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Marketing Departments’ Biggest Mistake? They Don’t Market Themselves

Fortune MPW NextGen 2018Fortune MPW NextGen 2018
Monica Long of Ripple and Dara Treseder of Carbon at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit. Stuart Isett—Fortune

At some companies, marketing can be seen as a support function, secondary to the parts of the business that drive growth.

But marketers can prove that’s not the case, says Dara Treseder, the new chief marketing officer of Carbon who just left GE for the 3D-printing startup.

“Marketing is not just a support function,” Treseder says, “but is actually a value driver and a growth driver.”

Treseder spoke on a panel of expert marketers at Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit on Wednesday in Laguna Niguel, Cali. She was joined by Jenny Campbell, CMO at Tinder; Monica Long, senior vice president for communications and marketing at the cryptocurrency startup Ripple; Emily Silver, vice president and general manager for the brand incubator The Hive at PepsiCo; and moderator Claire Zillman of Fortune.

At Tinder, Campbell is immersed in Gen Z, marketing to the 18- to 25-year-old users of the dating app. At PepsiCo, Silver is continuing the brand’s move away from the “shopper mom” buying groceries to a wider view of the company’s customer; and at Ripple, Long is figuring out how to market in a still extremely young space.

“I want to be able to say, for every dollar that came into marketing, what happened as a result of that? What was the impact?” Treseder says.

“This is a mistake marketers make. We actually do not market ourselves. We don’t communicate the impact we’re having. Every time we talk it’s about activity and we really need to change that to impact,” she adds. “Don’t talk about a new website redesign, don’t talk about brand repositioning. Talk about how you’re changing the demographic of the customer.”