christine bailey on the market mentors podcast
Jan 30, 2019

Christine Bailey, CMO at Valitor & Ted Speaker

By Matt Dodgson

Co-Founder - Recruiter & Marketer




00:19:27 Having interviewed a host of B to B marketeers over the years, what advice would you give them to perform better in the interview scenario?

00:21:48 What are the most important skills that you want to see in people that you’re looking to hire?

 00:23:03 Describe your perfect B2B marketing department.

 00:26:18 How do you manage your marketing career in a company that’s very, very short term focused?

00:29:18 How do you convince someone that your marketing plan or strategy is the right thing to do?

00:32:26 Focusing on short term again, ROI is so short sighted, the business likes to measure marketing by leads generated. How have you tackled this and persuaded them to look at the bigger picture?

 00:35:06 What advice could you offer someone moving into a senior role for the first time, where there isn’t a huge peer population to support and the pressure is on to make that great first impression?

00:37:32 How challenging is it to really deliver such a great Ted talk in such a short space of time?

 00:42:25 And then you talked about the community, the women in technology group that you set up. What can you tell me about that, where did that sort of stem from and what was that like, as an experience, setting that up and growing it?

00:44:10 What sort of advice would you share to people who are interested in getting involved in that, and what sort of hints and tips would you offer for people who are about to stand up in front of an audience for the first time, or, for the 20, 25th time?

00:46:12 When is it safe to move more towards strategy and leave tactical, hands on chores behind without jeopardising your value as a marketeer to the organisation?

00:49:17 How do you get involved in the Board’s strategic decision?

00:50:13 What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given or found for yourself?

 00:52:09 How important is it to have a marketing mentor, and why?

00:54:29 And, how to find a marketing mentor, when you’re already the most senior marketing person in a business?

00:56:42 What past failure or uncomfortable experience set you up for success at a later date?

00:58:37 With pressures of general life, how do you manage the work life balance, and how important is that in today’s society?

01:00:55 What do you do to keep up to speed with the latest B2B marketing best practices?

01:01:47 So, what is the book you recommend the most to B2B marketeers today?



Fiona Jensen: Welcome to Market Mentors, a podcast for the marketing leaders of today and tomorrow. I’m Fiona Jensen, a director and co-owner of Market Recruitment. For over a decade I’ve been helping B to B marketeers find the best jobs with great companies. Together we’ll discover how marketing experts reach the top, and learn from their experience. Ask career related questions you can’t get answers to elsewhere. Be tough, be challenged, be mentored.

Fiona Jensen: Christine Bailey, a doctor, TED Talker, unconventional career endorser, and much more besides. Being an accomplished and robust B to B tech CMO who reached Director level by the age of 31. Nothing seems impossible when Christine talks. Sharing her mind set when it comes to set backs, challenges and not to mention, how to survive no less than three redundancies. And sharing her knowledge and experience of marketing in the B to B tech world.

Fiona Jensen: Thank you ever so much for joining us. If you don’t mind, talk to the audience about who you are and how you got to where you are today, and a little bit about the experience they’re about to get the opportunity to hear about.

Christine Bailey: Okay, so to tell you a little bit of my career journey and how I ended up where I am now, I’m going to go back to University, when I studied German and Business Studies, which included a gap year abroad. But I went to a Careers Fair, it was called a milk round, those days, you know-

Fiona Jensen: Oh, yes. Yeah, yeah.

Christine Bailey: … where you go round to the the different people and they try and persuade you to come and work for them. And, I always knew I wanted to be in marketing, so I’m lucky like that. I always knew marketing was what I wanted to do. I didn’t know exactly how or where, and when you’re younger you think, “Well, if I’m going to be in marketing I should be in FMCG, consumer goods, because that’s where it all happens in marketing.”

Christine Bailey: So, I headed for the Mars stand, you know, because obviously they sell chocolate, so that seemed like a good bet. And I said, “Well, you know, I’m doing a degree in marketing, and I’m going to Germany, and I’d really like to work in Germany.” And he looked at me, and he shook his head, and he went, “No, you can’t do that.” And I said, “Well, why not?” And he said, “Well, first you have to earn your stripes in the UK and you have to prove your worth and then you, if you’re really lucky and you’ve proved yourself, you can look out for an opportunity and then you can go and work in Germany.

Christine Bailey: And I thought, “Well, that doesn’t work for me.” And that was the first time I learned is, not to listen to careers that, not to listen to all careers advice because as it turned out, I got sponsored at University by a Swiss German company, and I spent my gap year doing a practicum at, as it was called, in the export department of the Swiss German company. And I made contacts there at Hewlett Packard, and I ended up graduating on the Friday, and starting work in the marketing department in Germany on the following Monday.

Christine Bailey: So that was my first lesson is don’t listen, always, to careers advice. Or, don’t listen when people say, “No.” I think that’s particularly important when people are starting out, is, don’t take no for answer, there’s always a way. You just need to have that as your direction and you will find ways to do it. And there’s a quote I like to use from Thomas Edison, which says, “I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” There’s always a way, you just have to find it. You might not have the answer straight away.

Christine Bailey: So I went to work in Germany, I worked there for four or five years, working in PR. And I remember it wasn’t a particular choice to work in technology. But that’s where I’ve spent my whole career in B to B. Not in B to C. In B to B marketing, in technology. And that’s because my first entry was in to a PR role. Again, I hadn’t specifically decided to do PR, it was just, I knew I wanted to do marketing and that was the opportunity to do marketing for a technology company. And I remember a friend coaching me beforehand to say, “When you speak to HR, they’re going to ask you if you’re frightened of technology. The correct answer is no.”

Christine Bailey: So that’s how I got my first marketing role was, you just, when you’re looking for your first role, you just need to kind of go with where the opportunity lies, and then you can get your experience and move from there. So, I worked in an international role for five years, and then … a fantastic experience … and then I really wanted to come back to the UK. And, I think another piece of advice I would say is, throughout my career is, sometimes progression isn’t linear. Sometimes you have to go sideways to go upwards. And if you want to try a slightly different direction, or do something a bit differently, sometimes you do have to go sideways to go upwards. And sometimes you’re forced to make those changes, for example, through redundancy, which we’ll talk about a bit later. And sometimes it’s just because you know you need to make a step that’s not a kind of obvious, and in your path.

Christine Bailey: So, for me, one step was coming back to the UK. And the opportunity that I wanted wasn’t there with Hewlett Packard in the UK. And I tried, sort of, remote working. It was many years ago, so remote working was a lot harder. I had a little black and white laptop with a pop out mouse and dial up over the telephone, to connect to the systems.

Fiona Jensen: I can hear the tune now.

Christine Bailey: Yeah, exactly, it really wasn’t ideal. And so I kind of made a sideways move and I went to work for a high-tech PR agency. So I said, I call that more of a sideways move, because I went from having a European, Head of European PR and Analyst Relations for one the world’s largest companies, to going to work for a very small high-tech PR agency. But that was my foot back into the UK, to make that step from one country to another. And also, to have a UK role, because previously I’d always worked in a European role.

