ADMA CEO: Marketers can find success through 'elevating' their approach and mindset

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 30 August 2023
Andrea Martens at ADMA Global Forum 2023.

Marketing has a critical role to play in elevating an entire organisation's market position in a way that delivers sustainable mindful growth, ADMA CEO Andrea Martens said in her opening address to the ADMA Global Forum 2023.

In a speech revolving around the theme of this year's event - 'elevating your marketing game' - Martens said that we're living in an age where marketing is more than just selling products; it's often the end result of being able to build a connection, influence and, above all, trust. 

"Building consumer trust is what marketers do day in, day out," she said.

"It's embedded in the way we build our databases, express our messaging, the channels we run our campaigns through, the customer experiences we develop and the way we engage our businesses to drive meaningful progress. 

"There are times when it can feel like marketing has to choose between head and heart and choose safety over bravery, especially in times where the macro economic impacts are imposing on every single decision we make. But so long as we continue to strive to elevate what marketing means to a business and drive strategic imperative along with a tactical implementation, then the value that we add as a profession will not be pigeonholed."

Martens said that as an industry, the marketing world's achievements are laudable and "we have so much to be proud of", with a glance back at the past few years revealing a list of trailblazers stepping up and transforming themselves, their teams and their organisations. 

"These are marketers moving into broader, more business oriented roles with wider responsibilities and wielding heightened business influence. This is not merely a shift, it's an elevation," said Martens.

"So how are they achieving this? I have the privilege of leading an association where these trailblazers lean in, offering thought leadership that elevates the industry at large in interacting with these exceptional people. I've noticed that while their expertise might vary, there's a shared thread among them and chief amongst these attributes is mastery.

"Mastering what best practice looks like across many areas of their work, and a constant recognition that this requires an openness to continued learning to prepare for one conquer the next challenge that is inevitably thrown at them."

Martens said these trailblazers also recognise their responsibility as leaders to mentor, to guide, to share generously and to bring the young and the curious and the eager along on the journey.

"Good marketing is a team sport after all," she said.

"Creating a path for others to follow and walk beside us requires us to enable their learning and development. Our marketing is elevated when our teams are supportive and upskilled.

"Remember, today's marketing coordinator is the CMO of tomorrow and investing in their development now is an investment in your business and your industry. But elevate also means more than changing job title or the tools that we have at our disposal; it's also about a change in mindset."

Martens said that elevate means making more conscious choices: knowing when to hold back and also when to forge ahead.

"In our world of relentless pace and endless possibilities, we have to be decisive - we must consciously choose what we won't do as much as what we will do and that means saying no to things as much as we say yes," said Martens.

"Understanding the framework within which we need to work is what inevitably makes us better, more innovative marketers. It's also about realising that every decision that we make big or small ripples outwards, affecting our teams, our companies and the communities that we serve.

"Elevate means advocacy and elevate means trust. We are the guardians of our customers' trust, as in our hands lives the delicate balance of data, insight and humanity. Society speaks of data being valuable, 'the new oil', but marketers know that data is our customers, not merely numbers in a spreadsheet, segments, consumers or cohorts.

"They are people - they are me and they are you and we need to be able to trust brands to deliver on our needs every single day."

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