As one of the two males in the room at CAMP’s most recent learning event, Women of Influence in Marketing, I was a little surprised at how much I learned regarding the continuously changing world of marketing. The speakers, Rita Ferrari, Cassandra Jowett, and Olga Romero-Marshall are all experienced women in the marketing workspace, who had great insight and advice for all who came to the event.
Olga Romero-Marshall is the Director of Marketing at Bell Mobility. She focuses on data driven relevancy, targeting and measurement, while balancing the business objectives with customer insights in order to develop effective direct marketing communications that drive measurable results.
Cassandra Jowett is the Head of Content Marketing at Influitive. She is passionate about sharing insights, best practices, stories about advocate marketing, and the people and technology that power it.
Rita Ferrari is the Senior Director and Head of Marketing at Shomi and has previously led marketing teams at Rogers, Corus, and Sam the Record Man.
All three women did an outstanding job answering Sarah O’Connor’s thought provoking questions. The question and answer period helped to provide me with my top 5 learning points from the night of Women of Influence in Marketing.
Learning Point #1: There is no maximum to learning
Whether one is just starting their professional career like myself, a grade 10 student, a middle aged woman in the workforce, or the director of marketing at a large firm, we all have the opportunity to continuously learn for the entirety of our lives. We can all learn from experience, books, academics, the internet, by succeeding, by failing, and much more, however it is important to understand the importance of learning each and every day.
Rita stressed that even though she is a Senior Director and Head of Marketing, it is so crucial that each and every day she extends her learning as much as she can. Olga spoke out about how the first part of one’s career must start with getting experience and learning. As a young individual starting my professional career, I need to utilize what I have learned from academics and bring that forward with experiences like Women of Influence in Marketing. There are many personal and professional ways to learn and it is essential for everyone in an organization to continuously find ways to learn to make them better at their jobs.
Learning Point #2: Individuals who see the bigger picture will get hired
When hiring, Rita looks for T-shaped people, individuals who have the smarts to see the bigger picture. I found this to be a very interesting point, as it is very easy to only think about a very small sector of an organization. It is essential to the success of any organization for everyone to have the ability to see the big picture. All employees of an organization must know from top management what the goals of an organization are. Organizations that have T-shaped people will allow for consistency from top management all the way down the line to entry level positions. Employees who do not have the ability to see the big picture will hurt an organization as they will not be able to appropriately move an organization forward.
Learning Point #3: It is essential to separate one’s personal and professional brand
Cassandra, Olga, and Rita all gave the audience insight into the importance of separating one’s personal and professional brand. When I hear the statement that one should separate their personal and professional brand, the first thing that comes to my mind is what does my personal brand represent? There is no secret that we all speak differently at work and home, we act differently, and go about situations differently. There needs to be a sense of professionalism in the way we go about our personal lives in order for this separation to work.
I am the type of person who shows their personal brand often on social media. Posting about the newest Kings of Leon song, how the Maple Leafs recently drafted Auston Matthews, a picture of a night out with friends, or my stance on a recent trade in the NFL are examples of what represents my personal brand. I am very passionate about sports and music, all of the people in my personal network know this about me. Of course there are parts of my personal life, like anyone, that should stay personal. However I also feel that by showing potential future employers the strong identifiable qualities of my personal brand, they will have a better understanding of who I truly am.
Learning Point #4: In an interview always ask questions
Olga brought up a very valuable point regarding the interview process with a prospective employer. We should always have questions for a future employer at the end of an interview. It is very common at the end of an interview for employers to ask potential employees if they may have any questions. The worst possible answer in a situation like this would be to say “no I do not have any questions, I think we have covered everything.” This will immediately signal to an employer that the potential employee is not interested enough in the company. It is essential to deeply research a company going into an interview to ensure one knows if they can fit well within an organization. The most important quality to show an employer is interest, if interest is immediately thrown out the door, so will your possible job. Ask questions, always!
Learning Point #5: Not everyone sees the world in the same way
Cassandra strongly spoke out about how everyone sees the world differently, which leaves the opportunity to educate those around us in the workplace. Organizations are made up of individuals that are of different gender, race, nationality, and age. It is imperative to the success of an organization for employees to educate others on one’s personal experiences.
Cassandra and one of the members in the audience had a conversation about the difficulty of a young woman entering an organization that is run by an experienced older gentleman. It is difficult to find commonalities between these two individuals, which could lead to the young woman not feeling comfortable at work. Cassandra advised all the young women in the crowd to take initiative and ask the older gentleman to go out for a coffee and leave the office setting in order to build a stronger relationship. Not everyone will have it in them to go about a situation in this manner, however this is an example of how this situation could be assisted. There is no perfect way of going about situations like this, however doing tasks to make yourself more comfortable will always help you in the workforce.
Overall I found this event to be a tremendously educational and valuable experience for me going forward as I continue to grow as a marketer. I would like to thank Olga Romero-Marshall, Cassandra Jowett, and Rita Ferrari for giving all audience members and I valuable advice and guidance to move forward as we grow as marketers. Working the event gave me even more insight into the marketing world as I was able to first hand learn how to Live-Tweet an event while also taking in what each panelist had to say. Experiences like this will go a long way in my search of where I fit in an organization as a marketer.
Cory is a recent graduate from the University of Guelph, Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing Management program. He is currently interning for CAMP, learning the tools to becoming a sophisticated marketing professional. He can be reached directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through twitter @corygeorgiadis.