Christine Bailey: And then from there, I did that for a couple of years, really learned some valuable skills. I think it’s fantastic to have some agency experience because you have a lot more sympathy for what it’s like to be in either camp, if you’ve done both camps. Both sides of the house. And then from there, I met somebody who was from one of my clients, who was just setting up an online community for CIO’s. This was one of the first of its kind, really thought that social and community was the future, really happy to join him and to set up the European arm of this community.

Christine Bailey: And it was my first, sort of real, broader marketing role. So though that’s probably another example of where you might need to try something a little bit different, to go upwards again. So, by that point I knew that even though PR came very naturally … I would like to think I was very good at PR, and I still love doing PR … I knew I wanted a broader marketing role. Often people do it the other way around, they do the broader marketing role and then they specialize. Well I did the specialism first, and then knew I wanted to go into a broader marketing role. But nobody’s going to give you a broader marketing role when all your experience is in PR. So again, you have to kind of go sideways to go upwards.

Christine Bailey: So for me, going into the, taking this role, working for the online community and having to do a broad marketing set was, that opportunity, to get that broader marketing experience, but it wasn’t like a proper Marketing Director role, in that true sense. And there was a lot of PR involved in that. And then, from there, I was made redundant from that role because they sold off the online community, which was pretty devastating at the time. But I took a sort of sideways role, into … the online community was owned by Cambridge Technology Partners and it was at the time that the, they were a systems integrator massively into … that’s the sort of time when everybody was getting into digital. It was in the late 90s. And they were getting into CRM, customer relationship management and digital.

Christine Bailey: But it was also the dot com bust. So they sold off CIN and I was offered redundancy, which turned into a kind of project completion bonus, in the end, because I stayed within CTP. But the Marketing Director at the time, who was a fabulous mentor, said to me, “I’m not going to be in this role forever, and I haven’t got an obvious successor in my team, so why don’t you come and work for me for a year, and then take over from me?” And it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, to be the number two, at the time. But I could see it would give me a much broader experience, and the ability to learn from him. So I took on the role as Field Marketing and Alliances Director in the UK.

Christine Bailey: It got to the end of the year, and he said to me, “Chris, I’m going to be honest, I’m not going anywhere.” And I said, “Okay, then, thank you for that honesty, it’s time for me to spread my wings.” And then I was contacted through somebody who I’d worked for, before, previously at that company. And they were working for a US company, they bought two UK companies, it was their entry into Europe and they needed a Marketing Director. Bingo. That was my first proper, really proper Marketing Director role for Extraprise, which was a CRM consulting firm.

Christine Bailey: And I was there for five years. It was a fabulous journey, and I absolutely loved it, working for a smaller company with brand acquisitions, literally figuring out everything from the value proposition to lead generation, building a team, loved it. And then, it happens again, this time-

Fiona Jensen: What, the R word?

Christine Bailey: … yes, the R word-

Fiona Jensen: No!

Christine Bailey: … happens again, for the second time. The second time because, in the technology world there’s so many mergers and acquisitions. And they were bought by much bigger company. And they took all of the staff, apart from the Marketing Director, the Finance Director and the Managing Director. So I was made redundant. This time was lot harder because six months previously, I had just started doing a doctorate. And they were sponsoring me to do my doctorate, so I’d lost my sponsor as well as my job.

Fiona Jensen: Good golly.

Christine Bailey: And, it was really, really tempting to give up on the doctorate at that point-

Fiona Jensen: I can imagine.

Christine Bailey: And I, in my TED Talk, I talk of a quote that I use a lot, which is, “When times are tough, you have to remind yourself that if it was easy, anyone could do it.” And it’s actually when you hit those really tough times that you make those leaps forward, if you deal with them in the right way. And sometimes it’s an opportunity to do things a bit differently. So this time I thought, “Well, I never would have voluntarily given up my nicely paid job to focus on the doctorate. But six months in I’d realized, just what an undertaking it is, doing a doctorate.

Fiona Jensen: The amount of work.

Christine Bailey: So much work, so time consuming. And it’s really, yeah, it’s a drain on your brain, it’s very, it really takes a lot of energy to do that. So, I thought, “Well, I’m not going to go and look for another full time job, I’m going to focus on the doctorate,” and in actual fact, I sound like I made that decision myself, but I was helped in that decision where I was head hunted to go and work for a company that was kind of my dream company to work for. And I sat there thinking, “Why am I doing the doctorate, when somebody’s offering me my dream job now?”

Christine Bailey: And the person who was interviewing me, somebody I knew, and he also had a doctorate. And he said to me, “I’m going to take the decision away from you, because I’m not going to offer you this job, and you’re going to go and finish your doctorate. And you’ll thank me for this.”

Fiona Jensen: Are you sure you didn’t just kick him in the shins instead? I think I might have been tempted at that stage.

Christine Bailey: It was brilliant advice, and I actually went back to him four years later, and said to him … I mean, I still get a bit emotional thinking about it … and I said to him, “Thank you so much for that advice, because that was a hard decision for me to make and you pushed me in the right direction, to make the right decision. And I really appreciate that.”

Christine Bailey: So I focused entirely on doing the doctorate. I got some consulting work to pay the bills, and I was affiliated with both Cranfield, who I started my doctorate with, and my, the professor who I started with moved to Henley, so I ended up doing a lot of work with Henley as well, and I was a Research Fellow in both camps. For both schools, and I finished the doctorate in three years instead of four. And I did actually finish it, because so many people don’t finish it, because it is, it’s such an undertaking.

Fiona Jensen: It’s very hard, yeah.

Christine Bailey: And literally when I was nine months pregnant and trying to hand in my thesis, I got approached by the person who’d founded the online community, all those years back.

Fiona Jensen: Ooh, yeah, yeah.

Christine Bailey: And he was now a Director at Cisco and they were looking for a Marketing Director for their Services business. And I said to him, “This is really not a good time to be interviewing,” I said, “I’m nine months pregnant, I’m trying to finish, hand in my thesis, and the response was, “Well, you better come in quick.”

Christine Bailey: So that’s what started my journey at Cisco. And I was there for eight years, absolutely an incredible ride … and I’m kind of telling you the redundancy story of answering that question … but after eight years at Cisco, we had a lot of restructuring, and I was heading up the [AMEA] marketing function, like the [PANAMEA] sort of overlay team. And unfortunately the whole function was made redundant, so that was my third redundancy. There probably will be another one during my career-

Fiona Jensen: Three times, unlucky.

Christine Bailey: … but I’ve had three strikes now, so, but again. So many people are devastated by redundancy, and I give a talk which is called Break Free of Your Comfort Zone. And I say, “Breaking out of your comfort zone is not a natural state, but the good news is, it’s a learned behavior.”

