How 2B Fearless with Fearless 50 Member, Kimmah Shah

Marketo Employee
Marketo Employee

In this How 2B Fearless edition, we spoke with @Kimmah_Shah1, who is a Senior Consultant specializing in Digital and Demand Generation. Read about what Kimmah has to say about how she got started in marketing, her 3 pieces of advice for the next generation of marketers, and more!


What does fearless marketing mean to you?

Since COVID-19, my idea of what fearless marketing means has evolved. Covid has disrupted many of our lives and as the voice of the business, marketers have been forced to reexamine how we speak and interact with customers. We have to be more than just cognizant of our tone, messaging, and timing - we have to be vigilant. We are the gatekeepers of what our customers see and how they perceive our business in the market. So we have to speak up, ask questions, and be willing to be uncomfortable to ensure that we are not only representing the best interests of the company but also the best interests of our customers.


Who is a fearless marketer you look up to and why?

Without hesitation, Bozoma Saint John, who is currently the CMO of Netflix and has served as the first African-American woman of many Fortune 500 Companies in the US. As an African-American woman, I have often been the only person who looked like me in a room. The thing that happens when you never see yourself represented in the room, is that you wonder if you belong there. You think, is there a seat for me at this table? According to a study conducted by the Association of National Advertisers in 2019, only 6% of CMO’s identified as African American. Seeing Bozoma move through Uber, Apple, Pepsi, and other high profile brands reminded me that those roles are attainable and there is indeed a seat at the table for me. It may be harder, but it's not impossible.


How did your career start out in marketing?

My first position in marketing was actually a Sales and Marketing Coordinator for a company that made printers. It was my first role supporting a sales team and providing marketing support. Looking back it was when I learned that sales and marketing work hand in hand and in order to drive revenue for a company, you have to learn how to do that well.


What have you learned from other members of the Fearless 50?

This has been an interesting year to say that least and unfortunately, we haven’t had the opportunity to meet face to face. But I would say I am learning how to stay engaged with my peers and learn in a less traditional setting. Nothing beats meeting face to face but I’ve met some amazing marketers that show up and engage on LinkedIn, in our Slack Community or through some of the Fearless 50 events. They all bring such passion and breadth of knowledge that it's easy to see why they were selected. It inspires me to find ways to engage and reach out to other marketers who are doing amazing things in the community and learn from them.


What are three pieces of advice you would give to the next generation of fearless marketers?

  • First, never stop being curious. The world is changing around us so rapidly through technology, and marketing is no different. You must have a passion to keep up with trends, learn what’s the big new thing, find out what’s going on if you want to keep up with both the technology and the consumers you’re trying to reach.
  • Second, become self-taught. It’s wonderful to have a college education, but it should be the starting point, not the finish line. The internet has a wealth of information (and so much of it is free), that we all have incredible opportunities to learn on our own, educating ourselves on what we don’t know.  Use the curiosity from point #1 and put it to work to teach yourself, constantly expanding upon your knowledge. Time spent in self-enrichment is never wasted.
  • Finally, for the third tip, you should get a mentor… after all, you can’t teach yourself everything! Pick someone who is at a higher level of experience than you, is where you’d like to be, and does what you’d like to be doing as he or she will be most helpful in aiding you in your journey. Mentors are particularly effective when you’re trying to grow in your profession but perhaps don’t know where to start, the adage being “you don’t know what you don’t know.” A mentor has both the wisdom and objective distance to tell you what you don’t know and what you need to learn to evolve in your career, things that likely are not self-evident.

Have any questions for Kimmah? Let her know in the comment section below! 


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