Expert's Panel

A collection of timely and important topics posed to our panel of experts.

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    What is the most important lesson you have learned that makes you a great marketer?

  1. Avoid consensus forecasting, or check it out carefully yourself so you don’t get your firm in trouble. Everyone may be saying xyz is going to be the growth area. Get involved with the end-user market as much as possible and get as close as you can to the big customers. In brief, do not just accept the numbers that someone is publishing.
  2. I started to be a better marketer when I started to sharpen my listening skills. So much of your responsibilities and what you do are related to listening to customers, associates, the marketplace
  3. Have a broad horizon of information.
  4. You have to fundamentally understand the technology area you are in so that you can relate and evaluate what is going on. How you handle yourself is also very important. People like being around others who are somewhat outgoing and have a good track record. This allows you to network well and that is crucial to this industry. Make sure you rely on multiple sources for information and thoughts that lead you to important decisions. It is very easy to get caught up in our own product and not truly see the world you are trying to impact.
  5. The greatest lesson I learned was during 2000 when the industry bombed. At that time I was telling others to listen to their customers. I entered an internet-based venture with highly intelligent people and great ideas. Then one day, a customer I respect sat me down at lunch and said, “You have an elegant solution for a problem that doesn’t exist”. I had forgotten the lessons I was teaching.
  6. Let me add an important word, “Courage.” You may be in a company where marketing is not recognized as valuable. You need the courage to push out the marketing tools and conclusions, even when top execs are talking them down. You need courage to keep fighting to make sure the thoughts in the MRS are properly implemented. You need courage to sometimes even kill a product when it is a top exec’s baby. Without it you will never be an excellent marketer.