What Really Keeps Marketing Heroes Up at Night?


On our podcast, “Marketing Heroes [Unfiltered],” Leslie Carruthers and Danny Muscoplat ask top B2B marketers: What keeps you up at night? The answers we’re getting are insightful and sometimes surprising.

Index/ TLDR

  • Kat Noreen highlights the hidden pitfalls of internal misalignment – how organizations can inadvertently hold themselves back while competitors surge ahead.
  • Val DuVernet shares how important it is to stay relevant – staying on the cutting edge with data and AI (artificial intelligence) to serve clients better.
  • Axel talks about championing cookieless tracking and the potential of ChatGPT in modern marketing.
  • Jen advocates for the unheard – emphasizing the leader’s role in amplifying marginalized voices and ensuring collective success.
  • Ben Lazar reminds us all of the overlooked value of sleep (And he’s not the only CMO level guest who has emphasized the importance of sleep – Melissa Cales also drove home its importance).

So let’s dive deeper into what keeps our podcast guests up at night.

Kat Noreen: Overcoming Internal Barriers to Unlock Growth Potential

When asked about what keeps her up at night, Kat pinpointed internal friction and lack of alignment as major concerns. These internal challenges can stunt a company’s growth potential, especially when opportunities for expansion are clear. It’s not the external competitors that worry her as much as it is the organization’s own inadvertent missteps. In her words, it’s like “getting in your own way.” 

To watch competitors succeed while one’s own organization struggles due to self-imposed barriers can be deeply frustrating. For up and coming marketers, Kat’s advice is direct and clear: seize untapped opportunities and harness their potential.

  • Kat Noreen is a CX (customer experience) and aAnalytics lLead who uses data and tech to improve customer experiences. She’s now the Senior Enterprise Value Strategy Lead at Pendo.io, guiding teams through big company changes. She’s focused on the hidden challenges companies often face, unknowingly.

Val DuVernet: Staying on the Leading Edge for Customer Value

When thinking about what keeps her up at night, Val’s focus is clear: “Are we on the leading edge?” It’s this strong drive to stay ahead that marks her way, whether that’s in using data or exploring AI tools. 

For Val, being number one isn’t about showing off—it’s about making sure they give real value to their customers. While she knows it’s hard to be everything for every customer, Val’s goal is clear. She strives for a place where customers are happy and don’t want to look anywhere else, because they find great benefit in staying right where they are.

  • Val DuVernet has navigated the channels of B2B, B2C, and B2B2C. Not only has she led ecommerce and marketing teams for big names like McKesson and Target, but she’s also ventured into entrepreneurship. Val’s consistent aim? Merging technology and content to showcase top products and experiences, all while prioritizing customer satisfaction and growth.

Axel Kirstetter: Embracing the Revolution of AI with Caution

When asked about: ‘What keeps you up at night,’ Axel talks about two big changes in marketing. 

First, the way we use cookies to track what people do online is going away. This means we need to find new ways to understand what people like and do on websites. 

Second, tools like ChatGPT are getting more popular. These tools can do tasks quickly and come up with new ideas. But they can also make mistakes. He called out Samsung as an example of a company considered to be a leader yet has forbidden the use of these tools;, Axel believes ML (machine learning) and AI tools should be tested to find where they can be helpful. But he also says we need to be careful and make sure the info they give is accurate.

  • Axel Kirstetter is an expert in B2B SaaS marketing. He’s skilled in many languages and understands different cultures well. Many people in Regtech and Fintech turn to him for guidance to climb up in their careers, start new jobs, or become better team members. Axel also guides companies on how to expand from a single product to a portfolio by offering more products.

Jen Schrader: Leading with Empathy and Inclusivity in Marketing

What keeps Jen up at night is an unwavering commitment to inclusivity. She’s a stand that every voice gets heard, especially in the marketing and communications sector. 

Jen sees her true role as a leader is to ensure everyone else’s success.

She tackles this by addressing inherent biases, recognizing the voices that are left out, and including and amplifying them. An instance that struck her was when a legislative change in Minnesota seemed to lean towards the state’s Scandinavian roots, which seemed innocuous at first. But a deeper look revealed how this bent could overshadow the efforts of marginalized groups. This reflection serves as a reminder for Jen to constantly elevate and support others. 

  • Jen Schrader leads the way as the VP of Marketing at Kipsu. She’s experienced in many areas of marketing, from SaaS to real estate. A demand generation expert with a knack for making brands shine, she uses data to create plans that really work.

Ben Lazar: Mastering Marketing, Mastering Sleep

Ben drove home an important and often unspoken issue – most of us don’t get enough sleep. He light-heartedly admits that sleep comes easy to him, dubbing himself a “champion sleeper.” We couldn’t agree more and are out to increase our REMs. 

  • Ben Lazar shines in B2B SaaS marketing with an enviable skill set. He’s adept with powerhouse platforms like Salesforce, Marketo, and Hubspot, showcasing prowess in inbound marketing, social media, and content optimization. Beyond tools, Ben excels in global brand positioning, demand generation, and crafting go-to-market strategies. As the SVP of Marketing at AlayaCare, he’s at the helm of a brand that’s reshaping the landscape of in-home and virtual care solutions worldwide.

Turning Off the Night Light

While every marketer has their distinct challenges, there’s a universal thread that ties them together: the pursuit of growth, relevance, and value. Each story reveals a deep commitment to excellence and integrity in the field of marketing.

However, it’s not just about the big strategies, channels or the cutting-edge tools. It’s equally about the people: the teams that make it happen, the clients they serve, and the broader communities they impact. 

Wrapping up our chat from “Marketing Heroes [Unfiltered],” it’s clear that while marketing problems might be different, our main goal stays the same: to really connect with people and make a difference. 

Whether it’s by using cool tools, telling stories everyone can relate to, or just getting good sleep, every marketer is trying their best to break new ground. So when you think about what challenges you in the marketing world, see it as more than just a problem. It’s a chance to create something new and lead with heart.

2023-10-02T14:55:39+00:00October 2nd, 2023|Comments Off on What Really Keeps Marketing Heroes Up at Night?

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