As the corporate world becomes more competitive, a new generation of marketing leaders are emerging from the crowd. What if there was a place for inspiring women to come together, share their incredible stories as influential leaders and celebrate their success with their respective brands? Rebecca Croucher, VP of Sales and Marketing Solutions Sales for Dun & Bradstreet, has partnered with CMO Outlook to create such a place: The Women’s Marketing Leadership Forum. CMO Outlook appointed Croucher as Chair of the forum due to her long history in marketing and to encourage women in all marketing roles to become Next Level Leaders.
CMOO: Could you briefly describe your background from where you started to where you currently are?
RC: I started at MCI/Verizon in marketing and ran more of a traditional database marketing organization where we supported sales and marketing with data analysis, campaigns and target marketing. At the time, the industry was new to data so we focused heavily on campaigns, customer intelligence and market share reporting. We measured everything across marketing and sales and had to tie it together to our results. After Verizon, I came to D&B. They were looking for someone who was in marketing, could sit down with clients and sell marketing solutions. So, for the last 10 years, I’ve sold marketing services to the Fortune 500.
CMOO: What trait has helped you climb up the corporate ladder the most?
RC: I love change. Some people are averse to change, but I thrive on it. When there are issues, I see them as a challenge and like to solve problems. Through doing that, I found naturally that I would complete something and want to go onto the next thing. I am also competitive and that has helped me move up to the next level.
CMOO: What has been one of your biggest marketing challenges and how did you overcome it?
RC: My biggest challenge has been staying relevant as marketing evolves so quickly. As the digital marketing world evolves, companies have transformed from traditional marketing to digital. Startup companies come out with new marketing products and services every day. If you don’t adapt and try new marketing tactics constantly, then you will not be relevant anymore. Being in this industry for so long, I learned that if I wanted to remain relevant, I had to be in front of the market and not behind trying to catch up.
CMOO: What would you say is the most important thing to establish when working with a client?
RC: With a client, it is about building a personal relationship. No one calls me and says they want to buy my products if they don’t know me. Once you have a relationship they will call and say, ‘hey, I have an issue…can you help me?’ You should understand their role, know their issues and come in ready to help with fresh ideas. Build that personal relationship first to sell strategically.
CMOO: What attracted you to the Women’s Marketing Leadership Forum that made you want to get involved?
RC: A former co-worker of mine suggested I go to this forum in NJ. I hadn’t seen many things for women and marketing so I was immediately interested. When I went on April 25, I loved the panel format. When you get people on a panel, it’s a team effort and more relaxed than listening to a 30-minute presentation where someone is making a sales pitch to you. You want to hear from people who have done the job so it was meaningful to have different women talk about their experiences.
CMOO: How have your prior work experiences prepared you for becoming the Chair of CMO Outlook’s Women’s Marketing Leadership Forum?
RC: I’ve worked with many companies and have seen some exceptional talent when it comes to marketing. With my background working with different clients, I thought this opportunity would be great. CMO Outlook’s focus on women in the industry and recent college graduates excites me because it unites everyone. With my experience with many different marketing CMOs, I will be able to guide those want to move up and be there every step of the way on their path to a successful career.
CMOO: What do you want people to know about the Women’s Marketing Leadership Forum?
RC: We’re trying to help women from the time they’re thinking about what they want to major in, to progressing in their career. We want to make sure they are getting relevant experience, learning from and networking with each other. Bringing women together to share their experiences, successes and insightful words of advice, are areas we will cover with events and panels. Most of our events will typically be sponsored by companies that provide marketing products and services and are aligned to focusing on women’s marketing leadership.
CMOO: How does this forum stand out from other leadership resources designed for women?
RC: We are focused on all aspects of marketing—brand, advertising, journalism, public relations, demand generation and communications. The women on the panel will share their opinions, ideas and successes so that others can benefit. No one on the panel is pitching a product to someone. People are coming to learn, network and build strong relationships.
CMOO: What are your plans to grow the Women’s Marketing Leadership Forum?
RC: We plan to focus on topics people want to learn about. Finding women who have experiences and success in those areas are the ones we want to bring to the forefront. We plan to target all the way down to young women in college because they are our future marketers. It would be great for the panel to consist of experienced marketers and new marketers so that new ideas filter in.
CMOO: Why do you think it is important to be a next level leader?
RC: You always want to be one step ahead. When taking a role, make sure it’s the path you see yourself taking. If you are studying marketing in school, make sure you love it and can see yourself in that industry. I was a PR major in college and took a sales position as my first role, but within six months moved to marketing because that’s what I was attracted to. I thought about what I loved, what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. We want to help people see their next step, align everyone to what they’re naturally good at and fast track their career path with them.