Becoming A “Learn-It-All”

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Today’s guest has been mastering their marketing and advertising skillset since they started their career at Proctor & Gamble, and they’ve kept learning ever since, even while serving as the CMO for Microsoft US.

Grad Conn is the CMO of PROS and is a prolific producer of amazing B2B & B2C marketing content.

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In this episode, Grad shared career advice for new marketers, why knowing the history of marketing and advertising is so valuable, and how to never stop learning.


  1. The freedom offered by start-ups and smaller firms is appealing to young marketers that are fresh out of school, it’s better to start out working at a larger marketing company so you can establish a strong marketing foundation.
  2. Treat everything you do as a learning engagement and never let yourself stop learning. If you don’t keep up with the context of each iteration, you won’t be able to understand how to interface with whatever great innovation is eventually created.
  3. Advertisers and marketers need to study the history of their own profession so they understand the building blocks of their discipline and what advances have been made by those that came before them.
  4. Part of the beauty of advertising is that no one can copyright an advertising idea, which means that you can apply the same idea to your situation and update it with the correct context. To discover these ideas, start reading old advertising books and don’t stop.
  5. With the world moving at a breakneck speed, consumers feel overwhelmed making even trivial choices harder to make. If your brand simplifies the decisions that consumers have to make, they will greatly appreciate it and reward you with their loyalty.
  6. While you can’t watch every ad campaign ever created, if you love advertising and marketing, you’ll make a point to consume more ads and do so thoughtfully.
  7. With where the economy is heading, businesses won’t have the luxury of easily increasing their growth through mergers and acquisitions. They will have to rely more heavily on organic growth and invest more in their sales and marketing operations.

Quote of the Show:

  • “As soon as you sort of stop investing in learning and being interested in the future, I think the future passes you by” – Grad Conn


Shout Outs:

  • Satya Nadella – CEO of Microsoft
  • Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella
  • Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins
  • Ogilvy & Mather – Advertising Agency
  • Bill Richardson
  • Advertising Pure and Simple by Hank Seiden
  • Mad Women by Jane Maas
  • A Big Life (in Advertising) by Mary Wells Lawrence
  • How to Advertise by Jane Maas and Ken Roman
  • Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
  • Think Bigger by Michael W. Sonnenfeldt

Ways to Tune In:

Grad Conn

Grad ConnCFO, PROS

Chris Mechanic

Chris MechanicCEO & Co-Founder

Podcasts Info:
Creative + UX

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