Big ideas from this week’s episode:
- Great marketing requires teamwork – nobody succeeds alone!
- It takes all kinds
- Great teams need great chemistry!
Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying episode number 65, Marketing is Teamwork.
John Williams: Now, you think?
Paula Williams: [LAUGH] It takes more than one that’s for sure. So I’m Paula Williams.
John Williams: And I’m John Williams.
Paula Williams: And we are ABCI, your team [LAUGH] of international aviation marketing consultants.
John Williams: Together with a whole group of guys working in the background behind us.
Paula Williams: Absolutely, for individual projects we may have tons of people working on it. So team work is really key to us as well. So use the #AvGeekMarketing, if you would like to ask questions or comment or do anything else that you would like a reply to that will help us find your thoughts and comments.
Of course, you can always comment on the blog or on the individual podcast episode. And we will do our best to get back to you and reply to every tweet or comment or everything else that we can find. Okay, so three big ideas for today. One, of course, marketing is teamwork, two, it takes all kinds, and three, great teams take great chemistry.
So first of all, marketing is teamwork. In the olden days, it didn’t, right?
John Williams: No, you look at Mad Men on TV.
Paula Williams: Right, and we will in just a second, but first of all, let’s talk about this guy. This is the guy that wrote Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill, right?
John Williams: Yep.
Paula Williams: Okay, and he kind of, I don’t know if he invented the concept of nobody gets rich alone or nobody gets successful alone, but he certainly popularized the idea of the theater of the mind, right? He had this group of counselors in this head, including Benjamin Franklin and George Washington and probably a bunch of other people who he would ask, what do you think about this problem.
What would you do about this situation? And even if he was in the privacy of his own mind, he was involving teamwork in trying to involve other styles of thinking and other points of view and things like that into what he was doing, right?
John Williams: Well, that presupposes somebody has read quite a bit of those guys, so that they know what they would do in those situations.
Paula Williams: Right and you can do this with anybody. I mean, it doesn’t matter if it’s real or imaginary. You definitely want a lot of different points of view and it might be your Aunt Ethel and your Uncle Fred. I mean, whoever has the most expertise in the style of thinking that you’re looking for, you can think about that thought.
So teamwork is not necessarily overt, but it is definitely necessary. So let’s talk about how marketing used to be in the days of Don Draper. Speaking of the devil, there he is now. [LAUGH] And-
John Williams: I didn’t say he was the devil.
Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right. No, in the AMC popular series Mad Men, Don Draper was a really good example and the process that their marketing firm used was a really good example of the way that marketing used to work, right?
Basically, the client would come in and talk to some folks for a little bit and say this is what we want done and this is what our product is, here’s a sample, and then they would go away, right? And a month later or three weeks later or some amount of time would pass and the marketing firm in a vacuum would sit around the room with the other people in the marketing firm and brainstorm ideas and come up with something really fabulous.
They would select the best of those ideas by themselves, with no input from the customer. They would select the best of those ideas and make a big presentation with an unveiling of a fabulous idea, okay? And sometimes it worked. Sometimes it worked really well. But in those days, consumers in the United States were a pretty homogenous group, right?
John Williams: And quite uneducated in the areas of marketing and products and so forth.
Paula Williams: Right, so it used to be that you could put a shiny image in front of people and a catchy slogan or a beautiful logo and that would be all you would need to do some pretty decent marketing.
That is not true anymore [LAUGH], right?
John Williams: [LAUGH] It gets a little complex along the way, these days.
Paula Williams: Right, nowadays, in order to do good marketing you need all kinds of people doing all kinds of things. You need technology. You need product desk experts. You need some pretty detailed technical information.
You need a lot of stuff that you didn’t used to, in order to sell a product. It’s a lot harder to sell a product. There’s a lot more competition in the market and there are a lot more moving parts to the whole marketing process.
John Williams: The technology is changing rapidly in the areas that are being used by marketing.
Paula Williams: Right and also, you can’t just throw your idea over the wall to a marketing firm and have them come up with something brilliant and unveil it to you. It’s a lot more complicated than that, because the final product has to be a lot more detailed, in order to work, especially in the aviation industry, because aviation customers are really smart.
John Williams: Yes and detail oriented in general.
Paula Williams: Right, so you have to have the product experts and everybody else involved in a process all the way through. I mean you can say that marketing is a department, but it isn’t. In the book that we were reading last month, one of the chapters in that book was Marketing is Not a Department.
