Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

July 25, 2019

Katrina OlsonBy Katrina Olson

How would you describe your marketing team? Is it an army of one or significantly understaffed? Are your marketing people overworked and underpaid? Are they struggling because they’re underqualified or undertrained?

As more and more distributors and manufacturers rethink how they use technology, people and processes to change the way they do business (i.e., “digital transformation”), digital marketing is no longer optional. And it is too complicated and time-consuming for one person to learn and manage.

Should you build your team first, then ramp up as quickly as possible? Do you start by training your existing marketing staff or do you hire new people—or some combination of both? Do you outsource, use freelancers, or hire temporary staff? Or (my favourite), do you steal them from other industries?

It’s enough to make your head explode.

In recent years, technology has made it easier to quantify the effects of marketing expenditures, but marketing is still not pure science. It’s experience, judgment, intuition, acumen, planning, technology, and of course, art. That’s a tall order that probably can’t be filled by only one person.

As marketing becomes more multi-faceted, it takes a strong team — even if that team starts with just a few people. It starts with a marketing leader who can articulate and achieve a vision, is ambitious enough to learn and grow, and knows how to find and hire people with the right skill sets.

Qualities of a strong marketing leader

Leading a marketing department in 2019 is much more difficult than it was ten, or even five, years ago. Today’s marketing leaders need a unique and broad set of personal and practical skills.

A strong marketing leader is

• relationship-driven to ensure trust and cooperation among department leaders, internal clients, and the marketing team

• customer-driven and able to keep the marketing team focused on the customer at all times

• an effective delegator, involving everyone on the team based on their strengths, which also helps them manage projects efficiently

• a big-picture, strategic thinker with a vision for the future who effectively communicates that vision to their team

• decisive without overthinking a situation or overworking a problem, and occasionally able to use their intuition and experience to make decisions without knowing all of the information

• passionate about the company, its products, and what they do, and inspiring to others who are working toward the same goals

• innovative about attracting, maintaining, and growing customers

A marketing leader must also possess practical skills, such as

• being familiar with digital technology, including current platforms and tools

• paying attention to market and marketing trends to plan for the future

• being able to formulate and execute marketing plans

The marketing department’s job is to support the organization’s goals using all the tools at its disposal. Therefore, marketing leaders must also be business people who understand sales, operations, and finance so they can speak to other company leaders in their language when necessary to set goals, manage projects, and resolve conflicts.

Add in some courage to face obstacles, determination to push through trying times, tenacity to defend your recommendations, and patience when the wheels turn too slowly.

Qualities of a strong marketing team

Marketing leaders must build a team of highly competent specialists to manage the ever-growing channels, opportunities, and activities associated with digital transformation. The company, the marketing department, and individual team members will all benefit from the following:

• clearly defined (supportive) roles. Team members have clearly defined roles and responsibilities and know what is expected of them, but ideally can cover for one another as needed.

• strong internal and external communication. Marketing communicates effectively within its department, with other departments, and with customers, vendors, and the media. As a result, questions are answered, feedback is shared, deadlines are met, and goals are achieved.

• a culture of knowledge sharing. Team member document their processes and knowledge, easing transitions when team members are promoted or leave the company. Staff are cross-trained and team-oriented; they share what they learn at workshops, conferences, and classes.

• mutual respect and trust. Team members are valued for the unique contributions. They feel acknowledged and respected; they trust each other and hold each other accountable (in a good way). They’re able to set aside differences and manage conflicts, in a positive environment.

• adaptability. Marketers learn new strategies, tactics, and platforms to adjust to the rapid speed at which technology is changing marketing tools and processes. They’re constantly learning—often by trial and error—and their bosses understand experimentation and mistakes are part of the learning process.

• clearly defined goals and expectations. Expectations and goals for the team’s work are clearly defined and understood by both employees and managers before any project begins. Goals are S.M.A.R.T.—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive.

• revenue-focus and accountability. To demonstrate how marketing directly impacts revenue and to encourage collaboration, marketing shares accountability with the sales department, going beyond metrics like brand value and impressions, which are no longer enough to validate marketing’s efforts.

• customer focus. As the voice of the customer, marketing shares insights that inform corporate strategy. Marketing helps identify market opportunities, relays customer expectations, and demonstrates the value the company and its products provide to customers. 

Okay, now that you know how a strong marketing team operates, you’re probably wondering what this marketing dream team looks like?

Your marketing “dream team”

I’ve used a version of this information in many presentations and training sessions, but I recently updated it to reflect a more digital-savvy team. Following are the key roles that must be covered to create a highly functioning marketing team:

Marketing Dream Team

• Director/VP — develops marketing strategy and plan, manages budget, aligns marketing plans to business goals, manages staff

• Communications Manager — supports Director/VP, develops execution plans and manages marketing/PR efforts, leads persona/profile development

• Communications Specialist — writes content for digital, social, and traditional media including advertising, marketing and PR content

• Art Director/Graphic Designer — monitors visual brand identity to ensure consistency across all media/platforms, designs marketing materials

• Webmaster — maintains integrity and security of website, ensures functionality, manages relationships with service providers

• Digital Marketing Manager — manages company’s digital marketing efforts, builds and executes digital campaigns, monitors and reports on results

• Social Media Manager — manages company’s social presence, builds and executes social campaigns, monitors and reports on results

• Research Analyst/Business Intelligence (BI) Specialist — manages research, monitors market and industry trends, collects and analyzes data

• Database/CRM Manager — supervises implementation, manages permissions and security, ensures participation, maintains cleanliness

As you build your team, think of these as roles or skill sets rather than individual employees. By hiring smart, you can find candidates who can serve two or three roles. Or, if you already have employees with potential, you can train them to assume additional roles. And if you can’t hire or train, consider outsourcing a few responsibilities. No matter how you do it, it’s time to start building your digital-savvy marketing dream team.

