Are you a Marketing Futurist?

leading-in-changeThe 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 +264% suggest she’s doing a great job. Steuart also describes how her current COO (previously her VP Marketing) helped them grow their sales team: “He quickly began the hiring process. He went to where the biggest gap was and where the biggest challenge was.”

Her point: marketers will always be faced with lots of hard problems. “Measuring results is never an easy problem to solve, but doing so will take you into leadership territory.”

 2. Help fill the bus

Getting IT, Product Development and Sales on board with your latest marketing efforts – with little backlash? That’s the work of an influencer.

Steuart says, “For marketers looking to be leaders in their marketing organizations, your ability to connect with people, influence them to get on-board to a common vision, and bring them together will be invaluable to your CMO, especially as everyone learns to navigate in the fast-changing world of marketing where change becomes mandatory.”

3. Refine your magic

Or, as Steuart calls it, create something from nothing. “As a marketer in these changing times, you have infinite space to create. We all create campaigns, but what about something “bigger”? What about tackling that hard problem in an entirely new way?”

Say goodbye, job description. The CMO’s of tomorrow are working now to make themselves #StandApart. Creating something new – and maybe even something wow – is one way to ensure your seat at the table.

Other great posts in the Leading In Change: CMO Leadership Series –

How to create marketing momentum

The importance of talking to customers

Be a Champion: CMO lessons from a Team Canada Tennis Star