It involves everybody nowadays.
John Williams: Right, marketing some will argue is, sales is a department, a subheading of marketing. It’s the next step.
Paula Williams: That’s true, but I would also argue that everybody’s in marketing. If you’re in product development, if you are in customer service, if you are in delivery, any of that stuff, you’re in marketing.
John Williams: If you think that this line between sales and marketing isn’t very, very blurred then everybody’s in marketing, everybody’s in sales. And if you doubt that, think about the last time you try to convince anybody of any point of view.
Paula Williams: Right, absolutely. So why is this so important nowadays?
John Williams: You’re on a roll.
Paula Williams: [LAUGH]
Okay, I think it has to do with trust. People don’t trust the slick Don Draper beautiful corporate marketing as much as they used to, even in the aviation industry. They know that people are human. They know that not everything is going to be as it’s presented in a slick shiny ad.
Wow, I have to be careful how I say that, slick shiny ad, right?
John Williams: Mm-hm.
Paula Williams: [LAUGH] And so authenticity is really what people are looking for. They want to make a connection with a human being and they want things that sound realistic. They want to see how it works.
They want it to make sense. It has to be plausible. All of those things have to happen in aviation advertising in order to be effective, right?
John Williams: And sometimes when you’re talking to somebody about a product they’re considering the acquisition of you may talk him out of it.
Paula Williams: That is true and that’s authentic and that’s real and that’s respected. We have a lot of clients that are a little nervous when we ask them to go on video or present their voice in a printed piece or something like that, because they feel like they are not polished enough.
And I wouldn’t worry about that as much as people do. I think being trustworthy is a thousand times more important than being polished.
John Williams: True.
Paula Williams: I mean look at us [LAUGH].
John Williams: [LAUGH] Be nice now.
Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly, so we’re after authenticity, not perfection. So it does take all kinds because it takes a lot more information and knowledge nowadays than it used to, in order to get anything done.
And in order to get good marketing, it takes, like I said, product experts who may not even be consider themselves in marketing. They might engineers or other kinds of folks. It takes marketing nerds, people who crunch numbers, that kind of thing. It takes creative weirdos and it takes nit-picking perfectionists, in order to do great marketing.
And if you look at just the sampling of books that we had in last year’s book club, the different disciplines involved with marketing and sales. If you talk to any of our book club members, some of them will say, well, I loved this book but I hated that one.
Other ones of our members who have a different skill set will give you exactly the opposite answer. But having a really broad base of knowledge is really important and the more people you can bring into that equation, the broader your base of knowledge, right?
John Williams: And the more likely you are to get on the right track.
The only given is that somebody can lead the team.
Paula Williams: Exactly, so how do you get all of these product experts, marketing nerds, creative weirdos, and nitpicking perfectionists to get along?
John Williams: Carefully.
Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Carefully, right.
John Williams: [LAUGH]
Well, I guess I should relate a story from business school days.
Paula Williams: Yeah, I was hoping you would.
John Williams: Really?
Paula Williams: Mm-hm, it’s a good story.
John Williams: Very first day of class, this is an exec program at a highly-valued university where everybody walks in the first day and sits there and has little muffled discussions side to side. And the prof walks in and he looks around the room a little bit and everybody’s quiet and waiting and he says okay, there are four corners to the room and the podium.
You have five minutes to form up in six teams. And he left the room. And none of us knew each other, for crying out loud.
Paula Williams: So you all looked at each other in fear and shock [LAUGH].
John Williams: And so I’m just trying to figure out how am I supposed to ascertain which one of these teams I was going to be on.
And by the time I figured out I didn’t know how to figure that out, one of the folks that I’d been talking to in the hallway said hey, John, come on over here and so I did. Well, in business school, you either died with the team or you graduate with honors by the team and there’s no other way and our team was quite helpless.
This is a bunch of type A personalities that had experiences growing up where if you didn’t do it again, it didn’t get done, because the other guy isn’t going to do his bit. So therefore we’re all and I mean they really pile on the work. So you can’t possibly get it all done individually.
You have to work as a team. So after about the first week we’re.
Paula Williams: Besides the fact that you needed the different skill sets on the team, because you had.
John Williams: Well, that’s what I mean, you couldn’t possibly do all the work by yourself.
Paula Williams: Yeah, right.
John Williams: So I finally, and I was a consultant during this time of my life and I knew some folks and I suggested that we hire somebody to come in and actually make us into a team.
