A few posts ago, I shared some of my tips for the Values-Driven Business Professional. I wanted to follow a somewhat similar theme today, from a people management standpoint. What drives me each and every day? More than the digital marketing craft itself, it’s the people, especially those who I manage. Effective people management takes a special mindset. I have seen (and heard stories about) poor people managers. Don’t be a poor people manager, someone’s entire life is depending on you! Here’s how to do what’s right and manage from a values-driven perspective:
- Always arrive at work with great responsibility and purpose. Remember that you are responsible for someone’s (or many people’s) career(s). That is nothing to take lightly. It’s a huge responsibility and involves an immense amount of maturity and purpose to handle the responsibility with care.
- Do what’s best for the company and the employee, that always involves motivating, mentoring, and growing those who report to you. Happy employees drive the best results for the company, and are most likely to stay and contribute to your company for the long haul. Life is short, everyone should be empowered and doing their personal best.
- Find ways to get your team in the spotlight. When you’re a great manager, it’s no longer about you. It’s about growing and driving results through others. Give amazing opportunities to your team.
- Find ways to reward those who truly deserve it! One of the absolute best accomplishments for the savvy people manager is encouraging/championing growth, and then promoting those on your team as they achieve, succeed, grow, and deserve.
- Act with complete fairness and equality across the board. Always think rationally.
- Create a family-like environment. Most of us spend more time working than anything else. Those who work together should bond like a family. Everyone is on the same team and shares both success and failure. Everyone in the family looks out for each other.
- Never, ever act in a self-promotional manner. Don’t brag about your material possessions, your intellect, nor your accomplishments. When you’re a people manager, it’s all about the team and the company. The team’s success and growth will reflect on you. Those managers that brag about themselves demotivate the team. This should seem somewhat obvious to most, but I’m pointing it out because this type of behavior does happen, surprisingly!
- Not everyone is cut out to be a manager. Are you not only willing, but honored to spend hours helping others through challenges and hurdles (on top of your own work, even if it involves working long shifts)? Are you willing to put your own reputation on the line for someone else? Are you willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how difficult/long, to help someone on your team through a challenge? If your answer is “no” to any of these, that’s ok. People management requires true dedication, dedication that not everyone is cut out for. It takes an amazing leader and self-aware business professional to consciously turn down people management opportunities. Think critically, it is ok to opt out of people management opportunities if it’s not right for you.
- Are you committed for the long haul? Everyone has had this experience… They have an amazing manager who later leaves, only to get a less desirable manager. The manager is the company to many employees. You owe it to your company and your team to stick around for the long haul, even if tempting offers come your way, as a people manager (especially of a larger team).
- Are you comfortable in uncomfortable situations? Do you thrive in a challenging environment? Growing careers is not easy. You will have to deliver negative news/feedback. From time-to-time, people may not be happy with you. Can you handle those difficult times, in order to do what’s right? As a manager, you see the long term vision and can lead others through challenging times, even if they don’t see the full picture yet. You are ok taking harsh feedback and criticism along the way, always sticking to your plan of what’s best for your team.
- Do you like to have fun at work? Do you love what you do? Are you enthusiastic and high-energy? the most successful people managers bring that excitement to the office each and every day. They are true motivators!
Image of Management Leadership © iStockPhoto – Thinglass
As you grow in your digital marketing career, you will find yourself attending and increased number of meetings. All types of meetings… Leadership meetings, staff meetings, 1:1s, team meetings, project meetings, and more. Over the years, I have picked up quite a few meeting strategy tips. Meetings truly are the medium of the manager, and a great opportunity to influence others, deliver results, and inspire. Today, I wanted to share one meeting tip in particular: Pay super close attention to your own facial expressions as you speak and especially as you listen to others.
Meetings are a high leverage activity. You have a lot of professionals in one room and it’s an opportunity to inspire and gain leverage. I’m a huge fan of active listening. When someone else is speaking, I do my best to smile, stay engaged, take notes, and ask questions. Whenever I’m speaking, I always look for those active listeners in the room – they are the ones to focus on the most. My career tip of the day: Focus on active listening.
