fbpx

 

I was away last week at a conference where I wasn’t speaking or blogging or Instagramming.

Yes, really.

It was an unusual treat for me, as it was a rare opportunity where I could focus on professional development.

The event was the Global Member Meeting for Forrester’s Analyst Relations Council, a peer networking and edution group combined run by the market research firm.

A lot of the discussion on day one focused on OKRs, or the Objectives and Key Results framework. OKRs became wildly popular with startups, and it all sounds like a lot of management consultant speak; despite all of that, it’s a perfectly sensible way to set goals and track progress toward them.

If you haven’t had to deal with OKRs, the heart of the approach is that you set individual and team and corporate objectives, and then you list all the ways you’ll measure your progress. You may even describe what steps you’ll take to achieve those results. Then, you schedule check-ins, perhaps monthly or quarterly, to track that progress.

One concern, which I expressed during Q&A at the conference, is that it’s in most people’s self-interest to set low goals that can be readily achieved and surpassed. If you know your marketing team has never contributed less than 1,000 qualified leads per month to the pipeline, then a natural reaction is to have a key result listed as, “We’ll bring in 12,000 leads this year.” You had a great May thanks to some gangbusters PR, you achieved the key result in June, and you can take the rest of the year off. Mazel tov.

If you get where this is going, that defeats the purpose of OKRs. And that means there’s one element needed for OKRs to achieve their glorious corporate potential:

The freedom to fail.

You need to be able to say, “We contributed 12,000 qualified leads last year. With our budget increase and team upgrades, we should comfortably hit 18,000 this year. But I bet there are new elements of our marketing plan that are going to contribute in a big way, so let’s put down 24,000 for the year and then show our progress toward hitting 2,000 each month.”

That takes confidence. That takes pride in your work. But it also takes the freedom to fail.

You need to know that you’re not setting yourself up for failure by setting goals that exceed what’s expected of you.

Or, as I put it during Q&A, you need to ensure everyone isn’t putting all their energy into covering their ass.

I was going to write this essay about how there are two types of companies – those that give you the freedom to fail, and those that don’t.

As I started writing after I got home, that felt too simplistic.

I’ve worked with enough organizations and know what it’s like to be with those that are playing to win, and those that are trying not to lose.

Those are very different mindsets.

You can also have organizations where you know your peers and managers support each other, or you feel like folks are out for blood.

That all led to a diagram that looks like… this:


Here’s what happens in the four types of organizations:

A defensive and critical organization has their people hiding. No one wants to stick their neck out. Everyone’s trying to play it safe and avoid attention.

A defensive but supportive organization has their teams protecting their people but not stretching to achieve anything more than what they’re already doing. They become complacent.

An ambitious but critical organization has people reaching toward and past their limits, but they’re held back when they’re worried about the negative feedback when they fall short. A red flag here: Reaching becomes Fudging in the darker version of this chart. The more critical the org is, the more likely people will lie about their results, leading to the whole OKR process disintegrating.

An ambitious and supportive organization has people looking to contribute to each other’s success while knowing that they’ll live to see another day when missing some optimistic targets. They have the freedom to fail but the will to succeed.

In essence, the further down you go on the visual, the more you’re mired in fear. The further left you go, the more you’re focused on avoiding failure.

As you go up, you gain confidence, and as you go right, you’re thinking about success.

I’ve learned a lot from my current org that’s sitting in the top-right, but I’ve seen the opposite too. How companies approach OKRs is a good temperature check for how healthy the business is.

During what’s likely to be even more uncertain times ahead, with questions of the R-word looming, the likelihood of teams achieving their goals may change. Still, such times tend to bring out the best in great leaders and exacerbate the worst in others. In the year or two ahead, we’ll see who can chart that path to success while supporting teams by giving them the freedom to fail.

David

PS: To all those celebrating a new year in late September, Shana Tova and a sweet, fruitful year ahead to you and your loved ones.

