INTEGRATE 2015: Speaker Profile – Rod Brooks

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To make sure that you have the best experience at INTEGRATE 2015, I will be profiling a few of the speakers as part of a multi-part blog series.

Rod Brooks

Rod Brooks, V.P. & Chief Marketing Officer – PEMCO Insurance, is the first speaker on the list. In an email interview, Rod answered a question I presented to him about digital strategy. His answer below is a great preview of the caliber of marketing wisdom he will be sharing when he takes the stage at INTEGRATE.

Rod – On social media you posted the following Forrester quote: “74% of business executives say their company has a digital strategy, but only 15% believe their company has the skills and capabilities to execute.” This is a very scary statistic! Of the 15% minority, what skills and capabilities do you view as being important to their success? Would having an integrated marketing skill set be a plus?

It’s a great question Julie. There is definitely a talent gap between the digital marketing requirements of today’s brand marketers and the skills that exist within the available work force. There’s no doubt that students with an understanding and experience of an integrated approach to marketing will have an advantage. Keeping in mind that there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution, I believe that it will be critical for successful marketing leaders to close the gap in six key areas.

1. Business Planning. In order to execute a digital marketing plan you first have to be capable of writing or informing one. A digital marketing plan must serve a business purpose. Starting with a clearly written objective, a business plan should outline the goals, risks, resource requirements, budget, and a high level concept of the plan. From there a digital roadmap, or plan of action, will be created to serve as the “blueprint” for execution.

2. Analytical Planning and Assessment. You can’t improve what you can’t measure. And you can’t measure what you aren’t analyzing. In this era of relevance, marketers must use data driven marketing to assess the competitive landscape. Similarly, marketers must be equipped to analyze customer segments for their uniqueness and specific interests in order to deliver relevant messages to the right people at the right time. It will be essential for digital marketers to have members of their staff who have learned the ins and outs of web analytics, including conversion optimization and A/B testing. The talk about “big data” is more than hype. Brands that fail to close the analytics gap will quickly fall behind in today’s fast-paced digital world. And, I must add, these are not skills that baby boomers – people like me – were taught as we entered the business world and advanced in the marketing profession. This will be an era of the employee teaching their leader.

3. Mobile Marketing. The mobile first revolution is real and it’s now. Brands are working hard to catch up with the momentum that this wide sweeping technology has put in the hands of consumers. Unfortunately, the talent that is needed to make the move is scarce and underdeveloped. Talent requirements include a clear understanding of how to drive business success through the use of responsive design, differentiated mobile applications, and contact management systems, just to name a few.

4. Marketing Automation.  Those who understand the tools and platforms that enable increased effectiveness and efficiency are in high demand by winning brands and agencies alike. I don’t see this trend slowing down anytime soon. Students who are able to influence and introduce best practices in areas like big data, predictive analytics, customer relationship management, and lead scoring and nurturing are certain to have an advantage in the marketplace.

5. Creativity. In order to set brands apart from their competition an element of creativity is going to be required. This is as true in digital marketing as in any other discipline – if not greater. Whether writing website copy, instituting a lead nurturing plan, or developing your brands “killer app,” creative talent is needed to design the user experience. There’s no real substitute for creative confidence. I encourage everyone to build it within themselves in the areas that they are most passionate about.

6. Writing. I was in the audience when former CBS News anchor Dan Rather addressed an audience of college students attending a communications symposium. Rather offered three tips that, he said, would ensure the success of every student with an ounce of ambition in the room. His list, in priority order: First, learn to write. Next, learn to write. And third, learn to write. His point was well made and is of critical importance. While our world is changing and digital sharing and marketing are here to stay, nothing has replaced the need to be capable of communicating. Learn to write.

Attend INTEGRATE 2015 and learn from incredible marketing leaders at St. Jude, HGTV, SeaWorld and more!

Use code IMC2015 through the end of this month for the best rate. http://imc.wvu.edu/integrate/register-online

Be sure to save the following dates: May 29-30, 2015

Looking forward to seeing everyone this May in Morgantown, WV!

Who has already purchased a ticket? 

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2 Responses to “INTEGRATE 2015: Speaker Profile – Rod Brooks”

  1. Valerie Lee Ater Says:

    I hope to be there! Once again. Still in limbo regarding the program right now

  2. Jenna Beach Says:

    Reblogged this on Coffee and Marketing.

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