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Darren Mahaffy

VP of Marketing | Nature's Path Foods

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How do you derive value from your CEB membership?

I look at it in two ways that it's been helpful. The first is, coming from larger organizations there's often a corporate training or HR function that helps to make sure that there are good training programs in place for the members of my team. At a smaller company, that's left at the leadership of the functions. And so the Marketing Leadership Roundtable™ has been a great supplement for what I and some of my directors can bring to the table in terms of training when we need to get more specific, or deeper on an issue that we can from our own personal perspective. Then, secondly, for my own development; I'm really the top marketing person in my organization, and so to get the training that I need in the marketing function, to get the networking that I need in the marketing function, and to get the experiences that I need in the marketing function to make sure that I can continue to grow my own team MLR has provided a great resource for that as well.

How do you quantify the value you receive from your CEB membership?

I did not have any trouble from an ROI perspective saying yes to another year in the program because I truly believe that we're getting more value than we're paying for.

What kind of value do you derive from CEB's benchmarking services?

A lot of what that did was confirm that we are on the right track in a lot of places. But it did point out a couple of areas where we were perhaps under-investing. Or it validated that we were under-investing in areas where we were, choice-fully under-investing, so that we could over-invest in others that we were thinking about. So it validated a lot of the gut instinct that we had about where our spending was and pointed out a couple of areas where we can maybe shuffle some dollars around to make sure we would remain competitive.

How do you use CEB on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?

For me, it's about making sure that I am coming to these events, so being reminded that the resource is there. Secondly, the advisory team does a good job of checking in on a quarterly basis, finding out what's going on in our business, and suggesting ways that we can use the tool better. Then I have, as one of the items on my checklist when I'm talking to my team members about projects that they're working on, is there anything that MLR or the website can offer that would be helpful in terms of moving the project forward faster, easier?

How is CEB different from competitors?

There's two things. One, I think there's a focus on the CMO or the VP marketing level and making sure that that level of the organization is well served. Then I think the breadth of tools and diagnostics, and information that's available is right at the top of the industry, and so it's easy to feel good that you're not missing out on something.

What kind of personal value do you receive from your CEB membership?

I wouldn't be as good at my job. I know that that's true. There have been some opportunities this year that improve how we talk to our team about our goals, what our goals specifically are, that I wouldn't have gotten if I hadn't come to a couple of the MLR events. Then I know that my team on a couple of different levels in social media, as well as in project management, has used the tools effectively to deliver projects on time. So either that has meant that they have been better at doing their job or it's meant that I haven't had to put as much time into helping them be good enough at their job to succeed, which allows me to focus on bigger picture growth opportunities for Nature's Path.

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