We’re lucky enough to have some of the top CMOs and CEOs worldwide supporting the School of Marketing and giving their time to help the next generation of marketers through mentoring. This programme has grown exponentially since we started it back in 2021 and in that time, boy, have we learned a lot!
It’s so good that we feel that everyone needs to know what we now know. So, here are some nuggets of wisdom from the best of the best.
Sue Unerman, MediaCom's Chief Transformation Officer
Sue from MediaCom joined us and shared a lifetime of wisdom from her impressive career and left our mentees feeling inspired;
Define your comfort zone, outside of your comfort zone – it is always important to stretch your potential and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
You need to push yourself and find things that you wouldn’t usually do to excel. For example, if networking gives you the heebie-jeebies (you’re not alone), then try and attend some networking events – it gets easier with time and experience.
Sue was a natural introvert but quickly realised she had to put herself in uncomfortable situations to build her profile and connections – you can be an introvert and still be successful.
Use storytelling in every part of the business to bring to life challenges and solutions. You can also dramatise a problem and solution to get more people on board.
Always pre-sell an idea to someone before a meeting, so you’re not going in cold.
Grant Mckensie, Chief Marketing Officer at Asahi Europe & International
Grant provided our mentees with some magical nuggets of advice that everyone needs to know;
Find your piece of magic and hone in on this to make yourself stand out.
Be brave and call out issues where there are some, but make sure you also have solutions – being solution orientated is critical.
Practice, practice, practice your presentation skills – these need to be compelling to bring people on the journey with you.
Don’t become complacent with learning – always strive to learn new skills.
Grant introduced us to the 90-day rule for starting a new job, project or challenge. Spend the first 90 days getting all of the information and context you need, don’t jump in head first. Create a clear plan of what you want to do and follow it. Once your 90 days are up, you need to act quickly and start making significant steps and changes.
Whenever you feel under pressure, remember to go back to basics.
John Bernard - Senior Director, Marketing EMEA at Dexcom
We’re lucky to work with John Bernard on our mentorship program, and John came at his session slightly differently to provide our mentees with his wisdom;
There are six key pillars of activation for marketing. First, it’s essential to have a plan, starting with strategy and then working through tactics.
- Brand awareness – top of the funnel activity to drive awareness of your brand, product or service
- PR – earned or paid press coverage to drive word of mouth
- Partner enablement – working with collaborators to broaden the appeal
- Social media – using content to get in front of the right audiences to communicate your key messages
- Events – virtual or in-person events to drive buzz and interaction
- Online – every business today needs to be online
Never stop learning even if you do not enjoy the industry you’re in because when you find an industry you love, you’ll be ready to excel.
Keith Bird - Head of Marketing UK at Pearson
Keith is a trusted mentor of ours who has a host of experience in the marketing industry and gave up his time to share his top pieces of advice;
Always understand the numbers; if there aren’t any numbers, find them!
Never stop asking questions; confidence and insights are critical.
Always gather evidence of what you have done to help get better jobs in the future and keep track of this as you go so you’re not rummaging around trying to find information later.
Sign up for Mentoring Gen Z
If this hasn’t inspired you to join a mentoring session, I don’t know what will! So make sure you sign up for our free programme to receive regular updates and exclusive advance access to every session.