Have you ever had the experience of discussing something you consider important with another person and then, say a few weeks later, you bring up the topic again and the person acts like it’s the first time they’ve ever heard of the idea?

Kathleen Schaub, marketing management and organizations strategist and former IDC CMO Advisory leader, considers this and more in her recent piece Marketing Career Lens: Lessons I’ve Learned About Earning Relevance. Here, Kathleen discusses why people sometimes don’t hear what you’re saying. She dives deep into understanding what exactly is going on when what you’re saying fails to register with customers, workmates, friends or family.

Kathleen’s intellectual curiosity and fresh perspectives have served her well in guiding technology and digital services companies on the importance of the human side of technology as well as other topics. Her abilities to notice, explore and explain are apparent in her recent columns, which you can read here. For one of those columns on AI and marketing, we conducted a video interview with Kathleen (above).

And now, she catches up with CMSWire again for a Q&A.

This is part of our end-of-year series celebrating our top CMSWire Contributors of the Year for 2022. These are regular CMSWire Contributors whose articles this year greatly resonated with our community of professionals. These Contributors simply serve as great ambassadors of our brand in the world of marketing and customer experience.

Rethinking Marketing and No Clinging Allowed

What excites you most about the space you cover?

At last! Companies are starting to adopt new solutions that punch through persistent challenges that have kept marketing leaders up at night since before I started my marketing career. Rethinking marketing as what scientists call a complex system instead continuing down the industrial-era “business as a machine” path has produced management innovations resulting in better customer experience, reduced bickering with sales over leads, stamping out tugs-of-war between central marketing and field operations over who’s in charge, and a rational approach to return-on-investment (ROI). I’m enjoying collecting these practices, learning about the science behind them, and sharing them with the community.

Related Article: If You Want to Succeed With Artificial Intelligence in Marketing, Invest in People

What trend(s) do you think will emerge in 2023?

As someone who created predictions for many years as leader of the IDC CMO Advisory practice, I can say that virtually all trends are long-term multiyear evolutions. Rarely do things suddenly emerge and when they do; it’s almost never good (COVID!).

Having said this, I believe in 2023, the wisest trends for leaders to invest in are intelligence (e.g., predictive and prescriptive analytics, transparency, ethics), fostering human potential (e.g., future of work, DEI, employee empowerment, team integration, customer care) and bringing these two elements together.

Related Articles: Marketing Budget Cuts: What's Important, and What's Urgent?

Learning Opportunities

What's the best career advice you ever got?

When I was starting out, my dad recommended that I should choose careers that kept me close to the “business of the business,” which meant participating in how a company adds value to its customers. It’s at this edge where things are most interesting, exciting and serves a purpose. My dad also recommended choosing growing industries and companies because “the rising tide lifts all boats,” making career growth and new opportunities easier to access. For more advice, here’s a blog post about Six Career Lessons that Changed My Life.

Related Article: Customer-Centric Missions Keep Frontlines Prepared for the Unexpected

What's the best personal advice you ever got?

Let go. Clinging to things in this constantly changing world is a recipe for disappointment, anxiety and frustration. There is a Buddhist saying, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” Stuff happens and of course, there is an appropriate emotional response. We make things worse by ruminating and rehashing. Everything passes, and most events are unimportant. Letting go is tremendously freeing. (Fun fact: I often sing that song from the film Frozen “Let It Go! Let It Go!” to myself as a little mantra.)

Related Article: Marketing Career Lens: Lessons I’ve Learned About Earning Relevance

Tell us something about you not related to your work field of interest.

I’m a creative dabbler. I always have a couple of small projects going — watercolors, landscape design, crafts. The last few years, I’ve been working on needlepoint design and creation. My bachelor’s degree was in design. I love the tangibility and beauty of art. It’s a wonderful balance to the intellectual arena of my work.