Here at Immersive Labs, we’re focusing our priorities on the next phase of our scale-up journey: building out our marketing team. But what is it really like to work here? What does it take to be part of one of the most exciting marketing teams on the planet?
This is part two of our Marketing Leadership series, featuring Lucian Lui, Chief Marketing Officer; Kristine Hunt, VP, Revenue Marketing; and Russ Miller, VP, Product Marketing. If you missed part one, read it here.
They talk about their vision for the team and what excites them about their roles here at Immersive Labs. By the end of the series, you’ll have some great insights about the team and understand what you can bring to the table.
How can an individual take more ownership of their career and advance?
Kristine: This speaks to something Russ said in part one: Master your own job. We hire you as an expert, we know you’re an expert. Show us that expertise, discuss what special projects you can take on, explore new and exciting areas to look into, and from there we can build a career path together.
Say you’re in revenue marketing right now, but you’re interested in what’s going on over at the product marketing side. I can give you special projects that will provide an entrance into that world. Then we can start building the skills you’d need to be able to move into that area. It all comes back to you: you’re the expert, let’s see that expertise and discover how you can grow.
Russ: In addition to mastering your own job, you should understand what your leader’s overall strategy and goals are, as well as that of your peers, to see how you can make the overall team successful. If you excel in what you’re doing, make your peers’ jobs easier, and help your manager accomplish their goals, taking the next step in getting promoted and having career success just falls in line naturally.
Lucian: I think about this more generally than specifically to Immersive Labs. The first thing is having a clear North Star on where you want to go and understanding what your strengths and gaps are. Most importantly, share this with your manager, because it doesn’t help anyone if you keep your aspirations to yourself.
Build a bench of mentors and advisors where you can get really honest and constructive feedback. It’s a safe space to tell them what you’re not doing well at and what you can do better in. As Russ and Kristine said, make an impact, deliver with accountability, and show your expertise. The work is important, but those relationships and being able to show how you can help others goes a really long way. Career development is not an individual sport; you’re going to rely on and need many others for a long successful career. Building and sustaining strong relationships is incredibly important.
Immersive Labs is in the investment phase of marketing, so we’re growing. I find this exciting, and I’m sure Russ and Kristine do too. As Russ pointed out, we look for people who are willing to find ways to contribute and be part of the solution, not just taking tasks and executing. That level of initiative is really important, especially at this juncture of growth – whether you decide you want to pursue a leadership role or more of a specialist role. The attributes of being proactive and taking initiative is really important.
Kristine: I got the best advice from my direct manager when I was in the middle of my journey so far. You might want to run off and do so many different things because that looks great. And while that might be a great idea, she would always come back to me and say, “there is a difference between could and should.” Yes, you could do this, but should you do it? That really needs to be determined with your manager. Does this align with business goals? Yes, it’s a great idea, but is it something that’s going to move us forward right now or do we shelve it? Even to this day I always go back to whether I could or should.
How do you foster a positive work environment across a global, hybrid team?
Lucian: What strikes me in this remote working environment is the need for informal social chat. If you just jump to work and you just focus on work, then it becomes very transactional. Also
when there’s conflict, you don’t have a relationship to fall back on as people just don’t know how to read or understand one’s intentions. I think it’s important, especially when you don’t have that in person experience, to make time for relationship building, for informal chat. Not every Zoom meeting has to have an agenda. It’s okay to have an online version of grabbing coffee where you just chat. I think a lot can come from that.
It’s also about recognizing the different communication styles that people have. Some people are much more extroverted, willing to jump in and speak their mind. But for others this is far more challenging. As a leader, you have to recognize and make room for people’s different communication styles and even different languages. It’s important to create a positive environment where everyone has the time and space to get their ideas across.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve created a positive, supportive environment – if you don’t have clarity in purpose, accountability, roles, and responsibilities, then there’s only so much that can happen before people get frustrated anyway. It’s important to start with the purpose of why we’re together, your goals, and defining everyone’s role to help achieve those goals.
Removing conflict is really crucial. If you don’t, then even your great relationships will eventually hit a wall where people think, “I like the people, but I’m confused about the work.” So let’s create clarity and a great place for people to connect.
Kristine: I’ve had the experience of onboarding a very large team remotely, all in different time zones. I have to say it was definitely challenging. We used to do a coffee chat every single morning, but not everyone likes to chat first thing. So sometimes we changed it to the afternoon to make sure everyone felt comfortable.
It’s important to keep a standard schedule as well. If you have a team meeting, you have a team meeting. You have an agenda. You need to ensure that when you’re on that call, you’re respecting everyone’s time and everyone knows what’s going to be covered.
In addition to that, I’m a big advocate of one on one time. I’ll do as many as my employees want a week to ensure they’re getting their questions answered. Even if they don’t have a specific agenda, just being able to sit, chat, connect, and be able to get to know each other is important to me. Personally, I have a strict policy where I don’t cancel one-to-ones unless it’s an absolute emergency, because from my perspective, that time is my team member’s, to get what they need from me and for us to connect.
One thing I’m so pleased to see coming into Immersive is my team. They’re already so tight-knit, I can see the collaboration. They’re already scheduling meetings together just to make sure that they’re collaborating, and they’re fostering a really happy sense of teamwork. Giving them the space to do that and supporting them in those efforts helps bring the whole team forward.
Russ: Ultimately you have to understand what every individual’s needs are. There might be people that need to touch base every morning to get them excited for their day. Others may only want one catch up per week. Someone else might need three one-to-ones a week to feel really connected. And that’s fine. It’s about understanding the type of person, their personality, and their needs.
We hope you enjoyed this second peek into the world of our marketing leaders. Immersive Labs is actively hiring in our marketing teams. View all the available roles on our careers site to become an Immerser yourself!