Katrina Olson is a marketing consultant, trainer/coach, speaker, columnist, and content developer. She also helps companies build high-performing marketing teams. Katrina is the host of the Market Boldly podcast available on iTunes, Google Play, and at KatrinaOlson.com. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via her website at www.katrinaolson.com.

Nexans Webinar - Key 2021 Electrical Code Changes Impacting Wire and Cable

Nexans Free WebinarJoin NEXANS for a free webinar with Isaac Müller, Applications Engineer for Nexans as he reviews and discusses the changes to the 2021 Canadian Electrical Code related to wire and cable. This free webinar will take place Wed, Jan 27, 2021 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST.

This webinar includes:
- Updated rules to protect cables (12-514,12-516)
- New conditions of use for wire & cable (Table 19)
- An opportunity to ask your questions

 


Click here to register today.


Pandemic StudyThe year 2020 was filled with surprises. One of them was business solvency.

Insolvencies were down by almost one-third year over year during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and were relatively stable in the third quarter. At the height of this century’s previous economic shocks, insolvencies rose by 10% or more. A new study looks at insolvencies during the largest economic upheaval of our lifetime.

 

 

 

Read More


 

Douglas BaldwinBy John Kerr

My father asked me to lunch one day and told me he wanted very much to meet with someone in the electrical industry who meant a lot to him, and whose friendship he wanted to share with me. This lunch, in 1982, was with Doug Baldwin.

As lunch progressed, I discovered these men shared many bonds after having met years before in Winnipeg. Doug was with Federal Pioneer at that time, my father with Triangle Conduit & Cable. It seems they hit it off and my father’s wry sense of humour was trumped only by Doug’s. 

Read More

 

Wholesale Sales - November 2020Wholesale sales grew for the seventh consecutive month in November — up 0.7% to an all-time high of $67.4 billion. Five of seven subsectors reported stronger sales, led by the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector and the building material and supplies subsector. Notably, the increase reflects higher domestic sales of Canadian goods, as both imports and exports of key commodities fell in November.

Wholesale trade volumes increased 0.9% in November.

 

 

Read More


 

 

Sean BernardBy Sean Bernard

Last year was like none other and one that we all hope never to endure again. The impact on our personal and professional lives has been dramatic, simultaneously universal and unique to each of us.

We have all heard about and experienced the heartache of not spending time with and not celebrating milestones with our extended families, not being able to take those planned vacations, and having to deal with the stresses and challenges of virtual learning with our kids.

 

Read More


 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
Driven by ever increasing level of sales approaching $6.25 billion dollars across the expanding ...
Signify Canada has announced David Grinstead, Market Leader, Canada, Signify will retire at the end ...
Bartle & Gibson has announced that Greg Stephenson has officially joined the ...
Sean Bernard and Heather Jackson continue their progression through IDEAL Canada's leadership ...
Teledyne Technologies Incorporated and FLIR Systems, Inc.jointly announced that they have entered ...
What will it mean for Canada when Joe Biden officially becomes president of the United States of ...
Sonepar Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Roger Gray as Texcan Ontario’s new Branch ...
Westburne Canada has announced the appointment of Rick Di Danieli to the role of Director, ...
Halco Lighting Technologies, a lighting manufacturer with a portfolio of lighting solutions ...
 

 

Martin Stephenson Signify Canada has announced David Grinstead, Market Leader, Canada, Signify will retire at the end of the month. "We thank David for his contributions, passion and dedication to the company and industry," said the company via press release.

Martin Stephenson will take on the Market Leader, Canada role in addition to his current position as Head of North American Systems & Services at Signify. He reports to Kevin Poyck, Market Group Leader, Americas.

 

 

 

Read More


 

Greg StephensonBartle & Gibson has announced that Greg Stephenson has officially joined the Electrical Supply Division (ESD) of the AD Canada Electrical Divisional Board effective January 4th, 2021.

Greg is the Senior Vice President Electrical at Bartle & Gibson, based in Edmonton, Alberta. He is now entering his 27th year in the Electrical Industry and he originally began his career working for another proud AD Member, McLoughlan Supplies Ltd in St, John’s NL. During his career, Greg has also worked for many key suppliers such as, Eaton, Thomas & Betts and Siemens.

 

 

Read More


 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
Ariane Cardinal is Director of Planning, Purchasing, and Distribution with Stelpro.   ...
Following Groupe Stelpro’s recent acquisition of floor heating system manufacturer Flextherm, Yves ...
Electrimat is an independent Quebec-owned company that has specialized for 40 years in the ...
In July, Eaton announced that Vice President, Channel – Electrical Sector, Matt Cleary would be ...
Mission Technical Solutions is a recently established sales agency founded by industry veteran ...
Omid Nadi, Trade Marketing Manager with Ledvance, is a Ryerson University grad coming out of their ...

Ariane CardinalBy Blake Marchand

Ariane Cardinal is Director of Planning, Purchasing, and Distribution with Stelpro. Ariane owns a bachelor’s degree in Engineering, although she said, “I always knew, when I was doing engineering, that I wanted to have a career more oriented towards management.”

After earning her degree, she did an internship with a company in the gas industry based out of Paris, France, which is where she was introduced to supply chain management. Ariane noted she was interested in the problem-solving aspects of supply chain, which meshed well with her engineering background. 

Read More


 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2021 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil