Are you a Marketing Futurist?

The debate rages: is marketing a cost center or a profit center? Well, Kristine Steuart, CEO of Vancouver cloud software provider, Allocadia – a start-up dedicated to helping CMOs and marketing operations lead and build data-driven marketing organizations – answers the question. And, best of all, she does it for all marketers. Here’s how… Steuart, who founded Allocadia with her twin sister, has been quietly lending her experience (she’s a vet of Business Objects and Crystal Decisions) to anyone looking for advice on the evolving world of the CMO 2.0. And she’s sharing it all in her new blog series: Leading in Change: The CMO Leadership Series. Are you a marketing futurist? Steuart says, “The rapidly changing world of marketing and the evolving role of the CMO… present a host of opportunities for young marketing leaders to take charge and grow in their careers.” It’s a simple call to action – with huge results for those who take the challenge: “How can today’s marketers start taking a leadership role in their marketing organization?” Pointing to a recent IBM study of 1700 CMOs that reveals big opportunities for young marketing leaders, Steuart advise that those who establish themselves as eager, high-potential “marketing futurists” have the ability to drive positive change in their marketing organization” – and get rewarded for it. I couldn’t agree more. Representing marketers – especially those hoping to make THE leap to a C-suite role one day – I can definitely point to a common theme in ‘who’ passes go. Here’s Steuart’s advice on how to establish yourself as a high potential employee on your marketing team: 1. Don’t take the easy road Try and solve the big problems. Steuarts’s own business, Allocadia, was built around a huge business pain: helping CMOs achieve better Marketing ROI. Q1 profits of...

Hunger Games: How to Ace your Next Job Interview Oct23

Hunger Games: How to Ace your Next Job Interview

It’s fun helping candidates prepare for job interviews. As a recruiter, by the time I’ve put your name forward, I’ve already signalled a good match. You, your skills, your work history – it’s all been laid out for consideration. But there comes a point (the interview) when it’s all up to you. I believe in you…do you? Are you hungry for it? In a way, interviews are like problem solving. It seems as simple as answering, in the span of an hour or so, how you’re someone who: The interviewer wants to work with – Friendly, relatable, a team player Is capable of doing the job – Possessing the right skills, familiar with the industry, experienced Who stands apart (compared to other prospective candidates) – An innovator with proven results BUT over the years, I’ve also learned it’s not quite that simple. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t – and how a great fit on paper can be an epic fail in person. The egos that barely fit in the chair. The understated superstars that won’t own up to even a fraction of their powers. The introverts. The extroverts. The over-rehearsed and the decidedly absent. I’ve distilled my best interview advice down to the following three essential rules of interview success. Tackle these three steps and the job is as good as yours: Get Hungry For it Ask yourself: do you care? This Lifehacker post suggests that “just giving a damn” can exponentially boost your chances of success. Nearly all of the top marketers we’ve profiled for our #StandApart series mention “energy” as one of their key indicators that a job interview is going well. So, I’d like to suggest that having a bit of skin in the game (i.e. caring) is half your prep work. Yes, research your...

The “little fix” your career needs today Oct18

The “little fix” your career needs today

  A Little Fix is a new web-series by Emily Key, inviting you to get cozy and listen-in as she interviews outstanding women business leaders on everything from careers and families to personal wellness and more.   Wednesday may be known as hump day but any day can be a slump day – and I know exactly what you need. You need #alittlefix with Emily Key and her enviable list of mentors.   A Little Fix is the newly debuted web series by Vancouverite Emily Key, and it promises #alittlefix of inspiration, whenever you need it.   This is so much more than speed-mentoring or career advice. Working with Vancouver’s Altamont Productions, Key’s invited a handful of “big-name” women leaders, mostly from Vancouver, to get cozy on her beautiful couch and open up in “casual conversations” about their careers, lives, fears, personal motivators and more. Each episode runs about 15 minutes, but feels like a marathon heart-to-heart session (the rejuvenating, enlightening, life-affirming kind) with your most respected and trusted best friend.   “We should just throw out the word balance. Because we’re all making choices and they’re not easy choices.” – A Little Fix with Cynthia Roney   Key, who is an entrepreneur in her own right (she’s launched both Reverb Software, a builder of world-class software products, and HelenJean Apparel Co, a custom-made dress shop for “game-changing women”), has this to say about why she started the project:   We have so much to learn from one another. We often look to the big names and the greats to share their knowledge, but we can enrich our lives so much more by having meaningful dialogue with those women already in our lives or within our reach.   A Little Fix is a personal project, and I have no idea where it...

500+: The Most Thoughtful App in Business?

Recently, I decided to take a look at my entire list of LinkedIn connections. I found a lot of people who represent powerful contacts for me but I couldn’t recall how we originally connected. Without a reminder of why I wanted to link up with those people in the first place, I feel that the potential value that could have resulted from that initial exchange is lost. Does this happen to you? Luckily, there’s an app aimed at changing that. Five Hundred Plus is a personal CRM system meant to eliminate the connect-and-forget mentality plaguing so many LinkedIn users. Its name comes from the ‘500+’ you see on the profiles of LinkedIn’s super-connectors (as in more than 500 connections) and it’s a super simple fix to managing all those would-be relationships on LinkedIn that never came to fruition. The offer is simple: never lose touch with your contacts again.  Social Solutions Collective recently laid out a great overview on the tool with lots of concrete tips on how to use it. Here’s the gist: You log-in to the service (free at this point) with your LinkedIn username and password Five Hundred Plus splits your screen into a bunch of columns: weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly. The far left column is a searchable list of all your contacts (listed with name, title and thumbnail of their profile pic) Now, it’s up to you. Simply drag and drop contacts into the column that signifies how often you feel you’d like to be in touch. Old boss? Maybe once or twice a year. Your last mentor? Maybe once a month. That’s it! A handy Monday morning email seals the deal. You’ll get a reminder that it’s time to connect and, as Artic Startup writer, Greg Anderson, says “it makes LinkedIn actually useful” and not just...

Rogers that: How to win the interview process and land the job Sep17

Rogers that: How to win the interview process and land the job

From the outside in, it might seem as though CEOs simply inherit their next role or get hand-picked without contest, but as this article on Rogers’ search for a new Chief Executive Officer goes to prove – no matter what your level, you’ve still got to #standapart and show some moxy. It’s not often we get a bird’s eye view into the recruitment and interview process for a c-suite position. But this brilliant article from the Globe and Mail reveals it all – from the courting process to the interview clincher. The article recounts the journey of Guy Laurence, a British Telecom Executive, to the top-job at Rogers Communications Inc. It’s a fascinating read – separate hotels, secret Saturday meetings – and it goes on to list some of the ways Laurence differentiated himself and eventually landed the role. And, you know what? He really knocked it out of the park. What won Laurence the job was not his slaved over resume or his exhaustive LinkedIn profile. And it was not his track record (at least, not entirely). Those just got him in the door. In the end, it was all about finding a way to show a bit of who he was and, ultimately, asking for the job. Here’s a recount of just how Guy Laurence, past CEO of UK’s Vodafone and one of three short-listed candidates selected by Rogers, clinched the win for the CEO title: 1) He did his research: “He had done his homework, going so far as to conduct mystery shopping excursions to some Rogers retail stores and those of its rivals. He even took part in discussions on online blogs so he could ask participants about products and services.” At a certain level, if you’re still banking on a precursory scan of a company’s website, then you’re...

