From the family farm to the corporate world, this CMO truly has a knack for effective leadership! [Monday: Marketing Marvels]
Miles Everson’s The Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
Happy Monday, everyone.
Let’s start the day with enthusiasm by talking about today’s “Marvel.” Each Monday, we feature outstanding individuals in business and marketing, and highlight their industry-related experiences, contributions, and insights.
For today, we’ll zoom in on the life of the chief marketing officer of Vensure Employer Services.
Read on to know more about this person and her experiences that led her to where she is now.
UPCOMING EVENT ALERT:
Have you ever wondered why organizational projects with highly-skilled and experienced team members still experience disruptions or worse, project failure?
Could this be due to suboptimal task delegation?
Inadequate time and resources?
Or worse, a problem deeper than all these?
If you want to know why projects fail, then we invite you to join us tomorrow (Tuesday), November 7, 2023, at 6:00 PM EDT as Henry Desai, the Managing Director of VX Dynamic talks about “Why Communication is the Best Tool for Process Optimization.”
This special event is free of charge, but you have to register to save your slot.
We hope you can join!
Human resources (HR) is a vital function within any organization. HR professionals are responsible for managing a company’s workforce and ensuring employees are motivated, engaged, and productive.
Many big companies have their own HR department. However, for some small and medium-sized businesses and startups, there’s a need to outsource their HR functions.
This is where the role of third-party providers comes in. They provide HR-related offerings such as recruitment, payroll, and benefits administration so that clients can focus more on core business objectives and activities.
One of the companies that offer these outsourcing solutions?
Vensure Employer Services!
Photo from Business Wire
Vensure helps accelerate the success of small and medium-sized businesses by providing a comprehensive human capital management (HCM) platform for firms with 2 to 2,000 employees.
The company operates globally, but with a focus on North America. At present, its 5,000+ employees serve over 75,000 businesses with more than 3 million workers.
As a brand that offers the full gamut of HR needs such as managed payroll and benefits, HR outsourcing, IT onboarding/offboarding services, and business process outsourcing solutions, Vensure wouldn’t be where it is today without the effective leadership of its top management team.
… and one of those people?
Michelle Lanter Smith!
Photo from LinkedIn
Smith is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Vensure Employer Services. She leads a global team of 100 marketing, creative, and sales development team members for Vensure’s “House of Brands” portfolio, including VensureHR, Namely, PrismHR, and Solvo.
She also oversees over 50 brands, including brand management and brand reputation initiatives, and generates late-stage pipelines through integrated demand generation for all Vensure businesses.
Aside from that, she delivers programs that drive product adoption of the firm’s HR software platforms, administrative services, and employee benefit programs, and manages customer retention and upsell marketing programs to increase organic growth and profitability.
Prior to working at Vensure, Smith was the CMO at workforce management software company EPAY Systems for almost 9 years. There, she helped the firm grow from a niche time and attendance software provider to a cutting-edge HR tech provider that serves some of the world’s largest enterprises.
Smith was also responsible for reinventing EPAY’s business-to-business (B2B) sales process and building a powerful marketing engine that drove more than three-fourths of the company’s revenues.
Along the way, she acquired a few accolades such as:
- National Association of Women Business Owners’ Influential Women in Business
- Diversity MBA Magazine’s Top 100 Under 50 and 300+ Women in HR Technology Worth Watching
Smith is also an active member of the Board of Trustees of Elmhurst College, a four-year liberal arts college in Illinois.
From the Family Farm to the Corporate World
Being her farmer parents’ only child, Smith was raised with a “killer work ethic.”
Always a hard worker, she first recognized her desire to lead when she was in high school. That time, she felt it wasn’t enough to simply belong to the choir and her school’s National Honor Society—she needed to lead in those groups as well.
This pattern continued when she entered Marquette University in college, where she not only became active in various activities but also quickly assumed leadership roles in them.
Her first job after graduating was a marketing representative for technology corporation IBM. Because of her excellence in sales, she was promoted to marketing strategist, and then further promoted to marketing manager.
In that last role, Smith pioneered a process that became part of the emerging field of Integrated Marketing.
[Integrated Marketing: A strategy for delivering a unified message across all the marketing channels a brand uses. It provides consistency wherever customers choose to interact with a company.]
What Smith did at the time was a breakthrough: Executing campaigns that extended beyond advertising to embrace value-based tactics, then using them to cultivate sales leads. Her work was not only recognized by Northwestern University’s School of Medill, but also integrated into the university’s curriculum.
Because of her contributions, she received IBM’s Golden Circle Award, its highest employee honor. It was also at that time that she earned her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Words of Wisdom for Individual Professionals on Their Way Up
One of the things Smith enjoys most about her role as CMO is coaching and teaching her ever-expanding team. Below are some of her best advice for individuals who also want to take on leadership roles in the future:
- Continue your education. Get a degree or an advanced degree from the best school you can afford. No one can take your education or credentials away from you.
- Embrace networking. You may not enjoy doing this as much, especially if you’re the introverted type, but you still have to learn to love networking with like-minded professionals. Always make sure to nurture your business relationships and contacts.
- Market yourself. Many individuals are taught to be self-effacing, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, you still have to find a way to be comfortable communicating your wins.
- Keep your promises. Deliver on everything you promise, and it will become part of your professional persona.
Additionally, Smith encourages individuals to work on these essential skills:
- Listening and Emotional Intelligence – Listen not only to what others are literally saying but also to what they’re saying “between the words.”
- Creative Thinking – True leaders approach problem solving from different angles. Give yourself permission to entertain “crazy” ideas. According to Smith, every great idea gets its start somewhere.
- Risk Taking – You won’t get far in your career if the fear of making a bad move paralyzes you. Smith says you have to be willing to possibly flop sometimes.
Smith also learned these things by experience throughout her many years in the industry… and now, as CMO, one of her goals is to impart these kinds of advice to her team so they will also step up to become great leaders in the future.
We hope you’re inspired by the story of today’s “Marvel!”
By applying and adopting the advice and skills mentioned above, you can also grow in your career like Smith!
So, whether or not you’re in a leadership role as a business owner, marketer, copywriter, etc., get ready to roll up your sleeves and tackle what needs to be done—from solving problems in the business to opening up new products and markets.
Have a great start to the week!
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Mondays: Marketing Marvels”
Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some brand or company’s marketing strategy.
… only for the audience to later find out that its product was a flop, or worse, that the brand or company went bankrupt.
The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole.
What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?
At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the roles of marketing and communication are always paramount to that success.
Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies, marketers, and communicators.
However, the difference between our articles and the numerous ones out there is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group) in keeping with a person’s leadership skills in the area of marketing and/or communication.
We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.
Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Monday’s “Marketing Marvels!”
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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