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A Marketing Executive’s Guide: Know How to Motivate Your Team

May 10, '17 / by Beth Carter

A Marketing Executive’s Guide: Know How to Motivate Your Team 

Have you ever noticed that some of the best jobs you ever had weren’t necessarily the ones where you earned a ton of money?

I’m not saying that making money isn’t great. Because of course, it’s fantastic. But I am saying that if money were the biggest motivation to loving your job, no one would ever become a teacher … or a social worker … or a volunteer, for that matter.

This is good news. If you’re responsible for leading your company’s marketing team, this means you don’t need an enormous budget to make sure your team is engaged and excited to do their jobs.

Instead, you just need to understand why certain people gravitate to the marketing field. Knowing how to motivate your team simply becomes a matter of putting yourself in their shoes.

Related Content: Building Your Best Content Marketing Team: How Hungry Is Your Talent?

As the leader of a growing marketing agency, motivating my team is something I think about a lot, and something I’m still working to perfect. But I do know that when I look back at the jobs I’ve loved and the jobs I’ve hated – and I look at why I loved and hated them – a few common factors emerge.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned over the years about motivating a team. It’s not an exhaustive list, but get these factors right, and you’ll be well on your way.


A little acknowledgment goes a surprisingly long way. If you can do this publicly, all the better. It doesn’t have to be a big hullabaloo, either; simply saying, “Great job, Sally” can make a big difference for Sally.


Seek your team members’ opinions. Ask them to step up to new challenges. Give them opportunities to prove themselves. Let them know you value what they have to say and what they are able to contribute. 


Hear what your team members tell you. Don’t assume, don’t cut them off, and don’t discount their opinions just because they’re your subordinates.


The opposite of trust is micromanagement. If you find yourself thinking, “I’ll just do this myself – I’ll get it done faster, and I know I’ll get it done right” – STOP yourself. Your team is there for a reason, and you must trust them to do the jobs they were hired to do.


Everyone wants the opportunity to grow. Give your team members opportunities to learn, to be mentored, and to pursue continuing education. Make sure they have the freedom to push themselves.


Your team won’t be able to push themselves if they don’t have the tools, time and training to do their jobs well. Help them build their abilities, and give them the authority to make the decisions that will allow them to succeed.


Few things are as demoralizing as working on a project that doesn’t go anywhere or mean anything. Remember, everything we do as marketers is about helping people – our customers – succeed. Make sure your team never loses sight of that very real, very personal connection.


Do what you say you’re going to do. Your team needs to know you’re guiding the ship and that you know the direction you’re taking. It’s scary and frustrating to work for someone who has no plan, who constantly changes her mind, or who routinely fails to live up to her promises. Your team must trust you before they will follow you.


The best teams are the ones that honestly enjoy each other’s company. Create opportunities to get to know each other better. Have fun together. Smile more. Laugh more. Relax more, even when you’re crazy busy. A great attitude can be terrific fuel when you need it most.

Of course, ultimately we’re all people – imperfect, frequently frustrating, occasionally rough around the edges. There’s no magic formula to building a powerhouse team. Knowing how to motivate your team may simply boil down to trying to be the best boss you can.

And really, that’s what your team members need most.

Looking to do more with your marketing team? Download our ebook to learn about the six marketing metrics you can’t afford to ignore.

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Topics: Strategy

Beth Carter
Written by Beth Carter

I love to write and I'm a total grammar freak. I also passionately believe that conversational, approachable and insightful content can help people solve real problems and can make a real difference in the world.

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