The cover story of this issue celebrates achievement among young marketing leaders. While judging our 2015 40 Under 40 Awards (“Marketing Mavericks,” page 14), I was captivated by one attribute that the winners share: They’re daring. They take risks and face challenges head on—no excuses, only determination.
This quality is essential to marketing success, especially considering today’s environment: Customers are more informed and demanding than ever; innovators are releasing or updating technologies at a near daily pace; and change is happening at breakneck speed. Add in the overwhelming—yet glorious—amount of data and channel choice and the challenges of clarity, quality, accountability, and attribution become that much more daunting.
Put simply: Success in this environment takes guts, and marketers need the chutzpah to take risks, be boldly creative, and bulldoze ahead despite what seems like insurmountable challenges.
The 40 Under 40 honorees prove that all of this is possible. They’ve wrangled vast and disconnected data into revealing insight, adopted bleeding edge technologies before they became shiny objects, and convinced theirs teams to go along with them for the wild ride.
Go for it
If you’re a DMN reader, I’m guessing that you, too, have the mettle it takes to succeed. Reading this means you’re looking to learn and keep yourself armed with success strategies that are highly effective, yet as changeable as the environment in marketing today. Of course, being informed makes being daring just a bit easier; it can provide much-needed confidence in potentially nerve-racking situations.
But if you do have any doubts about being bold and taking the risks needed to thrive in marketing today, that’s understandable. Along with your own internal warning signals, there are likely overly cautious naysayers who tell you to watch your step. I say, go for it. Some of the best campaigns and biggest marketing innovations out there happened because someone had the courage to try something new or unexpected or outlandish.
You simply need to decide to be daring; to take that risk. As author Jen Sincero says in You Are a Badass, “Deciding means jumping in all the way, doing whatever it takes, and going about your dreams with the tenacity of a dateless cheerleader a week before prom night.” The Direct Marketing News 40 Under 40 Award winners all made the choice to be daring; to write their own success stories and not let obstacles stand in their way. What will you decide to do or do differently, right now, to reach the next phase of success in your career or the next level of performance in your brand’s marketing?