I have been fortunate to have had great working experiences as a marketer at P&G, Coca-Cola, WebTrends and ExactTarget, and as a result, the opportunity to live in four amazing cities: Cincinnati, Atlanta, Portland and Indianapolis. In fact, each of these cities has built a real center of gravity around tech and marketing. I believe that the concentration of marketing talent in these cities has had more impact on my career and development than perhaps any other factor.
With that said, one of the biggest gaps I’ve consistently seen across various tech ecosystems that I have spent time in is a lack of community. I have especially noticed this across our marketing community here in Indy. To be clear, I think that Indy is a powerhouse for marketing talent, but we could do more to create greater community among our marketers.
Marketing is not a one size fits all field. Its different from other functions where job responsibilities may be virtually identical from one company to the next. Every marketer you meet likely has a dramatically different day to day role. They may be centered around similar problems but solving them in a different way. There is no blueprint when talking about the marketing needs from one company to the next.
For this reason especially, I believe connectivity is critically important for marketers. It takes connectivity to build community. Community as marketers fosters a spirit of unity, and also create the opportunity to learn from each other. There’s nothing better than the ability to expedite our collective development by learning from each other’s mistakes. The rate of speed that marketing changes today necessitates the need for connectivity and community all the more.
Being successful in marketing takes ruthless prioritization. By knowing where to allocate your time and resources, you dramatically improve your ability to succeed. When you surround yourself with talented, intelligent people, our mutual success and improvement is the byproduct of these relationships.
Starting in Indianapolis, we’re working to close this gap and help lead this effort. I am starting a monthly meetup for rising stars and marketing leaders. We recognize the importance of young, rising marketers to learn from established folks and vice versa. Diversity of age, background, race, gender, and industry (B2B and B2C) are important pieces we’re focusing on incorporating into this meetup.
Our objectives with this group are the 3 E’s – Educate, Engage, and Expand:
- Share best practices, failures/successes, and issues in current roles
- Problem-solving workshops to help peers with challenges in current strategies
- Grow our networks and ways of thinking
So far into this adventure, we have one meetup in the books! Huge thanks to Sigstr for hosting our first meetup with over 50 folks in attendance. We’ll continue to slowly build this out in our attempt to take Indy to the next level. The reception was so strong, we’re even looking into how to take this beyond Indy to Chicago and Atlanta. Stay tuned.
The one truth that I will leave you with is that marketing never works well in isolation… this is true inside the company (in driving alignment across the various other functions), and true with the broader marketing community. Hopefully, over time, we will keep improving things on both fronts.
— Tim Kopp (@tbkopp) October 3, 2017