In this series of articles we go backstage with a marketing rock star. We sit at their feet while they share with us what made them rockstars, what excites them and what we might learn on our journey to marketing rockstardom.
An award-winning marketer with 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Wendy Bryant-Beswick is currently VP of Marketing at Service Credit Union.
Ian Truscott sits down with the industry thought-leader to talk influences, the importance of values, and the intersection of tech, retail and marketing.
What would be top of your rider for your next marketing gig?
When you take over running marketing, the biggest challenge is building out the marketing stack each time, so having a full marketing stack in place from the beginning would help me hit the ground running. It’s so important to have the technology in place to support a contemporary, innovative marketing effort, which also helps you show the impact of how marketing contributes to the organization.
What or who are your marketing influencers?
My first real marketing gig after leaving the corporate world was to develop and lead two start-up businesses and oversee both marketing and operations. I drew upon my past experience, and a former manager, who was an amazing leader that followed Jim Collin’s philosophy and really inspired me to be a leader. It’s not always about the work – I strongly believe in leading and developing teams to bring people along with you.
If I was Spotify, what would I play for you first thing Monday morning to get you going?
‘We are the Champions’ by Queen. There’s nothing like it to get you in the right frame of mind for the next challenge.
The curtain pulls back, you step out on the stage of your new marketing gig – what do you open with?
I always start with values – what are our values, what do we stand for, why do we exist. It’s the backbone to everything else. It helps create marketing that’s not just more noise, but communicates the reason for why a consumer should care, and how it serves your broader community.
From how you communicate, advertise and participate in the communities you serve, your values are everywhere. The relevancy touches consumer experience, technology, ease of doing business with your organization and service. If you’re going to be a successful brand you must knock it out of the ballpark in all of these areas.
The audience is dancing in the aisles, it loves that track. What keeps the house jumping?
Leadership, staff development, constant communications and measurement are the ingredients for success today in marketing. Today’s teams need to also be open to learning, be flexible and nimble. Being a great leader and leading by example is the way to keep people excited and engaged.
You’re playing a huge stadium; how do you know the audience can hear your tune?
Connecting marketing to the business is how I measure success for specific campaigns. Member engagement and satisfaction is extremely important in our business. We use several methods like surveys and sentiment analysis to track how our members think about us, and what we’re doing to support them. Brand awareness and relevancy are secondary measures we track.
If there was a billboard chart for marketing trends, what would be your Number 1?
Technology and customer experience really excite me. Customer service and having service standards are critical to the success of any business. Delivering upon your service promise is what differentiates the best companies. I love how retail, tech and marketing collaborate and can provide an amazing experience all around if they coordinate and collaborate. All marketers today need to understand the impact of retail and service.
What would you throw from your hotel window into the Rockstar CMO pool?
‘One and done marketing’ is no longer relevant. Marketing today is about being nimble and being able to optimize while you’re live. Gone are the days of launching an initiative without optimizing.
What’s got you rocking today?
I love marketing and how it’s evolved – the intersection of service, retail and marketing continue to excite me. Being a strong member of the communities we serve is very inspirational to me. Our organization supports the active and retired military as well as consumers who reside in the New England area and Germany. We support many local communities that have a big impact on residents. For me, this brings it all home.
If there was a marketing hall of fame, who would you induct?
Jeff Bezos, Reed Hastings and Ariana Huffington.
Any final words before you drop the mic?
If the communities you serve support you then you’re executing marketing the right way.