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Kate Spellman: 2015 Marketing Hall of Femme Honoree

“Success is all about making a true impact.”

That’s the fervent advice Kate Spellman has for marketers looking to drive action. In fact, Spellman says that if marketers want to succeed they need to provide potential and current customers with one thing: value. “Understand the true value proposition for the customers,” she says. “So, focus on the user, the audience, or the customers. Know the actions that you want to drive and the end result that you want to see. It’s really about the what, the so what, and the now what. In other words, it’s all about impact.”

Marketing strategy: Just make sure that what you’re touching as a marketer is really making an impact on behavior and your desired end result.

Winning ways: My biggest win is the people who have surrounded me [at Penton]. I have the best team in the industry. I would put them up against anybody. And what I’m most proud of is watching my team step up, perform, and have so much impact—that’s in the company and with clients, too.

Defining moment: My latest defining moment would be from the time that I worked at [United Business Media] before coming to Penton. I launched a new division in the company and created it from scratch. It was the digital arm of UBM, called UBM Studios. And it was a defining moment because it gave me a lot of perspective on the importance of building the right team, the ability to let talent do what they needed to do, and bringing the right people onboard. I also think that it gave me a great deal of understanding in running something and understanding how each pivotal area works.

Trend watching: One of the [trends] for marketers everywhere is measuring the value of your user. We all hear, ‘What’s the lifetime value of your customer, and how are you measuring that?’ That’s an important thing to measure. Also, I think that from a marketing perspective, data is more and more important, and we’ll need to be running to that rather than running away from it.

Words to live by: I got this from my CEO, and it stuck in my head: Understand the why. When you start out in your career, so often, you’re just doing. Ask questions, and get the why behind the what. Then you can really do and make an impact.

Good read: A Sense of Urgency by John P. Kotter.

Good advice: Be who you are; be authentic; be trustworthy.

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