————————————————–
OUR PARTNER: SPARKLOOP
————————————————–


Have a newsletter or other media property?

Recommend amazing newsletters to your audience.
Get paid when they subscribe.

Get early access now.

————————————————–
WHAT TO  READ & WATCH:
————————————————–
Recent content shared by Serial Marketers and friends:

———————————————–
HOW TO SHARE
————————————————–

Thanks to Seth GirksyMichael WinterRichy GlassbergScott MontyBob GilbreathMat ZuckerNancy Harhut, and E.B. Moss for spreading the word about the newsletter recently.

Here’s your own personalized link, with more referral rewards for sharing the newsletter. Visit https://referralhub.page/serialmarketer to see how you’re doing.

https://sparklp.co/823bcd55/

Share via: Email | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn————————————————–
EVENTS
————————————————–

Please submit any events you’re hosting to our calendar at https://serialmarketers.net/events/. All times are ET.

UPCOMING SERIAL MARKETERS EVENTS

  • 10/6: Serial Marketers is proud to be a partner at the 2022 @Propelify Innovation Festival! Join us in person October 6 for FREE with code SerialMarketersPropels for networking, inspiration, & innovation.
  • 10/12: First Wednesdays in-person NYC, Mason Jar on E 30th. RSVP on Meetup! 5-7pm. Note new timing here since 10/5 is a Jewish holiday.
  • 10/14: Web3 Marketer Meetup with Serial Marketers on Upstream — connect with fellow marketers 1:1.
  • 10/26: Next Serial Marketers Salon, 5pm. Details coming soon.
  • 11/9: Web3 Marketer Meetup with Serial Marketers on Upstream — connect with fellow marketers 1:1.
  • 12/8: Web3 Marketer Meetup with Serial Marketers on Upstream — connect with fellow marketers 1:1.

DMEXCO X DIGIDAY
September 27
Virtual Event
“Together with our U.S. partner Digiday, we present the all-digital event DMEXCO x Digiday Online on September 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (ET) / 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (CET) on the DMEXCO Digital Event Platform! Together with Digiday and our sponsors we are inviting everyone who wants to review DMEXCO 2022 or who couldn’t be there to join the digital event recap FOR FREE! Enjoy the crème de la crème of digital business: in addition to selected English-language sessions from DMEXCO 2022, you’ll experience actionable takeaways and honest insights on the key challenges of digital marketing – produced by Digiday especially for the event.”
Register

212NYC: ENGAGING THE LIVESTREAMING COMMUNITY
How Brands are Reaching and Entertaining Generation Twitch
September 28, 2pm
In this panel discussion, led by Allison McDuffee, Twitch’s Director of Sales Insights & Measurement for the Americas, we’ll examine the emergent codes in entertainment and attitudes towards brand activity that define Generation Twitch, and uncover the opportunities for brands. Join us on September 28 at 2P ET for new insights and best practices from brands, agencies, and more.
Register

ETAIL CANADA
September 28 – 29
Hyatt Regency Toronto, ON
“Transforming Retail. Together. eTail is a two day retreat designed to help you increase the profits from your business. You’ll get action-packed strategies and make connections with the top mind’s at Canada’s most successful retailers. No commercials. No egos. We cut out the fluff so you can return to the office with detailed take-aways.”
Register

PROPELIFY INNOVATION FESTIVAL 2022
October 6, Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken, NJ
“Serial Marketers is proud to be a partner at the 2022 @Propelify Innovation Festival! Join us in-person October 6 for FREE with code SerialMarketersPropels for networking, inspiration, & innovation. #letsPropel”
Register

SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES SUMMIT
October 26–27
“Join Your Peers at the #1 Social Media Event for Senior-Level Marketing Professionals. Learn the nuts and bolts of a successful social media strategy to position your brand for success. Assess and audit your current social media initiatives through real-life feedback, discussions and peer-to-peer learning. Revitalize your strategy framework as brand practitioners walk you step-by-step through successful case studies…etc”
Register

————————————————–
OUR PARTNER: PROPEL(X)
————————————————–


Accredited
?

