9 Powerful Pieces of Advice From Some of the Most Successful Marketers

We talk to a lot of smart people on The Content Strategist—CEOs, founders, CMOs, marketing gurus—and have learned plenty from their industry experience. So, to help you succeed in your own career, we’ve assembled a “best of” list of our favorite marketing wisdom from our past interviews. Think of it as a “That’s What I Call Music,” except for marketing thought leadership.

1. Solve Problems Like Product

Most marketing organizations are not set up in a way for smart people to be successful. They’re built in an old hierarchal command and control structure: ‘I am the head of marketing. I know more than you do about the use of this color. I know more about the use of an email. I know more about data collection than you do.’ It’s kind of a farce that you have to break down. It’s all about how you empower a team to focus on solving a problem. Not the way that marketers used to solve problems, but the way that product teams used to solve problems. If you’re a product person, you’re thinking about how to make a product better for your customer. And you’re probably using lean agile techniques and the way that you set up the KPI’s for the team are all built around how do you develop a more successful customer relationship.

—Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, CMO, Mozilla Firefox

In case you haven’t heard, marketing is changing dramatically, and your team should, too.

2. Focus on Growth, Not Metrics

The board is tired of hearing about marketing metrics. The CEO couldn’t care less about marketing metrics. We need to move beyond marketing metricsto business metrics because CMOs are now operating as growth drivers. They are looked to for top-line revenue.

—Alicia Hatch, CMO, Deloitte

According to a CMO Council/Deloitte study, CMOs are now seen as the primary drivers for growth and revenue generation—even more so than the CEO.

3. Get More Involved in Data

It all comes down to how disciplined you are gathering your data, keeping your data cleansed, and making sure your data is in a format that can be easily translated into multiple systems.

—Henry Schuck, CEO and Founder, DiscoverOrg

Schuck was talking about leveraging artificial intelligence, but his comment also applies to the whole marketing funnel. As software continues to drive marketing, maintaining a clear, accurate data machine is more important than ever.

4. Optimize the Customer Experience

If you look at how quickly you can call for an Uber or pick a movie on Netflix, our tolerance and our attention span right now as consumers is wildly, wildly, wildly shorter than it used