Christine Bailey: And I’ve learned through two previous experiences, that being made redundant can actually take you to places that you haven’t thought of or weren’t brave enough to do. So, it’s those moments that knock us out of our comfort zone where the magic really happens. So I can genuinely say, when it happened for the third time, I wasn’t concerned. I actually was quite excited.

Christine Bailey: I thought, “Well, okay,” I was actually, I was there for eight years. That’s the longest I’ve ever been at any company. And I was starting to feel, “Is this where, is this what’s left for me? Or is there something that I want to do next, in my marketing career?” And I knew actually though, by that point, I really wanted to be the CMO. But I, again, it’s being brave enough to make that move. And it’s really difficult to, when you’re working for such an amazing company to say, “Well, I’m going to leave that amazing company.”

Christine Bailey: And the thing about going sideways to go upwards, you’re not going to walk from being a Director … admittedly of a big team, I mean, I had a team of 50 people, at it’s peak. Probably about 30 when I left, because of various restructures … but you have to find a much smaller company if you’re going to make that step up to being in charge. And I also knew, having spent many years working in international roles and spending a lot of time on an airplane, that with a … at the time, eight year old child … I didn’t want to spend so much time an airplane.

Christine Bailey: So ideally, I wanted to work for a European company … now again, it’s hard to find those roles, where the CMO role is in Europe, and not in the US … so I didn’t find the right role immediately. It took some time, and again, you have to be patient. And be really clear about what your direction was, and I was really clear that that was my direction. I wanted a CMO role.

Christine Bailey: I set up my own company, which enabled me to do some things that I wanted to do again, which was to reconnect with my networks, spend some time getting fit again. Spend time writing, reading, writing, also doing speaking engagements. And then, I had various project, pieces of project work, including an eight month assignment which came through my network helping to set up the global marketing function for a new, a business to business division of Centrica.

Fiona Jensen: Oh, wow.

Christine Bailey: And this was through somebody that I’d met through my network. He needed somebody who could, who knew all the areas of marketing, who could just come in and help him set things up, and then hire somebody to take it over and move on to the next project. And that was just, I have to say, so therapeutic. To go back to actually doing the marketing.

Christine Bailey: And this is one of the challenges, when you, the more senior the role the further you get away from the day to day marketing. And when I was managing a team of 50 people it was all about leadership, and about getting the best out of everybody else. And communicating and problem solving. And doing stakeholder engagement. All of which was very challenging and you know, I have to say-

Fiona Jensen: Kept you busy.

Christine Bailey: … I really enjoyed it. But I’m a marketer-

Fiona Jensen: You’re a marketeer at heart.

Christine Bailey: Yeah. And the opportunity to actually go in and do things myself was just so exciting, to do that again. So I had that eight month project for Centrica and was actually thinking, “Do you know what, never mind the CMO role, I’m having so much fun doing this.”

Christine Bailey: And then, as always when you’re least expecting it … and I was, I had been interviewing for various roles with very large companies, and kind of was getting to number two … but for one reason or another, it didn’t work out. For which I’m very grateful. Because along came Valitor. And Valitor is an Icelandic payment solutions company, but they’ve been in Iceland for 35 years, grown up as an issuer and acquirer. The number one market leader in Iceland. But Iceland is obviously a very small country, so their growth and expansion strategy-

Fiona Jensen: [inaudible] Sorry.

Christine Bailey: … was outside of Iceland. So again … and you know, but based in Europe … and they were looking for a CMO, technology, payments. And I still, I was thinking, “I’m not sure.” And I met the CEO and actually, somebody I didn’t, two ladies I did my doctorate with were both Icelandic, and they’re both very prominent in Iceland. And I, they were both such an inspiration to me, one of them actually ran for President of Iceland and came from nowhere to be a very close second. She’s absolutely one of my mentors. And she was the first person I called. “Do you know the CEO and do you know the company?”

Christine Bailey: And it turns out that one of her best friends was the leading marketing lady in the company, and of course she knew the company, of course she knew the CEO. Because she worked in Financial Services, herself.

Christine Bailey: And I met them, and I just got so excited about the challenge. And yeah, I’ve been doing that for the last year. And it’s, as I said, it’s a marketer’s dream.

How to perform in an interview better

Fiona Jensen: Fantastic, well, thank you, I’m already inspired. I’m so excited. So thank you again for joining us, to helping answer some of these questions that we’ve had from marketeers coming through the ranks. I suppose initially, interview-wise, having interviewed a host of B to B marketeers over the years, what advice would you give them to perform better in the interview scenario?

Christine Bailey: The number one thing I’m looking for in an interview is, “Does this person give me energy?”

Christine Bailey: Because in the space of an hour, if that person’s not giving me an energy, giving me energy, in the hour that they’re with me, that’s just not going to work. So, you might be surprised by people, people might be surprised by me saying that but energy for me, is the number one thing. And, am I having a good conversation with that person? Are they giving me ideas? Are they listening to what I’m saying, and responding to what I’m saying as opposed to just talking at me? So that’s really important, is do they give me energy?

Christine Bailey: Of course, I’m going to be asking them questions about their craft, and I’m expecting them to show me that they understand what they’re talking about. I need to feel that they’re listening, and responding and they’re not just talking at me.

Christine Bailey: But I’m also thinking about, “Are they going to fit into the team?” And that’s really important. And I think sometimes, that’s really hard in interviews, when people come away and say, “But I was so well qualified. And I thought the interview went very well.” You might be perfectly well qualified, but you were either too similar or too different from other people in the team. And I, diversity is really important, and diversity can come in many different forms. It can come in gender, it can come in age, it can come in nationality, it can come in personality, it can come in skill set. But it is really important to get diversity within the team.

Christine Bailey: So, for goodness sake, do your homework. Make sure that you understand the business of the company. And have some idea of, sort of, what are the current things going on that industry. And make sure you understand what they’re looking for. And make sure you come on through with some good questions.

Christine Bailey: But as I said, the most important thing is, really, act as if you want that job and show enthusiasm for that job. So, number one, energy and enthusiasm.

Important skills to hire for in B2B marketing

Fiona Jensen: Perfect. And what are the most important skills that you want to see in people that you’re looking to hire? Apart from the energy?

Christine Bailey: It’s an ability to relate to marketing back to the business. It shouldn’t be marketing for marketing’s sake. Everything has to have a purpose. So, I’m really looking for somebody that can understand what outcomes they’re looking for, and is able to communicate well.

Christine Bailey: I think regardless of what area of marketing you’re in, you might not necessarily be in marketing communications, you’ve got to be able to communicate. Whether you’re a designer, you’ve got to be able to communicate what the brand guidelines are. If you’re in lead generation, you’ve got to be able to communicate why you’re generating leads this way and not that way and what do you expect salespeople to do with those leads when you deliver them. And how are you reporting that back?

