CMO Smart emcee Steven Handmaker: Create winning experiences and make people happy

Steven Handmaker, Chief Marketing Officer of Assurance, will emcee AMA Chicago’s CMO Smart at the Loyola University Chicago Quinlan School of Business on August 29, 2018.

CMO Smart will feature a first-hand look of the new CMO Survey from its Founder and Managing Director, Christine Moorman. Event emcee Steven Handmaker calls the study valuable because “It’s always telling to get a sense of what’s trending within the industry, relating to everything from spend and focus to the impact on the bottom line and hiring trends.

“For marketers, especially at the C-level, the more ammo we have, the better. This information is always very useful for building the case for the directions we want to go.”

Here are some more thoughts from Handmaker on the event, the Survey, and the challenges facing today’s marketing leaders.

Owning the overall brand experience

“CMO Smart is all about data-driven information that marketing leaders can use to make big-picture decisions,” says Handmaker.

Some of the data from the CMO Survey that will be shared at the event, as it happens, describes a shift in the roles played by people called “marketing leaders.”

“It’s gratifying to see marketers making their way into C-suites and boardrooms—that’s a trend that’s on the increase,” says Handmaker.  “We’re starting to see more length in tenure, too—the CMO position used to be among the shortest, two years and you were gone.

“Marketers are also gaining a bigger hand in technology spend. We’re being looked at for roles beyond just new biz acquisition, and asked to really own the overall brand experience of prospects and clients as well. Our sphere continues to grow. It’s a moving target in terms of new challenges.”

The marketer as salesperson

Those new challenges include functions that used to fall exclusively to teams outside the marketing department.

“There’s an entire purchase channel that is being erased,” says Handmaker, describing the change he’s seen since his early days in B2B marketing. “We were effective to a point; then we had to rely on the sales force to make connections and bring customers over the goal line. That’s not the way much of the world works today.

“Today’s B2B marketers are being asked, how can you assist the process all the way through the customer cycle? It’s incredibly experiential. Creativity and focusing on brand are part and parcel of the process throughout.

“We’ve gone from the marketer being responsible for getting the customer from A to B, to the marketer being the salesperson. Our sphere is growing bigger, and all of it is important.”

“An incredibly non-tech person”

“For all the technology in the world, I remain an incredibly non-tech person in believing that a great interactive experience is still the way to win hearts and minds,” says Handmaker. “My stories of successes that make you loyal forever didn’t happen because of tech, but because of something human.

“Our job is to create and systematize those experiences.”

He describes an experience at a famous New York hotel where an associate’s thoughtful gesture more than overcame the hotel’s physical shortcomings.

“The quality of the room didn’t matter—our experience went from a 5 to a 12, and it cost them $20 and five minutes.

“That is the opportunity that exists for marketers to look comprehensively at areas where they can make an impact. It’s empowering people with the autonomy to create winning experiences and make people happy.”

AMA Chicago presents CMO Smart—August 29, 2018

Steven Handmaker is our emcee at CMO Smart on August 29, with keynote speaker Christine Moorman sharing results and insights from the August 2019 CMO Survey. Join us.

AMA Chicago invites you to CMO Smart for an exclusive first-hand look at new data from The CMO Survey, the leading-edge survey of national marketing trends. Join top Chicagoland CMOs in a conversation with Christine Moorman of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the lead researcher on the study.

Reserve your seat now!

Why marketing analytics hasn’t lived up to its promise

By: Carl F. Medina and Christine Moorman

We see a paradox in two important analytics trends. The most recent results from The CMO Survey conducted by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and sponsored by Deloitte LLP and the American Marketing Association reports that the percentage of marketing budgets companies plan to allocate to analytics over the next three years will increase from 5.8% to 17.3%—a whopping 198% increase. These increases are expected despite the fact that top marketers report that the effect of analytics on company-wide performance remains modest, with an average performance score of 4.1 on a seven-point scale, where 1=not at all effective and 7=highly effective. More importantly, this performance impact has shown little increase over the last five years, when it was rated 3.8 on the same scale.

How can it be that firms have not seen any increase in how analytics contribute to company performance, but are nonetheless planning to increase spending so dramatically? Based on our work with member companies at the Marketing Science Institute, two competing forces explain this discrepancy—the data used in analytics and the analyst talent producing it. We discuss how each force has inhibited organizations from realizing the full potential of marketing analytics and offer specific prescriptions to better align analytics outcomes with increased spending.

