Without a doubt, outstanding leadership encourages passion and drive in the field of marketing. Direct Marketing News honored 18 of the marketing’s top female leaders at its 2014 Marketing Hall of Femme in New York. Each of the 14 chief marketers who attended the awards gala gave insight into what drives successful plans and makes impactful careers in an ever-changing and growing field. Here’s that advice in their own words.
“The marketers on my team, we truly celebrate creative success. We bring color, sound, and feeling into the campaign—in addition to the Big Data. [Creativity] is the fun part of our jobs. In fact, it’s the best part.”—Kathy Button Bell, VP, CMO, Emerson Electric
“As marketers we owe it to our craft to explain to the customers, to some extent what we do. It’s great for others to understand our industry. But what’s even more important is that we deliver results for them. Ultimately we, as marketers, are looking to make an impact for customers. We’re a service business.”—Leilani M. Brown, CMO, Starr Companies
“I believe in two things: I’ve always believed in having deep relationships. Marketers should learn to link to the strength of others. And second, I’ve always believed in hard work. Hard work will get you the farthest.”—Dorothy Dowling, SVP, Marketing & Sales, Best Western International
“I use my experience to figure out how to build a brand. But I always go beyond experience. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t understand.’ Women often think it’s a sign of weakness. But it’s not. The quality of your results is directly related to the quality of your questions.”—Jamie Haenggi, Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer, Protection 1
“Two things will bring you success in marketing. First, think like a consumer. Instead of being a marketer, ask, ‘What would I want, and what would I like?’ The other key is listening to retailers. Retailers know consumers the best. Listen to them.”—Kristin Lynch, CMO and VP, Brand Marketing, World Kitchen
“Our innovation is very much customer-led. We co-create innovations based on customer needs. When the customer wanted Sunday delivery, we listened. That, and all of our advances, are based on their needs. We are committed to the American public.”—Nagisa Manabe, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, USPS
“You can build massive scale with a great product, PR, and also great data. Mine the data. You can spot trends and become thought leaders. It’s the data that drives everything we do.”—Amy Bohutinsky, CMO, Zillow
“Find the gaps. Then help clients close the gaps between their internal image—what they think of themselves—and they’re external image—what customers think of the company.”—Stephanie Marchesi, CMO and Senior Partner, FleishmanHillard
“Social marketing is just good marketing. We built [social] 360 degrees into our marketing plans. Build a multimedia experience with social.”—Tricia Melton, SVP of Entertainment Marketing, TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies, Turner Broadcasting
“We develop internal campaigns around our products, and we get our employees excited. It helps them market the products better. It’s helping our customers.”—Trish Mueller, SVP & CMO, The Home Depot
“Every marketer should walk through the fundamentals: price, product, promotion, and place. The four P’s cause us, as marketers, to think. Ask questions about each of these when you’re developing a campaign. It’s a traditional strategy that works.”—Mary Novak-Beatty, VP of Marketing and Call Center Sales, Mayflower Tours
“[Social media] is causing disruption in our industry. For us, it’s about modifying the primary way we market in today’s environment and still generate leads. You have to adapt.”—Sheena Oliver, VP, Marketing, Oticon Inc.
“All of us want to be able to put the so-called ‘wow factor’ back into the customer experience. So, whether you’re working in marketing, sales, or another department, be able to answer questions with quickness and accuracy on every channel—email, social, phone—wherever.”—Ann Sung Ruckstuhl, SVP & CMO, LiveOps
Other honorees included Peggy Dyer, CMO of American Red Cross, Teri Llach, CMO of Blackhawk Network, Karen Quintos, SVP & CMO at Dell Inc., and Susan Cohig, SVP of Integrated Marketing for the National Hockey League.