How’s your marketing team performing?

As we enter a period when even the disruptors are being disrupted, the ability for retail marketing teams to embrace change and navigate through a world of multi-channel complexity has never been greater.

Standing Still is now Going Backwards

As part of our retail strategy work, we help both individuals and teams stand-back, review, re-set and move forward. Remember, if you’re changing when you’re forced to, it’s certainly too late.

The marketing team at Riviera Maison wanted to re-boot ways of working and prepare for a period of business growth, change and challenge. How best can the team develop into a high performing brand machine?

The rain didn’t stop us!

We kick-started this challenge with a workshop in Amsterdam. The workshop goal was simple: create a marketing team manifesto of ten pledges that would drive positive change and ‘turn the volume up’ on creativity. We explored:

Stimulating creativity

Open minded ideas and decision making

Thinking like a start-up

The review, plan and do process


Personal and team development

This is just the start: the key to success is, as we say, making great ideas happen by creating good and productive habits and adopting behaviours designed for a challenging (and rewarding) industry.

We Learn Too

Often the best ideas come from the people and teams we work with. As with all our workshops, our role is to find the good stuff, guide and challenge. Our favourite learning came after an intensive time- management course where, a delegate shared, that the boss they most admired had only one, simple ‘to-do’ list called ‘important stuff’.

Our Top Tip?

Here’s a great mind-set for when you face a large project or challenge: Often the road ahead can appear unclear, stressful and full of risk. This is a favourite piece of advice we often remind ourselves of, and share, in our team development work…

If you’ve been to the Tanezrouft desert in the west of the Sahara, you’d either know it, or you’d be dead. It’s the hottest desert in the world, occupies 500,000 km2, and is one inhospitable place. In 1809 a caravan of 2000 people and 1800 camels perished, lost and out of water. The body of a crashed French pilot lay isolated for 29 years before being discovered.  It’s rightly called the Land of Fear. But it is also an important trade and travel route. So to guide its intrepid travellers across its 500-mile expanse, there are 55-gallon oil drums marking the track every 5 kilometres.  In this way, as you pass one, you can see the next at the limit of the horizon.  And so you take one span at a time, 5 kilometres at a time, to reach your destination, alive and finally out of fear.

Ah, what a lesson in life for us all. Rather than imagining the horror of all 500 miles of possible death, each traveller has to navigate only 5 kilometres at a time, steadily, resolutely, and in control. So, if you face the long and arduous journey in one of life’s struggles – finding a partner, leaving one, dealing with a difficult personal or professional challenge, moving house or city, facing a serious illness – look out for the oil drums.  Take only the one step, the small step that is realistic and possible right now.

Don’t worry too much about the track further along the route; you will get there if you view only what lies just ahead of you, today, this moment, what is needed, what is possible, what will take you one pace closer to resolution.

 You may not be crossing the Tanezrouft (but good luck if you do); but your life may sometimes feel as though you are.  Pull back your focus and your imagination to what’s just ahead, and keep it all in perspective.  Then you’ll see that oil drum, welcoming you at the end of the visible horizon, with the promise that, in trust, you will find your way home.