May 28, 2024
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Enterprise Solutions Marketing: You can make a big career, and still stay human (podcast episode #99)


I connected with Marco Mueller, CMO, AVEVA for the latest episode of How I Made It In Marketing. Listen now as he shares what he’s learned about strategic marketing leadership, building customer trust, and leadership beyond hierarchy in his career.

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

Enterprise Solutions Marketing: You can make a big career, and still stay human (podcast episode #99)

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I like to call it blandvertising. I’m sure you’ve read it and heard it before.

There are words. Lots of them. They fill a space – in an ad, on a landing page, in a press release, maybe even in a keynote presentation.

You’ve seen these words before if you’re in the target audience. Scalable. Leading. Agile. Enterprise-grade. Full-service. Data-driven. Cross-platform. Seamless.

They seem to say something, but you’re left walking away…not really understanding and certainly not believing anything at all.

I feel like my career is a battle against blandvertising. Which is why I loved this lesson in a recent podcast guest application – ‘marketing goes beyond buzzwords.’ Perhaps I found a fellow traveler on the journey.

So I sat down for an in-depth discussion with Marco Mueller, CMO, AVEVA.

AVEVA was a public company until it was acquired by Schneider Electric last year. Schneider Electric is a public company and reported 36 billion euros in revenue in 2023.

Mueller has had up to 800 people reporting to him in his career. Right now, his team is 250, but he says this is the most exciting job he’s ever had.

Listen to our conversation using this embedded player or click through to your preferred audio streaming service using the links below it.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on Amazon Music

Stories (with lessons) about what he made in marketing

Here are some lessons from Mueller that emerged in our discussion.

Leadership Is everywhere

Mueller believes that leadership isn't confined to HR but should permeate all aspects of a business. Success, for him, goes beyond building integrated platforms or increasing brand awareness. It's about creating a team where colleagues genuinely enjoy their experience and gain valuable insights. Leadership is not connected to a function – you don’t have to be C-suite or VP to be a leader. Leadership is a skill to build over time in any job you do.

The best leadership is when people trust and follow you voluntarily because they trust you and believe in you, rather than hierarchical power. Hierarchy is not leadership, that’s management.  And leadership is not the same as management – not connected to position. It’s an attitude – if you’re a real leader, you integrate people, earn their trust, you lead because of competence and skills, empathy, personality. But not hierarchical order.

Enabling people to show up with their own voice. An old boss of his would say, “If I do my job right as a leader, I surround myself with people that are smarter than myself.” As a leader, you should make people feel empowered and supported, not suppressed.

Marketing goes beyond buzzwords

Mueller acknowledges that terms like ‘ESG’ can be elusive to many and anticipates that AI might be the next buzzword, emphasizing the need to redefine our understanding for practical implementation. Ideally you are a strategic driver to the business. You don’t just do brands, campaigns and events. You’re on the forefront to understand the customer and know where the customer goes in the future.

How do we drive expansion in countries and industries? Marketing should be on the forefront, make the company make the right decisions. Great marketing people have a deep understanding of the business. They’re not marketing experts.

Trust is earned, not given

Recognizing that marketing is a trust game, Mueller emphasizes the importance of understanding customers on a deep level.

Lessons (with stories) from people he collaborated with

Mueller also shared lessons he learned from the people he collaborated with.

Trust is earned in drops and lost in buckets

via Bill McDermott, CEO, ServiceNow

Mueller worked at SAP when McDermott was CEO, and later at ServiceNow when McDermott was CEO there as well. He still takes the well-known saying from McDermott to heart in everything he does in his career.

You can make a big career, and still stay human

via Jonathan Becher, former CMO, SAP

This lesson is from Mueller’s boss’ boss’ boss. It was Mueller’s first leadership job, and this leader came to Mueller’s market and not everything went perfectly well. The way Becher supported them in a large company and empowered them and made the whole team feel valued even though things were stressful and didn’t work well, was inspiring. In these positions, you have a lot of pressure (CMO of SAP).

He took extra time – they were a young team, learning phase, but he saw potential! A super inspiring leader who had humility. Mueller drew on this experience; this leader was a role model. Mistakes happen, but it's how you handle it. Fix it as much as possible and don’t get discouraged because mistakes happen. Massive learning for Mueller – Becher showed no matter your level, you can stay human and have a general personality and culture to empower people. Mueller kept him as a mentor throughout his whole career.

Here's a bit more about the specific story. When Mueller was VP and Head of Marketing for SAP Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet countries), he invited Becher to Moscow. At the time Becher was the CMO, SAP was the third-largest software company in the world.

The trip started to go awry when a public event in Moscow caused intense traffic jams. The team couldn’t get a helicopter since they were reserved for Russian officials. Becher asked if there were any other options, and Mueller mentioned the Moscow subway, but said it would be hot (no air conditioning) and immensely crowded.

To Mueller’s surprise, Becher had no problem taking the Moscow subway all over the city to make several appointments, and even lauded Mueller for his ability to find a solution in a difficult predicament.

Confidence is everything

In Mueller’s first trip running LATAM marketing for a global company and specifically running marketing for Peru, there was an intern in Lima waiting at the office for Mueller. He told Mueller, “I’m in an intern and would really appreciate 10 minutes with you. The company has only been here two months. There is a lot of potential, but we don’t understand the Peruvian market.”

He brought to Mueller’s attention solid and relevant topics for the market. It was fascinating that he had the guts to do that and took the initiative. He wasn’t even hired but had ideas and wanted to be an active part of this. He was very self-confident but went about it in a respectful way, not rude.

Discussed in this episode

Innovation Leadership and Coaching: You should almost always do less than you think (podcast episode #46)

Customer-First Marketing Strategy: The highest of the five levels of marketing maturity

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Marco Mueller: And of course, it is also an aspect and a skill that you learn over time how to manage the complexity of very large organizations. Right. So it's super important to have that, but leadership to me is something different.

Leadership to me is more an attitude. And I think you can have you can show leadership skills even early in your career because leadership has a lot to do with. Are you able to integrate people? Are you able to build trust? Are you able to inspire people so that they follow you not because you're on top of their hierarchically and not because you decide on their bonuses, but simply because they trust you.

They get inspired by you. they, they really also, believe in, in the kind of vision or the message that, that you deliver. It has a lot to do with empathy. It has a lot to do with your personality. And also that you, during your career, not only develop your skills in the job, but that you also ideally develop your personality.

Intro: Welcome to how I made it in marketing. From marketing Sherpa, we scour pitches from hundreds of creative leaders and uncover specific examples, not just trending ideas or buzzword laden schmaltz. Real world examples to help you transform yourself as a marketer. Now here's your host, the senior director of Content and Marketing at Marketing Sherpa, Daniel Bernstein, to tell you about today's guest and.

Daniel Burstein: I like to call.

