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Misty Dykema


Peoria, IL

Member Since April 2022


Marketing Strategy


Misty Dykema is Co-Owner and Principal of Simantel, an award-winning industrial consumer marketing firm, where she’s led teams for 18 years with a single creed: Really good marketing requires really brave leadership. Misty began her career in client service before migrating to strategy and business development. From there, she moved to head up the company’s emerging digital service lines, including paid media, development, analytics, and marketing automation. Today, she continues to take a leading role in business development, overseeing and facilitating executive alignment workshops and Simantel’s content and brand positioning. Along with fearlessly leading Simantel’s marketing efforts, Misty is an America’s Board Member for The Advertising and Marketing Independent Network (AMIN); a leader in Bradley University’s Alumni Alliance for the Theresa Falcon Executive MBA program; and a Board Member of Central Illinois’ American Red Cross Chapter, serving the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She also hosts the award-winning podcast, Marketing Sweats, where she interviews fellow marketing execs and community leaders on the heart, soul, and sweat that goes into getting marketing done right. Through the years, Misty’s full-hearted leadership has evolved the culture at Simantel: She’s a leader who encourages hard questions, vibrant collaboration, and, above all, vulnerability and trust. And with such a fierce team at her side, Misty and Simantel promise unparalleled client satisfaction by facilitating structured, collaborative conversations around intended outcomes (not just marketing goals). Her work begins and ends with the core belief that inspired ideas can change everything—but getting there requires fearless energy to do hard things. On a personal level, this is the work Misty loves to do and—as a self-described “lifer” at Simantel—intends to for a very long time. In 2022, Misty launched her own consulting practice, The Misty Effect, where she guides participants through a six-part program designed to help leaders achieve their greatest purpose by stepping into self-love. Misty now offers 1:1 coaching, cohort-based training, thought-provoking workbooks, group networking opportunities, and more. Her focus includes mentoring fellow executive leaders who want “more” out of life and work (and all the blurry intersections in between). Her personal areas of expertise include market research, communication strategy, branding, digital marketing, media, marketing automation, measurement strategy & analytics, and facilitation/training.

Published content

15 ways leaders can increase equity and transparency in their performance review process 

expert panel

Amid performance review season, I understand the importance of embracing a holistic strategy that not only values individual contributions but also prioritizes fairness, open communication, and continuous improvement.  To cultivate this for our organization, we refactored our system of growth from being a linear promotion process to one that allowed for more divergent growth paths. Having an "up or out" model didn't work for our company culture. Having a lattice-based (rather than a ladder-based) approach gave people more autonomy in the course of their careers. And we made our promotion logic more equitable by transparently naming the conditions for growth. To help other leaders, I asked members of the Company Culture Group of Fast Company Executive Board, a community I lead, how they improve equity and transparency in their review process. Here are important steps that they take and the impact they’ve seen from doing so.

Here's what to do next if your KPIs are still falling short

expert panel

How do you measure the effectiveness of company initiatives and when should you switch gears? When a company's C-suite or department managers are highly invested in a new initiative to improve on a specific key performance indicator, it can be disheartening if the measurements fail to show positive results in the early stages of the plan.  It's important to give it some time and careful thought before throwing in the towel, but if the pace doesn't pick up based on the goals you and your team have set, eventually you'll have to pivot and come up with a different strategy if you don't have one in mind already. Below, 10 experts from Fast Company Executive Board weigh in on their best tips for moving forward when the original plans are underperforming.

What have you learned from a leading businesswoman at work? 

expert panel

It's Women's Entrepreneurship Day! This year, WEDO celebrates 10 years of its mission to empower more women in leadership.  Across a broad range of industries, women in leadership pour mentorship and guidance into developing their direct mentees or encouraging their colleagues to make sound business decisions—positively impacting the recipients' lives and future careers for the better.  However, in the marketplace, it is not uncommon for women (no matter what level they have reached in their field of interest) to experience "imposter syndrome." If left unchecked, this mindset can hinder their potential growth and success in the short and long term. Instead, the key is for them to boldly redefine their narrative and career path before someone else does. Women's Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO) was founded by Wendy Diamond in 2013. To mark its 10-year milestone, 20 experts from Fast Company Executive Board share the best advice they've ever received from a successful woman in business.

"I'm a leader, here's where I need advice": Answering 5 big questions from top female executives


I sat down with talented women leaders and asked each of them to bring up a topic with which they were currently grappling. Here are five of their questions.

15 mistakes that turned out to be beneficial for leaders in business

expert panel

Every mistake made as a manager is a learning opportunity and can sometimes even make you more successful. As a leader, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that mistakes are always negative and should be avoided at all costs. However, some mistakes can actually be beneficial and help you become more productive and successful in reaching your goals. These "good mistakes" can teach you valuable lessons, challenge your assumptions, and even lead you to new opportunities. To that end, a panel of Fast Company Executive Board members described mistakes that have helped them become more effective leaders. By embracing and learning from these types of mistakes, you can take your leadership skills to the next level and achieve greater success.

The referral approach to business development


When you do good work, you’re blazing a path for opportunities to come back to you. And that means you don’t have to go chasing after them.

Company details


Company bio

Over forty years of roll-up-your-sleeves-in-it-to-win-it-down-and-dirty-cool-as-hell B2B marketing. Our work has taken us around the world while being happily located in the heart of America. With a team of 80+ professionals Simantel uses insight to create inspired ideas that ultimately engage customers in meaningful (and profitable) relationships with our clients. We do it online and off, nationally and globally and do it for some of the hardest working brands out there.


Marketing & advertising

Area of focus

Brand Strategy
Business Communications
Advertising and Promotion

Company size

51 - 200

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