Christine Moorman is our keynote speaker at CMO Smart on August 29. She’ll be sharing results and insights from the August 2019 CMO Survey. Join us to hear from her.

The Data Challenge

Data are becoming ubiquitous, so at first blush it would appear that analytics should be able to deliver on its promise of value creation. However, data grows on its own terms, and this growth is often driven by IT investments, rather than by coherent marketing goals. As a result, data libraries often look like the proverbial cluttered closet, where it is hard to separate the insights from the junk.

In most companies, data is not integrated. Data collected by different systems is disjointed, lacking variables to match the data, and using different coding schemes. For example, data from mobile devices and data from PCs might indicate similar browsing paths, but if the consumer data and the data on pages browsed cannot be matched, it is hard to determine browsing behavior. That’s why understanding how data will ultimately be integrated and measured should be considered prior to collecting the data, precisely because it will lower the cost of matching.

What’s more, most companies have huge amounts of data, making it hard to process in a timely manner. Merging data across a vast number of customers and interactions involves “translating” code, systems, and dictionaries. Once cohered, vast amounts of information can overwhelm processing power and algorithms. Many approaches exist to scale analytics, but collecting data that cannot be analyzed is inefficient.

An irony of having too much data is that you often have too little information. The more data and fields collected, the less they overlap, creating “holes” in the data. For example, two customers with the same level of transactions could have very different shares of wallet. While one represents a selling opportunity, the other might offer little potential gain. Data should be designed with an eye towards imputation — so the holes in the data can filled as needed to drive strategy.

Perhaps worst of all, data is often not causal. For example, while it is true that search advertising can be correlated with purchase because customers are in a motivated state to buy, it does not follow that ads caused sales. Even if the firm did not advertise, consumers are motivated to buy, so how does one know whether the ads were effective? Worse, as data grows, these problems compound. Without the right analytic approach, no amount of investment will translate to insights.

Companies should do two things to harness the power of analytics in their marketing functions. First, rather than create data and then decide what to do with it, firms should decide what to do first, and then which data they need to do it. This means better integrating marketing and IT, and developing systems around the information needs of the senior management team instead of creating a culture of “capture data and pray.”

Second, companies should create an integrated 360-degree view of the customer that considers every customer behavior from the time the alarm rings in the morning until they go to bed in the evening. Every potential engagement point, for both communication and purchase, should be captured. Only then can firms completely understand their customers via analytics, and develop customized experiences to delight them. The CMO Survey we referenced above shows that firms’ performance on this type of integration has not improved over the last five years, challenging companies’ ability to answer the most important questions about their customers.

The Data Analyst Challenge

The CMO Survey also found that only 1.9% of marketing leaders reported that their companies have the right talent to leverage marketing analytics. Good data analysts, like good data, are hard to find. Sadly, the overall rating on a seven-point scale, where 1 is “does not have the right talent” and 7 is “has the right talent,” has not changed between the first time the question was asked in 2013 (Mean 3.4, SD =1.7) and 2017 (Mean 3.7, SD =1.7).

The gap between the promise and the reality of analytics points to a disconnect that needs resolution. Companies need to better align their data strategy and data analyst talent to realize the potential that analytics can bring to marketing managers. In the absence of talent, even great data can lie fallow and prevent a firm from harnessing the full potential of the data. What are some of the characteristics that companies should look for in good data scientists? They should:

Clearly define the business problem. Managers who rely on data scientists to know what might be possible to do with the data often find great value in simply having that person help define the problem. For example, a marketer coming to a data analyst asking questions about driving conversions might not realize that there’s also data at the top of the purchase funnel that might be even more germane to driving long-term sales. Rather than taking requests as they are stated, data analysts should take requests as they should be asked, integrating advice tightly with the needs of the company. For example, a request to assess how marketing promotions affect sales should also account for the effect of promotions on brand equity.

Understand how algorithms and data map to business problems. Companies will see more effective data analytics if teams are clear on firm objectives, informed of the strategy, sensitive to organizational structure, and exposed to customers. To enable this understanding, data analysts should spend physical time outside of data analytics, perhaps visiting customers to give them an understanding of market requirements, attending market planning meetings to better appreciate the company’s goals, and helping to ensure data (IT), data analytics, and marketing are all aligned.