It bland fertilizing. I'm sure you've read it and heard it before. There are words. Lots of them. They fill a space in an ad, on a landing page, in a press release, maybe even in a keynote presentation. You've seen these words before. If you're in the target audience. Words like scalable, leading, agile, enterprise grade, full service, data driven, cross-platform, seamless.

They seem to say something, but you're left walking away, not really understanding and certainly not believing anything at all. I feel like my career is a battle against bland vs tithing, which is why I love this lesson. In a recent podcast, guest application marketing goes beyond buzzwords. Perhaps I have found a fellow traveler on the journey, so here to share the story behind that lesson, along with many more lesson filled stories.

It's Marco Mueller, the CMO of a. Thanks for joining us, Marco.

Marco Mueller: Thanks for having me, Daniel. Great to be here.

Daniel Burstein: So just taking a quick look through your, illustrious career. Just cherry picking a bit here. We got that. You're a management consultant at Accenture. You've been a senior vice president and head of global field marketing at SAP. Senior vice president of global demand marketing for Service Now. And for the past year, you've been the chief marketing officer of Veeva.

Veeva was a public company until it was acquired by Schneider Electric last year. Schneider electric is a public company and reported €36 billion in revenue in 2023. And Marco has had up to 800 people reporting to him. But right now his team is 250 and he says is the most exciting job in his career. They've all been exciting, but this was the most exciting.

So I can't wait to unpack that entire career. but let me first ask you, Marco, what is your day like as CMO?

Marco Mueller: that's a good question. It's, honestly, it changes every week. But what I really try to do is I try to be out there as much as I can. I try to be out there as much as I can with customers. I try to be a lot in the field with our sales colleagues and of course with our teams across the globe.

So I travel a lot. I'm I'm on the road not every week, but I would say three out of four weeks of months. I'm on the road. And, I really try to stay very connected with our business, so I'm not much, I try to be as little as possible in, in just office spaces where we're just all together in our bubble.

I really try to be out there and have the feeling that I really understand what we're doing every day. I think that's very important for marketers to really be at the pulse of the business.

Daniel Burstein: That's great. Before we dive into some of your specific things, you mean stores? You mentioned something in the opening that I thought was really interesting I want to ask him more about. So I've talked to marketers who, you know, they've had private equity or VC investments. All right. Like what's that for the marketer? What's that interaction? I've talked to marketers who work at public companies or recently had an IPO.

And okay, now they're dealing with analysts in the street and boards and all these things. And what's that interaction with? But you have a really unique set up there with Aviva and Schneider Electric. I wonder if you could tell us about and what that means for your day as a marketer.

Marco Mueller: Yeah, we're we're wholly owned by Schneider's. We're part of the of the Schneider universe, but we're also an independent company. And, we're kind of the, the leading company for Schneider Software strategy, because Schneider is a fantastic partner for us. Right? It's a giant company that gives us a lot of additional opportunities.

But on the other side, it's also for my daily business. Schneider is is one of the many partners that I work work with.

Daniel Burstein: Nice. Well, let's take a look at some of the lessons you've learned from your career. At first you say leadership is everywhere. How did you learn this lesson and what does that mean? Everywhere?

Marco Mueller: what I mean with that is that it's really not depending on your hierarchical position, right? A lot of people, when they hear the term leadership, they connected with hierarchy positions. Right? So the higher you up in the hierarchy, the better leader you you are. and the more people that report to you or the bigger your budgets are, the bigger this is the leadership role.

And and my, my experience in my career is that that is not true. The hierarchical position is management. And of course it gives you a lot of responsibility if you if you run larger teams. And of course, it is also an aspect and the skill that you learn over time how to manage the complexity of very large organizations.

Right. So it's super important to have stuff, but leadership to me is something different. Leadership to me is more an attitude. And I think you can have you can show leadership skills even early in your career because leadership has a lot to do with. Are you able to integrate people? Are you able to build trust? Are you able to inspire people so that they follow you not because you're on top of their hierarchically and not because you decide on their bonuses, but simply because they trust you.

They get inspired by you. they, they really also, believe in, in the kind of vision or the message that, that you deliver. It has a lot to do with empathy. It has a lot to do with your personality. And also that you, during your career, not only develop your skills in the job, but that you also ideally develop your personality.

And that, to me, are the kind of core components for great leaders. And and in my career, I always got inspired and I'm still getting a lot inspired by executives, people where I see people that are just, you know, just look at and watch them and listen to them and think, wow, that is just amazing. That's inspiring.

That is really something that I want to be involved with.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah, I love that lesson. And I think, you know, management. Yeah, you can learn that in an MBA program maybe. And it's we call the hard skills. Right. But you're talking about those soft skills and different people I think innately were born with them and were not born with them. And many of them still want to be, you know, high level leaders in an organization.

So can you think of a specific example of how, with a team, you showed that empathy or you built that trust to actually be a leader? to, for example, when I interviewed Jake, what's vice president of marketing at PDI, one of his lessons was leadership happens outside the boardroom. Why? Empathy is a greatest hidden competitive advantage in an organization.

And he told me he learned from cane months and someone he learned from. And he told the story of how Monson reacted to the death of the son of one of his team members and how, like the leadership, I mean, that's something outside of, you know, up according to the street, right, or management or all these things. But that really helped, you know, build the team like that, that crisis.

And and seeing that leadership from him. So I wonder, Marcus, do you have an example of how, you know, I love how you mentioned not just management, how you've like, taken on a leadership mantle with a team and built that trust with them and showed that empathy with them.

Marco Mueller: Yeah, I think one of the one of the biggest, experiences in my career was when I took over my first really bigger management job when I took over Russia, together with 11 other countries in the in the former Soviet Union area, for SAP as a marketing leader and I was sent there because they wanted somebody from outside to build up a kind of an infrastructure that they didn't have.

And so I came to Russia in 2012 and has never been there before. So the first time that I entered the country was for this job, and I didn't speak the language, I couldn't even read acrylic, alphabets. So I couldn't even read the street names in Moscow at that time, they didn't have that many English street, signs.

And I came there as a complete stranger, literally. and even though it's just a two hour flight from Vienna, I'm Austrian, so it is, it is geographically really close. But I grew up in the Cold War, and I grew up in this generation. So when I was a teenager, Russia was far away because it was the Soviet Union and it was a place you like average people didn't travel to.

And so I had very, very little knowledge about the real Russian circumstances and how how life is there and the business culture and anything. And so the truth is, I was completely dependent in the first time on other people. Right? They could have they could have done a lot of things to me. My own team could have just, you know, I don't know, let me run into all the mistakes that you can make.

And, and so, I, I realized that pretty fast and I wasn't that experienced in managing teams. And so I when I came there, I realized, oh, wow. what have you done? Like, you should have maybe started twice before you ever do it because I was so excited. The job is fantastic. It was a super fast growing market in those years.

