In the last episode, I talked about how to be a strategic thinker in the context of B2B marketing. I shared three ideas:
Think from the perspective of “why and what”, not “how”
Help senior managers understand why you recommend specific initiatives. Why are they important to the company and customers? Then, dive into the ‘what’, and finally ‘how’. Lead with benefits to explain why.
Communicate in a way that senior managers can understand
Explain marketing’s impact on revenue, cost or efficiency. I shared one example in Episode 106
Help senior managers connect the dots
Most senior managers are not native digital marketers. They didn’t grow up with digital. You need to explain the challenges of digital marketing. I recommend that you use an analogy that they can understand to explain the complexity of digital marketing.
For this episode, I want to talk about how to cultivate that strategic thinking capability.
I truly believe that skill set can be acquired. I am using myself as an example because I wouldn’t consider myself a natural strategic thinker.
Understand what your senior managers care about
One thing to cultivate strategic thinking skills is to listen. Listen intently to what your senior managers talk and care about. In general, they care about increasing revenue, reducing costs, and improving efficiency. Can you connect what you do with their goals? In addition to the typical revenue and costs, what other initiatives are they interested in implementing or what changes are working towards. Listen and make an effort to relate your conversations to the topics they care about. This comes from listening first!!
Attend senior staff meetings and sales meetings
I learned so much by attending senior staff meetings. Get yourself invited or find ways to present something to them. Observe how they interact and communicate with each other. You don’t need to imitate that, but understand how they carry conversations and discuss topics at their levels.
Work with mentors to cultivate your skills
I was fortunate to have several senior VPs as my mentors when I was working on my craft. I’d suggest that you find mentors to work with you. Recently, I’ve worked with several new VPs and senior directors. They just got promoted and they needed to present their marketing plans and budget. We spent time putting their plans together and I told them how they should set up the flow of their presentation and how to position some key requests and requests.
If you are interested in working with me, I have a 10-hour consultation and mentor package. If you are a long-time listener, I don’t usually talk about my service offerings. I think this is the first time I’ve mentioned it in my podcast. I’ve been mentoring several new VPs and Directors, we’ve seen great results and I’d love to share what we’ve learned.
Again, if you like the content, please subscribe to the podcast. If you are a YouTube watcher, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I publish one video a week.
Before you leave, make sure to check out the previous podcast episodes.
Have a great day!