During his interview with Nadim, Howard dropped some valuable marketing knowledge and delivered spectacular insights that had us nodding vigorously and taking notes as we listened in. From how he sort of stumbled into his first marketing role to how he’s used communication as a tool to solve the ol’ marketing-sales alignment problem, Howard’s stories are chock full of advice for aspiring and established marketers alike.
Below, we run through a few of our favorite moments from the interview:
Being a good marketer begins with being a good storyteller.
When asked what his secret weapon is as a marketer, Howard answered that while hard word, resilience, and a willingness to get better every day have gotten him to where he is now, his ability to tell a story with a unique and fresh perspective is what has helped him truly shine in his career. Howard used to be a DJ while in college, and he describes great marketing as being a lot like great mixing—you listen in on the ideas going on around you, absorb the best ones, and then join them together in a new way to create something original and compelling.
Data is a marketer’s best friend—and understanding it is the key to success.
According to Howard, attribution is the biggest challenge that marketers face when it comes to performance measurement. There’s so much data available, and so much of it can be inaccurate, that it can be hard to put everything together in the right ways so that we can make sense of it all. Marketers need to learn how to really read, understand, and analyze their data so that they can make smarter decisions based on the results they’re seeing.
CMOs have the power to change the perception of marketing.
In order to gain more respect for marketing as a business function, the team needs to be able to prove what it’s accomplishing for the organization. So how does it do that? Howard’s advice is for CMOs—he suggests they start spreading more appreciation for marketing metrics and create more data-centric cultures within their teams. Not only will this allow for more self-sufficient reporting and better informed planning, it will also help the CMO earn a seat at the organization’s revenue table.
Always be consuming!
When asked about his advice for someone who would someday like to become a CMO, Howard’s answer is simple: consume as much content as possible, in as many places as possible. In order to keep ideas fresh and interesting, it’s important to read or listen to content from across industries, from your competitors, from other business’ with great marketing, and so on. Howard says that we as marketers should “read a lot, be curious, and ask a lot of questions.” This continuous quest for new information has gotten him to where he is today, and it can help other aspiring marketing leaders get to the top as well.
Listen to the full episode to hear more of Howard’s insights about the state of marketing today, and be sure to follow us on SoundCloud to stay on top of new episodes as they’re released every other week.