By contrast, certain people will make “negative faces” during meetings. They can truly take energy away from the speaker. As a speaker, you start wondering, do they not like my presentation? Do they have a different opinion? Those making negative faces in meetings can really derail creativity and collaboration. A lot of the time, I think those making negative faces are completely unaware what they are doing! My other big tip: Check yourself to see if you make negative faces during meetings, maybe you are subconsciously. It’s all about making a conscious effort to listen actively and inspire those presenting in the meeting. This simple tip has a ton of leverage and can truly help in your digital marketing career.
Image of Happy and Sad Faces © iStockPhoto – PashaIgnatov
Like so many digital marketing professionals, I’m a huge fan of great corporate cultures. It’s so much fun to be part of a strong team, it’s so motivating. Create an amazing culture like my good friends at InsideVault SEM Platform and your employees will be happy, motivated, retained, and growing in their careers. Everyone wants to have a great culture and everyone wants to create one. However, it’s easier said than done. Leveraging my observations of InsideVault (they have one of the best cultures I have ever observed), I wanted to share a few tips on building that amazing corporate culture everyone wants!
- Great culture starts with a family-like team. Hire people that work well together and get along incredibly well. As one strategy, consider going into business with familiar faces. If you’re able to hire a core team that has worked together in the past, you will have an instant family-like team. Of course, you also want to hire new faces and welcome them into your family (old and new faces are key to the success of any business). My friends Chaitanya, Brian, and Guillermo all worked together at Nextag so they had that family-like foundation having worked together for so many years. They hired other familiar faces, the best of the best. In parallel, they brought new members into the InsideVault family. What resulted is a true family-like environment where everyone truly enjoys working together, how motivating!
- Superior corporate cultures require constant attention and team events. Important note: It does not have to cost a lot. In fact, money is not really a factor at all here. It’s the thought that counts. Teams need time to bond. Teams need time to enjoy each others’ company outside of work. Check out the InsideVault Facebook Page. Every single week, the entire team is enjoying fun events, together as a team! Some recent examples: team lunch from Sushi Plus, good times at a team break, Sprinkles Cupcakes break, horizontal reserve beer tasting paired with food, outdoor movie night, day at the movies, and so much more. These guys do several fun team events each week. Every time I’m over at the InsideVault Office, I see employees working late into the night. Everyone is super motivated! Why? They are a family and truly enjoy what they do. All of the fun event planning truly makes the team and shows the team that the company cares.
- Great cultures require a comfortable work environment. Head on over to the InsideVault office and you will see a relaxed environment. These guys have a convenient location, comfortable sofas, a life sized Justin Bieber cardboard pop-up, a fun and relaxed environment, and a casual dress code (t-shirts are ok if you’d like). Keeping things fun and relaxed is key. The mind works better when you are free to be yourself. InsideVault truly invests in their employees by keeping the work environment fun, casual, and friendly.
- Amazing cultures require purpose. Every single day, InsideVault is pushing forward to build the best possible SEM platform. They have true purpose. Everyone is aligned behind the goal of making the lives of digital marketing professionals easier and better. I can totally respect that, as someone who has been enjoying the corporate digital marketing career path for 10 years. Anything that can make my day easier and more empowered is something I place great value upon. In speaking with numerous employees at InsideVault, it is clear that they are incredibly focused, driven, and aligned behind a single goal.
- Culture requires people that care about people. If you’re just in business to make money, you probably won’t have a great culture. However, if you’re in business to make money, change lives, grow careers, and help people, it’s likely you are set up for a great culture. Have a true passion for people. That’s the foundation of any great culture. At InsideVault, the team truly cares about people, both customers and employees, creating an awesome culture.
Auditioning SEM platforms? Make absolutely sure to reach out to my friends at InsideVault.
