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CMO Q&A: Rachel Phillips-Luther, Jamba Juice

What led you to a career in marketing?  Was it an early decision or a more recent event?

I got an incredibly early start. My interest in public relations was piqued during a career exploration day in high school. An incredibly talented PR exec visited and shared her passion for bringing a brand’s story to life. I applied for an internship at Fleishman that summer and the rest is history!

Have you always been a marketer, or did you train for a different role prior to that (and if so, what)?

I’ve been in marketing/PR/brand for my entire career. While I have not made a career change, the work itself has changed dramatically with the dawn of digital. 

If you could pick out one thing you find most challenging about marketing, what would it be?

Breaking through. Today’s competitive landscape is exceptionally cluttered, and marrying great media strategy with compelling (and on-brand) content can be a challenge. Gone are the days when buying radio or TV could generate immediate return. Finding great talent is the other large challenge and game changer. I’ve found many marketers are unwilling to gain depth of knowledge about the business, so their approach is superficial. It’s important to find people that love to think, not just talk. 

How important is it for anyone joining your team today to be comfortable with data-driven marketing?

It’s critically important in numerous roles but not necessarily all. “Big data” can also lead you down a path that limits innovation and risk. I work to hire a balance of personalities and skill sets that generate diverse perspectives. Data is used to guide and inform almost all strategic decisions, but that doesn’t mean you have to be “data-driven” to be successful on the team.

What’s the single most important component of your marketing stack (by description and/or vendor name)?

Guest analytics.

If you weren’t a marketer, what would you be?

I’d likely work with a non-profit.  I love putting my talents to use to make real impact in the lives of others. 

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