Give your LinkedIn profile a speed-makeover Sep11

Give your LinkedIn profile a speed-makeover

As summer meet-ups and after-work drinks turn into more formal fall networking events, now would be a good time to take action on cleaning up your LinkedIn profile. Why? I can’t stress it enough: your LinkedIn profile is without question one of the first places new contacts, clients, and co-workers will look to get the 411 on who you are – personally and professionally. A few days ago, I was inspired when Vancouver marketing blogger, Rebecca Coleman, shared her own motivation for seriously updating her LinkedIn profile. She included a helpful infographic detailing a step-by-step process for improving your profile, which she advises you do every 6 months or so. When you have a few hours to dedicate to the cause, I highly suggest you follow that guide. It’s comprehensive, for sure, but so worth it. In the meantime…because I, for one, am sill in the midst of back-to-school madness and fall reviews, I thought I’d share this simple 3-step LinkedIn audit that I use to help last-minute applicants put a quick polish on their profile prior to interviews: Get your LinkedIn profile ready for fall networking: You can follow these 3 easy steps for an instant professional makeover of your current LinkedIn profile – before you hit the conference floor. 1)   Does your profile follow best practices of the visual web? That big wall of text you call your LinkedIn profile – that’s a good way to look out of touch. Give your personal “landing page” a quick marketing overhaul and break up lengthy blocks of content with eye-catching images and videos embedded right into your work history and summary sections. As said on Techlicious.com: “this is a great opportunity to let prospective employers see your crowning achievement…[though] a wide range of formats including PDFs, Power Point Presentations, pictures and videos.” Visual Profile Checklist: Include photos...

What’s your story? Aug14

What’s your story?

One of my first questions when screening a new candidate is: can you give me a two-minute overview on you? The first reaction is often awkwardness – the kind of awkward that ensues when people give their LinkedIn profile the 3rd person treatment. I include the words “two minute” because most people need a time frame. I think it helps give the impression that the ‘story’ I am asking for should be succinct, short and to the point. I don’t specify “professional background” because I’m curious to see how you respond. But what do I hear? Despite the running cliché of mirror-practiced elevator pitches and major networking fails, most people lack the ability to answer this simple, focused question: who are you and why are you here? Here’s what I usually get in reply: Dazed and Confused: Do you mean about me, as a person, or my work history? I’m definitely not asking about your romantic history, so let’s just agree-to-agree that – at least in this professional setting – you (as a person) and you (as in your work history) are one in the same. Ramble On: Long, rambling, high in detail, low in focus and uncomfortably hazy in end point. You lost me somewhere between where you were born, your first job in high school and your latest management philosophy. I am still not sure what’s important and what’s not. Total Recall: A chronological breakdown of one’s work history, often recited bullet-for-bullet from their hard copy resume. One word: redundant. Appetizer. Movie Trailer. Elevator pitch. Do you see a pattern? They’re all a bite-sized sampler of the bigger picture – all meant to entice, spark interest and act as a sales mechanism for what’s to come. Likewise, when I ask for your two-minute personal overview, I am not...

2 tips for managing your social (profile) life Aug02

2 tips for managing your social (profile) life

Is your major social messaging centre, Facebook, letting you down? Is there a way to snoop without consequence on LinkedIn? We have the answers! Everyone knows that you have to protect your social reputation – online and off. That’s why we couldn’t pass up this opportunity to share these two hot profile management tips that even social media  ‘lite’ users will value. One of these tips might help you reconnect with a long lost friend, wallet or job prospect. And the other tip will help you maintain your ‘virtual’ cool. Here they are: 1. Facebook’s secret ‘other’ folder Facebook may not wear the “suit” in your entourage of social media apps – we’ll leave that to LinkedIn – but its nonetheless one of the most popular ways people seek to connect with one another. That’s probably why so many people were incensed (and intrigued) by a series of posts circulating about a secret ‘other’ folder in Facebook that likely contains tons of missed personal messages, requests and potential connections. In this post, the NYTimes outlines how you can access the ‘other’ folder from your messages centre. The folder was originally intended to filter spam and bogus friend requests. But, in some cases, it turns out the filter was over-productive, hiding away prize notifications, friend requests and even important life news. We checked our ‘other’ folders and were absolutely shocked by what we found: missed messages from ex-colleaugues looking to reconnect, more than a few event invites and even a request for a reference letter. Tell us: Did you find anything surprising in your ‘other’ folder? 2. How to be anonymous on LinkedIn Fair enough: you have a burning desire to know what your ex-colleague or old office flame has been up to, but you don’t want them to see that you’ve been lurking. Or, maybe you’re looking to...

Could your career use a little start-up savvy? Jul24

Could your career use a little start-up savvy?

