What I Learned from the 2016 Marketing and Mentoring Summit

Firstly, I just want to say that it has been an amazing year with all of you in the Future CMO Club!

It can feel like we are riding a never-ending rollercoaster of social media trends, emerging technology, wildly shifting consumer behaviors and increasing pressure to prove marketing ROI, but it’s truly never been a more exciting time to be a marketer. Believe me, your companies and CMOs need you now more than ever.

During my time with The Club, I’ve found that the relationships and lifetime friendships forged here – between peers, mentors and mentees – will only continue to elevate marketing. In fact, the level of expertise and advice our members are bringing to the table is astounding. I learned so much from members at the Fall Marketing and Mentoring Summit and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2017.

There are a few things that I’ve noticed throughout the year, that lend to a marketer’s success within The Club and their respective organizations:

Innovation and Creativity aren’t just Buzzwords, but a Mindset

Our consumers don’t sleep (or so it seems), and neither do the ever-growing demands of today’s marketing organizations. But creativity within the marketing role is truly alive and well.

I’m seeing marketers step outside the proverbial box and launch business-wide innovation initiatives, promote entrepreneurialism amongst their team members and favor entire brand strategy over isolated marketing campaigns like never before. I only see this innovation continue to grow as we shift from creative ads to creative business structures that inevitably lead to more creative customer engagement.

Marketing leaders are the ones at the head of this trend, with the most successful ones understanding the importance of leading by example. I’m hearing more and more about how brands are bringing people together – and making a huge impact in the process.

Learning Means Growing

There is a really unique dynamic we have between CMO mentors and mentees here in The Club, and it’s really amazing to hear about some of the great solutions and ideas you’ve already brainstormed with each other. It’s refreshing to see how most – if not all – of our members genuinely care about their teams, customers and fellow marketers, and really get the value of learning from peers.

I’ve never had a single person tell me that the secret to their success is ‘me first’ and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Fortunately, nice guys do finish first and the overwhelmingly great feedback from our mentoring program is a testament to that. We have some of the best marketers in the world here, so don’t be shy about striking up a conversation with someone at the next event. You might be surprised by how much you learn.

A Peer Network Isn’t Only Valuable, but Necessary to Stay Relevant

For me the key here is the PEER FILTER. Do you know what I’m talking about - being able to trust your peers on something you don’t have the time or resources to check into personally?

So many people came up to me at this year’s events sharing insights they got from peers. They shared how their peers are such a filter for them as they don’t have the time to research every new company request to meet and show them the latest technology, platform or content distribution option.

Want inspired success in 2017? Get active with your peers and leverage the access, insight and power of those that walk in your shoes. Be nice and think about others. Approach your job like a CEO and think creatively about the whole business - not just your ad campaigns.