Because this lady had done this for a company that I’d been consulting with and quite successfully helped them all in their various departments and so forth become teams, successful teams, I might add. And they said, well, can we afford her? And I said, I don’t know, but I don’t know how we could not afford her.
And so I talked to her and she decided to come over. I don’t think she don’t really came to any of our meetings. I don’t recall. But she talked to everybody on the phone and then interviewed them and got all of us together, I guess, and formed a team.
And we all decided we had to trust each other and that was part of what she did. And she can tell you all about that because that’s my wife, now. It wasn’t then, but she worked with me from a different consulting agency actually and they put us together in working on various and sundry projects.
But the point of thing is after she made us into a team, we became what is known as a high performing team. In fact, we became such a high performing team that we ended up taking final exams as a team verbally and the prof said now wait a minute.
Do you understand the risk? And I said of course we do and he said well, I have to talk to each one of you individually. And he did and he came back and said well, you all seem to think you can do this and we looked at each other and said it’s not insane to think.
This is the way we work.
John Williams: And we took this final verbally as a team. At the end of it, he sat there and he scratched his head and looked at it. He said I would never have believed it. And he gave us the highest grade he’d ever given anybody in his particular class, which was the A with the plus sign [LAUGH] .
Paula Williams: I didn’t know they did those anymore.
John Williams: I didn’t either. [LAUGH] Anyway, so it works. And the reason it worked is because we trusted each other to do the bits and do those things each of us knew and to help integrate it into the team response.
Paula Williams: Right and I know that there’s probably some people listening to this podcast that just saw the title and said I’m not even going to listen to that.
So they may not be listening to this podcast, because they don’t like working in groups and that comes from an experience that I totally understand. Because I was the kid also, I think all of us, a lot of the really high achievers in the world and that’s who this podcast is really for.
If you’re listening to this you probably are one of us. That was the one kid in those group assignments that would end up pulling the whole thing together at 10:30 at night the day before, or later, the day before it was due because they couldn’t get anybody on the phone.
John Williams: That’s right. Nobody else was doing their part.
Paula Williams: And nobody else was doing their part and people have let us down in the past. So it’s really hard to build that trust back up again and to make things work.
John Williams: And you need to understand that on my particular team, well, actually, all the folks in the class, they were CEOs, CFOs, CPAs, all the C level people and they had grown up and been promoted because they did the work, because they couldn’t rely on anybody else.
And they were telling people what to do after that. So it works for them to a point. And then, once you get that point, then, you have to be able to work with teams and one of the greatest examples of that was Burlington Northern was going out of business actually.
And four or five guys got together and said we have to make this work. Our company is going down. They became the first high performing team and there’s a book that discusses that.
Paula Williams: Yeah, I think that’s Teams at the Top and I don’t remember who wrote that.
I’ll have to look that up.
John Williams: Katzenbach.
Paula Williams: Katzenbach, yeah, exactly. And yeah, that was a great book and that was a great example. If you see the trains that have those trucks where they just basically take the truck off the train, stick it on behind the tractor and drive off, that was the Burlington Northern idea.
John Williams: Yeah, that was their first idea on how to get more customers.
Paula Williams: More efficient.
John Williams: And more efficient.
Paula Williams: Absolutely.
John Williams: And then it went from there to what they do in the ports now, where they’ll even put wheels. They have these boxes they load onto cars and take them off and so forth, freight containers.
John Williams: Yeah, the guys at Burlington Northern put that together and that was the whole book by Katzenbach, that was The Wisdom of Teams or Teams at the Top, I don’t know.
Paula Williams: Yeah, I don’t remember which one it was, but it was Katzenbach.
John Williams: Katzenbach was the guy that wrote it.
Paula Williams: Right, good example and great book to read. So we may have to put that on our book list at some point in the future. And the reason for that is because in aviation and sales, obviously the only way you’re going to do sales is to make a connection with another person.
That’s obvious, but to get to the point where you are in front of another person, you’ve gotta have a really good team behind you supporting you with a great product, with great materials, with good messaging, with some automation, in order to attract that person in the first place and find that person in the first place and get them interested in your product.
So that is probably seven or eight different skill sets. Sometimes you can get that narrowed down to three or four people, but not fewer than that. People who are really, really good at one or more of those areas are hard to find and you absolutely have to find ways to work together.
John Williams: The other thing to consider when you put a team together is you may have to ask somebody to be off the team.
