Just last week, we had the pleasure of announcing the entirety of the inaugural class of the Fearless 50. We are excited to share their stories in their own words—what drives them to be fearless, including key takeaways that you can learn from as well.
Kimi Corrigan, Director of Marketing Operations at Duo Security, Emily Poulton, Marketing Manager at the Adecco Group, and Satu Ståhlstedt, Marketing Automation and Digital Marketing Specialist at Fujitsu, sent us their advice to marketers looking to be fearless in their own way. Their tactics range from the simple, like learning to enjoy the ride, to the difficult, like learning to accept failure as a part of growth.
Move Past Your Fear of Being Fearless
Kimi Corrigan, Director of Marketing Operations at Duo Security, shares her thoughts on what being fearless means to her, both inside and outside of her marketing role.
“Being fearless is an intimidating concept. The notion is a little different for everyone, but a common interpretation is that you must be bold, confident and have all the answers. I used to think I needed to operate that way, but now I know that for me, being fearless is recognizing the problems, fears and worry about what could go wrong and facing it all head on,” said Kimi.
One of the most common fears many of us face is the fear of failure. Kimi shares what it feels like to look at the fear of failure a bit differently, saying, “To be willing to fail, and fail fast, can sometimes be crippling. But I have learned with forced habit to take that leap every day and to take my team along with me. It’s bold to risk failure for yourself, but it’s fearless to risk it on behalf of your company and those who you lead. But the rewards are sweeter, bolder and bigger.”
Kimi also offers up this great pro tip: “Shove aside the imposter syndrome feels, put in the work, learn how to shake it off when things don’t go according to plan and never forget to celebrate the victories and milestones.”
Stand Out and Be Fearless
Standing out in the crowd is one of the most fearless things a person can do, and Emily Poulton, Marketing Manager at The Adecco Group, is no stranger to it. She believes demand generation is one of the most difficult marketing roles in which to be fearless, but taking that approach has been crucial to her success.
“The demand generation space can be pretty tough, not only for those just starting their marketing journey, but also for those who have been in the game for a while, because demand-gen marketing is all about people—generating someone’s interest in your content, attracting a person to your website, creating an environment where people can communicate with you and engage with your brand. If your job is to ensure your content stands out and gets to the right person, you need to be able to put yourself in their shoes. Don’t create a campaign for a target audience, a user or a lead, but for a human, a person, a tech-savvy and busy marketer.”
Emily mentions the importance of standing out and being willing to ask the tough questions to push the envelope, saying, “With so many emerging technologies, new trends, and where you are marketing to someone like you, it’s hard to stand out and create the demand for the products/services your sales team is asking marketing for. But the good news is, these trends bring new technologies and ideas for marketing professionals to evolve their campaigns from tried and tested whitepaper downloads, to bespoke user journeys. Try out the new digital tools and channels, apply them to your campaigns, try them for offline too. Be the first in your team/company/industry/country to try something new.
Don’t be afraid to be innovative, don’t be afraid to challenge your “we always do it this way” campaigns, don’t be afraid to ask, “Would I click on this?” Don’t be afraid to make the case and explain the “whys” to your manager/team. Be a fearless marketer.”
The Not-So-Smooth Road to Being Fearless
The concept of turbulence is not just related to air travel—the world of technology is a bumpy ride, changing every day, leading marketers to scramble for the best solution to the challenge they are facing. Satu Ståhlstedt, Marketing Automation and Digital Marketing Specialist at Fujitsu, believes that turbulence can actually give the marketer the opportunity to thrive and innovate in new and exciting ways.
“The 2010s are a riveting time in history to be working in marketing. Every day in the office is an adventure, abundant with new marketing technologies, social media tools, content and meme trends, and even legislative changes. While this ever-present turbulence might fill some with fear, I feel it’s an opportunity to thrive and to revolutionize the way marketing has been done before.
We’ve been given tools to offer highly personalized and automated marketing experiences to our customers every single time they engage with us during their lifecycle. The possibilities are endless. So much so, that many of us may feel overwhelmed.
The key thing is not being afraid to try new things, to always improve on yesterday and to understand that failure is part of success. What will never (hopefully) be out of fashion is the human-to-human approach. As automated as things become, we must always strive to involve a touch of humanity to whatever we are doing with our customers. Digital technologies and marketing automation will only enhance the humanity of marketing.
That being said, AI, VR, and AR still have not seen a proper dawn in marketing and I, for one, cannot wait until it does!”
We all share a common thread as part of the Marketing Nation community—being fearless in the pursuit of marketing excellence. We hope these anecdotes from members of the Fearless 50 are inspirational and educational to those who are just starting out in the world of marketing and reinvigorate the excitement of those who have been in the industry for years. Be willing to fail and learn from it, assert yourself and ask the tough questions, and enjoy the ride that being a Fearless Marketer affords us.
Thank you to Kimi, Emily, and Satu for sharing their insights into what being fearless means to them and we are looking forward to sharing more stories of bold and brave marketing as the year presses on.
How do you embrace being fearless in your role each and every day? Are you inspired by the ideas shared above by our Fearless 50? Let us know in the comments!
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