1. What was your first (or favorite) job?
My first job was working for my father during the summers. He was a high school guidance counselor, which meant he had the summers off. So he started a painting company as a means to help provide for us and save for the family. I have distinct memories of working alongside him, learning to be meticulous and precise, as well as the importance of putting in an honest day’s work for fair pay.
2. What are the 3 most important components for your personal and professional success?
First, focusing on strategy, so that my team and I can aim properly and accomplish our goals. Second, investing in relationships and helping mentor others, as well as be mentored by exceptional leaders. Third, remembering that any personal successes throughout my career were not achieved singularly. I have been fortunate to work with a group of individuals who embrace the ethos of teamwork; who provide motivation, inspiration, and passion, and who are committed to tackling difficult goals.
3. Name an “inflection point” experience that prepared you for your current position.
There have been many, but all shared the same characteristic: getting me out of my comfort zone. These all happened because there was a business strategy or project that was unchartered water for me and required creative problem solving and collaboration with multiple teams or employees.
4. What characteristics do you value most when hiring new marketing talent for your team?
The core achievement qualities we look for align with our core beliefs that the marketing department is a partner with the sales department and exists to help them (and by extension the company) succeed. So what are the 10 characteristics we highly covet in prospective employees?
- Commitment to the Team. Give 100%; work hard and smart; strive to continuously improve, learn new skills and exceed personal and professional goals. Be accountable to yourself by upholding high standards and demand the same from your team members.
- A Partner in Revenue. Marketing shares a significant responsibility in owning demand generation and positioning the sales team to exceed their goals. We all own a specific element of the business, and it is our responsibility to shape it and see the results of our successes.
- Drive Strategy. Marketing is on the bleeding edge of industry trends, competitive threats, the psychology of the buyer, and the content that engages them in conversation. We own the buyer persona, teaching it to the company and mastering Voice of Customer marketing.
- Master the External Environment. The best people understand that answers do not lie within our building. The answers lie with our clients/prospects – with understanding the external environment and the market forces that our clients experience daily.
- Focus on Quality. Marketing cares about the quality of our results and if they are influencing/increasing revenue, not merely the quantity of programs we produce.
- A Collaboration Culture. The hallmark to accomplishing great things is working collaboratively within our own team, and cross-functionally across departments.
- Strategic & Tactical. Marketers must be strategic/analytical, while also mastering the tactical/execution that will lead us to growth.
- Plan the Work, Work the Plan. Proper planning ensures quality, consistent results and communicates respect for team members who help/assist with you achieving your goals.
- Spend Wisely. Approach financial decisions as if it was your own money and ask questions before making an investment.
- Lead from Passion. Lead from your passion, not merely your position. Regardless of your “place” on an org chart – you can still have an outside impact if you are the most passionate and committed among your peers. Your work ethic, results and core values demonstrate your passion.
5. What technology are you looking forward to using or implementing for your brand in the next six months?
For the next year, we’d like to learn and leverage more about progressive profiling and predictive lead analysis.
6. Which book would you recommend to your fellow CMO Club members right now?
The book will be released on October 3rd, but I had the opportunity to receive an advance copy of the manuscript after last year’s Hopscotch Design Festival.
Chip and Dan Heath’s new book “The Power of Moments” illustrates several examples of meaningful, authentic, created and/or curated moments in life that not only leave us with a lasting impact, but rise above the everyday status quo, shift our trajectory, capture us at our best, and are social.
7. Do you have a personal mantra, words of wisdom or favorite inspirational quote?
“When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.“ Jacques Yves Cousteau