Understand the company’s goals. Data analytics is beset by multiple requests, like a waiter serving too many customers. A clear recognition of a firm’s goals enables data analysts to prioritize projects and allocate time to those that are the most important (those that have the highest marginal value to a firm). Requests should be centralized, and then prioritized by a) whether the findings have the potential to change the way things are done and b) the economic consequences of such changes. Several companies develop standardized forms to ensure requests are assessed on an equal footing. An attendant benefit of this process is that it mitigates the potential for opportunistic research clients to approach analysts asking them to conduct a study to support a preconceived strategy for political reasons, instead of deciding between strategies that are in the best interests of the firm.

Communicate insights, not facts. Communication theory tells us that the transmitter and receiver of information must share a common domain of knowledge for information to be transmitted. This means analysts need to understand what the firm’s managers can understand. Small font sizes, complex figures and equations, the use of jargon, and an emphasis on the modeling process instead of insights and explanations are common errors when presenting analyses. Why should one use a complicated model to present information when a simple infographic would suffice? Presentations should be organized around insights, rather than analytic approaches. This is another reason it is critical for analysts to connect externally with customers and internally with the managers using their work. Plus, instead of reporting a “parameter estimate,” an analyst should communicate how results point to tangible strategic actions. This requires analysts to structure their analysis in a decision framework that helps managers assess best and worst case scenarios.

Develop an instinct for mapping the variation in the data to the business questions. That means two things. First, analysts need a comprehensive understanding of all the relevant drivers (e.g., marketing and environmental factors) and outcomes (e.g., purchase funnel metrics). For example, to ascertain the effect of advertising on sales, one would need to recognize that concurrent changes in product design can affect sales, lest one misattribute the effect of product changes to the advertising that announces them. Second, analysts must have a means to ensure that drivers lead to outcomes instead of outcomes leading to drivers. Once again, this requires the analyst to understand the nature of the markets being analyzed. Regarding the latter, no complicated model that purports to control for missing information can ever compensate fully for lack of causal variation. Likes drive sales and sales drive likes. However, disentangling the two means having some factor that can independently manipulate one and not the other. 

Identify the best tool for the problem. On the analytics side, it goes without saying that years of training and practice are necessary. One cannot play an instrument without learning it, and the same is true for analysts. Most important is knowing which tool, of the many available, is best for which problem. At a very granular level, experimental methods are especially adept at assessing causality; supervised machine learning excels at prediction where non-supervised machine learning can decompose non-numerical stimuli into tags or attributes for further analysis. Economics and psychology afford deep insights into the nature of consumer behavior, and statistics can help us excel at inference. A strong understanding of marketing grounds all of these tools and disciplines in the business context necessary to produce effective advice.

Span skill boundaries. Some marketing analysts excel at math and coding, and some excel at framing issues, developing explanations, and connecting to business implications. A far smaller set excel at both. Companies either need to wrap these variegated skills into one person through training and accumulating different types of experiences, or, more likely, assemble a team that is sufficiently facile with the techniques that they can interact productively, ensuring that there is some mechanism to match the approach (and the analyst) to the problem. This match requires senior talent, with the breadth of perspective to align analytical resources and business problems.

In light of the exponential growth in customer, competitor, and marketplace information, companies face an unprecedented opportunity to delight their customers by delivering the right products and services to the right people at the right time and the right format, location, devices, and channels. Realizing that potential, however, requires a proactive and strategic approach to marketing analytics. Companies need to invest in the right mix of data, systems, and people to realize these gains.


Carl F. Mela is the T. Austin Finch Foundation Professor of Marketing at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Executive Director at the Marketing Science Institute.


Christine Moorman is the T. Austin Finch, Sr. Professor of Business Administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Editor-in-Chief designate of the Journal of Marketing.


Originally posted in Harvard Business Review, May 2018.

Connecting Ideas to Drive Results: A Brandsmart Recap

By Jessica Schaeffer, Director of Marketing, LaSalle Network

A clear theme emerged at 22 West Washington Street on April 28th as some of the biggest minds in marketing gathered to share insights around the brands they manage. The theme: the new wave of marketing: the power of storytelling to build relationships and trust with your consumers and clients.

Chicago American Marketing Associaton’s BrandSmart offered a smattering of perspectives from not-for-profits, ad agencies, big brands and up and coming brands.

Here’s a peek at the day in case you missed it, or just want to compare notes.

Session 1: Marketing for Tomorrow Starting Today – First Session

The day kicked off with a tag team effort by Ron Bess of Havas Worldwide and Zain Raj of Shapiro + Raj. Their message? Great brands (both your personal brand and an organization’s brand) build enduring bonds by fulfilling relationship expectations and sharing brand control.

