Meet Nasim Soltanpour, a dynamic marketing leader with a remarkable track record in driving business growth. Nasim’s agile approach and extensive expertise have empowered her to make a significant impact in both B2C and B2B sectors. Her passion for coaching, mentorship, and her unwavering commitment to connecting the right people with the right products and services set her apart.
With a career spanning diverse industries, from travel and CPG retail to telecommunications and hospitality, Nasim has honed her skills working with startups, Fortune 500 companies, and well-known names like University of Waterloo, Microsoft, Rogers, TELUS, Revlon, Swiss Chalet (Recipe Unlimited Corporation), and her current role at Maple Leaf Foods.
Nasim’s core competencies include strategic thinking, campaign development, digital marketing, brand management, demand generation, content creation, budget management, and people leadership, among others. Her ability to execute data-driven marketing strategies, lead high-performing teams, and manage key stakeholder relationships is a testament to her expertise.
Nasim is not just a marketing leader; she’s a problem solver, a team builder, and a driving force behind successful marketing campaigns. We had the pleasure of chatting with Nasim to delve deeper into her incredible journey.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started in your field?
In my first year of university, I thought I was going to be a pharmacist. I realized very quickly though that it just wasn’t for me. Instead, I fell in love with psychology – understanding human behaviors around how we build relationships, how we make decisions, and how we perceive value. Turns out, that’s a perfect fit for marketing!
I started my marketing journey in B2C within the education industry, then transitioned into a B2B role in technology, before going to the US to complete a master’s degree in international marketing. Since then, I have had progressively more senior roles spanning acquisition and retention marketing to product and brand marketing, within several different industries, including consumer packaged goods, telecommunications, and food/hospitality.
No matter the industry or the work environment, for me, the most important thing about changing roles was the opportunity to learn something new. Frankly, challenging yourself and developing transferable skills will always be worthwhile!
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career, and how did you overcome them?
Earlier on in my career, one of the biggest challenges I faced was sexism. In a room full of men, all senior leaders, my voice simply was not being heard. It wasn’t until I read the book Lean In and took the advice of some of my mentors that I finally decided to take a seat at the table and speak my mind. It’s something that I actively still do today.
Most recently, I was affected by an organizational layoff. To find a role in this economic recession, with companies cutting jobs and hundreds of candidates applying to the same roles, it was truly a challenge to break through. That said, it was also an opportunity to reset my expectations, reconnect with my network, and learn to ask for help. It took a lot of persistence and networking, but thankfully I was able to land something great.
What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned throughout your career, and how have they influenced your approach to leadership?
I’ve learned so many great lessons throughout my career so far but three that have particularly stuck with me are:
- Progress not perfection – it’s more important to get it done than to get it perfect. You can always iterate and improve, but you need to start somewhere.
- Get out of your way – we are our own worst critics and often overthink about the “what ifs”. Focus on what you can control and take it one step at a time.
- Leadership is a state of mind, not a title – there are many people with fancy titles, but they aren’t necessarily the best people-leaders. The best leaders are the ones who are authentically themselves and actively support their people to be and do better.
One thing that people don’t know about you?
I grew up in martial arts and got my black belt in karate at the age of 11. Unfortunately, a knee injury at age 15 stopped my karate career short, but I still carry the discipline with me!
What advice would you give to young professionals or entrepreneurs who are just starting out in your field?
Get yourself a mentor! It is critical to your personal and professional career development to have a neutral, third-party someone with whom you can talk about things happening at work, whether it’s to provide objective feedback on a situation or simply listen to your ideas. They will help shape you into the leader you want to be.
The other piece of advice is to show up. In the hybrid world, we live in now, the reality still remains that those who have more ‘facetime’ with others are the ones most top of mind. So, if you’re invited to a coworker’s lunch, a virtual game night, or an important meeting, show up for yourself and your team.
Thank you, Nasim, for sharing your inspiring journey and valuable insights into the world of marketing. Your experience and resilience in facing challenges, from battling stereotypes to navigating organizational changes, serve as a testament to your strength and determination.
Your commitment to continuous learning and your philosophy on leadership highlight the importance of progress over perfection and authenticity in leadership. Your background in martial arts and your early achievement of a black belt exemplify the discipline and determination that have carried forward into your professional life.
Your advice on mentorship and the significance of showing up in today’s hybrid work landscape resonates as invaluable guidance for aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs. Your wisdom is a beacon of inspiration in the marketing field!
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