It actually became, over time, the third largest market for ESP in those years. it was it was just an amazing opportunity. And so I just took it without thinking much. And then when I arrived there after like 2 or 3 weeks, I thought, wow, so I'm going to do this now. I, I really was a little bit like clueless how I'm going to manage that, because I realized I really don't know anything about this country.

And then, what I decided to do is I really just decided to, to not seek anything, but just be with my team and, you know, like, just be very open about the fact that I think I can share with them a lot of skills that I have, and I can connect them a lot with a, a lot of things outside of Russia.

And I think I can help them a lot to gain a lot of visibility also within the larger SAP, network. And then also, you know, like establish things in Russia that we believe are super important for the business, but that I really need their help and that I really rely on them and that I really that I give them all the trust in the world.

and, you know, I openly communicated that and I simply decided I spent a lot of time with them. I talk one on ones every day with most of my, my, my team members. We had tons of meetings. I, I tried to build immediate like relationship with all the sales leaders, etc. but I just showed up as myself and I didn't pretend to be a hero that knows everything and comes from the great Western world and can just teach them how to do it.

And it worked out super well. It was. It was maybe one of the most exciting times in my life. It was definitely one of the most career defining times in my life, because I think I had a learning curve that was immense. I was there nearly three years and, I my memories are just fantastic. I had a fantastic time and the relationship with the team, and not only with my team, but with the overall team there.

It was close, like family. It was really fantastic.

Daniel Burstein: Wow, that's amazing too, because you also got to think, what were they thinking in their heads? Who's this guy coming over from Austria? What are you going to do to us? The fact that you were able to come in humbly, that's that's awesome. all right, let's talk about this next. Awesome, I love it. I mentioned in the opening, marketing goes beyond buzzwords.

I love it because, I mean, we've all heard the buzzwords, right? But so we're at marketing Sherpa, we get pitched articles, the case studies all the time. We get pitched, you know, podcast guests like, here all the time and some of it just breaks down to it's like buzzword, noun, verb, brand name, buzzword, buzzword, buzzword, product name, buzzword.

You know, it doesn't actually communicate anything. It's just using. Okay, here are the trending buzzwords. Let's throw that in. Even if it doesn't have anything to do with our scalable. Like let's just throw that on there, right? What the heck does that even mean? They never really get into the specifics. So what do you mean by this? Marketing goes beyond buzzwords.

And how have you fought buzzwords in your career?

Marco Mueller: It goes beyond buzzwords because, I honestly, I think, we live in a world of complete over communication and, you know, like one thing that we have that everybody in our in our daily life, we have way too much is information and data and stuff that is that is like we're completely it's like an avalanche that comes on you day by day.

And so I think that, the biggest art in marketing is to really, to really find that, that super smart balance of talking about for your I mean, in our business, which is a B2B business, like, we really need to understand what really matters to our customers and to our future customers and how do they talk and what's really important for them.

And, you know, sometimes it is one of the big trends that they really want to talk about right now. But sometimes it's also things that maybe go go deeper than that or maybe not. So, so fancy in the, in the global news at the moment, but it's still super important to them. Right. And so to me it's like that's why I that's why I dedicate so much of my time really being out there.

Because I think we really need to understand what really drives our customers, because our job in software, our job is to make our customers more successful. You know, it's not about us, it's about the customer. It's about their profitability targets, their sustainability targets, their growth targets. It's about, you know, helping them being more successful and fixing and fixing issues.

They house. And so I think, just throwing around buzzwords and jumping on trends is very tempting because you can make wonderful campaigns out of fantastic buzzwords. But I think there should be more to marketing than this. And the other aspect of that, that that I combine with this also internally within the organization, this is my 24th year in the job, and I have seen, honestly, in all these 24 years, I've only seen two core models of marketing in the tech world.

One is marketing is a pure service organization, and it's kind of an agency model. So you have some marketing to has events to have a brand, to have campaigns to house things that are mostly focused on the execution part. And that's super important. Of course, that's a big part of the marketing job. But the other, positioning of marketing that I massively believe in, and that is not so common, is that marketing is really seen and positioned and has earned a seat on the table to really be a part of the strategic, mindset of the company and one of the teams that really sits on the table to make the decisions on, hey, how

do we develop our company, how do we grow our company? what is our, how do we really understand our customers and our market? where do we go in the future, etc.? This is really strategic partner on both sides to the to the sales side and the business side and the company, but also to the product and the development side.

And that I think is a huge opportunity for marketing. And it's a huge opportunity for companies to position marketing for that and to use marketing for that, because marketing, if you think about an org chart of a company marketing to me sits exactly in the center of the company, because if we do our job right, we work with all the other parts of the organization all the time.

We need to have marketing people that really understand product and work super close with the product team. We need to have people that that are super massively integrated and has ideally a joint go to market with the sales side. I need people that really understand data inside out and really are massively supporting the company with insights not only of existing customers, but especially also for the future target markets and so on and so on.

And so, you know, to really make use of all these aspects and facets of marketing, if you if you do that and if a company is willing to do that and willing to invest in that, I think marketing can be a massively powerful, ally within the company that goes way beyond the classic, oh, it's about brand and it's about, digital campaigns and it's about like, you know, the classic things that everybody connects with marketing.

Again, those are also super important. And you need to have execution excellence. Of course. But I think there's much more behind that.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah. Let's let's talk about that seat at the table. Okay. Do you have any specific examples of how you've put the customer first or helped an organization put the customer first with that seat at the table? Because, I mean, I think marketing's role in an organization, at least one of the roles is to be an advocate for the customer.

And I guess we're not going to be I don't know who's going to be right. And I loved how you said when I said how you spend your day. You're out there visiting customers. When I've written before about the levels of marketing maturity to me, the highest level of marketing maturity is customer first marketing, right at the base.

It's things like incentives, right? Let's let's bribe them to buy something. We don't know what to do. Or my gosh, cold email spam, cold calling, telemarketing. I don't know what to do. I'm just going to email and call as many people as I can as possible, and hopefully they'll they'll sign up for this. And so I like when you say about more control there because to your point, I've seen some times these beautiful flowcharts of how everything's going to run and stuff, and I'm like, what is the heart of the campaign?

How does this benefit the customer? How does this put the customer first? And I think that is ultimately the highest level of marketing maturity. But it is hard because there's often a trade off, you know, they're the easy calls and either way, right. But then there's those jump balls. It's a trade off where the company wants or needs something in the short term, whether that's leads or whether that's, you know, they got gotta look good to the street this quarter, whatever it is.

And sometimes that comes at the expense of the customer. So it's hard to do the right thing for the customer, even though that builds a sustainable long term growth of the company. So in your experience, Marco, having that seat at the table, being in those rooms, being in those boardrooms, you don't have to name names. But do you have any examples of like how you were able to advocate and put the customer first?