Raj highlighted eight actionable relationships a consumer has with a brand – the best being a devoted relationship and the worst being a passable relationship. While every brand should strive to achieve devoted relationships with their customers, a mere 12% of customers say they have a devoted relationship with a brand.

So how do you deepen attachment and improve the experience? Raj shared five tips:

  1. Create a new focus: Begin with your most devoted customers to convert your most attractive prospects. Stop going after customers who don’t LOVE your brand.
  2. Try a new approach: Treat customers with respect, trust and loyalty
  3. Adopt a new mindset: Brands need to be perpetually evolving and try to improve
  4. Build a new model: Every company needs to be focused on cutting costs and producing faster
  5. Solve a new equation: Values x Authenticity: The strongest brands know they have to have commendable values, and LIVE those values

Bess closed out the session by drawing parallels between Raj’s presentation and personal branding. Just like a company’s brand, your personal brand is tied to the results you produce and the relationships you build. As a professional, you need to be focused on building trust, respect and loyalty.

Session 2: Transforming the Cubs Brand

Director of Marketing at the Chicago Cubs, Allison Miller, gave attendees a glimpse into the challenges the Cubs’ brand has faced during her tenure. Chief among them understanding and honing in on their target market.

Miller joined the Cubs and realized quickly they were selling a bad product. The Cubs had an aging team, the third highest payroll in the league and amenities that were deteriorating. They had a large, diverse fan base, and yet they knew nothing about them. They were marketing to everyone, without a clear focus of who would really move the needle for the brand.

Miller began the process by segmenting their customers and creating a fan and brand promise. The Cubs took time to understand the different brand personas and talk with these customers. Then, they worked to develop a brand message, campaigns and experiences they wanted these customers to have.

The findings helped the Cubs narrow their marketing, target their messaging around changes within the organization and bridge what the community wanted to do with the stadium with what the Cubs needed to do to advance the organization.

Session 3: Redefining a brand through a cause partnership

Chuck Gitkin, SVP of Brand Marketing at Smithfield Foods gave attendees a glimpse into a strategic partnership with Operation Homefront. Operation Homefront assists military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, moving assistance and financial assistance among other things.

If you aren’t familiar with Smithfield Foods, Gitkin says you probably aren’t alone….packaged meats isn’t the sexiest or most well-known industry, and that’s one of the primary reasons behind partnering with Operation Homefront. Not only does Smithfield Foods believe in giving back and supporting those and their families who protect our country, but the partnership helps bring visibility to both organizations.

Gitkin explained that cause marketing has allowed the company, which has a limited marketing budget, to create more exposure for less. They’ve brought in spokespeople to help champion Operation Homefront, and by default, Smithfield Foods. They’ve also created special packaging that a portion of the proceeds is donated directly to Operation Homefront.

Session 4: Panel Discussion: Getting Creative with the B2C agency of the future

Maybe you’ve seen this commercial. What you may not know is that Wrigley and ad agency, Energy BBDO worked collaboratively to create it. The two companies, which have been working together for years, gave us a glimpse into their relationship with John Starkey, VP, Gum, Mints and Media at Wrigley talking with Lianne Sinclair and Andres Ordonez of Energy BBDO.

The trio shared how their relationship has evolved over the years – emphasizing the fact that Energy BBDO is an extension of the Wrigley team, and explaining that now Energy BBDO is brought in earlier in Wrigley’s process. Wrigley is also exposed to Energy BBDO’s “unfinished product” to gauge their temperature and get their input on a project before it’s nearly complete.

Session 5: Hear the Brand: The Rise of Audio Branding: How to get the Most from Your Sound

Colleen Fahey sang, hummed and tapped her way to her main message on Thursday: leave an earprint with every piece of brand communication.

Fahey runs Sixieme Son, an audio branding company that strives to express brand values through sound. The audio brand of a company, Fahey explained, is everything from its on-hold music, to its app sounds, TV and radio spots and sales presentations.

Fahey argued a few key reasons why every company needs to consider its audio DNA.

  1. Music is a language that is universally understood
  2. Music moves behavior
  3. Sounds lead to sales
  4. Sounds speeds search
  5. Audio branding builds brand value

Not convinced? Check out these great examples of audio branding successes Fahey shared: Samsung, Tropicana, and Michelin.

Session 6: Insurance Agents are Rock Stars

Assurance Agency has been recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the Top 100 Places to Work in the Country. This is one of dozens of awards the company has won throughout its tenure, and VP of Marketing, Steve Handmaker argues it’s been good for business, too….but it hasn’t always been this way.

