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8 things CMOs need to know right now

James A. Martin | May 9, 2017
At the recent Marketing Nation Summit, industry leaders offered CMOs tips and strategies for success — including why less is more when marketing to customers.


7. Don’t lose sight of your creativity

With all the tools, technology, training and everything else to keep up with, CMOs sometimes forget one of the most important aspects to marketing: Creativity.

“Yes, you need to know the brand and be fluent in it, and you have to stay on top of all the digital stuff,” Stobaugh said. “But I get concerned because a lot of people in marketing have the digital stuff down pat, but they don’t have the creativity.”

Creativity will be “the next big revolution” in marketing, predicted Rollo. With all the technology and data, marketers can become “like robots” in their jobs. “You’ve got to hold on to the creative spark and keep developing it,” she advised.


8. Great CMOs are courageous, too

The best CMOs take bold steps, noted Drew Neisser, CEO of Renegade, citing a quote from former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy: “You’ve got to be prepared to risk everything.”

Prior to being CEO, Leahy spent time in marketing at Tesco “trying to one-up the competition,” Neisser said. Leahy came up with a loyalty program idea, then explained to Tesco’s board of directors that the program could risk 20 percent of the company’s revenue. “Leahy knew that if the loyalty program failed, it would cost him his job,” Neisser said. But the program was a success, and eventually, Leahy became Tesco’s CEO — as well as an English knight.

Neisser said he was involved in a promotion for Panasonic’s Toughbooks, in which the rugged computer was run over by a Hummer on live TV. Here again, it was a bold, risky move — but it worked. 


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