And maybe it was a difficult situation for the business.

Marco Mueller: To do that? Well, maybe. Let me give you let me give you examples of of real, very established marketing tactics where I think you can you can use them massively to do that. If you think about account based marketing, right? I mean, the core focus in most companies is count based marketing is you say, oh, I have these platinum customers, or I have this top list of strategic customers, whatever you want to call them.

And I want to I want to focus on them because, you know, this is this is the core of our business. There's a lot of up and cross-sell there. And we need to build out this relationship and we need to stay relevant for them, etc.. Now, you can do that in a way that you simply that you simply have this internal mindset and you sit together and you think, okay, how much growth do we want with this customers and how much, you know, like, what are the core areas that we could do more business with, etc..

And you and you developed together, with, with the sales team you developed these kind of strategic plans and tried to market them to the customers. But what you can also do is did you really partner with those customers? Did you really go out there and, you know, for software, for example, if you have large customers, they have a huge interest that you integrate them into your own development, that you integrate them into.

Like what? What is it that you really need in the future? What is it that really is impactful for you? what is it? For example, we have, we have a super incent in our on our trend strategy in Aviva, for example, our platform strategy like you know, and the platform is an always expanding ecosystem. Right. So what is it that customers really need in this expansion of this ecosystem that really helps them?

So what we do with account based marketing, and what I did also in my past jobs is that we work with the customers. So, so these account based teams, they work together with the customers and that that goes in all direction that ends up in that we we literally have done joint events with the customers on their campus, with their staff, and we work on projects together with their stuff.

And in the beginning of this project, we accepted totally that we invest a lot of time and effort without doing immediate business on that or without immediately having a pipeline target on that. But really, this is also like to build out the super strong relationship with the customer, because in the end, what do you want to be ideally in the software business for customers?

You want to be a strategic partner of a customer. You want a customer to really see you as a friend is the wrong word. But but as as a as somebody that is really massively, positively impactful for their business and that they want to work with you. Not that they has to work with you. I think that's a that's a huge differentiator.

that's one example. The other one example which which I also mentioned, because it's very tangible. Most people, when they think about marketing, they see events and they see advertising. Those are usually the two aspects that more or less everybody sees for marketing, doesn't matter what they do in their daily lives. And so from an events like for example, we tried or not tried, we have event series where you go to this event, you see maybe 1 or 2 from our guys on stage or leading stuff, and the rest is customers.

So what we love to do is and, you know, like it's the most interesting for other customers to hear existing customers talk about how they work with us and do that really transparently. Also really talk about, listen, we love what they do here and there in this area. We really need to to adjust. We really need to we're working on expanding that or perfection izing that, etc..

So, so honestly, that's to me building trust internally and actually is to me a very similar thing. You have to be authentic. You have to really show that you really care and that you really are here for the success internally. You as a as a leader, you need to show to your team that you are the that a big part of your job is to make them successful and give them an environment where they can be at their best.

And I think on the customer side, it's the same. If a customer realizes and feels and sees that you are really there for them, and not only for your own profits. I, this is not just a nice to have and the morally right thing to do. I think this is the biggest business opportunity you have because these relationships then they're really strategic and they go really deep and they go, well, it's a long.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah. And you mentioned, trust is earned, not given. Those are good examples of that. Like how else have you learned this in your career?

Marco Mueller: That trust is earned. Well, did you have to you know, it's not, you know, I remember that when I started my career, coming back to that, that I think we're both generation X, right? And generation X, when you were at university in the 90s, I, you know, I was in business school, so in business school, and, I started mostly in Europe, but I also had a scholarship in the US.

And it was, of course, super exciting because it wasn't that common in those years, like having a scholarship from Ulster in the US in the 90s was a big deal. and so I remember that when I was in business school in the US, it was all about, What is the like? You know, it was it was the Times of Wall Street was a big movie and, you know, like, just as just do it.

And everything was growing in the 90s were a huge hype in the Western world. Right? The whole decade was just about growth and everything getting better and everything getting bigger. And so it was there was a lot about, strategies of of how to quadruple your profits and your revenues super fast. And what are the what are the industries where you can earn the most money and stuff like that?

And then when I started my job, I, I realized for me pretty fast that, you know, like, of course you're in business to be successful. And of course, success in business is measured a lot with money and with profitability and with growth. But to me, there's also another currency in business and in life, and that's trust.

And we spent so much of our time in the job that I think it would be a really sad life is. I feel that I am a different person in my job and I cannot grow. I can only grow personally outside my job because inside my job, I have to be a different person and I have to to just focus on money or profitability.

And so what I learned early analysis or what I saw in the leaders that that I found most inspiring, is those people that, showed you that you can also combine growing and a job with growing your personality. And one of the biggest things in life and in the job is that you understand how you really build relationships and trust.

And one of the key things there is that that is a long term thing. You know, trust is built over a long term, and it's lost super fast. So you should really always if you have to make tough decisions. I really think that it's a smart thing in your life in general to sometimes don't go for a short win.

If it kills trust, then it's it ruins relationships.

Daniel Burstein: I like I like what you're saying and is build long term, but still many marketing roles don't last that long now. So I wonder if you forgot to like, how do you balance that? You've got to come in in a short amount of time and have trust, both from your leadership and your team, with knowing that sometimes it's here 18 months, like not a long duration, maybe not to for you, but for the people you're working with.

Like, is there any tactics that you've picked up to, to short cycle it in some way? Because I love what you're saying, and I feel this way, too. I've always felt like, you know, it's not like this work life balance thing, and then it's just a weird word because, like, like work is part of life, like I'm living right now.

And these decisions I make, I am living now during them. And so I'm fortunate in this sense. I've been here for 15 years, so I've worked with a team for a long time there, and you kind of can there's like shortcuts to knowing and trusting each other. Like you talk about when you go to things. When I talk to other markers, someone get in.

And I mentioned some of these tactics earlier that frustrate the heck out of me, like cold emailing which is spamming people, or cold calling when you know someone doesn't want to call. It's telemarketing and if you're going to golden rule it like, yes, that's what you're thinking of your one call. I can't get calls all day from people I need to work.

I can't get all this spam or it's not going to work out. But they feel like they have to do that to get results. And again, because they may feel like they have that, for lack of a better word, gun to their head. I got to show results in a month or three months or whatever. I'm out of here, so I'll do whatever it takes.

So again, with that, that short tenure sometimes we have in these roles. And to your point, it takes human nature. The human nature of it is it takes a long time to build trust. How do you balance that? And in the short term, make what can be painful and difficult decisions to turn away short term? results at the expense of a customer when, you know, you might only have a few months or year or 18 months tenure with that group you're working with.

