We asked Jim Stengel (@jimstengel), President/CEO of The Jim Stengel Group and one of the AMA Cincinnati 2019 Cincinnati Marketing Legends, to answer a few questions about his career, challenges, advice to fellow marketers and more.

When you reflect on your career, what are you most proud of?

The people, always the people, and what they have done to improve business and the world.

Legend doesn’t mean “has been” for us! It means someone who is still growing and learning, still contributing, still shaking things up. What are some of your personal career goals in the next 5 years? 10 years? Beyond?

To see purpose in business become simply the way we do business…and to continually learn and develop as I play a role in leading that. Measurement and KPIs are the next frontier, and my team and I are working on that.

Wax poetic on what you think makes a successful marketer in a profession that is always changing and evolving.

I cannot top Bob Dylan and this is “spot on” as an anthem for successful marketers:

May God’s bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay
May you stay forever young
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay
May you stay forever young

Everyone has challenges, but they are oftentimes the lessons or experiences that help us grow and do better. What are some challenges you have had to overcome? What advice would you share about overcoming challenges?

Remember it is all about your customers’ lives and what you are doing to improve them. If you make mistakes in pursuing that goal, and your company does not accept that, leave. Other companies would love to have you. And be resilient — the key to happiness and a great career.

Be resilient — the key to happiness and a great career.

Based on your specific craft/discipline within marketing, what do you see being the biggest opportunity for marketers in the next couple years? Biggest challenge?

Activate your purpose in all you do. Personalize your marketing in a delightful way that is not creepy and helps people do what they love doing in life. It’s about matching content to intent (a quote from a colleague at the Kellogg School).

Only three years old, the AMA Cincinnati Marketing Legends Award aims to recognize those who have made a lasting impact within marketing. What does it mean to you to be nominated, and ultimately selected, for this award?

We are one of the world’s epicenters of marketing talent so it means a lot. It also means a lot to be awarded in the class with Pete and Molly, both inspirations. Plus, I love Cincinnati so any award that has “Cincinnati” with it is extra special.

Finally, tell us a little bit about yourself outside of your work—family, favorite travel experiences, hobbies, etc.

My wife is the love of my life. And she is the one with the interesting hobbies. I also love that my kids keep a journal of “Dad-isms” and God forbid anyone but them ever see that!

I also stay close friends with the guys I grew up with in Lancaster, PA – people are always amazed that we are still close and still get together. I would be amazed if we were not.

Watch Jim Stengel’s Cincinnati Marketing Legends Acceptance Video


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