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Connie Chi
Connie Chi Founder & CEO, The Chi Group
11mo NYC/NJ Story
Confessions of A Marketing Director

Marketing directors worldwide are powerhouses in their own right who have limited time to spare. Let alone try scarfing down a salad between meetings becomes nearly impossible especially on crazy days and deadlines. Those are probably the same days you wished you’d liquified your lunch instead. We are in charge of making hefty decisions and are the gatekeepers to the epitomic marketing budget that everyone wants to dip into. No matter what month of the year it is, there are those who are trying to get us to spend it while others are trying to cut it.

Throughout our superhero marketing days we have to juggle hundreds of incoming emails, phone calls, strategies within strategies, meetings about meetings, and other minute nuances that require the utmost attention to detail. The entire time we have to maintain optimal focus while bringing our A game to the sandbox.

I will admit having been a Marketing Director myself, there were moments that I wanted to secretly clone 5 versions of me. If in fact it did come into fruition, I’d probably drive a lot of my office mates insane. Between the office niceties and playing hard ball there are a few things that got under my skin. These are my confessional rantings of a marketing director, some of you might share my sentiments while others may be able to add to this working list.

Know My Name

This one, I don’t understand how anyone mess this up. It’s not that we marketing people are narcissistic pricks but there’s some kind of unwritten respect when someone gets your name right. After all you are asking me to let loose the purse strings. Once there was a salesperson vying for my business and kept referring to me with the wrong name. First it was on email then I gave her the opportunity to redeem herself on the phone. Unfortunately I was called the same erroneous name twice after I corrected her, needless to say she never got a signed insertion order (IO).

Don’t Drop In Without An Appointment

Account executives and sales reps we empathetically get that you have to make your numbers. Hey so do we! But that doesn’t give you libertad to just drop in at will. When you do that it just shows us that you don’t respect our time or space. Make an appointment please, even if you just happen to be in town.

Don’t Be Surprised When We Negotiate

Our jobs as directors is to put the wellness of our business and brands first. We are trained to take you down in price and make overtly ridiculous requests. Sometimes we know these requests make you flip in the air upside down. But when salespeople and account executives execute our requests with perfection and ease we marketing directors are not only impressed but also more inclined to renew our IO’s with a bump in spending.

Get To The Point

Please, please just get to the point and be prepared. We want to know the how’s, the metrics behind your products or services, pricing and if it’ll help us boost our brand. Dancing around these things if you don’t know the answer actually wastes both our time. If you don’t know, keep it real, tell me you’ll get back to me or you just started working for X company and don’t have all the answers yet. At least it gives you an excuse to return into my working life or inbox.

The 30 Second First Impression

You’ve heard it so many times first impression matters, oh how true is that. Marketing Directors come across numerous types of personalities so they’re really good at reading people. Within the first 30 seconds we will have a vague idea if we’re going to buy from that someone sitting across our table. Make sure you create a connection early on in the meeting.

Be Strategic About The Meeting

I’m not talking about the content of the meeting but also the actual staging of it. Sales people if you sit in a place where behind you I see people rushing around the office, you won’t have my full focus. Offer me a warm drink not a cold one because it gives off the vibe that you are a warm person. Give me a cold drink I’ll feel like you’re a cold person. Send me a handwritten note or card with a stamp and I’ll be forever impressed because very few people still do that.

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Connie Chi
Founder & CEO, The Chi Group

Speaker, Founder & CEO of The Chi Group, a global branding agency humanizing brands through unique experiences. I also host a weekly podcast called The Brand Academy Podcast where I spill the secrets on all things branding and marketing gained through my 17+years of experience working with [...]

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