Marco Mueller: That's a good question. I mean, you know, I mean, of course, one thing to make a career is that you also have to survive in the job, right? Of course you have to deliver. Right? I mean, it's not like everything I said only only works if you also deliver. Like you always have to deliver. Right? And there's no excuses to say, oh, but I did.

But I was such a I was such a trust building guy. I just didn't deliver the number. So of course you have to deliver. However, even even if you have a job, maybe that that is, for whatever reason, only a year or so over time. You know what? I ran into the same people in the software industry over and over again.

And so this is not this is not an isolated world where you go from one company or from one job to the other. And this is a completely new world, right? Like in your career, you will meet the same people in your industry. Many times you will meet maybe customers several times. So I think having that consistency, even even if you sometimes change jobs on a shorter scale, is super important because people will remember that and people will know that.

And the best thing to me is that if you change job and you run into a person that you worked with and maybe hasn't seen for the last five years, 6 or 7 years, and if that person comes to you and is happy to see you again, and there's a customer has maybe worked with you in the past and works with you again and is happy to see you again, I think that's a pretty good thing.

And so, you know, like, yes, not every job is long term, but your life is long term and your career is long term. You know, career is a marathon. And so, so I think I think over time it still pays off. The other thing is that, To me, when I think about my time in Russia, I was only there in the end, nearly three years, a little bit less than three years.

Right. And so, I had to build that, that initial trust within a few months because otherwise I wouldn't have survived. I wouldn't have delivered. Right. So, so showing, like, like being authentic and being transparent. And I know this also sounds like buzzwords and headlines because everybody says that. But if you really list that and if you take the risk because it also is risk, right, to show up as yourself and to show others who you are is also a risk some time.

But if you if you really do that, I think you can you can build trust pretty fast. The key thing is that you are not losing it immediately, that you just stay consistent with it. Right? So it's not it's not that it takes you years to build initial trust, but to really build long term trust is, of course, a long term thing.

So so be authentic and and and simply demonstrate and show up and show the attitude that you're really here for your employees, for your coworkers, and for your customers. and keep that as a philosophy. And I can tell you that you can see that in companies. You can see in a company culture, if this company is truly a customer focusing company or not, because in the Sun and Elf decisions and in the in the mindset of the of the general company culture, this you cannot hide that it's it's it's and I, I know from a lot of customers that that they can tell you pretty fast if you're a hidden run company or

if you're a company that's just overwhelming them with size, or if you're a company that really cares and it really has a a general culture and mentality of customer centricity that is also something that really, you know, that this is the power of culture, that that these things, when you build it out like that and when it's manifested like that, they really stay within the company.

And, you know, they also have a big impact on the employees that join a company to join the company.

Daniel Burstein: I like what you say there, too, that a role might be temporary or your career is forever, and you consider that you're going to run into these same people again and again, and in a minute, we're going to talk about some lessons you learned from people. I think you've worked in multiple organizations with. but for us, before we get into lessons that, Marco learned from people he collaborated with, I should mention that how I Made It, a marketing podcast is underwritten by MIT Labs Institute, the parent organization of marketing Sherpa Labs.

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All right. Let's talk about those people who you worked at, multiple organizations where there were you led led multiple organizations. You worked at, Bill McDermott. You said you learned from Bill. Trust is earned and drops and lost in buckets. How'd you learn that? What does that mean?

Marco Mueller: Yeah, well, it goes a bit a bit. what I just said before that, you, I think that's that's a very true sentence because, you if trust building never stops to me, this is like, this is a lifelong thing. And throughout all your career and throughout all your relationships, you know, like trust building never stops.

and if you if you disappoint customers or your or your employees or your colleagues massively, then you can lose trust. I don't know, within, within minutes or hours or within a day. And so, it really goes back to what I mentioned before. To me, I do not differentiate between my private life and my my job life in terms of who I am.

I try to have the same kind of core values that I, that I tried to follow in my private life and my business life. And of course, they're not exactly the same. I mean, the lives, but but who I am. I really try to be the same in both. and I also see my life and my career and all the relationships that I build on the way as a long term thing.

And so I'm not I simply, I try my best to not, misuse trust.

I was very long in SAP when Bill was the CEO, and I was in service now when Bill was the CEO and he's he's obviously one of the most inspiring CEOs out there, not only in our industry, he's generally a massively inspiring personality.

And and he uses this phrase a lot. And he connects that with a lot of his own personal stories and customer stories and private stories. because I think it's an it's an essential thing.

Daniel Burstein: So what does that mean for the marketer where the rubber meets the road? Do you have any specific examples of how this has either affected your interactions with other departments, like the product, you know, or anything like that, to make sure that's delivering for the customer or with your team to make sure that you're delivering the right brand promise.

Because when I hear this quote, yeah, you know, trust is earning drops and and buckets. Here's what I think about as a marketer, right. We're investing and spending a lot to build a brand, to build a value proposition, to put all this out there. And we need to build an accurate value proposition, right? Not just one that sounds good, but that the perceived value the customer gets is a value our company is actually delivering.

Right. And so we can't just work with agencies. We got to work internally to to understand that value. Because if not, okay, we've got this great trust. We've earned. Well, you alienate the customer once or twice. Boom. That's all gone. That's all out the window. Right. And I can think of so many brands now too. Like I mentioned, the name a major airline who, not sorry, not airline.

A major airplane maker who I, I'm sure has invested a lot of money in building their brand. And one door falls off an airplane and all of a sudden, you know, you've you've lost all that trust. so do you have any examples, Mark, of either like how you work with other departments, like the product department to make sure they're delivering on the brand promise, or how you work with your own team to make sure you're making the right brand promise so you don't run into this issue.

Marco Mueller: You know what? Because I think the example that you just gave is it's a very obvious one. And I think that happens that happened many time and most probably happen many times in the in the future, that companies invest a lot of money in their marketing and in their brand positioning, but somehow didn't do the same thing in other areas.

And then all of that money is a little bit wasted. Money. maybe, maybe let me share maybe an internal example, because I think that also illustrates it really nicely. one of the core things that that since a long time in my roles, even long before I was a CMO, was was core of trust building for me was with the sales side of the business.

Right. Because, you have a lot of very classic conflicts between marketing and sales, right? That that starts with demand generation. Right? Like, you will hear very often from marketing people, all the sales guys, they never pick up our leads and, and somehow they, they, they don't realize the huge value we deliver and they're ignorant or whatever.

And then the salespeople would say, you know, these marketing folks, it's all shiny and nice. And when I look at it, they don't deliver much that I really need. And it's all slushy and it's all, and so, like, this is honestly, I've seen that in many companies. This is a very common pattern. And so what I, what I was focused on since pretty early in my career because I started to work very closely with sales more or less from the very much start of my career, is that that I really,

Try to build whenever I go into, into, into whenever I went into my roles to build this trust from the very beginning and really, not only building it on a personal level, but really, immediately stopped doing things that are classic that, that, that, that stop that trust building and invest in the, in the things that, that make it happen.

