On this episode of the REVolution Podcast...
Do you ever wish sales and marketing could work better together? Dig into this episode where Jackie talks about her background, mission-based leadership, and one of the best sales and marketing relationships she's ever had where trust, respect, and shared metrics created a foundation for lasting success.
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About our guest
Jackie Yeaney is a distinguished marketing leader with experience at Boston Consulting Group, Delta, Ellucian, Red Hat, and Tableau, and is an executive coach, advisor, and current board member at Avaya and Talk Space. She is dedicated to creating mission-based alignment for her teams and focusing on stories and journeys to support the customer experience. You can follow Jackie on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Alignment through a mission
Jackie Yeaney describes starting her career as an "accidental marketer," but has gone on to work on meaningful strategic and cultural programs. [1:24]
From her time in the Air Force, Jackie learned foundational lessons about being mission-based as a way to align a team that she carried into many different experiences. [4:27]
Learning from amazing mentors who have influenced and supported her across her career, Jackie took advantage of a variety of exciting opportunities that developed her own sense of leadership and clarity in being aligned on a mission to provide her teams with the North Star. [5:54]
While not easy, Jackie was able to get on the same page for important business strategy work with her revenue colleagues and set the tone for team culture by prioritizing trust in her human relationships at work. [13:05]
The role of data and the downfalls of attribution
Part of that was being driven by the same revenue goals, but also led to discovering a personal frustration that Marketing leaders are put into positions "proving their existence" with KPIs rather than being focused on optimizing their performance to support the business. [20:28]
Jackie found much more success in supporting teams to focus on leaning into the healthy tension their different roles create and sitting side-by-side to tackle the go-to-market motion, both strategically and organizationally for Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success teams. [24:01]
Realistically, Jackie believes that part of developing alignment is knowing that people are motivated by how they get paid and can advance in their career development. Understanding and playing to the different strengths of leaders, organizations could creatively consider compensating their Marketing and Customer Success teams, similarly to Sales, by pipeline and closed deals. Ideally, that compensation would also include a customer engagement measure, which in her experience, was "magic." [28:17]
Another tool that Jackie had in her career is finding the power of user-based communities. By making your brand helpful and relevant to the community, not only does that community become full of advocates, but they create a sustainable advantage for the business—even if it can't be tracked directly to revenue. [32:25]
Creativity and strategy in Marketing
Her experience as an engineer and analytical person eventually led her to understand that good marketing sometimes involves taking risks beyond the data. Jackie's advice is to try new things, whether through team hackathons or time boxing experiments, to find the pieces that resonate with prospects as people and showing personality. She found solace in this kind of vulnerability by focusing on how she left people feeling, rather than focusing too much on the details. [36:05]
Jackie's experience as a Marketing leader has led her to worry less about "staying in your lane" due to the need for Marketing to cross into different roles based on the business's needs. While approaching the work mindfully and leaning on the trust she developed, she found success by pursuing a good strategy that supported the customer, the organization, and her colleagues, even if it was different than what was expected of her. By focusing on both the short-term and the long-term, Marketing takes on a role that provides a contribution beyond what can be tracked by direct attribution. [40:17]