atomck
August 1, 2018

106: Brad Wilson of LendingTree believes leadership comes down to commitment

For this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan got up close and personal with Brad Wilson, who just happened to be visiting Durham, North Carolina. Wilson is the chief marketing officer at LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, with headquarters just down the road in Charlotte, North Carolina. Wilson took over the marketing reins for LendingTree in July of 2017, and there he heads up brand strategy, marketing operations, and consumer engagement.

In the course of his discussion with Alan, Wilson talks in detail about team building and leadership. For him, it’s important to be there in the trenches. “You gotta show people you’re doing the work, as well,” says Wilson. But he also believes you have to know when to get out of the way and let your people do the work. “If you have the vision right,” says Wilson. “If you know what you’re trying to achieve — metrics, aspiration, what have you — and if you get the right people, there’s no need to micromanage.”

He goes on to add, “I like to let people have their own canvas and create. Ultimately, I don’t care how we get there.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • Experiencing waves of change: Wilson traces the chronology of his career. ([1:32])
  • Wilson views his role as maintaining and accelerating growth — and using purpose and brand to enhance that growth. But also, importantly, to lead. ([7:50])
  • In talking about the diversification of LendingTree’s offerings, Wilson says, “Money is complex, and we’re just trying to simplify those decisions.” ([10:04])
  • Wilson doesn’t believe direct response and brand building are mutually exclusive. ([12:39])
  • Wilson uses Nutrisystem and LendingTree as examples in discussing acquisition and direct response. ([18:17])
  • Four ways Wilson is driving change at LendingTree. ([22:14])
  • How Wilson stays current and relevant: Twitter, The Wall Street Journal, and watching his kids consume media. ([25:40])
  • Wilson discusses his approach to culture and team building at LendingTree. ([25:40])