So, for example, one classic pattern in marketing is that you have your own lead KPIs and you have your own dashboards, and you have your own view of the world, and that you love to report 200% target achievement and everything's in green. And then the sales side misses the quarter. They don't get their bonus. And they come to a marketing meeting and they look at marketers and tell them in the same quarter, oh my God, we're all in green.

Isn't that great? Right? I mean, that sounds pretty, pretty logical that you shouldn't do that. But you know how many times I have seen it in my career and that's exactly what happens. And I mean that that one meeting alone ruins the whole relationship, because the sales guys go out of this meeting and say, I will not spend a minute more with these clowns because they don't help me.

Nothing. Right. And so, one thing that that I very strongly believe in is that when you want to really have a don't go to market and you really want to have a powerful partnership between marketing and sales, is there's only one dashboard or one set of dashboards that everybody looks at. There's only one pipeline, and that's the company pipeline.

There's only one definition, metrics or one way to define the success metrics that, that are joined. and we're all in for the same end goal. And so, I'm, I'm really passionate about making sure that my teams are always really massively integrated on the sales side and on the field side with the sales organization that we really do planning together and we really do strategy together, etc..

So, this example that I just mentioned, right? Like if you have one meeting when marketing comes with their own world and their own KPIs and their own dashboards and looks, in the eyes of the sales guy who just missed this quarter and say, oh, I'm so sorry, you in red, but I'm in massive green. That's losing trust within two minutes.

Daniel Burstein: I think that's a great example to have. We don't have like we live our lives and we go into work. We're not humans anymore, right? If you if someone asks you in your life. Yes, I'm a team player. Then when you get into work and you feel the performance pressure, you're just like, oh, my numbers are working. I'm out for me.

Forget you, you know? which brings up this next lesson. And I love how you worded this and we're talking about it. You said you can make a big career and still stay human. And you learn this from Jonathan Becker. So what did you see Jonathan do that you learn this from him?

Marco Mueller: Honestly, I saw this from him every time that I that I worked with him. But one example that I would love to share is that, that was back when I was early in my career. Jonas was the CMO of SAP, so he was the the really big guy. And I was in this role in this Russell role, which was my first bigger.

So he was not my boss. He was my boss, boss, boss. And so we had this brilliant idea with, with the managing director for Russia. one of the jobs that that I had was also within within SAP making because the market wasn't that big as it was at the end of those three years. also make make the market more popular and give it more visibility within the SAP organization in general to, to to simply attract more investment.

And then you simply, give us more power to do things. And so we and I didn't know Jonathan back then and, so he said, Marco, we should bring the CMO here to our event. And we should we should show him the potential of this market, because I'm sure he doesn't really know. And so I said, okay.

And so I just wrote to Jonathan and I said, Jonathan, you might not know me. I'm this I'm this new guy here in Moscow, and I really need your help. Like, we have a huge potential here, but it's not really known. And if somebody like you shows up here, like, the whole sap world would immediately look at us and you would just help us accelerate everything we do by 100th.

If I could just invite you to our event, and I know it's not usually on your agenda, etc. and I wrote a really long email way to last course and he just wrote back, happy, happy to come to send me the dates and happy to come. And then he came over and, the first day everything went massively wrong because, because he needed to be, you know, like we had a massive agenda for him.

Of course, we wanted him to meet with literally everybody in Moscow. But Moscow is a massively big city. And when there is certain things happen in Moscow, everything stops. And there was a day when there was some, some. I don't even remember exactly what it was. It was not the big parade, but it was some political scene where they were they blocked all streets because, Putin went from somewhere to somewhere and everything was closed.

You couldn't we had it. We had the, the driver with the limousine, and he he heard that on the radio. He saw that everything was blocked. And he said, well, we cannot go anywhere. And I said, well, Jonas needs to be there in 30 minutes. How can we make that happen? And he said, can we, can we get a helicopter?

And he said, you cannot get a helicopter in Moscow. That's like that's only for very specific people. And it's what you can't get it right. And I stood there and I said, no, my God, this is for the first time. It's your first day and we're not even able to bring it from A to B. And, and I looked at me and Jonathan said, Mirko, just think about like, what could we do?

Don't don't think about if it stands. You're not just what could we do? And I said, well, we could take the subway, but you know, the subway in Moscow at this time, it's like. It's like a sauna. There's no aircon in there. It would be packed like hell. Everybody will kick you from all sides. And we have no security for that.

And he said, let's do it. And so I went with Jonathan Becker with two suitcase cases because we just picked up from another location in the Moscow subway at rush hour, where people, you know, like you just have to go with the flow. You cannot go left or right. You just have to go in these tunnels with the flow because it's so packed.

And he stood in the middle of that. It was 40°C hot, I guess. And it was barely there that we lost each other. And we stood there, just me, him and his chief of staff and one colleague of mine who spoke Russian. And we made it. And I literally thought, okay, after this experience, this was my last day on the job.

I'm sure I'm fired. And I'm sure my career is over. And then Jonathan actually posted that and he said he had the best and most fun day of his job. Lies. And he lost the creativity, and he lost the fact that he has a team that always finds a way out and that, you know, that makes things happen even under the most, adverse circumstances, etc..

And he invited the whole team for dinner, and he celebrated that. He celebrated the fact that we somehow made things happen, even though they were, of course, way, way, different than than we would have planned for them. And I found that so massively inspired. I mean, everything the fact that that guy went with us to the subway, the fact that the he was sweating with us down there and even enjoyed it and found it is super, authentic and and local experience and the fact that he celebrated us for that, that we, in the end, completely fucked up his agenda.

That was and that was just well, it's it's hard to find words for that because I cannot tell you how the whole team felt. They were all like they were like walking on clouds. They thought, wow, that's our boss, boss, boss. You know, it's not this hard, man. Harsh man that comes in and it's it's not. Everything works by the minute.

You're all out of here. And he told me afterwards that it's it's not. You know, the fact that he really appreciated it so much is that we we didn't give up. You know, we we found a solution and that's he said, listen, that's what it's all about. In life, you will always run into circumstances that you could have never planned, where everything goes wrong.

And the only, the only strategy is don't give up. Like keep trying. And if something in the end really goes wrong, then it is what it is.

Daniel Burstein: Wow. That is that was a huge lesson. That is so cool. That is so. But you know, part of that too. It worked out. But like you reaching out. And so one thing I think I've seen, like working in large organizations, is that struggle of knowing all these resources you possibly have available, but like, what can you really get access to?

Marco Mueller: Right, exactly.

Daniel Burstein: And so for you now we talk about your teams 250. You've had a team up to 800. I assume it's geographically distributed. What do you is there anything you do to let your team know or to to humanize yourself, to your team, to let them know how approachable you are? Because previously in my career, I've worked in in sales enablement.