Paula Williams: Yeah, that is true and that happened in your group, too.
John Williams: That happened in our group. We ended up with five, because number six just was not going to pull their weight.
And the prof said well, you can’t really. I said wait a minute, we can and we will, because they’re dragging us down.
Paula Williams: Right.
John Williams: And so he took care of that. We got him off the team and he and she work together cuz there were nobody else that wanted her.
Paula Williams: So hire slow and fire fast.
John Williams: Yeah.
Paula Williams: But do work together, absolutely. Okay, so to that end, basically this is how we selected and how we decided that we needed some skill sets and some points of view that were not really represented in our Insider Circle.
And we found, because of a scholarship application that we put together, and these two ladies wrote really fantastic essays and we knew them a little bit from work that they had done and other projects that they had worked on, that these were exactly the kind of folks that we needed for our team, right?
And the Insider Circle really is beyond our expectations, as far as people working together on marketing projects and sales projects and other kinds of things and being able to bounce ideas off of each other and contribute different skill sets and different points of view and expertise. So sometimes you need an ideal customer to bounce something off of and chances are, if your ideal customer is a broker, there’s one in the group.
If your ideal customer is somebody that sells software in the aviation industry, we got one of those. If you’ve got somebody that is a charter expert or a charter pilot, we got some of those in the group. There are lots of points of view that we really needed and so Joni Schultz works with a non-profit, Whirly-Girls International, fantastic group and also one of the few representatives in the group has to do with helicopters.
And so we are really happy to to have her involved. She also has a sales background. So a lot of the people that are coming from marketing or coming from aviation with no sales or marketing can really leverage Joni’s sales skills. I think that’s really fantastic. And Kasey Dixon with Synapse MX she is their happiness advocate, a younger person very innovative and into technology and other kinds of things.
John Williams: But has quite an in depth background in maintenance, given at her age.
Paula Williams: Right and also has a military background. So she and John, I think, are only, actually, there’s probably a few others that have.
John Williams: They’re everywhere.
Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That have a military background as well.
So if that’s your ideal customer, we’ve got some of everything, I think, in the aviation industry in that group. So yeah, to summarize really quickly, marketing is teamwork. There is no getting around it. Even those of us who hate teamwork, I think, by nature, have gotten into the point where we have a, I now have a, love/hate relationship with teamwork, right?
I would much rather some days, I would really like to just close all my doors and huddle down and do fantastic work, but working with people has its rewards as well. And there’s this synergy there that’s really a lot of fun.
John Williams: And how did that work for you, shutting all the doors and working?
Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Not very well. Anyway, sometimes the doors stay shut. Sometimes they don’t. I’m getting better at shutting doors. So that’s cool. Big idea number two, it takes all kinds. So if your company is all former military pilots or people of any one particular type, you really need to think about who can you bring in from a different point of view or different perspective, different skill set.
Older people, younger people, people who are into technology, people who have nothing to do with technology, it takes all of those kinds of folks to make a really good team. And third point, great teams require great chemistry. And the best way to do that is to have a common goal that everybody has an incentive to reach that goal and you celebrate together and you work hard and you play hard together and have a great time.
So next steps, our marketing flight plan actually is a really good tool for figuring out how your team is going to work. It’s actually a variation of what we did with John’s team [LAUGH] back in his EMBA days trying to figure out what are your goals and objectives. What are your fears?
What are your strength and weaknesses? And putting together a plan that the whole team buys off on and making sure that you’re pulling together, instead of pulling apart is really the key to that and making sure that everybody understands their roles and responsibilities and their place in that team is really a pretty key.
So that marketing flight plan, if you’re looking for a way to get your sales and marketing department together and figure out where do the best investments and sales and marketing, that flight plan is really the best place to start, right?
John Williams: Absolutely.
Paula Williams: Absolutely, so go sell more stuff.
John Williams: Mister Zig Ziglar.
Paula Williams: America needs the business, right?
John Williams: Absolutely.
Paula Williams: Cool, so subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play and please do leave a review. We like doing these podcasts. This is our second year doing the podcast. We’re just starting our second year.
But we’d love to hear more about what you want to hear more of or less of and we like to keep a lot of free information flowing, because we think what helps the industry helps the rest of us. So you can help us by subscribing and leaving a review, right?
John Williams: Yep.
Paula Williams: Great, have a lovely afternoon and we’ll talk to you soon.
John Williams: See you next time, ciao.