5 Habits of Highly Successful MarketersMay 18, 2011 By Pam Lockard
Editor's note: In the recently published "Profiles in Marketing Excellence," author and marketer Pamela Lockard interviewed 25 top marketers—including our own Denny Hatch—to discover what common traits made them successful. These are five habits that she found these experts shared, with quotes from the book about how those qualities changed their careers. What habits have been key to your marketing success?
"Commitment and persistence are necessary in all businesses. ... it's like a roller coaster ride. One day you're at the top of the world because you may have landed a big client. The next day, you're down in the dumps because your best employee left. You must have persistence and commitment to see it through because the opportunities to give up come often."
— Anita Campbell, founder and editor-in-chief, Small Business Trends
When it comes to Anita, proof is in the pudding. Her ability to persevere helped her create one of the highest-viewed small business publications on the web. Today, she has a reputation as a small-business marketing expert.
2. Embrace Change
"I think the key to our success was that we constantly embraced change and evolved. The ability to adapt and adjust with the times remains critical."
— Mike Boylson, executive VP & CMO, J.C.Penney Inc.
"My advice to all advertising and marketing geniuses who think their business isn't being redefined is to change or die."
— Dr. Joe Cappo, professor of communication, DePaul University
Marketing continues to evolve at lightning speed. No one knows exactly how it will look in the future. However, top marketers do know that the future equals change and adapting equals success. Mike Boylson led J.C.Penney into the digital space to reach a younger, larger audience. Joe Cappo predicted today's "Information Age" back in 1991 in the Advertising Age article titled, "Agencies: Change or Die." Top marketers who read and stay abreast of change will maintain positions above tentative peers.
3. Share Knowledge
"Great marketers share what they find works and what doesn't."
—Steven Woods, co-founder and chief technology officer, Eloqua
Marketers view things in different ways based on experience and the disciplines where they specialize. According to Steven Woods, it's important not to hold your experiences tight to the vest. His career success is testament to the importance of teaching and sharing your stories with others.
4. Broaden Your (Cultural) Horizons
"Take foreign language classes. Immerse yourself in more cultures because it's a very diverse and multicultural world."
—Jeff Hayzlett, founder of The Hayzlett Group, Author of "The Mirror Test," former CMO of Kodak
Marketers who travel internationally—either for work or play—have an advantage. When immersed in a foreign culture, one is given no choice but to adapt to the unfamiliar habitat. It is an experience not learned, but lived. Not only does broadening your horizons broaden your perspective, but it broadens a marketer's willingness to take risks. This skill can expand your perspectives when faced with challenges that seem to have no solution.
Jeff Hayzlett, former CMO of Eastman Kodak, updated Kodak's marketing efforts and added social media to the mix. Noticing the international trend of online communities, Hayzlett returned relevancy to the Kodak brand by connecting multiple cultures of camera lovers in a digital environment branded "Kodak."
5. Stay Connected
"Network and reach out to people that you find interesting. This will provide a great opportunity to access the world's most influential people—CEOs, journalists, you name it! I am not opposed to somebody reaching out to me who just wants to learn more about this stuff."
—John Jantsch, President, Duct Tape Marketing
Networking played an important role in the career paths of almost all the marketers interviewed for "Profiles in Marketing Excellence." Building and nurturing business relationships through your career remains very important. John Jantsch began as a one-person shop to provide a service to small businesses and their marketing efforts. Rather than getting hung up on new tools, he distinguished himself by offering practical, useful and economic solutions. This is why he named his company Duct Tape Marketing. Over the course of just four or five years, Duct Tape became a nationally recognized global firm. His established network of successful marketers and business professionals catapulted his business success and credibility as an expert in small-business marketing.