Leslie Mayer is the Director of Member Engagement and Marketing for MAR. She joined the organization in January, 2020 and is responsible for leading the initiative to deeper member engagement through projects such as the new MAR website, branding and database. She leads the MAR marketing team in the areas of digital, content, events and strategy. Leslie comes to the organization with over 20 years of experience in membership marketing, client service, branding, media and event planning. She lives in Rhode Island and when not working, enjoys vacationing to tropical destinations, re-finishing furniture and being a dance mom to her 16-year-old daughter.
1. How did you first get into marketing?
I had an internship at a small ad agency in Providence, RI in the mid 90’s which turned into a permanent job when I graduated. During my 5 years there I learned the ropes and so much about client service. I started as a media coordinator and then became an account executive where I did marketing planning and strategy and project management. I was considered a jack of all trades and learned about buying media, how to produce TV and Radio from some very bright talent. I also learned how to collaborate with many different personalities (creatives, planners, strategists) to come up with the best plans to meet our client’s needs. My clients all had unique needs and ran the gamut from car dealerships, malls, tech recruitment companies and even an amusement park.
2. What would you say are the three most important aspects of successful marketing to you?
The ability to track and measure
Understanding your audience and giving them relevant content that serves their needs
The ability to pivot based on changing business needs
3. What are some tools everyone should have in their marketing toolbox? (ex. InDesign, Photoshop, Moz, etc.)
Some sort of workflow management tool to keep track of your project status and assign tasks related to your marketing objectives.
A network of solid contacts if you don’t have an in-house marketing staff (writers, designers, digital experts).
A solid CRM system to keep track of prospects, help manage customer data and deliver actionable insights.
A social media monitoring tool like Hootsuite, Hubspot or Talkwalker.
4. How do you keep up with changes in the field?
I get a lot of great content from listening to webinars from the In-House Agency forum. They also have a nice research tool for members and a forum for best practices. The Association of National Advertisers has some great learning tools for their members as well. I also download and save white papers that are of interest and refer back to them when I’m ready. I listen to podcasts and subscribe to email newsletters. In addition, one of the most meaningful things I do is keep in touch with former colleagues. We continue to learn from each other and share best practices and pitfalls as we move through our careers.
5. Are there any websites, blogs or marketing gurus you follow for inspiration?
Some of the old school agency folks from the 80’s and 90’s are brilliant. Their focus was on ideas, not technology. A brilliant campaign always needs to start with a great idea.
6. Is there anything you would like to add?
Marketing is all about making your customers/members feel like they are the most important thing to your business. You always need to think about “What’s in it for them” and what value they are getting from giving you their business. If you always keep that in the front of your mind, you can’t go wrong. And always remember you need to stand behind the marketing claims you make!