Christine Bailey: So I think the skill that’s got to go, you know, market research, you’ve got to be able to communicate the results of that market research. So communicate … you’ve got to be able to communicate. So, beyond energy and enthusiasm and understanding of the business, you’ve got to be able to communicate and get on with your peers.

What is the perfect B2B marketing department?

Fiona Jensen: Describe your perfect B to B marketing department. Examples of teams you’ve seen smash it and why, what kind of budget did they have or activity they undertook.

Christine Bailey: One example is one of my teams at Cisco. Led by an amazing lady called Sarah Green, and she was one of my strongest team leads. And we used to have surveys, and you would rate your manager. Regardless of what team she had, she always scored five out of five. To the point where people would go, “How on earth does she continually get five out of five? Is it because she’s so nice?” Because she was a really nice person. But regardless of who you put in that team, she always got the high scores.

Christine Bailey: So, I watched how she did it. And she was a combination of being a spectacularly good marketeer herself, but without an ego, in that she genuinely wanted to make everybody in her team the best person they could possibly be. So I think that’s one formula for a really great team is, to have an amazing leader who understands the craft and can engage with stakeholders but also is a really good people person. And knows how to, doesn’t have the ego that makes it all about them, and really gets the best out of their team. So that’s kind of one example where I’ve seen. Her teams always performed really well.

Christine Bailey: I would say another thing, as I mentioned earlier, is about diversity. It’s really important to get the dynamics right within a team. And that’s best when you have quite clear boundaries between who does what. But that doesn’t mean to say that people can only do one thing, but you have clear areas of responsibility. And you have people who really are good at what they do, but they’re also able to communicate, and you get … so, people have different strengths, I think that’s what’s important.

Christine Bailey: So you get somebody who maybe has been with a company a long time, who’s got all of the history and understands the culture and how it works. You get somebody else who’s particularly good at stakeholder engagement. You get somebody else who’s just a brilliant communicator. And it’s their job to do that. You get a mixture of gender, you get mixture of nationalities, you get a mixture of age, I think that’s the best team, is when … and also, when the team like each other. And want to, need to support each other, too. To be successful they need the team.

Christine Bailey: So that’s … I think where I haven’t seen it work is when somebody’s been very individualistic, and they’ve only cared about their own goals. And that’s not good for a team. So, the best situation is when you’ve got diversity, people like each other and work well together. And the results, everybody is dependent on everybody else to succeed. And that’s when you get a really good team.

Fiona Jensen: Very interesting. It’s nice, the fact that you talk more about culture and the people who make up a team, versus the sort of typical technical skills or specialists or you know, all that sort of stuff, that’s quite remarkable, I think.

How to manage your career in B2B marketing

Fiona Jensen: How do you manage your marketing career in a company that’s very, very short term focused? Slightly frustrated marketeer, there, potentially.

Christine Bailey: Yeah, and I think it’s being clear about what marketing is contributing to the business. So rather than just being sucked into, “Can you do this event?” Or, “Can you run this campaign?”

Christine Bailey: One of my favourite questions to counter that with is to say, “What outcome are you looking for?” So when a salesperson … it’s typically sales, because we work most closely with sales … who will come and say, “I want to … I love golf, I want to organise a Golf Day.” And you say, “Well, what outcome are you looking for?”

Christine Bailey: “Well, I’m looking to improve the relationships with people,” or, “I’m looking to get some prospects.” Okay, so who do you most want to get along there? And what are they passionate about? “Well, they’re passionate about the ballet.” Okay, so, do you think inviting them to a Golf Day is going to get you the outcome that you’re looking for? Or would you be better off getting them tickets for the ballet, because that’s what they’re passionate about? So I think the way to get away from that short term focus is to ask that question, “What outcome are you looking for?”

Christine Bailey: And then you’re getting a bit more behind to what they’re actually looking for, and then you can offer advice on the best way to achieve that goal. Rather than just saying, “Okay, I’ll run that event for you,” or, “I’ll do that campaign.”

Christine Bailey: And, I think it’s really, another way is not just what outcome are you looking for but, “What marketing strategy does that align to?” And I like to keep it really simple, and have four or five marketing strategies that everything can kind of, to align to. So for example, a marketing strategy for me at the moment is, “Amplify the Valitor brand.” Another one is, “To build thought leadership.” Another one is to, “Do demand generation for customer acquisition and development.” “Increase customer retention.”

Christine Bailey: All of those things are quite high level marketing strategies, but then you can align your tactics underneath that. So when somebody comes along and says, “I want to do x, y, zed,” you can say, “Well what marketing strategy does that align to?” And then if they’re constantly coming to you with a similar type of request to do something …which is very, typically what you get with these short term requests … it becomes more obvious that you’re piling too much into one strategy.

Christine Bailey: Well first of all, you have to identify which strategy it aligns to. If it doesn’t align to a strategy, that’s a very good reason for saying no. But also it just helps you align better to achieving the sales goals and supporting the business strategy, and that’s the only way that you’re going to get away from the short term-ism, is to get people to think beyond that one specific thing they’re asking you for.

Fiona Jensen: So you’re sort of helping them better understand the marketing strategy, for themselves. And I suppose, the dream would be to get them to start asking themselves that question before they come to you in the first place.

Christine Bailey: Yeah, yeah.

Convincing someone of your marketing strategy

Fiona Jensen: Lovely. How do you convince someone that your marketing plan or strategy is the right thing to do?

Christine Bailey: I think actually that goes back to the one previously, is to, to be really clear about what you’re doing and why. So don’t just publish why, that you’ve done something. But, give some context. Or, if you want to do something, give some context as to why.

Christine Bailey: One example of this is just, we’re recently partnered with Retail Week, to conduct some research amongst consumers about how they’re going to spend this Christmas. We’ve also partnered with WBR, Worldwide Business Research, to do some research with 100 pan-European retailers, into how they see payments fitting in to the customer experience. And what they think about on their channel payments. Now, those are big relationships. And of course, some people are just going to look at the line item on the spreadsheet and say, “Why are you spending so much money on that?”

Christine Bailey: So my coaching to the team was, “Okay, when, rather than saying, we’ve done this research,” is to explain why. Why are we doing that? Okay, now we’re … outside of Iceland, where we’re very well known … we’re a small player in a very big pond, in the UK and outside of Iceland. So, you need to build a voice that is bigger than the size of your company. And you need to, my phrase is, “Punch above your weight.”

Christine Bailey: Now you can punch above your weight by partnering with people who are very well known. You can also punch above your weight by having amazing thought leadership and content, that people want to listen to. We’ve also partnered with them because they’re generating leads for us. Because it’s, the content is gated and you download the content and it follows up as leads. So it’s also lead generation.

Christine Bailey: We’re also new with the solution, so our omni-channel payment solution is pretty new in market, very unique. You know, it’s new technology. Now when you’re doing solution not selling, often you let your customers tell your story for you. That’s the best way to sell, is let your customers tell your story. But if you haven’t got many customers yet, for that, particularly new technology solution, it’s chicken and egg. You’ve got to have the solution ready, before you can sell it. But then you haven’t got many people who can tell your story, because you haven’t got that many customers yet.

