Why would a marketing veteran with a long, interesting career go back to graduate school after two long decades? “Because change is the only one constant,” Sue Conroy McLeod answered. “Through my career, I’ve seen the marketing landscape migrate and evolve from analog to digital. While it’s exciting, it can also be slightly daunting, and that’s what drew me to the IMC program.”
It remains a firm belief of Sue’s, however, that, despite all the ‘new, shiny objects’ one sees in the marketing world today, the function and objective of marketing remain the same.“Channels may have evolved, but ways of human interaction and behavior are the same. It’s an interesting paradox.”
Sue does mention that the thought of going back to school after having been out of academia for almost 20 years was initially scary, but also that she loved the interaction with her classmates and professors. The IMC program, she holds, is very well-rounded. It gives students and marketing practitioners the confidence to ask the right questions and to stay relevant within the ever-evolving marketing diaspora. The consumer-centric approach allows the marketer to stay on track and cut out unnecessary noise, remembering to focus marketing efforts on the customer.
Today, as a marketer and entrepreneur, Sue wears multiple hats in a job function where no two days are the same. “Each day is an adventure.” To be a successful marketer, she believes one must have a love for learning and a curiosity about consumer behavior. “You must learn to challenge yourself, think on your feet, and adapt to the only constant – change. Never stop learning. Be proactive and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Keep your mind open to challenges. What worked last week may not work today. If something mechanical is your thing, you’re clearly in the wrong field.”
The important lesson Sue outlines is that, amidst all the change in the marketing world, some critical components – underlying human behavior, a need for learning, and the fundamental understanding that there will always be change – actually do stay the same.
What IMC Means To Sue:
“IMC to me is a mindset, a lens through which you look at, and assess, all marketing challenges. The IMC approach is what helps me as a marketer stay focused on the bigger picture, solve problems, and stay on track.”
Sue Conroy McLeod is a member of the Medill IMC Class Of 2014
Profile by Akshita Gupta, Medill IMC Class Of 2017