2019 WISE Women of Distinction honoree Lisa Murray oversees marketing and communications for Octagon Worldwide, working with such clients as Mastercard, Allstate, LinkedIn and Cisco. Here, the executive vice president and global chief marketing officer talks about staying relevant and taking risks.
What career goal are you currently working on?
I’m always focused on exceeding expectations not only with my clients, but — just as importantly — for my colleagues. Throughout my career, I have been aware of my unique selling proposition and determine how best to pivot as I evolve to provide the best return. As I’m now in my 60s, I can look back and see how my offering has changed, but luckily still delivers. I am so fortunate to be part of a company like Octagon that has been open to my ever-changing offering and expertise. I love that they have embraced the evolution and journey of my career!
Who has been the most influential person in your career and why?
There isn’t just one influential person in my career. I have been impacted by so many, both men and women. My family, clients, those that I report to and those that report to me — everybody influences who I am. I’m on a constant journey to seek those that can make me better as a person, an employee and a mentor. I’m constantly inspired by those around me.
Describe a moment in your career you consider pivotal to your professional journey.
Back in the late 1980s, a colleague, Rick Jones, started a sports agency in Atlanta. He picked up the phone one day and called me, saying, “I’m going to start a sports marketing agency. Do you want to join? You’ll make lots of money, meet famous people and travel the world.” And I said, “Sounds good … but what’s sports marketing?” While I didn’t know then everything I know now, I said yes. If you don’t take risks, albeit calculated risks, then your career trajectory — or your life — might not be as great as it could be.
Where do you draw inspiration from to keep your ideas and contributions fresh and relevant?
By simply getting out there. It’s easy to stay in your office, but I believe it’s important to get out and see what the fans are doing, what the sponsors are doing, what your team is doing, and learn the impact of all. There’s nothing like the “experience.” We work in an amazing industry. The passion and power of sports and entertainment is simply incredible, and if you don’t feel it and touch it, then you’re just not staying relevant.
What advice would you give women who are looking to succeed in the business of sports?
I would advise women working in any industry to be the best they can be. Be the most respected expert in your field, know what you’re doing, know what your competitors are doing, be prepared, be determined and be assertive. If you are the best that you can be, you’ll succeed in any business.
Fill in the blank …
I wish I had known … to be more assertive.
Growing up, I wanted to be ... a talk show host.
I can’t live without my … family and friends.
On the weekend, you can find me … working outside in my yard.
My biggest pet peeve is ... being indecisive.
Murray will receive her WISE Women of Distinction Award at the 25th Annual WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon on June 19 in New York City.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.