Christine Bailey: So again, you need to tell your story through thought leadership until your customers are ready to tell your story for you. So that’s the story you have to tell as to why you’re investing in these big commercial relationships, rather than just saying, “We’ve got this fantastic new research, and actually by the way, we’ve got some amazing insights that we can use to steer our own story, but we’re doing it for all these other reasons,” rather than just saying, “This is what we’re doing.” So that’s my advice is, don’t just say, “This is what we’re doing,” explain why you’re doing it. And which strategy it aligns to.

Should your business just focus on MQLs?

Fiona Jensen: Fantastic. Focusing on short term again, ROI is so short sighted, the business likes to measure marketing by leads generated. How have you tackled this and persuaded them to look at the bigger picture?

Christine Bailey: So I think once you’ve come up with your simple, four or five marketing strategies that meet the business plan, then you’ve got to think about how you’re going to measure them. Yes, it’s easy to go to revenue. And that’s a good starting point, is to measure by leads generated. But once you get a bit more sophisticated, you can start measuring how things go down through the funnel, to get to that point of leads generated. And at Cisco, we had a funnel journey, which was about reach, response and revenue.

Christine Bailey: So reach was about the number of impressions, the number of people we were reaching with advertising, branding, social, you know, website visits, all of those kinds of things. So those are all sort of more general measures of reach. And then you get to response. And that would be the point where somebody stops being anonymous and reveals themselves. So that would be, the response would be, they’ve interacted with you in some way and they’ve given up their details, they’ve revealed who they are to you. So you also measure that, that rate of conversions. And then you get to revenue.

Christine Bailey: So revenue and leads generated is a good place to start, if you’re beginning on your demand generation and revenue journey, but when you get a bit more sophisticated, then, well … you could do it the other way round, if you haven’t got the CRM systems to be able to measure lead conversion. So I think it’s fantastic to be able to measure leads, and that will always be very tangible to salespeople, but if you can get more sophisticated you can talk about reach, response and revenue. But always relate it back to the business strategy and always have metrics for each strategy.

Fiona Jensen: Market Mentors is produced by [Rockwood] Audio, a subscription production service that takes the pain out of podcasting. From advice and support to editing and production, to music and artwork, Rockwood Audio has you covered so you can stay focused on your goals. Better, faster, easier. Rockwood Audio. Save time, sound like a pro.

Fiona Jensen: So, this kind of leads into our advice section, I suppose. A few specific questions around particular problems, really, that people might be facing. So this is quite a specific one.

Challenges of moving up the career ladder

Fiona Jensen: Even with heaps of preparation, coaching and development, I moved to a more senior role … this person is about to move to, well, from a senior manager to a head of position. It can still feel daunting, and peers in a similar position have likened the first few weeks as winging it. What advice could you offer someone moving into a senior role for the first time, where there isn’t a huge peer population to support and the pressure is on to make that great first impression?

Christine Bailey: So, one of the quotes that I talk about in my TED Talk, is, “Act as if you make a difference. You do.”

Christine Bailey: And that’s what you have to have in your head when you go into a new leadership role is, you’re there because you’ve been chose … people know you can make a difference. So you need to act as if you can make a difference even if underneath you’re pedaling like mad, and you’re thinking … another classic example is the imposter syndrome. So many of us suffer from the imposter syndrome, where you don’t internalize your achievements, and you think, “I’m going to get found out, everyone’s gonna realize I’m a fraud.”

Fiona Jensen: Yeah.

Christine Bailey: So the most important thing is to have self belief. And you don’t have to know everything. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do. And that will give you the confidence to act like you are making a difference, which you are. And I think women are particularly bad at internalizing their achievements. And the stats vary, but typically, we would say, if you look at a job spec, a woman will look at the job spec and say, “Oh, I can only do,” sorry.

Christine Bailey: A man will look at the job spec and say, “Well, I can do 80% of that,” you know, “the job’s practically mine.” And then a woman will look at the same job spec and say, “Oh God, I can only do 90% of that, I better not apply.”

Fiona Jensen: Yeah.

Christine Bailey: So a lot of it is, is, you know, it’s all in the mind. So, act as if you’re making a difference, and then you will. Have some, push away those self limiting beliefs. You know, they have no place in this new role. Get rid of the imposter syndrome, that you’re going to get found out. And focus on what you can do, and not what you can’t do.

Fiona Jensen: Perfect, that’s really good advice. And then I suppose, you’ve mentioned the TED Talk a couple of times now, and I can’t, I literally can’t wait to get into that. So, can you tell us, how did that come about and is true, do you need to spend 10 hours for every one minute that you’re up there? And how challenging is it to really deliver such a great talk in such a short space of time?

Christine Bailey: I do a lot of public speaking, so, it didn’t take any more time to prepare than any other talk, but it’s an interesting story of how that came about, is because … while I was at Cisco, I was doing a lot of projects that were about embracing social. And there was some skepticism, within my team about … particularly amongst the older ones … about whether social really added value. And I thought, I looked at myself, and at the time I actually set up a Twitter account in 2009, but I’d never tweeted.

Christine Bailey: And my boss started up this [league] table, amongst the leadership team, of followers and engagement on Twitter, and I was like, I wasn’t even figuring on the chart. And I was like, “Okay, this is embarrassing, because I’m asking my team to learn about something. And we’re giving advice to partners, to perfect our craft, and I’m not talking the talk, here.” Or walking the walk, whichever the expression is.

Fiona Jensen: Both.

Christine Bailey: So, I thought, “I need to lead by example, here. If I’m going to convince others, I need to be good at this myself. So what do I need to do? I need to get a coach, because I don’t know what I’m doing.” So I hired the most amazing coach, a lady called Jane [Scandura 00:39:12], who actually, I’ve just hired, is coaching my execs at Valitor, at the moment.

Fiona Jensen: Oh, lovely.

Christine Bailey: And to start with, gosh, she was tough on me. It was hard going, but I learnt the craft. And I have about 16,000 followers on Twitter, now.

Fiona Jensen: Is that all?

Christine Bailey: But, that was through learning my craft. And gradually, once I’d demonstrated the power of social to people in my team, and I’d also got them some coaching, and they started learning. And they got really excited about it. And as they learned the power, and my coach said to me, “You know what you need to start doing next, in this journey?” And I’m like, “I know, I need to start creating my own content.” And she went, “Bingo, you need to start writing your own blogs.” Where am I going to find the time to do that?

Christine Bailey: So again, I got some help. Worked with an amazing ghost writer, because it sped up the process, and it just started flowing. And because I was leading Connected Women at Cisco, I was blogging-

Fiona Jensen: Yeah, I was going to ask about that, as well.

