October 29, 2018

Road Show

The new Marketing Leader has a short window to make a difference, to set a tone for the upcoming year or two.

I took over a mess at Nordstrom in 2001. I had two vendors who were not meeting expectations. So I took my show on the road.

I visited the first vendor. I was not impressed. The vendor couldn't have cared less that I was there. I could easily see why this vendor under-performed. Within a year, my team de-tangled themselves from the vendor.

The second vendor didn't perform great, but the visit proved that they cared deeply about my business. As a result, I set clear expectations for the vendor. This vendor wasn't being led properly, and as a result the vendor made decisions that were not congruent with where I needed assistance. We eventually de-tangled ourselves from this vendor as well, but their performance improved enough to get us by for a few years.

A new Marketing Leader needs to quickly identify if existing vendors are there for the long-haul, are "transitional vendors" who will ultimately be replaced, or are vendors that need to be fired. It's one of the most important things a new Marketing Leader does.

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