Assurance wasn’t always a great place to work. In fact, staff was disengaged and profits were suffering as a result. In 1998, Assurance brought on new leadership to right the ship. They decided to focus on people.

Their philosophy was simple. Happy employees = happy clients. Handmaker borrowed from fellow marketer Seth Godin’s theory of purple cows, explaining that Assurance’s culture was their purple cow, the one thing that makes them truly remarkable and sets them apart from competitors in the insurance industry.

Since that decision, not only has Assurance invested in staff to build an incredible culture, they’ve also effectively marketed employee engagement programs to ensure the country knows they are a purple cow.

“Our culture doesn’t automatically mean we win, but its’ getting us to the finish line and helping make us a part of the conversation.” – Steve Handmaker

Session 7: Brand Building and Data Driven Demand Generation

Data paralysis.

Ad resistant.

Craig Greenfield, COO of Performics explained that in today’s world, marketers are overwhelmed by data, and consumers are resistant to our messages and skeptical of our ads.

How do we overcome this? We have to better understand our customers and what they want. We have to identify customer intent before they want express it. As marketers, we can do this by measuring time on site, bounce rates, coupon downloads, the list goes on and on….any piece of content that captures data about our audience.

If you don’t have the data you want, Greenfield says to identify needed data, then create audiences, design experiences and then plan, launch, test and learn.

Session 8: The Impact of Content Creativity with Always on Brands

In typical Leo Burnett fashion, Vincent Geraghty, EVP and Head of Production at Leo Burnett, wowed us showing some incredible campaigns, with one of the most poignant being the Runlikeagirl campaign created for Always.

This was about as conventional as it got though, as Geraghty discussed how his greenhouse team is changing the way Leo Burnett does business. The greenhouse content team is run like a newroom. They’ve adopted a “maker mentality,” where concepting is no longer good enough. They are executers, doers, creators.

This team has allowed Leo Burnett to streamline the approval process, execute on trending ideas quickly and efficiently.

The Greenhouse team is focused on telling great stories that are finely crafted full of human insights. Their goal is to deliver content that entertains, resonates, and weaves the brand into the insight and story.

Session 9: Panel: Getting Creative with the B2B Agency of the Future

According to Linda McGovern, SVP Global Marketing at USG, and Mike Hensley, President at Gyro, the B2B agency of the future is one that understands how to curate brand touchpoints, one that is able to expand and shrink based on the needs of its client, and one that is insanely focused on user experience and content creation.

Like speakers before them, McGovern and Hensley echoed the need to create experiences, not just compelling messages. They touched on the importance emotion plays in the decision making process, and how marketing today needs to connect with the customer.

Session 10: Think Differently: Opportunity Identification or Breakthrough Ideas

After Lindsay Avner stepped off the stage, there may not have been a dry eye in the house. Avner, who founded BrightPink, shared her story of undergoing a risk reducing double mastectomy at the age of 22 to help prevent a future seemingly inevitable diagnosis of breast and ovarian cancer.

As Avner shared her passion for education and getting one step ahead of cancer, it was clear that her powerful message was reaching the right audience because of unique marketing tactics.

Avner explained that she borrows the equity and brand recognition of powerful partners like Arie and Paul Mitchell to communicate BrightPink’s message. The not-for-profit has created highly visible campaigns around Mother’s Day, with the most recent being the #goaskyourmother campaign which urged young women to talk about family history of breast and ovarian cancer.

BrightPink created an online assessment that allows women to assess their risk of breast and ovarian cancer quickly and easily.

Avner’s philosophy is: awareness doesn’t save lives, action does…and all of BrightPink’s marketing efforts are judged based on that simple premise. Has our content, our partnerships caused people to make a change?

Session 11: LUV Lessons: Building a Brand from the Inside Out

He may be retired, but Dave Ridley definitely still has it….the former head of marketing at Southwest Airlines reminded the audience of our biggest brand advocates, our employees.

A few key quotes from his speech sum up his message:

  • “The business of business is people” –Herb Kelleher
  • To develop a great brand, start from the inside out.
  • “I still bleed canyon blue” – as marketers we need more of that diehard marketing. That commitment and dedication to our brands
  • It is a privilege to lead people – you get to invest in the hearts and minds of people
  • Everyone is a CEO…a chief encouragement officer, that’s the number one way to make a difference in people’s lives

Social Media Rules! How Can Higher Ed Marketers Reach Prospective Students?

