Back in December, 2015, MILSPRAY™ had the pleasure of conducting an interview with Rebecca Tracy, Marketing Director for Dex Media. Rebecca is a dedicated, passionate, and highly organized marketer. Within her interview she gives advice on work life balance, and how to effectively manage one-to-one interactions.
Get to know Rebecca
Name: Rebecca Tracy
Education: BA Communications St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN
MBA Courses University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN
Organization: Dex Media
Position: Marketing Director
Organization headquarters: Dallas Fort Worth
Total number of employees: 3,100
Number of employees the Marketing Director oversees: I oversee 8 people, there are about 100 people total in our Marketing Org at Dex Media.
1. Rebecca, in your own words please share what it means to take on the role of the Marketing Director for Dex Media entails? Taking this role was a big accomplishment for me. I started as a sales rep, then moved into marketing. When they decided start up this new team 8 years ago I was thrilled to be named the lead.
2. How did you discover Dex Media? I knew of the company, but in 2001 I was job searching after college, a recruiting firm set me up with Dex.
3. Do you have a quote, mantra or tip regarding how our audience could manage their one-to-one personal interactions better? I always try to use the rule of 3 when I give any type of feedback, give 2 compliments or call out 2 areas of success and 1 area of opportunity. I always make eye contact and genuinely show interest in the people I’m engaged with. Another great tip, when your employees or peers ask for feedback on their work sometimes the BEST feedback you can give is saying it looks good, it helps others build confidence. You don’t always want to find issues with everything you are asked to review, sometimes it is best to say good work!
4. Who was an influential boss/mentor for you and in what ways did they shape you to become the leader you are today? I’ve been fortunate to have a few strong bosses, they’ve helped me understand how to manage in a large organization, survive and thrive during mergers and restructuring, build a strong team and find confidence in the work I do. My favorite boss always says don’t ever be afraid to make a mistake, if you never make any you aren’t running hard enough. Just own up to it, learn from it and move on. Also always be honest and give credit where credit is due. Great advice!
5. What do you think the greatest challenge is for Marketing Directors today? Our company sells advertising solutions to local Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs), while we have a very robust product offering it is challenging. Our space is fractured, there are many competitors and options for SMBs with no clear path for generating leads. It’s challenging to find the niche, however we have a new product that goes beyond leads, gives our clients a fully integrated digital platform that includes an adaptive responsive website, social, reputation and listings management and a mini CRM/client database management and appointment scheduling tool. We manage it with the client and it’s competitively priced. It has really taken off since we launched a few months ago.
6. What is the highlight of your work week? It’s always nice to be in cross-functional meetings or in the field and see the work my team has done being used, it’s very rewarding. It also gives me an opportunity to see areas for improvement.
7. How would you characterize your management style? I’m pretty straight-forward. I have high expectations from my team, they are all seasoned managers. Each of them own projects and initiatives, I am quite hands off, they come to me when they need help. I trust them to make decisions and move their projects forward. I try to be gracious and appreciative. I’m blessed with strong leaders who make me proud right now. I’ve had challenges in the past, it’s difficult to manage folks who aren’t independent, self-starters remotely.
8. If you could turn back time, what is something you wish you knew before entering the job market? I wish I would have been more dedicated to finishing my MBA early on, before my job required significant travel. In hindsight I should have made it more of a priority.
9. When looking for potential job candidates where do you turn to? Because my team is so specialized I have looked internally recently, wanting folks who have a broad understanding of the business, marketing, our clients and sales team. LinkedIn is also a good place to start when looking for candidates. Internally our company also uses an agency for searching.
10. What is it about your current role at Dex Media that sets it apart from other Media Agencies? We actually help local businesses flourish, we act as there marketing department. The work my team does is used with these clients, we get to see the results that come directly from the work we create. It is rewarding and fun.
11. How to you stay abreast of hot topics within your industry? I’m fortunate we have 1,500 sales people out in the field, they are constantly sharing with us. In addition we have both a research and communication team who are always keeping up with the industry and share information with us almost daily. In addition I subscribe to a few blogs and other industry publications.
12. When speaking to others about Dex Media, what is the most important message you want them to take away from your conversation? That Dex has been a great company for me and my career. I’ve had significant opportunity, great mentors and I work with bright, smart, fun, passionate people who want the business to succeed. I learn something new each day.
13. If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing? Honestly? I don’t know for certain, but I’d probably be doing a similar marketing role at another company, working closely with the sales team, it is what I enjoy and feel I am pretty effective.
14. How important is it to be intentional when striving to keep a work life balance? It’s important but I don’t always do a good job, I could do better. I find you need to plan your time off and commit to activities, if I wait until the days I’m home I end up not doing the things I wish I would. A respected coworker who has traveled for years made an excellent point a few years ago, said when you travel consistently for work you have to make sure you are “present” when you are home, make the most of the time.” I need to work on this one.
Be sure to Like our Facebook Page
Also be sure to “Follow Us” on Twitter @MILSPRAY