In this edition of the How 2B Fearless series, we sat down with @Clare_Carr, who is a VP of Marketing at Chief. Clare shares what being a fearless marketer means for her and what it has meant for her career.
What does fearless marketing mean to you?
Great marketing has to be fearless, because it has to take risks. You have to make people feel something. And that’s scary because it’s out of your control. What if people don’t like it? What if they react badly? So much marketing you see plays it too safe.
Fearless marketing thinks about the message and tells it in the most compelling way possible. It is empathetic to its audience and cares deeply, and passionately, about what they care about. It is also inclusive and representative.
Fearless marketing is also about facing the most challenging aspects of marketing head on. With all the technology available, marketing can become a purely tactical playbook: if I send the right email at the right time, we’ll hit our goals, and people will buy. But without fearless stories and messages, even the most amazing tactical plan will end up falling flat.
Who is a fearless marketer you look up to and why?
The most fearless marketers I look up to are the ones who are just starting out and find the courage to speak up when they have an idea. Junior marketers who offer an idea or ask a question are taking a bigger risk than senior team members, especially if they’re the only woman or person of color in the group.
The further you get in your career, the more confident you are that you have something worthwhile to say. But I understand and respect that it’s really scary to trust your own voice, especially if your voice is different than others.
How did your career start out in marketing?
I majored in Environmental Science, purely out of passion, and assumed I would go into environmental law or research. What I realized then, and what is almost absurdly clear today, is that science alone is “necessary but not sufficient.” If you want people to care about something, they have to feel something. Fact-checking alone will not win over the biological imperative that we have to trust our gut.
My career has straddled media, science, marketing, and technology, always with a focus on driving change. My degree in Environmental Science landed me in the renewable energy industry at Greentech Media. I got to launch their social media platforms and help drive the audience for the site into the millions. That experience led me to Parse.ly, where I made sure our marketing platform helped all media companies understand digital audiences better. Now I work to support other women in positions of power at Chief. My career in marketing is a tool to make sure the things I care most about get the attention they deserve.
What have you learned from other members of the Fearless 50?
I learn a lot from Sara McNamara’s LinkedIn posts. She shares so much information back with the community. There’s a common fear that if you share your knowledge that you’ll become less valuable, but it’s actually the opposite; the more information you share, the more valuable you are to other people.
Recently she’s inspired me to create oversaturation suppression lists, which is a small thing, but something I probably never would have taken a moment to consider. More importantly, she doesn’t hide who she is and what she stands for as some sort of false separation of “professional” and “personal,” and that’s an important precedent to set.
I would love to learn how she has time to do it all!
What are three pieces of advice you would give to the next generation of fearless marketers?
Community Profile: @Clare_Carr
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