A Look Inside:
Q&A (unedited) with AZIMA Director of Member Benefits Ginelle Howard
Ginelle Howard, Independent marketing consultant and Arizona Interactive Marketing Association’s Director of Member Benefits, has worked both the agency and corporate side of marketing and has befriended Fortune 500 brands ranging from make-up to pet products over the past 10 years. Currently, her expertise in brand planning, marketing strategy and business development has led her to independent consulting.
Why do you think the world needs more women in leadership roles within the industry and in entrepreneurship?
Mainly, because I believe that women make fantastic leaders and are incredibly creative, intelligent, resourceful, intuitive and beyond capable. I’ve also never met a woman that wasn’t brave and I think that great leadership demands that of any individual.
Beyond that belief, I think it is important for women to continue to strive for gender equality in the workplace and one of the most significant ways that women can work together to achieve this equality is to take a seat at the leadership table. Of course those seats can be hard to come by and that’s why entrepreneurship provides such an enriching and empowering option for women in business to carve out their own leadership and creative path.
How would you describe what the industry is like for those considering a marketing career?
In marketing there is never a dull moment. It’s not a routine field. It can be like riding a rollercoaster without always or (maybe more like never) having a seatbelt. The industry constantly changes and requires you to be a relentless and avid learner, which I love. What I enjoy most about the industry is that it involves an incredible convergence of worlds that in other fields you wouldn’t get to always experience so heavily. Art, science, psychology, sociology, technology and pop culture are all such major influences in a way that is very unique to the industry.
How is adapting technology changing the frontier of your industry?
In some ways it has changed everything and in other ways nothing has changed. There are more niche areas and the overall marketing umbrella is becoming much more expansive then it was in years past. Our ability to reach consumers is certainly much faster and we are able to connect with people on a significantly larger scale. And sure, the mediums and platforms we use to communicate are more varied with the advanced development of mobile technology, app culture, the continued boom of social media, and the vastness of opportunities the web presents, but these technologies do not create great marketing. Good copy is good copy in and of itself, not because it was shared on social media. Brilliant brand strategy isn’t brilliant, because it was put on a landing page using key SEO search terms and followed by a hash tag. Creative ideation and strategic insights will always be the pillars of the industry’s frontier and I don’t think any adapting technology will ever change that.
What is a tip that has helped you stay on top of your game?
I learned a lot from my first job. I used to observe everything I could from the CEO of the company. I learned that you have to be able to talk and understand all aspects of the business and stay very knowledgeable on a wide variety of industries. He taught me that it’s not enough to know marketing and to be able to talk marketing. You really have to be able to understand the nuances of many other businesses. No one can be the expert in everything, but always increasing your knowledge outside of your world as much as possible will help keep you in the game.
Any advice for someone looking into a career in this field?
Find a mentor. Heck, find five. There is nothing else I would recommend more highly. Also, I’d say to become clear and poignant about your own brand. I think developing and portraying a strong sense of who you are and what you stand for as a creative talent and overall human being is so important. It allows your distinct point of view to flow out naturally and authentically. I think when those things are very clear within you and you can articulate them well, that other people take notice and want to be a part of it. The most successful brands in the world do that and when someone starting out in the field can do that too it’s very powerful and will take you places.
Title: Director of Brand Marketing for Yandy