Student Voices: Mastering the Tightrope: Balancing Art and Science in Marketing and Sales to Drive Growth
Featured Events | Oct 11, 2023 | Gabelli School of Business
On September 27, the Marketing Area kicked off the Gabelli School of Business’s Industry Speaker Series by hosting an insightful and engaging event titled “Mastering the Tightrope: Balancing Art and Science in Marketing and Sales to Drive Growth,” featuring Dana Warren, CEO of Tech Startup Advisors.
Warren graduated with a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from Columbia University with a focus on general management and marketing. Prior to her work at Tech Startup Advisory Services, she built an impressive career portfolio as vice president of global marketing teams at American Express, head of merchant segment at PayPal, and head of global strategic platform partnerships at Stripe. In addition to her current role, Warren has helped found The Coalition Network and serves as an advisor for numerous technology, business, and research service companies including Anthropic, Yeeld, Cove, and Sendoso.
As an overall industry expert in global sales, business development, and marketing strategy, Warren shared many valuable insights about the current marketing industry with Fordham students. Specifically, she emphasized the dual identity of sales leaders and marketers and the powerful interplay of science and marketing in developing effective sales strategies and company growth.
Businesses strive to drive growth by working towards a customer goal. It is critical that in a fast, tech-driven company, salespeople understand they represent the brand, just as a brand marketer must understand the end goal is to sell a product. Accordingly, both salespeople and marketers need to work in cohesion. The modern sales leader is a marketer just as much as a marketer is a sales leader.
Her main point of discussion was about applying the science of marketing while engaging the art of sales and branding. Data such as KPIs and commercial metrics can inform strategy, but without engaging sales people and marketing when going to market, strategy execution can fail due to lack of real-time customer insights. The result is good content, but unmet end goals.
Accordingly, Warren advised leading with the art of marketing and branding. Branding is the art of communicating your position to create context for how your company is perceived. Simultaneously, developing science insights and communicating with salespeople and brand marketing leads to efficient and effective strategies. (The M.S. in Marketing Intelligence offered by the Gabelli School of Business, combines both of those attributes).
Warren also touched upon the importance of an integrated business culture in creating effective collaboration. Establishing processes ensures consistent, good-quality work, and sharing data allows success across teams. The most fundamental job is to understand and deliver for the customer—a customer orientation ensures good commercial outlooks and best practices.
Finally, Warren left students with some insightful life advice: failure is at times unavoidable, when you fall…It’s what you learn from the fall that determines your success. However, failure is a stepping stone to greatness and leadership. It is important to approach failure as an opportunity to learn, change, and do better going forward.
Written by: Amelia Semler ‘23 – M.S. in Marketing Intelligence