Celebrating Women in Tech: Bringing Your A Game Straight to the C-Suite
By Alyssa Hall, CMO
Alyssa Hall is Chief Marketing Officer and the first woman to hold a C-suite title at CDI. In celebration of Women’s History Month, Alyssa shares her insights and her story of being a woman in tech at a burgeoning digital solutions company.
On my path to growing a technology marketing team
I’ve never worked in the same industry twice – starting my career in the entertainment industry at a large talent agency and moving to fashion, finance, manufacturing, commercial real estate, market research, and finally, roofing, before technology. I had the opportunity to focus on different aspects of marketing in every role I held, including content creation, press and media, event planning, and overall corporate branding. These experiences have afforded me a true understanding of creating a robust integrated marketing plan that aligns with the vision of the company and is in sync with the sales team. When I joined CDI as AVP of Marketing and Business Development, our department had just two people and five strategic vendor partners. It’s been extremely exciting to be part of the incredible growth that CDI has experienced, specifically gaining 10 amazing marketing team colleagues and watching our partnerships increase to over 200 companies.
On bringing value to the CDI mission
CDI is on a mission to create an internal culture that goes beyond employee satisfaction – a culture that inspires loyalty from those within and a desire to be part of the company from those we are recruiting. The CDI Way tenets really document the aggressive nature of the company that is balanced by our commitment to philanthropy and to a supportive employee environment. We are the epitome of “work hard, play hard,” and love the reward of having fun while working hard for our successes. I believe the marketing department is instrumental in furthering this.
CDI is on a mission to become the best NextGen integrator, starting with our focus on the east coast. This requires true brand recognition and identity differentiated from the competition and a solid reputation in the industry supported through press, awards, and partnerships. I see myself, along with the rest of the team, as contributing through our work creating stellar creative materials, running seamless and well-attended events, ensuring that the highest possible partnership levels are achieved and maintained, and promoting all these things through press and media opportunities as well as marketing materials.
On showing up every day with an A game
CDI is truly a place full of opportunity that recognizes hard work and commitment, and I have enjoyed moving up within the company and watching my peers do the same. I work with a team of unbelievably talented marketers that I learn from and enjoy collaborating with every day! When you truly like and respect your teammates, it feels like working with friends. Who wouldn’t choose that?! We launch some awesome yet stressful events but find joy and laughter in it together. Working at a company where not just my immediate colleagues, but all my teammates, are friendly and supportive, truly gives me the ability to succeed. I was told by someone before I began working at CDI that everyone brings their A game here. It’s so true and encourages me to be the best version of myself. This has been incredibly fulfilling.
On collaboration being key
Something I love about my role at CDI is that it encompasses a variety of different things and allows me to connect with many other departments. Our marketing team works closely with leadership to stay connected to the overall vision and goals of the company, with the sales team to strategize campaigns and events that support our top initiatives and most important vendor relationships, with technical experts to write blogs and white papers or contribute to media opportunities, with operations to ensure that data is being pulled and tracked properly to determine our most successful initiatives, and with compliance to review contracts and onboard new vendors together. We also collaborate with our many vendor partners constantly striving to maintain excellent relationships, which helps to secure funding to cover many of our marketing efforts. I really enjoy the fact that every day is different – from bouncing around NYC scouting locations for upcoming events, to negotiating contracts for celebrity guests, to outlining next year’s marketing budget.
On being a woman in technology
With a history of never working in the same industry twice, I’ve always had to study hard when I start a new job. Technology brings that to a whole new level! The landscape changes every day, the players change, the hot topics change; being committed to constant learning is essential. But above all – and this is in any field, not just technology – say yes as much as possible but know when to say no. Make yourself invaluable and work to have the reputation of a person who gets things done, being careful not to get overloaded. I’ve found this to be the best way to earn the trust and respect of peers and leadership. I take it as a compliment when an unexpected project lands in my lap because that means that others know my team and I will get done right. It’s always a balancing act to keep that reputation without burning out – in fact, I find that the reality of a work/life balance is that it doesn’t happen simultaneously; it’s never even. Some of the time, work wins out and takes more time than anything else; other times, real life takes over. Accept that, and you can save yourself a lot of stress.
On getting to know me!
In my free time, I’m often working side gigs as chauffeur, chef, cleaning lady, and bank teller to my two kids of 11 and 13 years old. I love exploring new towns and traveling when I can, reading books with crazy twist endings, and blasting alternative rock so loud that you can feel it in the seats of the car. During COVID I took my DIY game to a new level, learning how to hang drywall and install flooring – a dichotomy of interest from my love for cute shoes and the perfect lip gloss. I’m excited to be going to live concerts and comedy shows again, and I can’t wait to stroll around the city in springtime!