CMO Confidential: 12 Chief Marketers’ Success Secrets

  Symphonic Marketing Moves Customers

After amassing impressive and varied marketing experience at Toys “R” Us, World Wrestling Entertainment, Tommy Bahama, and VF Corporation, former classical musician John Bancroft joined iconic retail brand Harry & David as its SVP of marketing. Since taking the marketing helm at the gourmet gift company, he’s orchestrated a rebranding effort and served on the executive team that helped compose the acquisition of the company by Read more. 

A Full Accounting of Agile Marketing

A former professional kick-boxer, Toby Lee currently competes in triathlons. That training and competition gets his customer-segmentation mind-set into fighting shape and provides the kick Lee needs as CMO of Thomson Reuters’ $1.2 billion Tax & Accounting business. He stays fleet-footed to juggle his many responsibilities, which include global marketing strategy, branding, creative services, demand generation, public relations, customer excellence, and online marketing. After stints with Dell, Hitachi, Trend Micro, and Toshiba, Lee is developing a more agile approach to marketing at Thomson Reuters through a blend of data analytics, persona detective work, tight collaboration with sales colleagues, and a heavy emphasis on content marketing and impactful performance measures. Read More.


  Harnessing Deep Industry Expertise to Capture New Markets

Darren Rodgers
‘ current passion in marketing is to unlock the opportunities of the Affordable Care Act. This represents an entirely new challenge for Rodgers and Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)—where he’s CMO—as well as the healthcare insurance sector as a whole. Fortunately, Rodgers brings an entirely new perspective to the game, having stepped into his CMO role—his first marketing leadership position—only two years ago. The 22-year HCSC veteran explains how he applies his deep healthcare expertise, and broad organizational experience, to marketing in an industry in the throes of historic transformation. Read more.

The Beauty of Building a Global Brand With Local Relevance

Stanford Graduate School of Business Alumni, Tapestry Award winner, Cosmetics Executive Women Achiever Award winner, Black Enterprise magazine’s Corporate Executive of the Year…. The professional kudos awarded to Amway CMO Candace Matthews would likely go to the head of many marketers. That’s just one of the many attributes that makes Matthews’ humility, hustle, and sense of humor so refreshing. Her highly personal and collaborative approach to building a global brand with local relevance stems from growing up in a huge family and leads to how she manages a marketing organization that includes Amway’s global team of entrepreneurial distributors. Read more.


  Building the Ingredient Brand of the 21st Century 

Kevin Doohan likes his kicks. The CMO of DTS, a premier audio solutions provider for high-definition entertainment experiences, has a collection of more than 100 Nikes that he tweets about nearly every day. A former marketing executive with Machinima, Red Bull, and ConAgra Foods, Doohan joined DTS in January with the intention of kicking its drive to become the 21st century’s coolest ingredient brand into high gear. So far, he’s succeeding—in no small part because of his nose for what’s cool (sharpened during his Red Bull tenure and kept sharp with his current social media activity) and the respect for old-school brand marketing principles he developed earlier in his career. Read more.

Thumbs-Up to Disruptive Brands and Authentic Narratives

Pandora CMO Simon Fleming-Wood‘s personal mission is to apply technology and branding in innovative ways; in essence, to reinvent product categories. That’s not surprising given that he was one of the founders of the groundbreaking Flip Video Camera (for which he shares in nine patents). At Pandora, Fleming-Wood has honored the founding team’s original brand narrative by acting on his belief that “the product is the marketing.” Read more. 

  A Highly Human Approach to Digital Marketing CMO Braden Hoeppner believes that e-tailing success requires a blend of ethnography and analytics. His Vancouver-based global company sells eye glasses and contact lenses to consumers in 150 countries. Successfully sustaining that global reach requires a local approach with a personal touchRead more. 

Know Your Audience Through Marketing Science

CenturyLink Technology Solutions’ new CMO, Becky Carr, takes a break from an ambitious rebranding effort—of the business division that is a primary growth engine for CenturyLink, the country’s third-largest telecommunications company—to discuss how sales experience and data analytics help marketers know their audience. Read more. 
  Marrying Art and Science In Marketing

Peter Horst is a Renaissance man when it comes to marketing. The Capital One senior vice president, brand marketing, has a passion for both the art and science of his discipline. Tending to this marriage benefits the financial services company, where data analytics practically qualifies as a religion. Read more.


The Rationale Behind Personal Branding

As global head, marketing technology, at Kimberly-Clark, Mayur Gupta spends a lot of time contending with convergence. Consequently, the convergence of marketing and technology skills with functional disciplines represents a common theme in his posts on the personal blog,, he maintains as an emerging thought leader in his off-hours. The blog also marks a point of convergence in Gupta’s personal and professional lives.

Although his posts, many of which delve into marketers’ DNA, contain personal opinions that aren’t affiliated with Kimberly-Clark, the connections and conversations the blog has sparked with other leading thinkers strengthens Gupta’s performance in his day job. Read more.



Straight-Talk Marketing Rules

Since joining Rackspace Hosting in July 2013, CMO Rick Jackson has been fanatical about breaking through the clutter of the open-cloud technology company’s marketing messages. A 30-year tech-industry veteran and longtime marketing executive, Jackson believes that the best marketing messages favor clear language rather than over-hyped claims about product specs, four syllable words, and hazy promises of business and performance impacts. Read more.

Passionate About Customers

As illustrated in our 2013 series “Diary of a CMO,” Mitel Chief Marketing Officer Martyn Etherington is all about the customer. Over the course of his first year as CMO of Mitel, he completely reorganized the marketing operations to take an outside-in approach and put the customer at the center of its strategy. In our inaugural “CMO Confidential” Q&A, Etherington delves deeper into his passion for customers, how he strives to manifest it in practice, and what challenges and successes he encounters as a result. Read more.

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