Christine Bailey: … I was pretty close to writing alternatively on marketing, which is my master mind topic, the thing I’m most passionate about, with topics around gender and diversity. Which I surprised myself in how passionate and interested I would get in that topic. And I was blogging on those two things, and somebody was seeing my blogs that I was writing, and long story short, I started blogging for Forbes Women.

Fiona Jensen: Blimey.

Christine Bailey: And as a result of doing that, and as a result of the other marketing blogs, I was approached by the people who were doing TEDx, which is like a live version of a TED Talk at Tunbridge Wells. And originally they approached me about doing a TED Talk on unconscious bias because I had written a blog on that for Forbes. And I actually said to them, “I can’t imagine how that’s going to catch, you know, that is going to be interesting to people, talking about unconscious bias. I’ve since seen the most amazing TED Talk on unconscious bias, and she did it really well.

Christine Bailey: But, I proposed another topic which was, unconventional career advice. And they loved it. And yeah, so I did that, yeah, a couple of years ago now. So that’s, so the journey was, feeling that I needed to lead by example and learn social and building my own personal brand, myself getting a coach, really important. Learn your craft. And then, starting to create my own content. And blogging. And from that, became the relationship with Forbes and from that came the invitation to do the TED Talk.

Fiona Jensen: Really interesting story. And it’s kind of [belies 00:42:00], I think marketing in general. Where, you’re never going to be the finished product, there’s always a new skill, a new talent, something you need to learn. And that’s what’s so exciting about it, as an industry. And as a career, because as you say-

Christine Bailey: Completely agree.

Fiona Jensen: … you can achieve so many different things, in such a variety of different ways, and you never actually need to know it first, you can always learn as you go. So exciting.

How to set up a community

Fiona Jensen: And then you talked about the community, the women in technology group that you set up. What can you tell me about that, where did that sort of stem from and what was that like, as an experience, setting that up and growing it?

Christine Bailey: So, Cisco had various interest groups and one of the biggest ones was called Connected Women. And probably a couple of years before I left, they were looking for a new co-lead, globally, for Connected Women and also, in AMEA. In Europe. And I remember first of all saying, “But I’m not the typical kind of leader that does well in a big corporate organization. I’m quietly spoken, I’m not the loudest person in the room, and I will not” … this sounds awful, doesn’t it … “climb over others to get where I need to go.” And I felt I didn’t match the typical profile of a more male than female leader at Cisco.

Christine Bailey: But Cisco was going through a stage where they were working with a company and working on a program called Conscious Leaders, and it was all about valuing many different types of leadership. And somebody very wise said, “Actually, we want to embrace different types of leadership, and because you feel you’re not a classical leader that fits the mold is exactly why we want you to run Connected Women.” And I said, “Okay, well, I’m going to do it on that basis, I’m going to do it my way.”

Christine Bailey: And I took it on, and I just met so many amazing people, got involved in so many fantastic programs, and I … and it led to so many other things that I wouldn’t have imagined, so, it was one of the best things that I did, was taking on the responsibility.

How to get invited to give a keynote speech

Fiona Jensen: Fantastic. And with regards to the Talks that you mentioned, obviously the keynote speaking that you do on quite a regular basis. What sort of advice would you share to people who are interested in getting involved in that, and what sort of hints and tips would you offer for people who are about to stand up in front of an audience for the first time, or, for the 20, 25th time? In front of either media or anything like that, any sort of hints and tips around that keynote speaking situation?

Christine Bailey: I’m a big fan of this … get a coach. I did a lot of public speaking when I was doing my doctorate, so then, I started out by … you need to have content. You’ve got to have something to talk about that people want to hear. So, that’s the first thing. You’ve got to have content. So I did a lot speaking when I had my doctorate, because I obviously had very fresh content.

Christine Bailey: But I learned through that, that people want to be entertained. And people have a short attention span. And what you want to teach or convey is not necessarily what people want to hear. So then I learnt the balance between the content that I have, and the message I have to give, with understanding that the audience wants to be entertained.

Christine Bailey: And then, you just get better at it. And I got a coach then, to teach me specifically on speaking techniques and get rid of the clutter words. And stand with confidence and the right arm movements, and conviction and the tone of your voice is so important. There’s nothing worse than monotone. And you’ve got to convey energy and excitement, and you’ve got to be good at story telling. So those, I think the ingredients and then, practice, practice, practice. And you learn what works and what doesn’t work.

Christine Bailey: But I would say probably a tipping point for me was, understanding how to tell stories. And that’s what really makes people remember your speech is the stories that you tell.

The balance of success in startegy and tactical marketing as you become more senior in your job

Fiona Jensen: Fantastic, really nice advice, thank you. Back to some of the questions from the audience. When is it safe to move more towards strategy and leave tactical, hands on chores behind without jeopardizing your value as a marketeer to the organization?

Christine Bailey: That’s a really interesting question, because I felt that. The bigger the team that I had, the less time, the further away I got from the day to day marketing. And then your role becomes much more about representing the marketing function, you have to be a really good communicator, not only to your team … because you have a responsibility to communicate what you’re learning about the business, to your team and what’s going on … but you also have to be really good about communicating the value of your function to your stakeholders. So it becomes much more about stakeholder management. And it’s about problem solving. And about really leading your people and getting the best out of your people.

Christine Bailey: So it’s much more a people oriented role, than it is a marketing role. And that’s not for everyone. As I said, having … when I left Cisco, I made a conscious choice that I wanted to work for a smaller company, be the CMO and kind of get a bit more back to my marketing roots. As opposed to, leadership, where you spend … as I say, you spend all of your time problem solving, and really getting the most out of people.

Christine Bailey: I remember sort of one particularly bad example of where I felt I led really badly, actually, was when … and it’s interesting, when you said that question, I instantly thought of this example. Is, I felt I was losing visibility of what was actually going on, on a day to day basis, and I was like, I wanted to know what people were doing. So I asked people at the end of each week to give me a summary of what they’d done this week. And I was thinking of my learning journey, and how I needed to know what people were doing, so I could learn about what they were doing.

Christine Bailey: But the way it was received, was that, “She’s checking up on us. She doesn’t trust us, because she’s asking us to justify how we’re spending our time.” And I was quite horrified, because that was not my intention in asking people to do that. It was because felt I was getting further away from the marketing, and I wanted to learn what people had actually been doing on a day to day basis. But the way it landed was that, “She’s checking up on us. She’s micromanaging,” which is not my style at all. So we scrapped that.

Christine Bailey: But so, yeah, you do have to strike that balance between keeping up to date and I think you just … it’s communication, is everything. When you’re helping people problem solve, and check in with people on a regular basis. So I would make sure I had at least a weekly one to one with my team leads, to make sure I was helping them overcome any obstacles that were in their way, but also I would say, “Well, what do you need from me? And, tell me about what you’re doing.” As much as I would communicate, what was coming from my side.

Fiona Jensen: A two way process.

Christine Bailey: Yep.

