Some members of the nectarOM team and I attended DMA 2014 in San Diego this past October. There we met kindred spirits in the marketing ecosystem and among new friends was Rick Miller, a marketing technology and direct mail executive at Valid USA.
After winning our #MyMarketingHero contest, I had the opportunity to visit with Rick about marketing heroes. What do we talk about when we talk about heroes? It’s not just Gary Vee, Jay Baer, Seth Godin, or Mark Clark that we look up to. (Although, these names usually make most people’s list for marketing heroes.)
Marketing heroes can be found all around us. They sit next to us in the office, attend the same conferences, lead workshops, or befriend us on social media. Rick shared some awesome points about what it takes to be a marketing hero, and so I’m sharing them with you. Want to join our discussion? Tweet to us and let us know your thoughts!
A Talk with Rick Miller about Marketing Heroes
KD: What do you think makes someone a marketing hero?
RM: When I saw the contest advertised during the DMA Conference I envisioned the qualities I looked for in order to be able to call someone a marketing hero. I first focused on longevity, it had to be someone dedicated enough about marketing to make it a “lifelong” endeavor, (Tweet this quote) something they were so passionate about that they were willing to stick with it through good times and bad. In addition to this I felt this individual needed to exhibit their willingness to educate and mentor others to develop marketing’s next generation.
KD: Who did you nominate for the #MyMarketingHero contest at DMA 2014 and why?
RM: When I thought of the qualifications I came up with that are outlined above, the first name that came to mind was Brian Kurtz from Boardroom, a publishing company in Stamford Connecticut. Long before Boardroom became a client of Valid’s I had encountered Brian at numerous industry events, especially those related to the publishing industry. When he was a presenter at these events, his passion for marketing was evident in his enthusiastic approach to the topics he covered. Brian continues, after 30 plus years to give accolades to his personal mentors / marketing heroes. In my opinion he has done them proud by exemplifying all that was good in what they passed on to him as he now fills those shoes and educates/encourages marketing’s future generations.
KD: What would you tell marketers to focus on if they want to be marketing hero within their organization / company?
RM: Don’t stagnate in regards to marketing technology and innovation, be willing to try new things because where there is risk, there can be reward. (Tweet this quote.) Also, be a role model and mentor for others within your organization and the industry. Whenever you can pass on the knowledge to others so overall as a company, and within the industry others can become stronger.
KD: Do you think marketing heroes are born or made?
RM: My opinion would be that they are made. I can’t think of anyone that has ever told me, “when I grow up I want to be a marketer”, rather the story typically starts with an admission that they didn’t really know what they were getting into when they accepted a marketing position. The marketing hero is the one that develops a passion for marketing through their experiences. (Tweet this quote.) Over my 25 plus years in the industry I have encountered a number of what I would consider to be brilliant marketers and their stories are similar, their passion for marketing came about through on the job experiences, personal mentors and heroes that may not have known it at the time but they were helping to grow that passion for marketing in these individuals by encouraging them to pursue marketing as a career.
Who is your marketing hero?
Who is your marketing hero? Is it a committed mentor or conference speaker? Is it your colleague or friend? A celebrity or client?
Nominate your hero on Twitter using the hashtag #MyMarketingHero.