Hector Montalvo of Source Marketing Direct started his career in marketing 10 years ago.
Recent research by Marketing Week deems ‘Marketers’ as having a natural flair for leading a business, but claim few make the transition because of the tendency to become too specialised. Hector Montalvo of Source Marketing Direct shares his experience as an entrepreneur in the marketing world, turned CEO.
Last Month, Marketing Week presented the idea that people who work within marketing roles have more of a natural aptitude for managing a business than co workers in other sectors. The research looked into a number of successful CEO’s that came from marketing backgrounds including Matthew Dearden, former BT Marketing Director and now CEO of Outdoor Media firm Clear Channel and Kevin Brennan, former Kellogg’s Marketing Director who is now CEO of Quorn. The common theme is in the premise that having a skillset which is built around focusing on the end consumer, as is required in Marketing, transfers very successfully into higher management roles. Source Marketing Directs’ CEO Hector Montalvo agrees and discusses his own transition.
Hector Montalvo of Source Marketing Direct started his career in marketing 10 years ago. He says “The soft and hard skills needed in marketing are very similar to those needed in Director Positions. The ability, as mentioned in the Marketing Week article, to look at issues from the consumers stand point means that you are comfortable getting into other people’s shoes which is a key skill needed in higher management. If you can’t see things from the perspective that the people you are managing see things you will undoubtedly fail. Since Managing Source Marketing Direct I have found that the analytic mindset I developed working in Marketing has also helped significantly – there isn’t any part of the company I am not ‘hands on’ with”.
Marketing Week did highlight however that few in generalist marketing roles make the step into a higher level position because of the tendency to become too ‘specialised’. Ian Filby, CEO of DFS, said “The danger can be that you get pigeonholed as being really good at X and people convince themselves that your talent wouldn’t translate into more lateral roles. My advice is to get out of the comfort zone.”(Marketing Week, August 2nd 2011).
Hector Montalvo of Source Marketing Direct says “I am not sure whether this low transition rate is specific to marketing. I have always been a believer that people are their own worst enemy. Fear of success and fear of failure play a huge influence in the decisions that people make about their careers. I believe that the tendency is more in people’s inclination to stick with the safe and stable option that is available to them – I think doubt stops people reaching their full potential. My advice is also to ‘get out of the comfort zone’, here at Source Marketing Direct our ethos is to challenge yourself everyday with something new, challenge the status quo and ask ‘why are we doing things this way?’. I think this kind of forward thinking instils confidence and helps with personal and professional expansion”.