Fiona Jensen: Fantastic. How do you get involved in the Board’s strategic decision?

Christine Bailey: So this is about understanding the language that you need to speak in, to make a contribution to the business. So how do you translate? Don’t talk about the tactics but talk about, as we mentioned earlier, your marketing strategies are in support of the business strategy. So show that you can make that connection, and that’s how you can have a more strategic conversation with the Board is … and one of the best compliments I’ve ever had is, a year into the job at Valitor, is somebody on the senior leadership team saying, “I have no idea how much value marketing could add.” And that’s really touched me as a compliment, because-

Fiona Jensen: I can [crosstalk] yeah, definitely.

Christine Bailey: … I’ve successfully conveyed the value that marketing can deliver to the business.

The best career advice

Fiona Jensen: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given or found for yourself?

Christine Bailey: So a few things I mentioned, because the TED Talk is all about unconventional career advice, and I’ve mentioned a few things already through the talk. But one of my favorite things is to … well, the quote comes as, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” And I have a phrase which says, “Have a direction, don’t have a plan.” Because if you have a direction, you’re always thinking of ways to achieve it. And I can think of many examples where, there was an answer, I just hadn’t thought of it yet.

Christine Bailey: But if I knew what the clear direction was … so I knew that I wanted to be a Marketing Director. I hadn’t quite figured out how that was going to happen, yet. And as I said, I had to make a couple of sideways moves, to go upwards. But I got there. But then I had to dream bigger, because I’d already … I became a Marketing Director at 31. So then I had to dream bigger, “Okay, now I want to be a marketing guru. What do I need to be a marketing guru?” Well, my first thought was, “I need to write a book.” And then it was, “Well, I need content for the book. How am I going to get the content?”

Christine Bailey: And this, going through my mind, at all sorts of times. And I haven’t got the answer yet, but it’s, the direction is clear. Just haven’t figured out the way yet. And then the opportunity came up, or the idea was put to me to do a doctorate. And instantly, it’s like, “That’s how I get content. It fits in with my direction.”

Christine Bailey: So I think that’s, that’s what my piece of advice is, is have a direction, don’t have a plan. Because plans can sometimes be too rigid, and then we’re very disappointed when things don’t work out exactly as we planned. So, better to have a direction because there’s more than one path to success.

Fiona Jensen: Fantastic, well, I don’t know whether I’m more excited about the advice or the fact that there might be an impending book. Watch this space, people. How exciting!

Fiona Jensen: How important is it to have a marketing mentor, and why?

Christine Bailey: I think it’s really important to have a marketing mentor, and, but I’m also going to talk about having a marketing sponsor, because people often confuse the two. People think they need a mentor when actually they need a sponsor.

Christine Bailey: And the, so, when, if we start with marketing mentors, first of all be clear about what you want a mentor for. Because that will help you pick the right one. And it could be, you want some career coaching. It could be that somebody within your company is going to help you navigate the politics. It could be a mentor where, you don’t have that particular skill set. So you could have, a mentor could also be a coach that you pay for, but it could also be somebody within your team who has a skill that you don’t have and you want to learn from them. So that, you could have reverse mentoring.

Christine Bailey: Or, it could be, a more sort of life coaching. So I think you first of all, decide what it is you want a mentor for, and that will help you pick the right one. And don’t have them for too long, be clear about how that relationship is going to work, and what your expectations are. And typically, you’ll get the most out of a mentor in six to 12 months. And then move on, because you’ll be in a different space and that mentor will probably start to grow stale. So also, time box it.

Christine Bailey: So that really helps somebody to say yes, if you say, “I’m looking for a mentor, for this reason, I’m suggesting that we meet once a quarter or once a month,” or however it is, “and we’re going to time box it.” And then somebody’s more likely to say yes, because you’ve been clear about how you want the relationship to work.

Christine Bailey: A sponsor on the other hand, is somebody who’s going to champion you. And they are going to be your advocate. And that’s the person who, when there’s a career discussion going on, about where are you putting somebody in the nine block or whatever it is, they’re going to say … or, an opportunity comes up … “Yeah. I support that person.” Or they’re going to come and say, “Look, there’s an opportunity over here, I think you, that person’s got a really transferrable skill set, they would be the right one.”

Christine Bailey: So that’s the difference between a mentor and a sponsor. And you need both.

Fiona Jensen: Yeah, that’s really, really good advice actually. Perfect. And, how to find a marketing mentor, when you’re already the most senior marketing person in a business?

Christine Bailey: So the first thing is, know what you want mentor for. And being the most senior marketing person is, it depends what you’re looking for. Because if you’re looking for somebody to navigate the company, that person might not be in marketing. Or if you’re looking to learn a new skill, they’re not in marketing, it could be you want to know what’s going on, on the ground. That might be a more junior person, and you can do reverse mentoring. Or, it’s somebody outside of your immediate company, who’s in your network. And then, it could be … again, I’ll give you an example.

Christine Bailey: I worked in the technology space for many, many years. When I was approached about the CMO role at Valitor, I thought, “Mm, I know nothing payments. But I,” and this was actually played back to me in the interview, you know, what I said to the CEO. “I know nothing about payments, but I really understand marketing and I know technology.” And I went along to, I’m a member of various groups. And I can’t stress enough the importance of having a network. And one of the networks that I’m part of is called Ladies Who Lead, run by Henry Rose Lee, who was one of my business coaches when I was back at Cisco.

Christine Bailey: And I went along to a Ladies Who Lead shortly after I’d got the job at Valitor, and it was a session about networking. And we all had to write down one networking goal that we had. We had to put it on a piece of paper, and we put it on the floor. And then everybody who was in that session walked around, and they wrote their name where they could help with somebody else’s networking goal. And I wrote down, “I need to understand the payments world. Who do I need to listen to, what groups or magazines or people on Twitter do I need to follow to understand the payments world?” Oh my goodness, I got so many amazing suggestions from going to that networking event. And I came away with like, “Oh my God, I’ve just found all these new friends in payments, and tips on who I should follow.”

Fiona Jensen: Brilliant. There you go. Perfect solution. What past failure or uncomfortable experience set you up for success at a later date?

Christine Bailey: I think I actually ended up talking about that at the beginning, as my most uncomfortable experience has got to be, being made redundant three times. And I was talking about it as recently as last week, when somebody said to me, “Yes, but isn’t there a stigma attached to being made redundant?” And I said to them, “Well, do you think I’m good at marketing?” And he just looked at me, and I said, “I’ve been made redundant three times.”

Christine Bailey: There’s many, many reasons why redundancies happen, and you can either choose to question yourself, you can think, “Oh my God, I’ve finally been found out,” and you can spiral into the, “It’s not fair, why me?” You can go into a very negative pack and quite apart from all the immediate, “How am I going to pay the mortgage,” and all of those very real financial concerns, or, you can choose to take it as an opportunity. And treat it as an exciting new path that you wouldn’t necessarily have had the courage to take.