Right. And so I would work with these, you know, global sales leaders who teams all over the world. And there was the the conference. Right. The, you know, sales kickoff conference where everyone from all over the world would come to Las Vegas or whatever. And we do it. And, you know, I was fortunate that I would get to work directly with these SVP and directors, with these reports all over the world and knew them and knew the humanity of them and knew they were cowboy boots and that they lived on a dirt road or whatever it was, you know what I mean?

But I would forget sometimes I would take for granted that that sales rep from Raleigh, North Carolina, or from, you know, Madrid or from whatever doesn't know them on that personal level, but might at some point need to call them into a deal to close that deal. And yes, they could ladder up to do that, but they don't know how that person's going to react.

And so in the buffet line, some time I would just talk to people and ask, hey, what do you think of, you know, so-and-so? And they would kind of give that impression and I would one thing I saw was the the way in which we gave that presentation, like, like if the presentation was just, here's a bunch of numbers and things, right?

Which were important numbers. It was our quota for the year and all these things. And here's what we're selling and why we're selling it. That's good. Versus if there were some human element or some vulnerability we could put into that presentation to this group. Like those little kind of indicators would change how someone who maybe got one, you know, human visibility with that person or two all year would feel about them and would then feel like, you know, they could call them into a deal.

So that's a long winded way of saying you've got a big team. It's a distributed team. I'm talking to you. You're clearly very human. I would assume you're quite approachable, but how do you communicate that off all across the world to these people who may have very little interactions with you?

Marco Mueller: But honestly, I they're I truly follow this, this kind of role model that Jonathan was for me, I really I, I simply tried to be exactly like he was to me back then. because I know how inspiring it was for me and not only for me, for the whole group around me. And so that's another reason why I'm so much traveling.

I've really tried to be. And, you know, the team now with 250, that's that's a good size. I really in the end, I meet all my guys over time. They all can spend time with me in person and it's not in person at least. I also try to be like online, very connected. I go to a lot of team meetings from my teams that report to me.

So I just try to be approachable and, you know, it's it's really what I also what I also always discuss with my leadership team is that, for me, a functional team is it's not about being a nice guy all the time. It's not about being friends. Right? Because like, like with some people, you simply have a lot of chemistry.

Just just by definition, with some maybe not so much. But respect and trust, that is something you can have and you should have within your teams, ideally with everybody. And in my leadership teams, for example, one, one key thing for me that is really important to me is that there is something that I really that I simply want, you know, like like I, I, I expected that we respect each other and that, that, that we trust each other, because otherwise work gets really it gets really hard.

It gets really frustrating. It gets enormously energy consuming, I think. I think when people have burnout, I think it's mostly because of those things. I think dysfunctional team and distrust and all these things really burn people out. and that's honestly not how I want to spend my life. And I also truly believe it's bad for business, you know, and, you know, like to me, the, the most, the most fascinating things to me, at least as far as experience in my career, is all the things that I really found inspiring by these leaders like Johnson.

To me, in the mid to long term, they all are good for business. It's not, it's not. It's not only about hey, do the right thing and they're good for business because if you have an environment where people trust, they are more creative because they can take calculated risks. If you're in an environment of distrust you, you just always go to Safeway because you don't want to be the one out there being cold out, being fire, being whatever.

And so you do what you go to same way. And that's a killer for creativity. And I mean, honestly, one of the reasons why a lot of people go into marketing is because they think it's a creative job. And I think, yes, and I think it should be a creative. It's not only a creative job, but it's a lot of it is creativity.

And I think there's nothing a big creativity killer then, then distrust and fear and, you know, like being in an environment where you're constantly just watch left and right and oh my God, what's going to happen tomorrow? What's going to happen in the meeting? I'm already having stomach ache just to go in that meeting. And besides that, I spend so much time of my life already in my job.

It's my job. Life isn't good. My life isn't good. Yeah.

Daniel Burstein: That's true, but that's a great point to vulnerability. Like I've always talked about my ideas is my babies and marketing. Yes. You got to have data and you got to have the right infrastructure, blah, blah, blah. But like you said, it's ideas. It's all it's either good ideas or bad ideas. And I've always talked about my ideas as my babies.

And there is that vulnerability. There's that vulnerability when you're first presenting that idea. So I love how you say that's part of it, too. Understand? Like if you've got this feeling in this relationship, then you can be vulnerable and share that idea. And maybe it's a bad idea, but it leads to a good idea at some point because you've got that relationship.

so let me talk about one more lesson here. So we talked about a lesson from a global CEO. We talked about a lesson from a global CMO. Here's a lesson from someone else. Confidence is everything. Why don't you tell us who you learned this from and, and how you and the story behind it.

Marco Mueller: Yeah, that's exactly the other end of the career ladder. So when I was, when I was running Latin America, I had my first trip to Peru and in the office in Lima, I entered the office and there was a young gentleman standing by the door and saying, so you are Marco, right? And I said, yeah. And he said, listen, can I have ten minute because I know your day will be back to back and I will not have a chance to talk to you in private.

So I'm a new intern and I would really love to talk to you. Do you have ten minutes? And so okay, so he took me to a room and he said, listen, Marco, I know you're a big guy and I know I'm just coming from university, but I'm here three months now and I have to tell you, there's certain things that we could do better, because I can already tell you, having no job experience, there's some things that that I think are really blocking us from being successful here.

And then he then he gave me examples. I mean, very respectfully, he didn't he didn't talk bad about other people, or so you just you just gave me process issues and things where he said, oh, you know, if we would do this differently than this would do. And, I have to come back from being generation X because I always feel like maybe, maybe that was just in my, in my part of the world.

But generation X me, if I imagine that I would have been an intern and my boss boss boss came came to the office, I would have just sit there silently, wait until somebody calls me up, wait until he approaches me, or she approaches me and asks me something. So I found that super cool that that guy had the confidence to just, like, strategically wait for me in the entrance because.

Because he was right. Like, as soon as I'm in that meeting room, he might not get the chance anymore to get me because I was there just for half a day and, and have that, you know, have that confidence to just go there and say, listen, I just take my chance and, and I really have something to say that I think really matters is and, and has some impact.

And, you know, we actually took two of his proposal and implemented them and they worked well. And again, he didn't do it in an arrogant way. He was not out of line. He was just confident. And he was also just a little bit class. And I sort to myself, you should have been a bit more like that when you came out of university.

Daniel Burstein: Right? In hindsight. So yeah, I'm next to let me ask, what advice would you give for people starting out their career about using their digital natives skills to help early in their career? Because one thing. So I'm Gen X two, and I think one thing I don't that I'm not sure about is I feel like Gen X, we felt like we had to pay our dues.

