Earlier this week I presented at the Inbound 2013 conference. I was part of a trio of marketing leaders including Jeanne Hopkins and Keith “KC” Lincoln who spoke about how to do an extreme makeover of your marketing – going from a traditional organization to a modern, inbound organization. My particular portion of the session focused on how to build the ultimate “rock band” where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I shared how we assembled the Ninja team at SmartBear Software.
What is a Ninja Marketer?
The Ninjas are individuals who have a T-shaped profile. They have a very broad understanding of marketing, but they also possess deep expertise and knowledge in a particular functional area in modern marketing. Everyone has a super power and a Ninja is good at leveraging their deep-rooted super power to help the organization move forward.
These Ninjas are also dual-citizens – a term I borrowed from NYTimes columnist, Adam Bryant. Dual Citizens are individuals who are great marketing citizens but also corporate citizens, the strive do focus on doing their job with the bigger picture and goals of the overall organization in mind. At SmartBear our Ninjas are chartered with driving MQLs (marketing qualified leads, for the uninitiated) with the vision of shepherding the organization towards its revenue goals.
What drives a Ninja Team?
Great culture is built on shared values. The following are the values that represent the spirit of the Ninja but they can be interpreted in multiple ways. Below I’ve shared one or two interpretations of each value.
- Awareness – Honing your senses to what goes on around you and in your domain. Being aware of the big picture.
- Think Scale – Always consider ways to do things efficiently so we are not re-inventing the wheel.
- Test & Measure Everything – Avoid hubris and always try to improve things by testing.
- Action – Always be shipping something.
- Communicate – Be Transparent. Sharing with others is key to building trust and keeping everyone aware.
- Keep it Simple – Avoid analysis paralysis. If there is a simpler way to do something, most often that’s better.
What is the Path of the Ninja?
Coming to the point, the path of the ninja is one of self improvement. It is goal oriented, and mission driven.
- Self Improvement – It is all about being an incrementally better you, doing an incrementally better job at something, learning about yourself and growing in the process.
- Goal Oriented – Make sure you are incrementally inching towards goals. It really helps you focus. Don’t be a wandering “Ronin”, be a Ninja.
- Mission Driven – Your day to day work should be broken into Ninja missions. Your bite-sized missions add up to help you reach your goals. These are the baby-steps that will help you along the path of self-improvement.
Our vision is this blog will help you along your path to being a Ninja of some sort. Thanks for reading and good luck on your way!