Skip to main content

“Those who do not look upon themselves as a link, connecting the past with the future, do not perform their duty to the world.”  

Daniel Webster, Former United States Secretary of State 

Without awareness and appreciation of the challenges, accomplishments, and learnings you have experienced throughout your life, you wouldn’t see what needed to happen for you to be here today, and you certainly wouldn’t understand how you became a marketer! As it relates to business, in order to know where you are going, it is essential to know where and who you have come from.

Marketers That Matter® is a storied brand that started off as an offshoot of The Sage Group. It was created to meet a need in the marketing industry: a place for marketing leaders–who stand at the forefront of transformation–to learn, grow, and drive business results together. 

With that said, if you want to know about Marketers That Matter®, it’s important to recall the former marketing landscape and meet Cara France, the Founder and former CEO of The Sage Group, Creator of Marketers That Matter®, and Board Member of 24 Seven Talent, which became our parent company in 2019.

Much of who we are is because of Cara and her dedication to the marketing industry’s success. She shares the why behind our brand this way: 

A Foundation of Foresight 

In 2003, when I (Cara) created The Sage Group, I sensed that how we worked would change drastically. It was common for people to have linear careers, but I believed career paths would become more fluid. At the time, if you were a marketing consultant or contractor, it was assumed you weren’t as good at your craft; otherwise, you would have a full-time job.

The Sage Group was built on a belief that how critical work would get done would shift, and marketing consultants and contractors would play an important role. By 2011, The Sage Group became one of the largest women-owned San Francisco Bay Area businesses. 

The Sage Group had clients across a broad range of industries, yet marketing was siloed almost exclusively by industry, which meant learnings across industries weren’t deemed valuable by the vast majority. That, however, was about to change. 

Ready for Revolution 

At the beginning of the digital age, three big trends changed the dynamic: the advent of social media, mobile devices, and marketing analytics. 

Social media gave consumers a voice.  For the first time, consumers heavily impacted the product and company narrative.  Mobile devices enhanced connectivity creating a new “anywhere and always on” culture.  And, with the advent of marketing analytics, marketers could track and analyze data in ways they never had before.   

If you look at the companies behind the trends redefining the landscape, most were in The Sage Group’s backyard, and many were already clients.  Overnight, The Sage Group started getting an influx of questions as the talent market shifted from vertical talent pools (I want someone from my industry) to horizontal (I need an expert in digital/social/data analytics). 

We realized that our clients needed experts who would understand specific aspects of the new world of marketing, and it no longer mattered what industry they came from. Additionally, they wanted to connect and learn from marketers with expertise and experience in the new disciplines emerging within marketing.

While The Sage Group was able to provide the talent our clients needed, I began to see that the marketing community had another need. 

Marketers that Matter®: Bringing Together Those on the Forefront 

The idea of Marketers That Matter® started to form after realizing we had a unique opportunity to bring a community together to learn and grow in this new era. When things are transforming, the way we learn and how we keep up is very different than in times of iteration. Iterating is taking university courses and curriculums that take years to develop and perfect.

However, when you’re in a transformative time, you must learn from those at the forefront doing the work, pioneering the way, and failing fast; it’s about learning from your peers and the insights they are discovering.   

In 2013, in partnership with The Wall Street Journal, we officially launched Marketers That Matter®, a leading community of top marketing executives and brands coming together to drive innovation that creates business results. What started as a Bay Area awards program–honoring and learning from those creating measurable results–has now blossomed into a national membership organization with dozens of Visionaries and brands on the cutting edge defining new landscapes.

Through private events, connections, conversations, and best practices, Marketers That Matter® brings together top marketing executives and teams across industries and geographies to drive business results.   

A Diverse Community Driving Innovation and Creating Results 

What makes Marketers That Matter® unique is that everyone talks about best practices, but we talk about next practices. 

Best practices are proven, understood, and have a clear roadmap.  Next practices are the nascent areas that teams need to explore and invest in to form tomorrow’s best practices. As innovation and technological breakthroughs continue at unprecedented rates, the marketing transformation shows no signs of slowing.  

