Leading a marketing team can be a tricky business; while you want to ensure maximum productivity, you also need to boost morale along the way. These are achievable through several key methods.

If you’re in the process of building your marketing team, Inc. has a great list of the top mistakes you might be making; this is great to consider in your team-building process moving forward. This includes motivating through fear, which I’ll delve into more in the positive reinforcement advocacy section of this post. Keep reading for that and more.

But let’s talk about both tangible and intangible factors that are crucial as you develop your leadership process.

The tangible parts are:

  • Have clear objectives and goals that you want to achieve as a team
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities with close collaboration processes
  • Define performance indicators at an individual level or at a project/campaign level

Have clear objectives and goals that you want to achieve as a team

I discussed the importance of loglines in my SOLO Episode 179: 3 B2B Marketing Takeaways from Reading Screenplay Writing Books. Screenplay writers need to create a logline, or a statement to describe what a movie is all about.

I mentioned a great one:

A cop comes to L.A. to visit his estranged wife, and terrorists take over her office building. —- Die Hard with Bruce Willis

When I mentioned the statement, you could probably already guess I was talking about Die Hard.

When you lead a team, you should also create a statement that depicts the objectives and the goals that your team needs to achieve for any given year.

Make that statement broad enough to cover the whole team; for example, you might want to drive demand generation by launching xx product flawlessly with integrated marketing campaigns covering CFO’s customer journey from top to bottom.

Creating clear objectives and goals that you can use to rally and guide your team is essential.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s difficult in practice until you get the hang of it.

Clarify roles and responsibilities with close collaboration processes

Avoid team members stepping on each other’s toes by crafting clearly defined job roles and by facilitating the collaboration process. For example, do you want your social media and email copy coming from the content team or social/email marketing teams? And if you want a collaborative effort, how can you guide everyone through the process for an ideal end product?

Here’s more from Forbes on defining goals as well as developing holistic working strategies for your marketing team in 2021.

Define performance indicators at an individual level or at a project/campaign level

Once you’ve defined everyone’s roles, it’s essential to hold them accountable. How will you approach this from a metrics standpoint? Will KPIs be based on sales, ROI, etc.? You need to talk this out with your teams to determine realistic expectations.

AdAge expands on some of these tangible aspects, as well as a few others. Check out the article here.

Now, let’s talk about the intangible parts of leading a marketing team.

Every leadership situation is unique, so it’s difficult to lay out a one-fits-all plan concretely. What I can tell you is that sometimes you’re going to have to deliver bad news for the sake of a well-oiled machine.

The good news is that I’m a strong proponent of positive reinforcement, so when someone is doing their job well, I am a firm believer in praising that behavior. Offering rewarding feedback will help counterbalance the harsh blows and help motivate your team to keep up the excellent work.

In sum, it’s crucial to develop clear-cut goals and maintain a sense of balance throughout the team. The reality is that things won’t always be sunshine and lollipops, but recognizing that early on and folding in positive feedback when merited should help your team to succeed and self-motivate overall. And if everyone knows what their role is and how to measure success, as well as how best they can work together collaboratively, that should help a great deal to boost productivity and efficiency.

What are your top tips for the successful leadership of a marketing team? Let me know in the comments!

If you need help on how to lead your team more effectively, feel free to book a call with. It’s complimentary.

Or just email me your question, I am more than happy to reply with thoughtful answers.

For more info on leading a marketing team check out some of my previous content.


Need to Move Faster in Marketing? Improve Your Decision-Making Process and Build A Marketing Continuity Plan

How to Better Support Sales With Marketing Content


Building close relationships with your teams in other countries

Leading a marketing team to consensus


How to Get Hired for a Job and Promoted at Work with a Marketing Mindset


What can Pam Didner do for you?

Being in the corporate world for 20+ years and having held various positions from accounting and supply chain management, and marketing to sales enablement, she knows how corporations work. She can make you and your team a rock star by identifying areas to shine and do better. She does that through private coaching, keynote speaking, workshop training, and hands-on consulting. Contact her or find her on LinkedIn and Twitter. A quick note: Check out her new 90-Day Revenue Reboot, if you are struggling with marketing.