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7 Characteristics of Fearless Marketers

April 26, 2018 by Carla Johnson From the theme of the Marketo Summit next week to calls I’ve gotten in the last few days from CMOs about how to amp up their teams, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to create a team of fearless marketers. “Fearless” isn’t something you do, it’s someone you become. There are …

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Hierarchy is Out – Authenticity is In!

February 27, 2018 by Michelle M. Smith The business world has had a long-standing love/hate relationship with hierarchy. Hierarchy determines who gets to decide what and where the information flows, which allows us to focus our attention on other aspects of running the business. It reduces complexity, helps us scale and get things done, but it frustrates us by making …

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10 Women in Technology Speakers to Keynote Your Event

February 13, 2018 by Carla Johnson Last month I wrote the first in a series of blogs about why and how we need to bring more women onto the main stage at events. The response has been incredible, and I want to thank everyone who has shared the post, commented, sent me emails, texts and picked up the phone to …

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The Future Will Be Led By Strategists

January 30, 2018 by Michelle M. Smith I always remind my readers and audiences that however talented they are, their CEOs don’t want them to be Sales, Marketing, HR or Tech leaders – CEOs want them to be business leaders with Sales, Marketing, HR or Tech expertise. It’s more than semantics. It’s a serious reminder that whatever your area of …

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Social Media Isn’t Very Sociable After All

November 14, 2017 by Michelle Smith I offer a cautionary tale here for every generation about our over-reliance on technology when being ‘social….’ While a technology fan and an active social media user, I contend that e-friends aren’t the same as real life friends, and no matter how awesome the technology, communication tools can’t begin to replace being sociable and …

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7 Brutal Truths About Innovation No One Wants to Talk About

August 10, 2017 by Carla Johnson I recently shared a post on the brutal truths about creativity that no one wants to talk about, which resonated with many readers. As I’ve talked with people about creativity, they tell me that’s something they ‘aren’t.’ When I take it further get into the transition from creativity to innovation, they tell me that’s …

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How to Build a B2B Marketing Team

July 20, 2017 by Tom Pick One of the most critical aspects of creating a roadmap for business growth is staff planning. Other than cash flow analysis, it may be the most crucial element. Without cash, you don’t have a business. Without people, nothing gets done. Staff planning ensures you have the right people in place at the right time to support …

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RESEARCH: Marketers’ Confidence at All-time High, But Still Room for Improvement

March 7, 2017 by Carla Johnson Marketers’ confidence rose from last year. While almost a third (30%) of marketers say they’re worried that their organization isn’t investing in the right customers. That number is down 13% from 2016. These are the findings from the Marketers’ Confidence Index, a survey released by the American Marketing Association (AMA) in partnership with Kantar …

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The C-Suite Squeeze: CMOs Turn Over at Unprecedented Rate

February 21, 2017 by Carla Johnson What does it take to be an above-average CMO? According to recent research from Korn Ferry, it’s holding onto the C-suite chair for more than 48 months. In fact, at 4.1 years, CMOs have the shortest average tenure of executives, about half that of the average CEO and less than the overall average of …

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What Marketers Need to Become C-Level Leaders

October 13,2016 by Carla Johnson You become like the people you surround yourself with. We’ve heard that since we were knee high from our parents. It’s the reason they wouldn’t let us hang out with the coolest of the cool kids. “If SHE jumped off a cliff, would you do the same?” I realize her point was that I shouldn’t …

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Does Marketing Have a Glass Ceiling?

June 14, 2016 I was catching up with a fellow marketer the other day. One of the things that we both hear over and over is that marketing’s tired of not having credibility. Marketers want more responsibility, more influence and more respect. They want a seat at the infamous table. Both of us have been in marketing for a long …

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7 Reasons Why Your Marketing is Failing and How to Fix Them

April 12, 2016 There’s a lot of change happening in marketing, and it’s not going to slow down. Ever. I talk to many marketing leaders who realize that just keeping all the balls in the air isn’t enough anymore. They know they have to be more effective, but they can’t pinpoint the problem. Usually it’s not a single thing that’s …

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From Great to Good: What’s Causing CMO Tenure Decline?

March 15, 2016 Last week, Spencer Stuart released the results from its most recent study on CMO tenure. In looking at the profiles of chief marketers from 100 of the top U.S. advertised brands they found that, for the first time in a decade, CMO tenure is on the decline. The average tenure for chief marketing officers dropped almost 10 …

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Are CMO Ambitions Too Low?

September 29, 2015 Ambitious CMOs focus on building credibility for their team. Is that enough? Some wonder if CMOs have what it takes to become the next CEO. Are we setting our sight too high? Actually, I read a report this week that points out that even these ambitions are too low. The Report – When and How Does Board-Level …

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Marketing’s Leadership Role in Driving Revenue

September 15, 2015 Marketing executives must walk a fine line between building pipeline, meeting revenue expectations, managing customer experience, delivering new prospects and building and maintaining a productive team with the proper skill set. What does it take to make it all happen? That was the question at hand for a panel that Carlos Hidalgo, president of ANNUITAS hosted last …

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Why B2B Suffers From Marketing Myopia

May 26, 2015 In 1960, American economist and Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt wrote a paper called “Marketing Myopia,” which was published in the Harvard Business Review. In it, he suggests that “businesses will do better in the end if they concentrate on meeting customers’ needs rather than on selling products.” Certainly a groundbreaking concept at the time. Some …

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A Marketer’s Search for Meaning: 5 Attributes of Relevancy

April 28, 2015 I read an article the other day that said that people are hired for hard skills and fired for a lack of soft skills. I’ve found this to be true, and even more so for marketers as our pace of change keeps picking up speed. I listen to marketers talk about the struggles they have in their …

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What Marketing Can Learn from IT About Content

April 14, 2015 Marketing sets the tone and pace for content strategy, but there’s a great deal marketers can learn from their IT counterparts. More than a decade ago, 17 software developers gathered for a weekend to talk about development methods. One of the outcomes was the Agile Manifesto – a document that shared the groups’ belief of a better …

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Overt or Covert: What’s Your Content Culture?

March 31, 2015 One of the questions I’m asked most often is, “How do I convince my boss/CMO/executive to do content marketing?” I tell these people what every great sales person knows – you don’t convince anyone of anything. Despite what the old adage says, it can be nearly impossible to lead a horse to water, much less teach him …

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Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing

March 23, 2015 I’m excited to share that today marks the release of a new book that I’ve co-authored with the uber talented Robert Rose – Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing. As anyone who’s written a book knows, it’s no small feat. We’ve spent the last year synthesizing five years of research, workshops, consulting engagements and conversations with more …