Propel(x) is an online investment platform that enables accredited
investors to invest in technology startups and venture capital funds.
Members range from individual accredited investors writing checks
as small as $5,000 to some of the largest family offices and funds.

One can expect to see Early Stage (Series A), Growth Stage
(Series B, C), and Late stage (Series D or later) investment
opportunities on the platform.

Create a free account today.
https://links.swapstack.co/7i7

————————————————–
JOBS
————————————————–

Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. Better yet, subscribe to get updates from our job listing board. Here are some great opportunities shared in these places or sent to me directly.

NEW WATERLOO
Director of Growth Marketing
Austin, TX
The Director of Growth Marketing will be accountable for developing, implementing, and reporting on all digital growth marketing strategies, primarily in support of South Congress Hotel, Hotel Ella, El Rey Court, and Waymore’s Guest House, with occasional support of other or forthcoming New Waterloo outlets as needed. The ideal candidate will be able to blend a sharp acumen of digital, paid, and growth marketing strategies while preserving the ubiquity and edge of our brand voices.
Apply

KRESUS
Digital Marketing Lead
Remote
“Unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor as the first person on the marketing team crafting and executing strategies for a company that will be hugely successful. Digital Marketing Qualifications / Skills: Previous experience in designing viral marketing strategies.Previous experience in working with influencers.Self-motivated yet customer-focused. Proficient in marketing research and statistical analysis. Highly creative with experience in identifying target audiences and devising digital campaigns that engage, inform, and motivate”
Apply

24 SEVEN
Web Ops Manager
Fulltime, Remote
Via Matthew in the community
“Our client, an ad agency, is looking for a Web Operations Manager to support their clients. This is a remote, full time role, 40 hours a week. Candidates must be US Citizens and local to the US. Web Operations Manager Responsibilities: Establish and own process on website tagging, tracking, and analytics, leveraging tools like Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. Ability to support a suite of technologies and applications such as WordPress, Unbounce, Zapier, and APIs. Monitor and maintain the operational readiness of all landing pages and microsites. Maintain and communicate web release calendars across internal development, production teams, and external vendors. Analyze operational data from platforms to optimize tracking. Project manage critical and accelerated projects”
Apply

VIMEO
Sr. Director of Marketing Operations
New York, NY
Via William in the community
“The Sr. Director of Marketing Operations is a critical role on our global marketing team, and a significant contributor for overall revenue and customer experience.   We are looking for a strong leader to build a best in class marketing operations function and help us to drive scale  and optimization through marketing technology (across email, web and media). The ideal candidate has worked across Product led growth (self-service) and traditional B2B demand generation. Is a leader who has built and integrated a wide range of different marketing technology platforms, and has a strong program management background.You have also driven the consolidation and streamlining of marketing platforms through an M&A function to bring diverse systems together into one. You will lead and grow our marketing technology team and drive innovation and optimization through marketing technology, processes and internal systems. This role is a great opportunity for a strategic, technology, and data-driven leader who is comfortable in a fast-paced and fast-growth environment where cross-team collaboration is mission critical.”
Apply

NORDSON
Global Product Marketing Manager
United Kingdom
Via Nadine in the community
“We are looking for a Global Product Marketing Manager to join our driven and innovative team in Aylesbury. As Global Product Marketing Manager you will develop effective marketing strategies for our Test & Inspection division to communicate the features and benefits of our Nordson’s products to our customers and create demand for our products and services. You will perform market research on trending products and develop sales tools to communicate the vision and value of our products and to create unique selling points for all new products. In this role you will travel up to 25% globally.”
Apply

Also, check out the Serial Marketers job board.

