March 8, 2022|Kim's Blog, Marketing|
Future Marketing (BD) Manager – Ogres, Cacti and Dance the POLCA

The PM Forum’s  Future Marketing (BD) Manager in person workshop this week was attended by delegates from legal (solicitors, barristers, patent attorneys), accountancy, actuarial and management consultancy firms. Taylor Wessing was kind enough to provide our venue for this full day workshop – the views of the City of London were impressive and the hospitality and catering were fantastic (Thank you!). During the day we covered topics as diverse as management versus leadership, business and marketing strategy, marketing and business development theory and plans, being perceived as a manager, managing teams and resources and motivation. But the ideas I have focussed on today for Future Marketing (BD) Manager – Ogres, Cacti and Dance the POLCA©.


To be an effective marketer or business developer in the professions you need to first forge strong relationships with fee-earners.

One of the exercises looked at different types of perceived “difficult” behaviour by fee-earners which can get in the way of developing relationships and collaborating on marketing and business development projects.

One character that resonated with several delegates was the ogre (represented by Shrek who is, of course, a friendly ogre). We explored this behaviour:

  • What do they do? Hostile-aggressive behaviour, shouts and insults, overwhelms by evoking buried childhood fears
  • Why are they like this? They are rapid and confident decision makers who need to feel powerful. Sometimes there is a vein of (unconscious) self-doubt
  • How do they make us feel? Silent confusion and speechless rage
  • What behaviours should we avoid? Silent acquiescence, righteous complaining, appeasement, angry rebellion or any sign of weakness
  • Potential strategies Simultaneously show own strength but demonstrate you are not a threat, watch your posture and projection, humanise – use their name, don’t argue – disagree, use interruptions, if you can’t talk then write (informally), keep them posted and acknowledge their strengths.

Other “difficult” behaviours were explored for characters such as: Volcano, Bulldozer, Invisible Man/Woman, Artful Dodger, Caesar, Marvin the Paranoid Android, Jekyll & Hyde and Devil. (Please let me know if you would like details of these other characters and possible strategies for dealing with them).  

Other resources to help with “difficult” conversations: Resources to help you deal with difficult interactions (


During one of the creative team exercises, the character of “Cranky Colin the Cactus” (be empathic with the challenges and constraints affecting fee-earners) was created who interacted with “Maggie the Marketing Mouse” (learn to speak up  and be more assertive).

The team demonstrated how avoiding first impressions and labels, empathy and rapport, active listening skills and aligning everyone’s needs could help improve relationships.

The team that used powerful visuals of the road to successful relationships and collaboration also deserves a mention.

Here’s a 10 minute fun video with 11 tips on achieving buy in.

Dance the POLCA©

Delegates found the POLCA© model helpful for stepping up to management roles:

  • Plan
    • Create a mission, vision and strategy
    • Set clear objectives
    • Identify what needs to be done and by whom and by when
  • Organise
    • Decision making
    • Time management
    • Project management and workflow
  • Lead
    • Communicate the direction (passionately)
    • Align the teams – balance task and relationships
    • Inspire and motivate
  • Control and Coach
    • Correct errors and manage performance
    • Appraise, praise and develop
    • Encourage, delegate and coach
  • Achieve
    • Focus on the outcomes
    • Get the right things done (be effective) properly (be efficient)
    • Generate results

One delegate reminded us of STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Marketing networking groups

There was a discussion about which professional services and other marketing associations, groups and communities offered good opportunities for productive networking. We identified the following and would be keen to hear suggestions of any others:

There were also suggestions about helpful online communities on LinkedIn. Again, please let me know which ones you recommend.

Some people asked about mentors. MPF and PM Forum recently launched its mentoring scheme – Mentor Match


There were many great ideas about how to motivate ourselves and others:

  • An early finish
  • Interactive and fun workshops
  • Team building events
  • Alcohol (Wine Club Wednesdays, Pub Du Jour Thursdays)
  • Learning and development opportunities
  • Progression and promotion
  • Appreciation, recognition and shout outs

There was discussion about the challenges of motivating remote teams. Erica’s book was suggested as a good resource to help in this area. Book review: Digital Body Language – How to build trust by Erica Dhawan (

Other resources on managing virtual teams included:

Managing teams and virtual teams – 13 top tips – Kim Tasso

Future Marketing Manager – Eight steps to manage virtual teams (

Building rapport in the digital space (

Resources on motivation:

Self-Motivation – Ten top tips (Video) from Kim Tasso

motivation for marketing in professional service firms (

Future marketing manager – Summary of a workshop 2017 (

Motivating people in a property business (

Delegate takeaways

At the end of the session, the delegates shared their key takeaways: 

Memorable image

  • Road – the journey to develop strong relationships
  • Team – aligning business aims with fee-earners and M&BD
  • Ogre – reasons for perceived “difficult” fee-earner behaviour
  • Volcano – reasons for perceived “difficult” fee-earner behaviour
  • Invisible man – reasons for perceived “difficult” fee-earner behaviour
  • Top hat – empathy with fee-earner roles
  • Kim – all the insights and ideas from the session
  • Process – the frameworks and processes for marketing planning
  • City skyline – the view from Taylor Wessing’s offices
  • Eat the frog – Time management techniques 

Most important idea

  • Use frameworks when planning
  • PR Smith’s SOSTAC® structure for marketing meetings
  • Being perceived as a manager
  • POLCA©
  • Create early buy-in (so buy in is built in)
  • Ask more incisive questions
  • 1:5 ratio of negative to positive feedback
  • Confidence 

One action

  • Investigate CIM qualifications
  • Speak up
  • Manage more effectively (analysis – objectives – strategy – tactics)
  • Read the signposted articles
  • Integrate planning frameworks into project planning
  • Identify and document best practice
  • Check out Hubspot resources  and courses 
  • Network more with other marketing professionals