I was recently honored with a Silver Apple lifetime achievement award in marketing. Here’s what I had to say.

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The Direct Marketing Club of New York hosted its annual Silver Apple Awardslast night. The lifetime achievement award honors those who have contributed greatly to the direct marketing industry over the course of their careers. I was fortunate to be among this year’s honorees.

I’m so ecstatic about receiving the award I want to share the moment with all of you. So, here, my acceptance speech:

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CMOs and CIOs speak different languages; taking time to translate each other’s priorities goes a long way toward accomplishing them.

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CMOs have a relationship problem. They need to win the hearts of their CIOs, but when it comes to communicating, the two are more like cats and dogs than colleagues. In fact, only 9% of marketing leaders surveyed think that IT understands what they do, and just 19% of IT leaders polled feel understood by the marketing leaders they work with—according to the Rackspace study “Marketing and IT:Overcoming a Cats and Dogs History to Create a Seamless Customer Experience.”

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Digital disruption is here; customer insight can help companies be disruptors instead of being disrupted.

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“Digital disruptions are threatening business norms,” Shar VanBoskirk asserted during her keynote at Sailthru Lift 2015.

But far too many businesses are unprepared for this new digital reality, said VanBoskirk, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research. According to Forrester, 79% of e-business professionals surveyed think that their CEOs have a solid plan in place to become truly digital businesses. “What keeps us from being digital is that we don’t know how to disrupt ourselves,” she said.

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CX brings a focus on the customer that CRM had always intended to, but for many organizations, didn’t quite achieve.

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Customer experience. You can’t go to a marketing or CRM conference these days without being inundated with content about it. In fact, at the Gartner Customer 360 Summit, customer experience (CX) is, not surprisingly, a central theme—not only in sessions, but also in the hallways.

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Forrester Research finds an alarming decline in CX scores—or perhaps customers have gotten too tough to please.

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Customer experience has a direct impact on loyalty. That impact isn’t always positive. Too much email that’s impersonal or irrelevant—that’s a marketing-driven customer experience that could lead to churn. Spot-on targeting with contextually relevant messaging can surprise and delight customers and get them to stay longer, buy more, and advocate.

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Brands that are digital humanists will get further with customers than those who are digital machinists.

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Airbnb. Kickstarter. Task Rabbit. Uber. All of these companies have been hailed for being innovative or disruptive. What do they know that you don’t? Don Scheibenreif asked that question of attendees during his keynote at the Gartner Customer 360 Summit. His answer: They know that technology and customer experience are almost inseparable.

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When does marketing pay off most? When it’s all about the customer.

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The good news is that the Direct Marketing Club of New York has announced the honorees of its 2015 Silver Apple awards, as well as a special Golden Apple. The great news—for me—is that I’m among this year’s honorees. I’m sharing this news with you because I’m absolutely bubbling over with excitement. Here’s why:

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A siloed approach to marketing is fast becoming outdated. “Optichannel” marketing is the future, one pundit predicts.

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Chandar Pattabhiram is so passionate about customer-centric marketing that he’s launched a thought leadership agenda proclaiming the death of mass advertising. “Mass advertising is a frog in hot water,” says Pattabhiram, VP, product and corporate marketing at Marketo, “but just doesn’t know it yet.”

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Is it even possible to be a marketer today without being exhausted all the time?

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“Marketers have to be present everywhere today.”

That assertion, from Andy Main, principal with Deloitte Consulting and U.S. leader of Deloitte Digital, is one of many he made during a lively discussion we had on marketing trends. Main also pointed out that “people want always-on innovation.” As a result, a six- to nine-month strategic planning cycle in marketing is becoming a thing of the past.

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