As the role(s) of marketing change, adaptability will be a necessity as marketers and employers adjust to new technologies and market conditions. Yet, the fundamental core of who a marketer must strive to be —an authentic relationship builder who wants to improve the entire customer experience— will not change.
These are some of the key lessons from interviewing Cameron Uganec, the new VP of Marketing and Communications at Bench. They are North America’s largest bookkeeping service for small businesses and the province’s fastest growing tech company.
What helped him succeed as a marketer in a rapidly changing industry? “Being curious, embracing ambiguity, focusing on developing my strengths vs ‘fixing’ my weaknesses, having a long term perspective on my career.”
This approach across his 20+ years as a marketer rewarded him with the opportunity to lead multi-million-dollar campaigns (Four Seasons, Cadillac), start his own firm, and lead a bootstrapped startup to billion-dollar valuation (Hootsuite).
On December 6, 2017 he will join a panel of experts for the BCAMA Thought Leadership event: The Changing Role of Marketer. Attend the lunchtime event to understand how marketers and organizations will need to adapt.
Changing Role of Marketer: an interview with Cameron Uganec
Arpy: This week marks a major milestone in your own personal changing role of marketer, you’re leaving Hootsuite after five years of leading their marketing team and moving to another ultra-growth startup: Bench.
Cameron: You have caught me at an exciting point in my career; change is good and I am stoked to be at Bench. The Bench team has done a great job to date in building a brand. We are going to build on this foundation with more investments in inbound marketing, video content and social. Bench is hiring, with more Marketing roles coming soon so keep an eye on www.Bench.co/careers.
Arpy: You were key in crafting Hootsuite into one of Vancouver’s iconic brands. What are some advantages and disadvantages of having your personal brand so closely tied to a well-known brand?
Cameron: The phrase personal brand makes me cringe a little bit. I think many people are wasting their time with “personal branding”. Successful people focus on building relationships. If speaking engagements, thought leadership content and social media is helping you build real relationships then it is valuable – everything else is superfluous and ego boosting. There is no doubt that Hootsuite’s story is now part of my career story and I am very proud and grateful for that.
Arpy: Any suggestions for marketers who are seeking to expand their own skillset/challenges faced, while being anxious about leaving a team they love?
Cameron: If they want to grow, marketers need to be constantly learning and stretching themselves. If you are working for a progressive company, you can often find opportunities within the company. However, there are times in your career when making the leap to a new organization is the right move. It may feel difficult to leave a place that you are comfortable with, especially when you have strong relationships. In my experience, with a little bit of effort those relationships can continue after you have left; social media makes this relatively easy. I am still in touch with people I have worked with 20 years ago.
Arpy: Over the course of your 20+ years as a marketing leader you have been responsible for many hires. Are you looking for the same qualities in a candidate today as you were a decade ago?
Cameron: The required hard skills have changed, many didn’t really exist 10 years ago; e.g. social publishing, paid social, marketing automation, conversion rate optimization and testing. The soft skills are the same: good collaborators, creative thinkers, data-driven decision making.
Arpy: In what ways do you think today’s marketers should prepare themselves for the future job market and responsibilities they’ll face?
Cameron: You need to be adaptable; the pace of change is only accelerating. One rule of thumb that has worked for me is to be open to any new opportunity that will help me develop new skills or knowledge.
Arpy: Now that marketers have tools to measure and optimize their efforts, what do you think the role of Marketing in business should become?
Cameron: When done right Marketing should be improving the entire customer experience. This is the biggest opportunity marketers have to increase the value they bring to their organizations. In progressive companies Marketing is also responsible for online revenue and becomes a much more impactful role.
Arpy: How are employers going to need to adapt to fill senior roles given the competition across Vancouver’s growing tech ecosystem and Vancouver’s continued affordability issues?
Cameron: Vancouver’s affordability issues effect everyone. Vancouver employers are going to have to be more flexible in terms of offering remote working and satellite offices to attract top talent.
December 6th @ 11:30am – 1:00pm
The Vancouver Club, main ballroom.
Cameron Uganec is the new VP of Marketing and Communications at Bench. Previous to that he lead the Marketing team at Hootsuite, helping them through hypergrowth to become one of Canada’s top tech companies. Cameron will be a speaker at the BCAMA’s “Changing Role of Marketer” Thought Leadership Luncheon on December 6th. Get your tickets now.
Arpy Dragffy is the Head of UX & Strategy for PH1 Media, a local Research, Strategy, & Innovation Studio, and the Thought Leadership Manager for the BCAMA.