Other job resources (see a full list here):

  • Beeler.Tech: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
  • Braintrust: A freelance platform where you are the owner and where freelance talent keeps 100% of the bill rate.
  • Candidate: Featured marketing and sales jobs
  • ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
  • Hearty: Get recommended by peers and be discovered
  • Hue: Amplifying voices of people in color working in marketing
  • Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
  • NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
  • #OpenToWork: There’s a channel in Serial Marketers where you can share what you’re looking for
  • Pocit: A platform connecting people of color with jobs in the tech industry
  • Questions to Ask for a Marketing Role: What questions should you ask when starting a new marketing role or job?
  • Serial Marketers Job Board: Post regular and featured listings and subscribe for updates.
  • Venwise: Submit your job interests here and get in front of their roster of hiring leads; select “Serial Marketers” under “How did you find us”

Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I’ll share them.

————————————————–
OUR PARTNER: REFIND
————————————————–


Get smarter every day.
Every day Refind picks 7 links from around the web
that make you smarter, tailored to your interests.
Loved by 50k+ curious minds.
Subscribe now.

————————————————-
OFFERS
————————————————-

Below are offers extended to the Serial Marketers community. To share your own or access the Premium member discounts, review membership options here.

SURVIVAL: This 90-day transformation program takes consumer-facing brands from nobody to superstar with influencer marketing (or you don’t pay). It’s the most no-brainer way to try creator-driven growth especially if you’re bleeding money on Facebook ads. Premium members get a 10% off their 3-month done-for-you program. Speak with Yash to see if you qualify for the first cohort.

GPO: Generate at least 20% more organic traffic. Doing a strong job in SEO but wonder if more traffic can be had? GPO will custom-build an AWS instance that will become a subdomain of your site, and generate at least 20% more traffic the first year. Contact Cory Cox in the community to redeem.

ContactSmarter: ContactSmarter is an AI tool that generates over 40% call booking rates without requiring human intervention. More details.

Markman Speaker Management: Get 15% off the half-day customized virtual training session “Get Speaking Engagements” for individuals or corporate staff through Dec. 31, 2022. Contact Steve Markman to redeem.

Thece: Get 10% off their Getting Started Kit — just let them know Serial Marketers sent you.

FocusedFounder
Get 5% back on any bookings of the FocusGrowth, and ReFocus plan. To receive your rebate, please contact me after you book the course.

My Software Tutor
My Software Tutor is offering all Excel and PPT courses through December 2021 at 50% off listed price. Learn the practical skills you need to succeed. Use promo code: SERIAL50. This code can be shared with friends and family. Register today on the MST website.

ReverseAds
Get 10% discounts on campaigns. ReverseAds reverses the search ad process, outperforming Google at a fraction of the cost. To redeem, contact Thom Feltz by email.

Northarc Media
Marc Lefton is offering brands a free one-hour consultation on your media mix to show how you can integrate programmatic. For agencies, you can get a free one-hour consultation on how to add programmatic to your service offerings. To redeem, contact Marc by email.

Secret
Sign up and use the promo code SERIALMARKETERS to get 20% off on any membership plan. Membership enables you to access all deals with unlimited usage. One deal should more than pay for itself.

Marpipe
Create an account and start a 7-day free trial for $125 in ad spend credit toward your first experiment with this multivariate testing platform. Redeem here. (Premium members get $175 in credit with a custom code)

Copysmith
Following a 7-day trial of this AI-powered marketing tool to generate ads, product descriptions, and more, use code SERIALMARKETERS for 35% off any plan for 3 months (premium subscribers get 50% off for 4 months).

Comments to: OKRs & the Freedom to Fail

Your email address will not be published.

Want to get all the updates in your inbox?

Want to get all the updates in your inbox?

Get the Serial Marketer Weekly​

Categories

Archives

Join our community that brings global marketers together!

Join our community that brings global marketers together!

Every month, dozens of others join and add to the success stories of professionals who find business partners, save time vetting technologies, meet inspiring people, and learn new ideas that help them further excel in their roles and careers.