What’s the Difference between a Manager and a VP?

By: Andy Medley

CEO and Co-Founder of PERQ

What’s the difference between a VP and a Manager?  What happens when I am promoted from Director to VP? How does my role tangibly change?


This is a great question for someone to ask, and one that we as leaders should be able to answer very specifically. At PERQ, we execute based on an overall company strategy; which are tied to an annual department strategy; then quarterly objectives, and then monthly tactics tied to those objectives.  And of course, each of these have very specific metrics and goals that roll up. The company and department strategies rarely change annually, but the objectives and tactics are flexible based on market feedback.  They are intended to be very agile.


There are two components that go into each of these pieces.  One is the creation of the strategy, objective, or tactic. The other is the execution.  It’s easy to get lost in roles and responsibilities, especially when trying to understand how they impact the overall company, so we work hard to prevent that for every role.


Here is an example of how we, at PERQ, break out responsibilities between high-level strategy and tactics.


Let’s use the marketing department as an example:

As President, my role is to create strategy and utilize resources correctly to hit our growth goals as a company.  My direction to the VP of Marketing is for them to generate enough leads to hit our annual revenue goals within their provided budget.


The Vice President of Marketing

The Vice President of Marketing takes this directive and is tasked with formulating a winning a strategy and metrics. Based on the budget, the goal of hitting a 6X marketing ROI and a 20% LVR (or Lead Velocity Rate) is set.


The Marketing VP then determines that one of the most effective strategies will be increasing inbound into a more meaningful channel, which is something he laid the foundation for last year.


The inbound goal is then set to “Hit 50% of Mktg Revenue via Inbound Leads in a Quarter, while keeping our 6X Marketing ROI baseline.” The VP then begins creating the ‘waterfall effect’ in the department.


He sets a quarterly goal for the Inbound Marketing Manager to generate 100 Inbound Leads for the 1st quarter, using the prior quarter as a baseline. This includes setting a Monthly Lead Velocity Rate of 20% month over month.


Inbound Marketing Manager

The Inbound Marketing Manager takes this directive (to generate 100 Inbound Leads for the 1st quarter) and gets to work on tactics to help hit this annual goal. In this case, deciding to leverage the previous quarter’s success in testing the message of “Lead Forms are Dead.”


To do this, they create a content calendar and distribution plan that leverages our existing content partners.  This includes the goal to generate one premium piece of content and 20 supporting pieces, setting up the appropriate A/B tests to measure performance, launch campaigns and adjust as necessary to hit the lead goals.


Content Specialist

The Content Specialist’s role is to execute this content plan by doing the necessary research and writing compelling content within established deadlines. This includes interviewing customers and industry experts while finding relevant industry studies that add to our messaging.


One thing to understand is that one person’s objectives is another person’s strategy.  Andy Grove discusses this in High Output Management. They are, for the most part, interchangeable.  However, in a leader’s role, the hierarchy matters because it ensures a ‘waterfall effect’ taking big ideas to measurable outcomes tied to the company’s goals.