When trying to reach Generation Z or Millennials, SnapChat, Instagram and Twitter are the “it” social media platforms. Print still serves a purpose — mainly driving the recipient to your digital presence – but social media is the place where engagement and conversion happens. That was the message Michael Mullarkey, chief executive officer of Chicago-based Brickfish, delivered at the Higher Ed SIG gathering that took place April 6.

The SIG meeting, which was held at Troquet North, was a discussion about how to optimize social media for colleges and universities. In keeping with our new format for these gatherings, the meeting was more of a moderated conversation as opposed to a presentation.  It was a huge success!

Brickfish, whose slogan is “Engagement is Everything,” manages the content and social media of large brands like Neiman Marcus and Hertz.  Relevant, fresh content along with a quick response to visitors’ queries is essential to the success of any enterprise. Generation Z and Millennials expect instance responses. Mullarkey believes Facebook is still important, but these cohorts spend most of their time exchanging rapid-fire communiqués with their friends on SnapChat and WhatsApp. Marketers need to become a relevant part of these exchanges.

Mullarkey also spoke about the shrinking reach of Facebook and Instagram. Once brands established their presence on these platforms, these firms monetized their sites.  You now have to boost your post to expand your reach and that requires paying for it. He offered some advice about how to get around having to pay, which includes unique, relevant content, engagement and short video.

Bottom line: For us higher education communicators, it’s new a world. We just need to fasten our seat belts and enjoy the ride.

Betsy Butterworth Dean Petrulakis

Betsy Butterworth and Dean Petrulakis

Co-Chairs, Chicago AMA Higher Education Special Interest Group

Chicago AMA Reports Out 2014 Member Survey Results

The Chicago AMA is always looking forward to how we can improve and enhance our programs. To this end we surveyed our members in 2014 and prepared this revealing report on what we do well and where we can do better. Some of the results may surprise you, others confirm your own feelings about the organization. But all will increase our value to our members and the industry we serve. Download the Report here.

 

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Marketing Insights for the Digital Age: Nancy Costopulos

Written by Wendy Lalli

CIO. A CMO’s Natural Partner in this Digital Age.

Nancy Costopulos Chief Marketing Officer, Senior Executive, Nonprofit Sector

Nancy Costopulos
Chief Marketing Officer, Senior Executive, Nonprofit Sector

To Nancy Costopulos, Chief Marketing Officer, Senior Executive, Nonprofit Sector of the AMA there is no question that digital technology has changed marketing in many ways. As she points out in this Chicago AMA leadership interview, today a CMO’s most important professional relationship is with the CIO of their organization.

Just consider the profound influence technology has over the way companies conduct market research, develop a target audience and disseminate brand messaging. All of these developments have made an enormous difference in how we market products.

For example, a restaurant owner who decides at 10 a.m. to offer a discount coupon on sandwiches can publicize this offering through the restaurant’s website, Facebook page and app in time for patrons to save on lunch that day. Or an investment broker can react to a change in the stock market with a blog and email blast to his clients within hours.

Marketers have also been able to make their content more relevant due to digitally gathered research identifying specific markets and analyzing what messages are most likely to resonate with them.

Finally, we can communicate with larger audiences more frequently than ever before, not only because of the international scope of the web, but the myriad of media channels now available. Marketing messages can reach targeted audiences through a wide mix of options including websites, social media, email blasts, banner ads and YouTube videos – not to mention the non-digital media.

To make the most effective use of all these elements, creative marketers ultimately must depend on and collaborate with the people who design and maintain the necessary digital technology. According to Nancy, this relationship depends on developing a sense of trust in each other and respect for the challenges each must face. Click here to hear more of her astute observations on the symbiotic partnership between marketing and IT.

 

Wendy Lalli VP Creative, Crux Creative

Wendy Lalli
VP Creative, Crux Creative

Wendy Lalli is an award-winning writer and marketing strategist who has served clients in a wide range of industries and created communications in every format. She describes herself as “Peggy from ‘Madmen’ grownup.” She’s had her own company, Wendy Lalli, Ltd., since 1997 and is now a VP/Creative Director at Crux Creative, a creative and marketing agency in Milwaukee.

In addition to creating print, direct response and digital communications for clients like GE Healthcare and MB Financial, she has also written articles and blogs for organizations such as the BMA and the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago. Her interest in career development led her to write frequently on job search for the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, contribute several chapters to college textbooks on marketing communications and facilitate career seminars at colleges, libraries and professional associations throughout Chicago.