Stewart Conway (LinkedIn) wakes up at 4 AM, six days a week, for a reason. His discipline, focus, and love for marketing (and skiing) are what drive Stewart and his team each and every day. Stewart is the Head of Central Marketing at BMO Global Asset Management by day and an active member of the British Association of Ski Instructors during his free time.
On this episode, Stewart talks about how being a ski instructor has shaped his views on marketing, his advice for first-time marketers, and ways to think about the current digital landscape.
5 Key Takeaways:
- When teaching a new team, you need to use their language. Once you get to know them better, talk their talk and use analogies that help them learn the way they're accustomed to learning.
- Similar to a skier, Stewart says marketers need to be centered. Risk needs to be balanced.
- It's important to test in local markets first, have a native speaker on your team involved, and always be thinking about how other cultures might view you.
- A great filter for new information on tech advances is your own personal network.
- For first-time marketers: Talk to a lot of people and don't rush to your decisions. Give yourself time to fully explore and evaluate what exactly is going on within the company, culture, and team.
Bio: Stewart Conway is the Head of Central Marketing at BMO Global Asset Management. He is also a competitive skier and ski coach. Prior to BMO, Stewart was the Head of Digital for Jupiter Fund Management and has over 20 years of digital, marketing, and business experience.
Notes & Quotes:
How Stewart Got Into Marking - (2:00)
- It all started when Stewart was 5, when his parents took him skiing. Skiing became a huge passion of Stewart's. As he grew older, a fellow ski instructor of his, who at the time was an account director at a big ad agency, mentioned that she thought Stewart would be a good marketer.
- As a ski instructor, Stewart believes you're already practicing the skills needed to be a marketer.
- Skiing relates to being a great marketer because some skiers tend to play it safe and lean too far back and other skiers tend to be a little too risky and lean too far forward. Stewart says you want to be in the middle and centered. This applies to marketing in that you want to balance the amount of risk you take.
Bank of Montreal - (12:20)
- "We are the global asset management division. It's people's investments that we look after. This means anything from the end investors to financial advisors, to large institutions." - Stewart Conway
- The Bank of Montreal is an entrepreneurial firm in the financial services space.
- "We're focusing a lot on technologies as to how we can improve our efficiency from end to end servicing our clients." - Stewart Conway
Stewart's Morning Routine - (15:50)
- In order to fit in his work and his training regimen for skiing, Stewart wakes up at 4 AM.
- Stewart eats five breakfasts before lunch.
- The reason for this strict schedule is Stewart bikes early in the morning and burns a lot of calories.
Starting at BMO - (18:00)
- When Stewart started out, he and his team had to be, “very disciplined in how they utilized their resources."
- "We're so focused on putting the technology in, and ensuring it works, that sometimes we can forget the people." - Stewart Conway
- You can't forget how the people are going to adopt this new tech and how specifically they are going to adopt it.
- If you want to make a change and actually create something that's innovative, you don't want to mix people who are more creative and open thinkers with people who are more structural in the way they get things done. Wait for the right time to mix these two types of people within a company together.
- To make sure you're separating these two types of people when innovating, ask yourself: are these the type of people that, "prefer a blank piece of paper or something with some lines already drawn on it." - Stewart Conway
Best Practices For a Multicultural Agency - (27:30)
- Test in local markets.
- Have a native speaker involved and reviewing.
- Always be thinking about how you're perceived in other cultures.
Current Digital Landscape - (29:20)
- The connectivity of people and tech is changing constantly.
- A lot of digital leaders are feeling a sense of anxiety around the role they play. This role is always expanding and the competition is getting stronger.
- "I think it's a really interesting time because there's a feeling of excitement and opportunity and on the other side of that there is also nervousness and anxiety that a lot of marketing leaders are experiencing." - Stewart Conway
- Stewart uses his network to filter information on ways to keep up with the new technology.
- Stewart is super excited around marketing automation and where this tech will take the industry.
- "In the business environment, you've got to be prepared. You've got to be aware of the weak signals where things change." - Stewart Conway
- When teaching your team, you've got to use their language. Once you get to know them, talk their talk and use analogies that help your team learn the way they're accustomed to learning.
- Stewart uses an acronym he learned from the British Association of Ski Instructors called, "TTPPEE", which is used as a framework for evaluation for anything:
T = technical
T = tactical
P = psychological
P = physical
E = equipment
E = environment
- When coming into a new company, "Don't jump in the middle of the pool. Start to feel how deep it is, how it feels, and where the sides are. Start to understand through your conversations everything that's going on and don't predetermine what you need to do. Do all your checks, evaluation, audits and then start to apply the knowledge that you've got from your previous roles over the top of that." - Stewart Conway
Pardot Lightning Round - (51:40)
- Most fun app on your phone: Strava
- Favorite vacation spot in the UK: Brighton
- Favorite ad campaigns Stewart's ever done: A mini icer campaign that he did with fund managers.
- A campaign that was Stewart's best learning experience: Each campaign is a new learning experience.
- Best advice for a first time head of marketing: Talk to a lot of people and don't rush to your decisions. Give yourself time to fully explore and evaluate what exactly is going on.
- What question does Stewart never get asked that he wishes he was asked more: "Are you hungry?"
Marketing Trends is brought to you by our friends at Salesforce Pardot, B2B marketing automation on the world’s #1 CRM. Are you ready to take your B2B marketing to new heights? With Pardot, marketers can find and nurture leads, close more deals, and maximize ROI. Learn more by heading to www.pardot.com/podcaa
Share This Episode:
Quotes from the Episode
[bctt tweet="In the business environment, you've got to be prepared. You've got to be aware of the weak signals where things change. - Stewart Conway, Head of Central Marketing @BMO #marketingtrends"]
[bctt tweet="Talk to a lot of people and don't rush to your decisions. Give yourself time to fully explore and evaluate what exactly is going on. - Stewart Conway, Head of Central Marketing @BMO #marketingtrends"]