In our newest “Meet the Team” series installment, we re-introduce the SYNNEX Comstor marketing team. With several new faces on the award-winning team, and renovated approaches to marketing thanks to the pandemic, revisiting the marketing team’s role in the Cisco ecosystem was warranted. In this latest discussion, we explored the term “future-ready marketer” as well as lasting lessons learned during the pandemic that will shape marketing best practices in the future. Here’s what they had to share:
Bill Maroney, SYNNEX Comstor Senior Marketing Manager
Time with SYNNEX Comstor Team: 12 years
To Maroney, being “future-ready” covers a lot of ground, especially as it relates to marketing in the channel. “Anticipation is key, as are speed, flexibility, and agility,” he stated. “Customers expect quality service, which isn’t new, but they want it and need it NOW. We have to be sure that we are not only thinking ahead but that we are positioned to think in the moment with the ability to pivot and act quickly.”
According to Maroney, the pandemic confirmed that SYNNEX Comstor has the capability to enable its partners to conduct business in the face of unprecedented challenges. “Tasked with providing order in a time of near-chaos, SYNNEX Comstor and Cisco moved with poise and purpose to ensure not quick-fix answers, but long-term and sustainable solutions.”
Autumn, NeSmith, SYNNEX Comstor Senior Marketing Manager
Time with SYNNEX Comstor Team: 9 years
For NeSmith, the concept of “future-ready marketing” brought to mind a meme she came across:
To her, this means that it’s important to gratuitously keep our past experiences fresh in our mind to learn what has worked, what could have been improved on, or what might be re-purposed for a new idea.
“If we stay grounded in these lessons, yet flexible and open-minded in the present landscape, we put ourselves in the prime position to respond in an agile and creative way with our future marketing efforts,” she remarked. “That way of thinking helps me to embrace change, maximize the resources we have, and always be digging for new solutions. Keeping our fingers on the pulse of the IT industry helps us to meet our partners’ needs in creative and meaningful ways.”
As far as lessons learned during the pandemic that she’ll apply to future marketing practices, NeSmith learned that sometimes you need to slow down to speed up. “We are similar to electronics or batteries in the sense that taking time to rest and recharge primes you to be the best version of yourself in the world,” explained NeSmith. “Often times, after a yoga or meditation class, I have epiphanies on new ways to tackle old problems.” She urges marketers in the channel to find how to hit their “reset button,” and make sure to do it as often as needed to clear their minds and welcome creative ideas.
Cody Schuver, SYNNEX Comstor Marketing Specialist
Time with SYNNEX Comstor Team: 3 months
Schuver joined the SYNNEX Comstor team as a Discovery Representative in March 2021 and was then brought on as a Marketing Specialist in May 2021.
He shared with us that, “a ‘future-ready marketer’ means being able to anticipate what is coming down the pipeline and being able to adapt to a constantly changing playing field.” He went on to explain that “as a Marketing Specialist, it is essential to be proactive versus reactive; be a trendsetter versus a copycat.” He encourages channel marketers to find a way to make yourself a differentiator against the competition.
“Although I am relatively new to the team, I think SYNNEX Comstor has done a fantastic job at this,” he noted. “We have proven ourselves to be industry leaders that consistently stay ahead of the curve even in the most challenging times.
Schuver has learned two big lessons from the pandemic: conducting business virtually only gets you so far and do not underestimate the power of in-person connections. While it may have been necessary to transition to a virtual workspace to keep the operation going, the more in-person events, training, and meetings the better for everyone, if you ask Schuver.
“Especially now that the pandemic is starting to wind down in the United States, we have seen people start to get fatigued in a virtual environment,” Schuver stated. “There has been a slow decline in participation in few different areas, both internal and external, compared to times before the pandemic. I do not see the industry ever returning to full-time in-person again, but I think we all could all benefit from a hybrid approach.” For Schuver, being able to see your colleagues, clients, and partners face to face can make a huge difference in building that connection and shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Natalia Zaremba, SYNNEX Comstor Marketing Specialist
Time with SYNNEX Comstor Team: 3 months
Being a “future-ready marketer” means having the skill set necessary to stay relevant to customers, as well as maintain profitability, according to Zaremba. “The needs of the customer may shift or change in the future and having the tools to shift with them is vital.”
As another relatively new member of the team, Zaremba learned to operate in a new position entirely remotely and developed unique adaptability skills as a result. During this pandemic, Zaremba explained that she figured out how to be able to adapt quickly to any scenario, a valuable skill for any marketer. “At the start of this pandemic, we thought things would be virtual for a few weeks,” she said. “As this was extended over many months, it was crucial to be able to pivot and make changes in a quick manner to stay ahead of the game. As the world opens again, adapting quickly will help me to be prepared for any obstacle that comes my way.”
Jordan Craft Reeves, SYNNEX Comstor Marketing Specialist
Time with the SYNNEX Comstor Team: 2.5 months
To Reeves, being a “future-ready marketer” means, quite simply, being ready for the future and willing to take chances on new approaches or tactics that could help your company in the long run. Adaptability and flexibility are key for marketers in the channel to be successful. This is part of the foundation for strong relationships with partners and other team members.
“The pandemic taught me that relationships are everything!” Reeves remarked. Finding a way to build a relationship with a customer, in any type of environment, is a skill that any future-ready marketer needs to be ready to master, according to Reeves.
Alexandria Villaverde, SYNNEX Comstor Marketing Specialist
Time with SYNNEX Comstor Team: 2 months
During her time as a marketing professional, Villaverde has learned it is crucial to stay on top of social trends. To be a “future-ready marketer” to her means being able to communicate to the public via the method, or medium, in which the people want to consume it. “That method, however, is constantly evolving, and marketers must adapt,” she noted. “Change is the only constant in the world, so marketers must stay on top of the best ways to enhance customer experience, learn new skillsets to stay ahead of marketing innovation, and discover processes that help increase business efficiency. For me, that means constantly researching and learning best practices early.”
The pandemic taught Villaverde that, “Everything can change in an instant, so don’t ever get too comfortable.” She explained that marketing has always been quick to change with new trends, but the world saw a rapid shift with the way information was consumed and the way people communicated. She also saw first-hand how people learned to work from anywhere, thanks to modern technology.
Finally, the pandemic taught Villaverde that priorities change. “The way a company marketed prior to the pandemic might look a lot different post-pandemic, as the messaging now tends to focus more on health and safety,” she said. Increased mindfulness in marketing approaches is something that is likely here to stay.