It’s incredible to think back to what I was doing on a daily basis eight years ago when I began leading the marketing efforts at Crunch. I certainly was challenged, being that I was transitioning from the agency side to the client side and doing my best to try and understand the mechanics of the business. A business, by the way, that is obsessed with acronyms. It’s quite possible I spent the first year just trying to decipher what letters stood for.
Besides learning the business and nomenclature, I felt fairly confident that my years of advertising experience had served me well and that I had a strong grasp on how to drive our marketing efforts — print, outdoor, radio, TV, grassroots, direct mail? Check, tons of experience in all of those areas — I’ve got this.
If I were to try and make my “I’ve got this” list now, I would run out of room on this page. Not to mention I am not sure I could confidently say I got each and every medium on the list. The vehicles to reach people can be complex and just when you get a handle on it, technology will evolve and having a full grasp of how it all works will elude you once again. This can be intimidating and quite frankly, exhausting, as marketing leaders work to ensure that they are experts in their field.
The silver lining is that this is truly the marketing age of enlightenment. Which means, that as a leader, the challenge is to be open and to accept that there is so much to learn. Our access to data and sophisticated tracking technology allows for deeper strategic analysis and spending accountability.
Consumer behavior is malleable and new technologies or services like Uber and Airbnb have upended traditional industries. Advertising platforms like content marketing, native advertising and of course, social media, have helped us reach new levels of individualized and relevant marketing. It’s an incredibly exciting time, if you are able to put your ego aside and allow yourself to admit that you have a lot of learning to do.
Christina DeGuardi is the senior vice president of marketing, branding and communications for Crunch. For questions on marketing, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.