Ten years ago, it was about big data and predictive analytics. Now it’s about AI and machine learning.  The CMO’s role has evolved, and they not only need to stay on top of the latest technologies, but it is critically important that they have conversations around relevant topics, like purpose, brand health, brand performance, DEI, sustainability, organizational design, and how to retain and attract talent.

If marketers aren’t learning and investing in these new technologies and approaches, businesses will be in trouble.  That said, no CMO out there has yet to figure everything out. Learning from each other and being part of a group at the forefront who have tested and tried things and who are quick to learn is invaluable.

Every CMO is ahead on a different piece within the future of marketing, talent, and teams.

What is beautiful about Marketers that Matter® are the solutions that emerge when you bring a diverse peer group together who care about creating results and driving the industry forward

The Talent of Marketing. The Marketing of Talent. 

The intersection where Marketers That Matter® and The Sage Group come together is the ambition to serve clients with top-notch consultants and contractors.

In 2019, The Sage Group and Marketers That Matter® became part of the 24 Seven family of brands, including, Antenna, Creatis, and Simplicity. The mission to provide the talent for marketing but also help the talent learn about marketing shows up across all our brands.  

The most important piece across all these brands is the vision to connect and engage people in ways that transform lives; that is who we are. The core of Marketers That Matter®’s programming is centered around creating connections that allow for learning and driving business results.

Throughout the years, I have seen Marketers That Matter® form incredible community connections, sharing wisdom you cannot get anywhere else.  

Within this community, there have been countless examples of real-business connections that led to key partnerships or support networks years later. Many leaders have told us that through conversations and connections, they have gotten unstuck on massive strategy issues such as branding, how to think about loyalty programs, or how to organize their marketing team for a digital age, to name just a few.   

Additionally, Marketers That Matter® is one of the only communities building up the CMOs of tomorrow. We have found that the direct reports of the CMO need a community where they can come together.

Several leaders have returned to us after becoming a CMO and shared how helpful it was to be a part of the Marketers That Matter® community as they evolved their careers. 

Why Marketers That Matter® 

There has never been a more important time for a business model like Marketers That Matter®.

With the pace of change accelerating and the pressure on marketers to do more with less, there’s an enormous benefit to being part of a community where marketing leaders and their teams come together to co-create solutions and share learnings that benefit not only their company’s success but the overall discipline.

From driving revenue to creating distinct and successful brands to orchestrating extraordinary customer experiences and leading through positive change, this unique community provides the platform for the next generation of marketing leaders to stay at the forefront. 


Cara France, Founder and former CEO of The Sage Group, Creator of Marketers that Matter®, and Board Member of 24 Seven Talent: Cara France built her career on a passion for connecting and engaging people, understanding business needs, and delivering results. During her lengthy tenure as CEO, The Sage Group grew into an award-winning professional services firm providing marketing & business consultants and permanent talent to top Bay Area companies.  

Cara was recognized as Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by the Women’s Initiative, receiving Special Congressional Recognition from Nancy Pelosi and was an Ernst & Young Winning Women Finalist. 
Cara has co-authored ten Harvard Business Review articles on topics including brand building, purpose and profits, and creativity in business. She is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), a Board Member of Impact A Village, and a constant creator, dabbling in many mediums including abstract painting, jewelry making, knitting, and collaging. Cara and her husband are the proud parents of boy/girl twin teens, her best co-creation of all. 

The Sage Group was acquired in 2019 by 24 Seven, a specialized recruitment agency that builds future-proof teams of top full-time and freelance talent for leading brands and agencies in the marketing, digital, creative, and technology sectors. 24 Seven further supports its clients through its family of specialized subsidiaries. In addition to The Sage Group and Marketers That Matter®, 24 Seven owns Creatis and Antenna, which boost the productivity of marketing, digital, creative, and communications teams through on-site and outsourced talent solutions. Simplicity Consulting offers marketing project & program management and strategic communications consultants.  

Cara now serves as a Board Member and Advisor to 24 Seven, a Morgan Stanley Private Equity portfolio company.