I'm not sure it's felt that much or like sometimes I've had some conversations with people early in their career and I'm surprised or expectation on what their role or salary would be that early in their career. but the thing that I do think they have a leg up for that we didn't have, and I and I tell college students when I speak in colleges, when I started, I was doing like print ads in the Wall Street Journal.

I was doing print, I was doing these types of things. And yes, there were computers and there were some of the internet, but these were like more business tools. Right? And so I knew less than everyone else in that office about these things. I walked into office, they knew more about all of this stuff. So I was at the bottom rung of course, now when when some people are coming in straight out of college, they know more about social media than I do, or mobile or artificial intelligence or some of these things like, yes, I've learned them and learned how to use them in my career.

But I was not, you know, using that term. I'm a digital tourist or whatever it's called, not that digital native where they grew up with these social media tools, mobile, artificial intelligence, different things. And we'll always know them and master them and, and speak fluently and in them that I never will. And that is a leg up that they have early in their career that I feel like we did not.

So I wonder if you have any advice for people starting out in how to use that digital native ability to kind of get a foothold or get going in an organization?

Marco Mueller: I think it's a it's a combination of the things that we just we just talked about. On the one hand side, I think they have all of they have all the reason to be really self-confident because they bring a lot of value and they bring a lot of skills that are massively needed and that are super, that have a lot of value in the market.

And, you know, like to me, it's one of the big jobs of us as leaders is that we have this really good mix of, of also early in career and more, more experienced people because, you know, it's also that's also an aspect of diversity that that simply makes the team as much stronger. On the other side, one of the criticism that I hear a lot about the the younger generations that that are either short in the in the corporate world that are just currently joining is that they're, that they're asking for too much, too fast.

Right? So there are two years in the company and they want to get a big promotion and things like that. So I mean, you know, like to me in life everything's about balance. So I think, yes, you should be very self-confident and yes, it's totally fine that you're very ambitious. But even early in your career, humbleness is also a good skill.

Right? And also like, like like being also being also open to the fact that if you're early in career, there's a lot of things you can learn and that you really also kind of watch out for. There's not only the job skills and the technical skills itself. Right? There's a lot of the developing your personality is something that if you want to do that, you would you cannot have the experience of somebody who is 20 years in the business when you are one year into business, right from a, from from many other aspects.

And so I think they have all looking back at me when I started, I should have been more self-confident. Honestly, I think we were we were a little bit too like, oh my God, better not. And I'm just let's wait a little bit and see. So I should have been a bit more confident. But on the other side, I also think that, it's, it's a good skill to always also watch out for what can I learn and how can I develop.

and it's not, you know, I mean, I, I also was always I also wanted always to be appreciated and I wanted to get the income that I did, I thought is is what I deserve. And I wanted to be promoted. I mean, that's to me that's totally fine. And that's, that's, that's a, that's a good attitude to be ambitious.

But I think you also should learn to be balanced with yourself and also, you know, accept that maybe sometimes a promotion takes longer, maybe sometimes you make a job change that is not immediately big a job title, but it gives you a lot of skills in another area. And even if you're the smartest social media guy out there, that's great.

But that's one part of your career and one part of your life and one part of your personality. And there's a lot of things to learn. So combine big self-confidence and, and a healthy, risk taking attitude with humbleness and trust building and empathy and being human. And I think you're you're perfectly in the game.

Daniel Burstein: Well, you see, that's one part. And maybe you're the answer to what you just said, but if you had to break it down with you, you shared so many lessons, so many stories about all these different elements of a marker came out. Good to break it down to what those key things are. What are the key qualities of an effective marketer?

Marco Mueller: I think the one I would mention now is not only for marketers. I think there's I think there I think there are general qualities for, for your for your career and for your life. But, having this mixture of or you know what, maybe let me mention some that are maybe very specific for marketers. The number one thing for me is marketer is really have an interest for the business and have a business acumen and really do not just stick with, oh, I'm in marketing and I'm developing a brand and all I do is brand development because in the end, honestly, you cannot develop a really good brand if you don't understand the business

you're in and if you're not really understanding what the customers are and then also where were the road ahead in the future goes? So this this business acumen to me is a huge skill. Empathy obviously is a huge skill. humbleness is a huge skill in combination with big self-confidence. And then also in information marketing, maybe another specific one for marketing, having this mix between creativity but also data driven, you know, like also really understanding, even if you're maybe on the more creative side of the marketing job, teach yourself to understand core data and also and also take the time to understand core data from other departments, like I really want my teams to fully

understand our core financial data, because that's a big part of the company's success, and that's a big part how how a lot of other teams in the company define their success. Understand, understand pipeline logic or demand generation logic to a certain extent, right? If you're not exactly in the team, you don't need to be the biggest expert in it.

But I think everybody in marketing should have an understanding about how we're building the business for the future and how we're how we're supporting sales, have a, have a, have a good understanding of the products that your company has, etc.. So to me, to me, and, and of course, you know, like every marketer has a certain specific area that they maybe at this point, working in.

But for example, if your aim is to become a CMO, I think the broader skillset that you're building over time, the faster you will get there. Because in the end, when you're a CMO, then you have to you have to have a certain level of skill in all of these areas, or at least a certain level of understanding.

And then the other thing is that I, that I also learned from from a great leader in the past is which, which, was a sales leader, in SAP as well. And she said, do you know what my biggest job is? My biggest job is to make sure that I hire people that are smarter than me and that I'm comfortable with it, and I give them the environment that they can be at their best.

So that means that as a CMO, for example, you cannot be the top expert in every area of marketing or the business. I think you should have a good understanding of all the areas over time, and you should really try to to gain experience to a certain level in all the areas that matter. But then you should also have the self-confidence as a person to hire people that shine, and that really in areas are ten times more, skilled and ten times smarter than you.

And you should be proud of it. And you should also be. Another thing that I also learned from Jonathan, for example, is that he was always super proud when his when people that worked with him made a big career that that made him extremely proud.

Daniel Burstein: You know, I will also mention another quality and say is tenacity and I appreciate you. I want everyone to know I appreciate Marco's tenacity because we've had three technical difficulties, but he kept pushing at it. We're here today, and I think you might have the only reason you had that, situation in the Moscow subway with Jonathan Becker earlier in your career, but.

So you had the tenacity to get through that. How? I made it in marketing podcast, you and me and Jacksonville, Florida, three technical difficulties. And you still made it happen. And you were smooth the entire time. No one listening would even know if I didn't say anything. So Marco, I appreciate you so much. Thank you for your time.

Thank you for sharing your career with us today.

Marco Mueller: Thanks so much again. It was a pleasure being with.

Daniel Burstein: You and thank you to everyone for listening.

Outro: Thank you for joining us for how I made it and marketing with Daniel Burstein. Now that you've got an inspiration for transforming yourself as a marketer, get some ideas for your next marketing campaign. From Marketing Sherpas extensive library of free case studies at Marketing That's marketing and.

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