In this interview, we had the pleasure to talk with Ruth Zive, a marketing leader with over 20 years of experience working with B2B clients in the technology, financial services and non-profit sectors. As a 3-time CMO, Ruth has demonstrated her expertise in driving evidence-based revenue growth through the integration of marketing and sales strategies. But Ruth’s achievements extend beyond the boardroom. Join us as we learn more about Ruth’s insights on marketing strategy, leadership, and her journey.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started in your field?
I actually worked for a decade in non profit management doing fundraising and marketing. And someone asked me to do some freelance writing for their software company on the side. Turns out I loved that work so I quit the non profit gig and was able to launch my own marketing agency. I did that for a while until one client coaxed me in house and the rest is history as they say.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career, and how did you overcome them?
I didn’t come from a background in software. And there was a steep learning curve. That took some time to overcome. I also had imposter syndrome, but the more I put myself outside of my comfort zone and opened myself up to new things, the more my confidence grew.
What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned throughout your career, and how have they influenced your approach to leadership?
Outcomes matter more than strategy. Be agile and learn from your mistakes. Be kind – but hold people accountable in measurable ways. And perhaps most importantly – hire people who are smarter and more expert than you are.
One thing that people don’t know about you and not listed on your LinkedIn profile?
I’m a phobic flyer. I travel a lot, so i’ve learned to live with it. But every time I get on a plane, I’m panicked I will die.
What advice would you give to young professionals or entrepreneurs who are just starting out in your field?
Focus on measurable outputs. Especially in the early years – the strategy will change. So don’t overthink it. Set achievable stretch milestones to move you forward. And remember that nothing worth having is easy. Work won’t always be enjoyable or fabulous. And that is ok. And sometimes even necessary.
Ruth Zive‘s valuable insights and perspectives have been invaluable to our discussion today. We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to her for taking the time to share her expertise and personal experiences with us. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors. Thank you, Ruth!