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Aligned Podcast


Sep 21, 2021

On today’s episode of Aligned, Sean is joined by digital marketing devotee Ed Rusch. Ed is passionate about customer experiences and is the current CMO of Blue Ridge. In a three-part series, Ed will articulate his major takeaways from his years of experience in the marketing space. Today’s topic? Common myths and misconceptions of executive-level marketing.

Ed’s marketing origins:

  • Born and raised in Cleveland, his first gigs post-college were hosting various radio (playing adult contemporary and Today’s Top 40 hits.)
  • As he’s grown and learned more about the industry, Ed is now intrigued by the concept of modern marketing and what that means for professionals today.
  • Primarily a B2B marketer, Ed emphasizes maintaining a learning mindset to understanding the challenges and struggles of modern marketing.

There is still a disconnect in how marketing is viewed. 

  • A common misconception of marketing is its emphasis on “arts and crafts.” Sure, design plays an integral role in marketing. But that’s far from the only thing (or the most important thing) that marketers do.
  • An exciting thing about marketing today is the ability to touch and impact many aspects of the business beyond what traditional marketing could do.
  • But because the possibilities are extensive, it can be difficult for marketers to know where to leverage their influence.

A clear marketing goal: make an impact on your company’s revenue growth. 

  • Marketing can articulate a value message to the financial community, which is a needle-mover for those equity transitions.
  • There's a need for both short-term success and long-term value creation, which marketing can create and influence.
  • Marketing can be far more than a sales supplement when given the proper support.

Ed’s past work exemplifies the importance of strategic marketing.

  • Initially viewed as a technology company, Ed’s company had a commanding market share of their industry (an amalgamation of technology and construction.)
  • They couldn’t grow until they found a new avenue to expand into. And that avenue was connecting suppliers to the buyers.
  • Establishing this new avenue involved creating not just a strategy but the story and messaging around their platform.
  • It also involved creating a community between buyers, sellers, and logistics providers (and agree, as an organization, that they were a supply chain platform.) Which means both internal and external factors were at play.

Marketing adds value in ways beyond its traditional implications.

  • For example, marketing attracts new talent to your purpose and mission. Why do people want to be a part of your organization? Marketing can explain that.
  • From a marketing perspective, the ability to reimagine your story and then leverage that in both employee engagement and the acquisition of new talent pays dividends.

Episode Resources:

  • Aligned is a podcast for executives of emerging middle-market companies and executives pursuing growth or looking for new levers to pull. 
  • Read more about cognitive marketing on FitzMartin’s website.
  • Order Sean’s book Shift.
  • To connect with Sean Doyle, find him on LinkedIn, or learn more about FitzMartin on the company web page

To get in contact with Ed, connect with him on LinkedIn.