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Marketing Hall of Femme 2018: Carol Eversen, CMO, ALM Media

DMN’s Marketing Hall of Femme honors female marketers who have taken risks, pushed limits, and achieved standout success in their marketing careers. These fiercely talented women are all the most senior marketing professionals at brands, non-profits, marketing tech and services vendors, or agencies.

We sat down with 2018 Hall of Femme honoree Carol Eversen, CMO, ALM Media, who shared advice on the challenges of being a woman in the workplace, and how young female professionals can navigate their own successful marketing careers.

DMN: What’s the best piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?


Eversen: My natural inclination is to focus on the customer as the means to the career end. Deliver for the customer and your career will follow. I received some great advice from a mentor at AT&T that made a huge difference in a business turnaround setting. I try to always keep it in mind:

Focus on your people, then customers, then profits. This mentor also shared a phrase that helped me double revenues and profits over four years: EVA (Employee Value Add) drives CVA (Customer Value Add) drives EVA (Economic Value Add). And the economic results will ultimately drive your career.

DMN: What’s the best way to advocate for yourself in the workplace (whether it’s for a promotion, a salary raise, or more responsibilities)? 

Eversen: Show your value, state your case, and understand the realities that your boss is facing. A good manager will always appreciate a well-made case based on facts and outcomes. Speaking with your boss about your goals is important so that you are top-of-mind. The hard part is having a sense of what is within reach in the near-term. A solid EQ (emotional intelligence) will help you avoid making an “ask” or “demand” that your boss simply cannot fulfill on your stated timeframe. You want to come across as reasonable and appreciative, while ensuring your goals and desires are heard and ultimately acted upon.

DMN: As a woman, what advantages and disadvantages have you experienced in climbing up through your career?   

Eversen: In reality, I have not looked at my advantages from a gender perspective. I believe my advantages have been based on a strong learning environment early in my career. I chose a company that I knew would help me develop my skill set. I had tremendous opportunities early in my career moving from sales, to managing a $962 million marketing budget, to running a $300 million business unit as the GM — all in a relatively short period of time. Those foundational skills have helped me grow and branch in new directions throughout my career. As a woman, there were times when I faced some challenges, particularly when I was pregnant. Luckily times have changed on that front!

DMN: What advice do you have for younger women in the workplace who want to lean in and take a bigger seat at the table?  

 Eversen: Understand what your company needs, understand your unique value proposition that you deliver to the business, and produce results. That is the “what.” Equally important: don’t underestimate the importance of the “how.” Relationships are key and require constant effort. And they’re not always easy. There is a great quote (that I often prod myself to remember) from Stephen Covey:  “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Apply this approach to interactions with others and you will go further, faster.

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