“Culture” is starting to feel like more of a generality, don’t you think? Companies fall back on pleasantries when describing day-to-day operations, and the one word that always comes up is “culture.” But what is good culture, and why is it so difficult to define? After all, team members need (and deserve) more than a pat on the back and a pizza party to establish company culture.
In this week’s episode, we speak with the Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for Nymbus, Allison Netzer, for a conversation on company culture, and employer brand as an output of a culture-focused business. Is culture a measurable component of your brand? Is it possible to master culture while growing a brand?
- Reference Scorecards – Beyond the fact that Allison *hates* KPIs, it’s important to keep your goals measurable. You may score points with business jargon, for example, but does that have an internal or external benefit? Racking up points on a “scorecard” and understanding what those mean for your operations will help to shift focus to where the dollars are. Effectively, it’s the culture of measurement!
- Don’t Commission Consultants (yet) – Okay, you may NEED consultants, but let’s be real — an extension of a company is a lot better than a rebuild, which consultants are more likely to suggest. Refine your business and connect the dots when things go astray — you likely have more data than you realize.
- Culture by Inertia v. Intention – It’s nice for a company culture to build itself, but it’s more likely that intentional work needs to get done (not all brands can be Starbucks). The key word here is INTENTION. Culture doesn’t grow the way you want it to without active, intentional guidance.
- Humans Do the Work and Need Engagement – AI isn’t a replacement, it’s a HUMAN tool, and humans deserve substance. Keep your teams engaged socially and intellectually, and most importantly, keep them happy. Success comes from within. You see engagement in people’s actions, not surveys – when they see the vision and do the work without being asked, THAT is an indicator of your effectiveness.
- Master the Mission Statement – Get it, believe it, and execute it. Is your company culture clear enough for the masses? The mission statement can’t stop at a ‘vision exercise.’ It needs to be actionable and definitive in a way that makes your team capable to move the vision forward.
- Marketing/Branding at the Strategy Table – As Allison puts it, there’s a perception that CMOs are just the “executives with the crayons,” and a change in branding requires a change in leadership. That’s not necessarily the case. Rather, Marketing as a skillset needs to be brought into the early stages of strategy development — that can only succeed with good, active leadership.
- Communication and Participation – Is your CMO a “team player,” or do they have blinders on to meet a singular vision? A good CMO is working with the financial team, data team, and other leadership for a cohesive vision.
- Persistence – People may let a financial analysis, for example, go on FOREVER. But when it comes to a marketing campaign, people expect results after a week or two. That is NOT the case; rather, you need to be persistent in your vision in the same way that a salesperson is persistent with their pitch.
- Break Down the Doors – Unless you’re making space in work meetings, you won’t get the empathy you need as a team player. ALWAYS get into the board meetings and stay involved.
One of the very first things the Nymbus CEO did to improve company culture was to make every employee a shareholder. The second thing they did was avoid the glitzy executive hires first. Third, everything from hires to layoffs happened in the public space, making for a tremendously transparent company.
By making every employee a shareholder, workers were given equal value, and thus a reason to care about the solution and the product/service that Nymbus sells. This has put Nymbus in a tremendous sales point that has been both successful and fun, despite any difficulties that come from the financial services industry.
A bit more about Allison:
Allison Netzer is a best-selling author and the Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for Nymbus, a company dedicated to assisting the banking industry and global financial service organizations with breakthrough banking tech products. Her 2022 book Think Like a Brand, Not a Bank has been praised for its no-nonsense deep dive into the emerging landscape of financial technology. Allison has kept a keen eye on data trends her whole career — one that includes over 20 years of experience helping companies like Aetna, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, and The Dallas Cowboys.
Allison has been lauded as a Top 30 Fintech Marketer AND a Top 25 Global Woman in Fintech.
Connect with Allison:
Connect with Mike & Gaby @ Proofpoint Marketing:
- Mike’s LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikegrinberg/
- Gaby’s LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabriellaisrael/
- LinkedIn Company Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/company/proofpoint-marketing-llc
- Proofpoint YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/ProofpointonYouTube
- Proofpoint Marketing Website: www.proofpoint.marketing