Q&A with Julia Versteegh, CPSM

We’ve all been there before. There’s a problem or task you’re trying to tackle and nothing is working – then all of a sudden, something clicks and you have that “Aha!” moment. That’s what happened to Julia Versteegh during one of her CPSM Study Group sessions less than a year ago, and it has dramatically changed the way she works. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Julia to discuss how her shift in thinking has affected the level of marketing buy-in she receives from her company.

Q: What exactly was your “Aha!” moment?

My realization revolved around the fact that I was feeling like I wasn’t receiving the support I needed to get my job done. During the CPSM Study Group session, we were going over a section that discussed how the Director of Marketing isn’t only responsible for external marketing efforts, but also internal marketing such as education and internal support. That’s when it hit me that receiving the support I needed was my responsibility and I had to figure out how to make it happen. From that point on, I just took it on as a responsibility and slowly I started getting more support. I always kept the thought in the back of my mind that “this is your responsibility” and I continued to request help until we eventually got there.

Q: What advice would you give to others for getting more marketing buy-in from their companies?

I’d say to really take charge. Once I realized that it was my responsibility to ensure there was buy-in, I changed my tone and instead of asking if someone could help me, I’d phrase requests by saying “hey, we have to do this for the company and I need your help.” It’s not a question, but it’s also not a demand – just “hey, we have to do this together.” You have to remember that this is a shift in your own thinking, not anyone else’s. Once I shifted my thinking, the people in my company just went with it. The next thing I knew, I was the Director of Marketing and Business Development. I have to believe that taking charge played a part in my promotion. What I have learned from my experience is that you have to persist. Don’t give up, just keep trying. Don’t be afraid to do more than your job description indicates and don’t be afraid to go out on a limb.

Q: What role has SMPS played in helping you get to where you are in your career?

Before becoming CPSM Certified, I felt like I knew what I was doing in my job but, because it had been some time since I had formal education, I wanted some confirmation that I was on the right track. I joined the SMPS CPSM Study Group to prepare for the test and that’s when I really had some defining moments in how I approach my work. The experience gave me the confidence to know that I was doing the right thing for my company. It has been helpful because sometimes you’ll work with people who aren’t always cooperative or don’t necessarily understand marketing, and you might doubt yourself, but with the help of SMPS and the CPSM study group you can get the confidence of knowing that you are following standards and practices used throughout the industry.

Post by: Brittany Luiz, Marketing Coordinator, Gleeds