Image of Teamwork © iStockPhoto – IvelinRadkov
Do you run digital marketing programs in a corporate setting? Chances are you have a set budget for your campaigns. Typically, companies will allocate budget across different marketing channels and divisions. As digital marketing professionals, the trends are in our favor! Budgets tend to increase year after year for performance marketing channels such as PPC, display, and social media because these channels perform.
Today, I wanted to share a guest post I just wrote for the PPC Associates Blog. My guest post is all about Building Your Case For A Bigger Digital Marketing Budget. When you’re in the world of digital marketing, bigger budgets makes natural sense. However, in a competitive situation where all departments/divisions are competing for limited budgets, you need to provide a solid case for your channel(s). My guest post outlines some of my favorite strategies for doing so.
I have had a true blast writing guest posts on the PPC Associates Blog. After reading this one, you may want to also check out some of my other recent ones. I hope you enjoy!
Image in this post © PPC Associates
As a corporate PPC leader, it’s your job to do what’s best for your company. In my opinion, that’s typically securing more budget for PPC and building enthusiasm for this amazing media channel. For many companies, PPC is going to be one of the best (if not the best) media channel. Of course, all of the below requires an incredibly talented and dedicated team because PPC is a 24/7, incredibly complex marketplace. We never sleep! So, make sure to hire the best and brightest in-house marketers and agencies. Here are some of my favorite reasons why PPC rules.
- PPC drives results. By results, I’m talking about scale and also ROI. As compared to other media channels, PPC is one of the best performing, if not the best performing. It takes time to fully optimize, but a savvy search marketer and/or agency managing paid search for a great brand/product will be able to drive great ROI quicker (and of greater extent) than other channels.
- PPC is instantaneous. No need to wait. Want to test a new concept? You can have results almost immediately. Why is PPC so instantaneous? Google AdWords and Bing Ads have created truly amazing self-serve platforms. With an amazing in-house marketer and/or an amazing agency (I recommend Rocket Clicks), you will get results nearly instantly.
- PPC is a scalable platform for testing new concepts. You can test so much with paid search, quickly. I’m especially a fan of testing ad copy, landing pages, and new keywords. Because of the platform, you’re able to test in a very controlled and scalable (statistically significant way). I view PPC as the testing medium for the entire organization. Solicit input from all departments, leverage the power of PPC to prove/disprove hypothesis before rolling out to other channels/mediums.
- PPC is incredibly measurable. Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and platforms such as Acquisio give you incredible, incredible measurement right at your fingertips. With that great measurement comes the opportunity for incredible optimization/refinement (again, right in these impressive search engines and platforms such as Acquisio).
- PPC instantly expands your team. Invest and build a great program and Google, Yahoo!, and your automation platform will become part of your team. They will dedicate resources to your account. Your team instantly scales with help from some of the brightest minds in our industry.
- PPC keeps improving and changing. I just wrote about Enhanced Campaigns and how I’m a fan. We have just scratched the surface of the potential in PPC. It keeps getting better and better.
- PPC builds amazing careers. With the right dedication, skill, and perspective, there are not too many more rewarding career paths than the PPC track, in my opinion. Non only can you grow quickly, but it’s so challenging, rewarding, and fun.
- PPC is a growing medium. Search engines rely on PPC revenue to drive their businesses forward. They are always thinking of new, inventive ways to make PPC better. More and more Internet users are getting savvy and interacting with paid ads. This is a great trend to count on for may years to come.
- PPC drives results in other media channels. While the ROI is already great on a last click basis (after optimization from a very talented team/agency), that’s not the full picture. PPC assists and lifts other media channels including direct brand type-ins.
- In my opinion, it’s all about team work. PPC puts you right in the center of it all. I cannot think of too many disciplines that are more interdisciplinary than PPC. What a great career when you get to collaborate with everyone in your company.
Are you a fan of PPC? What are some of your favorite reasons? Next time you are securing budget and resources for your team, make sure to stress why PPC is the best.
Image of PPC Click © iStockPhoto – pupunkkop