There’s a lot to learn from those coveted few in the corner office, especially when they start to talk about their days as ‘one of the few.’ That’s why we found this interview with Mike McCue, chief executive of Flipboard, so compelling. Whether or not you have the “entrepreneurial itch,” we think there’s a lot to learn from McCue – even for corporate-insider types. His start-up anecdotes remind us that, when it comes to our careers, we’re all founders and entrepreneurs in some way. McCue’s advice – think big, attract investors, learn to rally and hire a star team – leaves us with some great ideas on where our own careers could benefit from a bit of start-up savvy. Here are McCue’s top 3 lessons as an entrepreneur…that we’re taking back to the corporate office: Think Big McCue thinks one of the biggest pitfalls for entrepreneurs is “thinking they should focus on a niche, and [doing] the simplest thing that can be done.” He says the problem with that approach is that “it’s going to take the same amount of life force” and possibly limit early growth. Instead, McCue suggests start-ups “focus on the big idea, the biggest thing you can possibly do…because it’s more fun, and you have way more room to maneuver.” Thinking big when it comes to your career is also a game-changer. Adopting a micro-focus (i.e. living by the job description) can seriously limit your potential to grow and impress. Just as a bigger start-up vision can attract more investors, the more you demonstrate your personal drive for the top, the more mentors and office seniors will take an interest in you and your work. Learn to Rally When two over-paid IBM engineers walked out on McCue’s first venture to start their...

How to Ask for Anything Jul19

How to Ask for Anything

Making a big client pitch?  Need to ask your co-worker for a favour? Planning your case for a long overdue raise? Looking to light a fire in your employee and convince them to take on a new project? Here’s a technique that’s so simple and effective, you can start using it immediately. As part of a French study, PHDs decided to dress as beggars to see if they could affect how much money a total stranger would be willing to give someone on the street by including a few “specially encoded words” in their request. The results were astounding– and the formula for ‘how to ask for anything’ was revealed. The magical “turn of phrase” they discovered not only “increased how much bus fare people give, but was also effective in boosting charitable donations and participation in voluntary surveys.” In fact, a recent meta-analysis involving over 22,000 participants concluded, “these few words, placed at the end of a request, are a highly effective way to gain compliance, doubling the likelihood of people saying “yes.” So, next time you want to ask for something, try this: At the end of your request, tack on what Dr. Jesse Schell, of Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center, calls the ‘wanna-hafta’ clause by ending on this sweet note:  “but you are free to accept or refuse.” Those simple words, “but you are free to accept or refuse,” reaffirm our ability to choose, which makes us feel more in control and increases our willingness to help others. It’s the “difference between things we want to do and things you have to do.” Or as Schell points out, “the difference between work and play … slavery and freedom … efficiency and pleasure.” Turns out, all we’re really looking for is a bit of autonomy. And, even...

Do Job Titles Really Matter? Jun28

Do Job Titles Really Matter?

Job titles – do they really matter? What do you think? I didn’t always think so, but in today’s “scannable” world, I’m more inclined to say yes. According this HBR article, a recent CareerBuilder.com study shows that half of all hiring managers admit they limit their candidate pools by only looking at applicants with specific job titles. What does this mean for you? It means that, while ‘Chief Happiness Officer’ might be a c-level spot in your company, to online recruitment platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor (where candidate sourcing is based on targeted searches) you might as well be a ticket-taker at the happiest place on earth. And that’s where the real problem with job titling lies. While organizations are free to exercise their ‘creative license,’ hiring practices are all based around the same, sometimes outdated, definitions. For example, a large organization might use job titles stringently as a way to define corporate structure, pay scale or managerial requirements (who hasn’t met someone jumping ship because there’s just “no more room for upper management” where they work?). On the other hand, in smaller organizations, like start-ups, where employees tend to where many hats, job titles are often handed out liberally. As stated by this CEO in a NY Times article, “My point of view is that titles don’t cost a business anything and they create psychological and business benefits for our staff, so why not give them out.” From a recruiting perspective, that can make an employee seem far more senior, on paper, than the scope of their actual job responsibilities and qualifications determine. The real crux of the matter, though, is when it comes to online candidate sourcing and your next job search. That’s because candidate searches on popular job sites are often limited to queries that search...