing to sort of see in action let’s take the next question that comes from an anonymous person so zoe is fessing up in the chat so zoe is asking for recommendations of podcasts books courses for those looking to demonstrate they’re ready for the next level in marketing leadership and if I was to summarize those we’ve already spoken about we’ve got the living leader by penny ferguson we’ve got wisdom eight by a lady called katherine and gareth yes and gareth rc yes and then over to you after that because those were the two that oh thomas barter’s marketing leaders that’s it thomas barter and

Speaker 2: silsala the marketing leadership masterclass as a big fan of mark rickson’s courses a chap i love listening to podcasts and is scott galloway and he has an organization called section four that does sort of a lot of almost like sprints that you can sign up to really good and i’m a big fan of a number of podcasts so john evans the uncensored cmo regular listening listener to him abby dixon as well she’s got an awesome podcast so i try to always have a sort of a blend of those things going on joe to be honest with you and people like cim ipa they do really sort of fantastic sort of courses so i don’t think we’ve got any shortage of sort of tools and it can either be paid tools or actually i think there is so much brilliant free content that you can

Speaker 1: learn from yes absolutely there is certainly no shortage this joe like everything that you do

Speaker 2: the generosity to your community this is all learning and development so actually the i think the more that you put into communities the more that you can sort of learn for yourself so this would be sort of great i’m a non-exec director of the marketing society as well so again that is another organization that i’ve got a real soft spot for in terms of what they sort of provide and again the leadership the conversations the community and of course cherylin the marketing academy yes just there’s a lot there’s a lot

Speaker 1: there is a lot but i think what that speaks to is your dedication because like there is a lot but if you keep on the list then you’re doing well i’ll tell you what ellie the chat feature has just gone mad with zafira the people are speaking about voxel zafira so like i don’t know what’s going on so i’m blaming mel here but i think folks have picked up on your honda and mot’s background your honda and f1 background which is fabulous right let’s take the next one from sarah or sarah who asks any advice on how to prove the value of marketing in an organization where there is much skepticism above and beyond a supportive role of it being a coloring in department and how to influence other leaders who are equally skeptical

Speaker 2: a lot of hard work and persistence for sure do for me it’s again spending time perhaps with who are some of those biggest critics and it’s easy it’s easy to it it’s easy to often say the cfo doesn’t it’s easy to often say the cfo doesn’t get it i can’t get my budget but again sitting with the cfo and understanding the language of the business how the commercials work again asking questions but what do you think marketing is or what would be the what would be the top three things that we could do to support the commercial growth and just try to sort of actually learn so well where is their start point because what you think might be necessary might not be on their radar but actually there might be some other things that you were like okay we could easily do that i don’t really think that’s marketing we should just do that but if you start there how do you build that confidence and your that trust in yourself and your team’s capabilities and then just build from there with some small sort of examples so i think that’s really practical all for me and again this is a something sort of i took away from the thomas barter seal seller sort of leadership master class was you will have your business objectives on one circle and you will have your sort of customer on the other circle and it’s like really understand what customer needs are those two things that cross over is what you really want to focus on as a business and to really grow and to stretch that so actually what is that in your organization and what’s the role that you can play at marketing to make that stretch as much as possible and that comes back to being the voice of the customer really understanding the research what is it that you’re telling what is it that research is telling you who is it that you’re talking to and just having that sort of conviction and sort of understanding what you bring to the table as that different voice which is additive but with the same objective which is fundamentally how do we grow revenues and improve profitability in most cases that for me is like always a place to sort of start and to try to

Speaker 1: build up that level of trust and respect yes that was a quote from i always come back to it from martin george who’s the customer director over at way choice before maybe two or three years ago and he sort of said finance is the language of business and so i love how you highlighted there those little wins and sort of demonstrating that value but then also that commercial awareness and sort of speaking in that i know you spoke to that earlier in the session as well that i think it was during your honda time where you were saying that you learned that language i maybe want to follow up on that quickly because it does feel like a really important point picking up the skills of commercial language because you’re working in very commercial organizations it was like how did you go about doing that because it seemed to be a skill that you said didn’t come naturally to you i may have misinterpreted that yes no that’s

Speaker 2: that’s a fair and true interpretation spending time with people who do that and so i do want to sit with the cfo or my finance business partner and be like okay talk me through this help me understand or where do we make our revenue what’s important how’s it going to work so that i can have a base level understanding of it all and then if you’re if you work with agencies are fantastic partners and sort of resources for training and upskilling as well and inevitably your media agencies will be really proficient in sort of econometrics or media mixed modeling so again just trying to sort of just understand and learn more and then there are again countless podcasts or videos on youtube like peter field and lesbian in terms of just really understanding the sort of the long and the short of it in terms of the marketing roi so they’re they are all the types of places i sort of go to so right do i understand the theory who can i work with who can help me to put that into practice how can i make that relevant to my business okay the cfo the cfos they have they see everything across an

Speaker 1: organization so just go make friends i love that go make friends i love that ellie i’m mindful that like we’re coming to the end and you’ve got a big important job to do there are so many wonderful questions particularly around career progression coming up in the in the chat so even if we can’t take it to you then we’ve got the message loud and clear as well this side of things that we’ll make sure to curate some stuff in for tmm at some point so we can so we can investigate that in greater detail but you’ve been an absolute legend thank you so much for taking the time the clarity the takeaways the spirit in which you’ve sort of embodied today has been absolutely fabulous and so inspiring as well so thank you for thank you for doing that thank you not at all not at all and thank you to everyone in the community as well like you’re just the absolute best where the chat feature went today i’m blaming mel and i’m blaming lewis that’s on youtube but the rest of you including mel and lewis actually have been absolutely fabulous a big thank you to frontify exclaimer cambridge marketing college and red gate for sponsoring today’s session without that without them then we won’t be able to bring these sessions to you so do check them out in the follow-up email we’ve got the last session of this mini season next week with david mcqueen who’s speaking about how to operate with more courage and less fear so that should be a fabulous one he’s brilliant he’s wicked thank you that’s an endorsement that will go a long way and with all that said thank you ellie thank you everyone for tuning in it’s been a real pleasure and we’ll see you again next week take happy

Speaker 2: tuesday afternoon and thank you for everyone’s time really grateful love it take care of them take care bye