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Posted: March 25, 2013

Connect and inspire

The marketer's evolving role

Sandra Zoratti

What an exciting time it is to be a marketer! 

It is also a challenging time to be a marketer.  Extreme agility, tenacity, and hyper-fast, on-the-job training is required, as well as the ability to continually lead and inspire others.

This was the backdrop for a night of inspiration from global CMO Leaders, hosted by BMA Colorado – called “To Inspire: The Evolving Role of a Marketer”.  Jennifer Nealson, CMO of Denver Center for Performing Arts and President of BMA Colorado, kicked off the evening by inviting attendees to participate in table discussions regarding the necessity and value of community, connection, and growth within our profession. These discussions set the stage for global CMOs from Motorola Solutions, Emerson, and JP Morgan Chase to then share their insights regarding the evolving role of marketers and the importance of staying inspired and inspiring others.

 In my words, the key takeaway of the evening was “bloom where you are planted” by focusing on making an emotional connection with others. This is how you can be your most effective, your most inspiring and make a difference.  In case you weren’t able to attend on March 11, here are the nuggets that I captured for use in my own life.

Eduardo Conrado, Senior Vice President of Marketing and IT for Motorola Solutions, is transforming marketing at Motorola in amazing ways.  He is one of the first CMOs to manage the IT function and marry the synergies of marketing and IT.  Eduardo is a purpose-driven marketer and believes that marketers need to elevate the conversation around the customer.  He is a role model for the Simon Sinek mantra, “Start With Why”.  Starting with why ensures that you have a purpose to your efforts that will help you connect emotionally to your customers and create inspiration, value and engagement on a higher level.

Kathy Button-Bell, Vice President and CMO of Emerson, is inspired by creating simplicity from complexity.  She likes to de-clutter and focus on the most important and impactful marketing actions possible.  She believes doing three things very well is far more valuable than trying to do ten-plus things not-so-well.  Kathy inspires her team to “live in beta” to enable discovery by trying new things.  My favorite quote of hers was what she grants her team: “the freedom to be brave.”

Eileen Zicchino is Managing Director and CMO for JP Morgan Chase Treasury Services.  Eileen’s foundation is trust and integrity.  To her, marketing is a people business because marketing helps people solve problems.  Your marketing role is to make life easier for others.  Eileen provides inspiration in three directions:  managing up to make life easier for your boss, managing sideways to make life easier for sales, product marketing and business lines and managing out to make life easier for customers.

Inspiration is about energizing and enabling others so that we can all make a difference.  Marketing is the perfect area to inspire others, transform lives and businesses, and broaden our impact on the world. In the words of Chloe Sevigny, “It's a great thing, for someone to feel that they can draw inspiration from you.

Sandra Zoratti is an author, speaker and vice president of marketing for Ricoh.  She is also a member of the board of directors of the Colorado Chapter of the Business Marketing Association. Sandra's book, "Precision Marketing:  Maximizing Revenue Through Relevance" is available on Amazon at amzn.to/precisionmarketing.   You can find Sandra on LinkedIn, Twitter @sandraz and on her website sandrazoratti.com.

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