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7 Engaging CMO Interviews From 2016

Steve Olenski
Master Principal Sales Architect

As the year comes to a close and we make final plans for the New Year and celebrations and the like, I figured it was a good time to take a look back at some CMO Interviews from 2016 before we move onto 2017.

Below are 7 CMO interviews from 2016.  

Well, sort of.

They are in fact a headline, a blurb, followed by my take on each interview with the link to read the full piece at the end. 

JetBlue’s Biggest Challenge Is to Keep Being Cool

Marty St. George, JetBlue’s executive vice president of commercial and planning, is a big fan of a certain Boston-area NFL team. Which may be why he quips that Southwest Airlines’ pervasive TV commercials on Sundays “ruined football for me.”

JetBlue does local TV advertising because it isn’t a national brand and some two-thirds of its advertising budget goes to digital marketing. “The beauty of digital is it is made for test and target,” St. George says. “The whole concept is you throw it all out there. You make the best media plan you can come up with.”

My take:

The section of Marty's interview that stuck out to me was the following: "You know, we always need to keep ahead. If you think about what JetBlue meant from a product perspective in 2000 to what we’re delivering in 2016 and beyond it is so much more advanced. So I think the ability to continue to morph our product and continue to make it better and better, then that’s going to keep us out there as still an innovative brand, and I think, again, it’s a tough market to do that so we can never rest on our laurels."

Brands simply need to always keep ahead; to look ahead. And absolutely no resting on laurels. In today's hyper-connected-moving-at-warp-speed world, rest is for those want to finish second. 

Read the full interview on skift.com.

How Kodak’s global CMO is bringing the brand back from the brink

When Steven Overman first joined Kodak two years ago as CMO, he went on a fact finding mission and consulted several industry mentors to ask them what they would do in his shoes.

“Kodak as a brand is almost part of human heritage, I’m the steward of its next chapter, so I asked them: What would you do in my shoes?” he tells CMO. “A legend in the advertising industry, who shall remain nameless, said he would identify a product that could be an icon of what Kodak stands for, that only Kodak can deliver, then develop, offer and learn from it.”

My take:

It is vitally important for brands to know what they do best and equally as important what they don't do well. Case in point what Overman said in the interview: "Kodak is a creative brand for creative people, and our aspiration is to become the leading brand in the maker movement. That’s a big ambition, but brands need big ambition and that is how we’re positioning Kodak going forward. Kodak has enabled generations of people to be creative. We will continue to in the future.”

This tells me he understands fully the brand equity that Kodak has amassed over the many, many years and he is going to stay true to the brand's roots. 

Read the full article on cmo.com.au.

Xerox CMO: B2B Marketing Is Becoming More Persona-Driven

At 110 years old, Xerox is the epitome of a legacy B2B business. But as Xerox prepares to spin off its $7 billion business process services arm into a standalone company called Conduent in January, it is borrowing more B2C tactics as it seeks to differentiate both of its brands. “We’re doing a lot of work to confront how we think about the new Xerox when a huge chunk of the company is moving under a different brand identity,” said John Kennedy, CMO of Xerox.

My take:

Kennedy says B2B content is designed to capture attention adding that "In B2B, people are wearing their professional persona and they’re making big decisions on behalf of companies. That content has to help them be more successful at their job."  All of this speaks to the inherent need for content that is relevant to the end user. Sounds simple. But for far too many a difficult concept to grasp. 

Read the full story on Ad Exchanger.

An Interview With Meagen Eisenberg, CMO of MongoDB

If you want to deliver a modern customer experience, you need to understand a technology and then know how to deliver it. Everyone wants easy-to-app experience, but if you just stick to branding, and you don’t layer in technology, you really can’t deliver that in the way customers want. My tech background has really helped me round out that view.

My take: 

It really doesn't get any simpler or clearer than "If you want to deliver a modern customer experience, you need to understand a technology and then know how to deliver it." Of course it's much easier to say than do. Then again, it's not as hard to do as people would have you believe. 

Read the full story on Forbes.

Foodora’s CMO on staying ahead of a growing list of competitors

After 10 years working in advertising, agencies and customer engagement, Charlotte Rijkenberg jumped at the opportunity work at Foodora, “to really be at the start of the brand, and positioning it in the market.” Believing there was a huge demand for an offering like Foodora’s – delivery of high quality restaurant food, not just takeaway –  and excited to shape the brand and help launch it in the Australian market, Rijkenberg saw the job as a “dream come true” and a great reason to leave the agency world behind.

My take:

When asked what the next stage is for the brand, Rijkenberg's answer was very telling. "It’s more about maturing, I think. As I’ve said, we test a lot of things, we always challenge ourselves. It’s a fail fast, learn quick mentality. Failing is, obviously, not an option, but we’re happy to test things. If it doesn’t work we learn from it, and we move on." 

It's clear she understands the value of testing and continually challenging pre-conceived ideas and so on. And her use of the words "fast" and "quick" tells me she is fully aware of the afroementioned warp speed we all live in. 

Read the full article on Marketing Magazine

Denny's CMO John Dillon on making 'America's Diner' and Grand Slams appealing to Millennials

Over the decades, (Denny's) has also gained a reputation for sometimes shabby decor and hit-or-miss service. President and CEO John Miller assured investors in a Nov. 1 earnings call that an ongoing brand overhaul means "enhancements to our menu and atmosphere, and improved execution for our guests." Same-store sales were up only 1% in the third quarter, while the casual dining section suffered nearly a 2% drop. The company did manage to complete 62 remodels and open 13 new restaurants.

My take:

"We knew we weren't first to the Snapchat space, so we wanted to do it right and do it in conjunction with something that was strategically important for us like pancakes. We held off a little bit to do it right, and I think clearly the engagement numbers we've seen on Snapchat have been very, very, very impressive."

This excerpt says a lot. It says a lot about Dillon and the brand. Whoever said you had to be first? The idea is to be the best and to be the best you do it right. You don't jump into the deep end of the pool without first learning how to swim. 

Read the full story on Campaign Live

Hyatt Hotels CMO on Engaging Consumers on Their Own Terms

Maryam Banikarim, Global CMO of Hyatt Hotels, says consumers across all travel sectors want that customizable journey where they can craft their own experience, while enjoying the security inherent in the Hyatt name. Therefore, Hyatt’s marketing must promise that same sense of freedom, promise of self-actualization, and degree of spontaneity — hence the new “Unbound” brand identity.

My take:

The title alone drew me in for every brand in every industry needs to realize, if they haven't already that consumers need to be and more importantly want to be engaged on their terms. As to how to do it, Banikarim says hospitality marketers have a vast and continually growing wealth of digital platforms to better understand and engage their customer base. This of course is true for ANY marketer in any industry. There are no shortage of martech solutions to choose from, with nearly 4,000 on the market today. The challenge lies in using the right one to meet your specific needs. 

Read the full story on skift.com.

If Only There Were a Guide

With so many martech solutions to choose from how can you possibly know which one is best for you? Fortunately for you, we're here to help. 

Download The Guide To Building Your Marketing Technology Stack to discover the most common MarTech solutions—and what questions you need to ask of any potential marketing solution provider before you commit.  

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