Lauren McCadney is the architect of CDW's social media strategy where programs are marrying digital, search, content and analytics to drive measurable impact on the business. She was named one of iMedia's "Ten Hottest Digital Marketers" for 2013. Prior to CDW, she was assistant VP at SBC, where she held leadership positions in customer analytics and research, marketing, and sales.
McCadney is committed to helping shape the next generation of talent through teaching—she has had teaching assignments at the University of Illinois, the University of Texas at Austin and Duke University. In her spare time, McCadney is an accomplished photographer and active volunteer in Chicago. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Howard University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
What is your proudest work achievement in the past year?
Leading an amazing team that is driving measureable business impact through social media is my proudest accomplishment. By grounding our activities in customer research and being fanatical about measurement, we've pushed the boundaries of social media far beyond mere community management on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Through strategic customer and influencer digital engagement we've delivered significant revenue with positive ROI; proven that social engagers are higher value customers with a stronger brand funnel and extracted actionable customer insight via content analysis of digital conversations, which is being used throughout the company.
What do you like most about your job?
I'm a problem-solver who craves the next challenge. I'm also a person who wants to enable other people to do their best work so every day the team can say: "We made it happen." The digital landscape and customer behavior is changing at lightening-speed which means I have to constantly adapt with it. And I love it.
How can more women be successful in the B2B marketing industry?
Think bigger, believe in yourself, and create your own definition of success.
- Think bigger. Be the person known for having a vision, not just good ideas or random thoughts. Then work on being the type of leader that people want to follow because they make everyone around them more successful.
- Believe in yourself. There may be days, months or even years where you are not being recognized for the value you deliver. Remember that someone else's inability to see your value doesn't diminish it. Forge ahead.
- Define success for yourself. What's important to you? Impact or titles? Promotions or enhancing your expertise? Receiving awards or giving back to others? Answer these questions for yourself, and then create your personal goals. You'll be surprised how success will find you when you are using your definition instead of someone else's.
What's your best piece of advice to women in B2B marketing?
Be a life-long learner. The days of company training programs are long gone (if they ever existed in the B2B space at all). This means staying knowledgeable about changes in digital, being conversational in the language of analytics, understanding cross-platform interactions, and the list goes on…it's totally up to you. Be tenacious. Do whatever it takes. Marketing is changing so rapidly that if you just stand there you will quickly fall behind.