Christine Bailey: And it’s all about breaking free of your comfort zone, is where the magic really happens. But sometimes we need a push, or something has to happen to force us to break free of our comfort zone. But when we do, we learn. And I’ve learned that being made redundant has created new pathways for me, and I’ve always ended up in a better place. But it’s not necessarily been the path, or the plan, that I thought would happen. But if you keep a strong direction, then you’re open to change. And it forces you to make change.

Christine Bailey: So those are my three uncomfortable experiences. It happened three times, it will, it may or may not happen again. But if it does, I will be ready for it and I will treat it as an opportunity.

Fiona Jensen: Fantastic. With pressures of general life, how do you manage the work life balance, and how important is that in today’s society?

Christine Bailey: Very important. I see so many people around me getting very stressed, and I think the best advice I can give is, focus on what you can achieve and not what you can’t achieve. Because there will always be a thousand things that you can’t achieve, because you haven’t got time. It’s all about focusing on what you can achieve. And being realistic about what you can achieve. And if you feel everything’s out of control, or you’ve just taken on too much, then go back to basics again. And think about, “What’s the most important thing that I need to do, and will anybody die if this isn’t done today? Or this week?”

Christine Bailey: And that’s how I have to treat the individual tasks. And don’t feel guilty about it is, yeah. I think that’s the best advice, because, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed. But you’ve, it’s so important to, for your emotional well being, that you do have that work life balance. And for me, exercising takes a second seat when I’ve got too many things on. And that, you can see my treadmill next to me. I try, and, when I’m at home, because I’m not walking very much, is to take a break and just walk for five minutes. And it’s very quick and easy, takes literally five minutes because it’s next to my desk. But just to kind of get some physical movement going again.

Christine Bailey: And it’s, I talk about, one way to break out of your comfort zone is to feed your brain. Like athletes who cross train to target different muscle groups, the brain is capable of continuous growth, but only if you feed it with new experiences. So those new experiences could be a new sport, reading a book, joining a new network. But you’ve got to try different things and you’ve got to get that balance if you … you just get too stale, if it’s just work, work, work, work, work. So you have to think, “I will ultimately be better if I have that work life balance, and that’s actually more important than have I got, crossed off everything on my to do list.”

Fiona Jensen: What do you do to keep up to speed with the latest B to B marketing best practices?

Christine Bailey: Again, that’s something that if you’re not careful, can fall by the wayside, when you don’t have time. So, I keep up a lot with, through social. Particularly following people that I admire, so I see things that they’ve shared, and I read a lot. I’m an absolute book worm, I’ve always got a new marketing book on my shelf, and I like listening to TED Talks. I like going along to networking events, or going to conferences just to feed my brain. The point I made, earlier. So that’s how I keep up to date, is through my network and through reading and through going to conferences or, yeah, keeping up on social which is something that is less time consuming. You don’t physically have to travel anywhere, to keep up.

Fiona Jensen: Perfect. So, what is the book you recommend the most to B to B marketeers, today?

Christine Bailey: Well, the book, my latest book that I’ve just purchased is by Tim Hughes and Adam Gray, and Hugo Whicher, which is called Smarketing. And this caught my attention for many reasons, first of all, they’re former business partners of mine, so I was keeping close touch with them. And the previous book that Tim wrote on Social Selling, is probably one of the few books I’ve genuinely read from cover to cover. It’s just really good.

Christine Bailey: And I wrote a blog on, one of my first blogs was on Smarketing. Which is the title of this book, so it’s, I haven’t finished it yet, but that’s the book I’m reading at the moment. And I know it’ll, I’m sure it’s going to be as good as the Social Selling book.

Fiona Jensen: Perfect. So what parting words of wisdom or advice would you share with the audience?

Christine Bailey: This might be a slightly longer answer, but we conducted some research when I was at Cisco, with Connected Women, about what it took for women in particular to be successful at Cisco. But let’s take that as, actually the advice applies to pretty much any organization. And also, it applies just as much to men, I would say, as to women. So I’m just going to run you through the seven things that came out of that research.

Fiona Jensen: Okay.

Christine Bailey: We’ve talked about some of these things, anyway.

Christine Bailey: So the first one is, build confidence. This is what I said earlier about, act as if you make a difference. You do. You need to have confidence in your own ability, because otherwise you can’t play to your strengths if you’re not even aware what your strengths are. So, that’s the first one is, build confidence.

Christine Bailey: The second one is, learn to take risks and step outside of your comfort zone. And I’ve talked quite a lot about that, and there’s different techniques and things that you can do to make you step outside of your comfort zone.

Christine Bailey: The third one is, be authentic as leaders, and as women. So, authenticity actually is the most important thing as a leader. You’ve got to be true to yourself. And we don’t need to be like the men. I’ve talked quite a lot about diversity, and it’s really important, but you get sort of diversity within the team, so don’t try and be like the men. Play to your strengths.

Christine Bailey: The fourth one is, build brand and gravitas. And that really is about putting some effort into building your own personal brand. Think about the three words that you would use to describe yourself. Now, if you ask somebody else to describe you, would they come up with the same three words? And if you’re sitting there now thinking, “Well, what three words would I use?” If you don’t know what those three words are, please take some time to think about what those three things are. Because if you’re not clear what your personal brand is, how can you expect others to acknowledge what your brand is? And if you have, if you’re clear about your personal brand, and you build on those things, that will give you gravitas.

Christine Bailey: The fifth one is, plan and communicate where you want to go. And this is where it comes back to, as I said, have a direction but once you’ve had a direction, for goodness sake, tell people that that’s the direction you’re going in. Because people wouldn’t necessarily think of you for other roles. I’ve often had that, where someone says, “Oh, I’ve gone after this,” and I’m like, “Oh, I didn’t even know that that’s what you were interested in, or that’s what you aspired to be.” So, don’t expect somebody else to just imagine, particularly are manager, don’t expect your manager to just imagine where you might like to go. Have a plan and communicate it, so that, because it will be a self fulfilling prophecy. If you tell people that that’s the direction you’re going in … people want to help others, you’re more likely to have opportunities come up if you’ve communicated that that’s what you’re looking for.

Christine Bailey: The sixth one is, play on your strengths, and we’ve talked quite a lot about that, so first of all is know what your strengths are, then communicate them, and then play to those strengths.

Christine Bailey: And the last one was, secure sponsors. And we talked earlier about the importance of having sponsors and understanding the different between a sponsor and a mentor.

Christine Bailey: So, that’s the seven things.

Fiona Jensen: Fantastic, well I found this talk really inspirational, thank you so, so much for your time and advice.

Christine Bailey: You’re very welcome.

Fiona Jensen: Really invaluable.

Fiona Jensen: So there you have it, career advice from a real marketing expert and leader in the field. Thanks for listening, if you’re enjoying this podcast then please leave us a review in iTunes. We’d love to hear your feedback.