Secret Marketer: Marketers and agencies gain real strength by believing they are the best at what they do

I am often asked about the core skills to become a CMO with a major brand. Having considered this, I believe one of the measures that sets apart a true leader from a wannabe is their ability to orchestrate and coordinate a group of disparate individuals – both within the team, and across one’s agencies – to deliver an award-winning and consistent articulation of the brand to a wide customer base.

This time of year is a great way to test this, and this week I have run my own internal awards ceremony.

As a true democracy, I asked all of my team to vote for a colleague who they believed was worthy of an award – the ‘Going the Extra Mile Award’ for the person who had supported them the most over the past 12 months; the ‘Marketing Activity of the Year’ for the campaign, event or other initiative that had impressed them the most; and, of course, the ‘Young Marketer of the Year’ and ‘Marketer of the Year’ – the individuals in the team who had stood out as demonstrating the epitome of world-class marketing skills.

I also asked people to vote for their ‘Agency of the Year’ – which agency on our roster, across multiple disciplines, was the easiest to work with and had delivered the best work. And, for the first time, I asked the agencies to collaborate and come up with their ‘Marketer of the Year’.

This proved fantastic fun, but also a very telling insight into how the team thinks and operates.

Just about everyone voted, but the key statistic for me was that almost 90% of people in the team were nominated in one or more of the categories. Now that is real strength in depth – to think that someone believes that almost everyone in the team is best at something.

The agencies were also enthusiastic about the awards; they were hugely competitive about the coveted title, as well as having detailed alignment conversations to separate the best PR manager from leading campaign marketer – the push-overs from those that challenge them the most.

The entire event proved a great success. There was a clear winner in each category – most of which I agreed with (though I was miffed that I only got votes for the ‘Messiest Desk’ category) – and it was interesting to see that the clear winner in the ‘Agency of the Year’ was a smaller, specialised agency – the main roster agencies barely getting a look-in.

Was this because of its can-do attitude, its high responsiveness or simply because big campaigns are complicated?

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here