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Jamie Moldafsky, CMO, Wells Fargo

As the top marketer at 163-year-old financial brand Wells Fargo, Moldafsky says it’s new opportunities and sometimes unexpected change that so often fuel her personal and professional decisions. “I learned that you don’t have to plan out the next 20 years of your life, but if you’re always growing and challenging yourself to learn new things and push yourself, you’ll always end up in a place that you’re proud and happy about,” she says. Moldafsky played a lead role in Wells Fargo’s ongoing outreach to specific, but broad audiences with a cross-cultural approach that represents an increasingly diverse population in the United States.

Marketing strategy: It all starts with the customer. Begin with that deep, committed focus on the customer and then it’s about dialing back to the business, which means understanding the business — understanding the brand and its capabilities. Then take that and determine what you can uniquely bring to bear for that customer.

We don’t start with channels and products; we start with the customers and where their needs are. That guides everything that we do—everything that I do. This customer-centric approach has enabled me to contribute in many different ways by bringing together the strengths of the organization on behalf of our customers.

Winning ways: For a professional big win, I’d say the brand campaign that we launched in 2015. It was entitled “Working together to make a difference,” and the specific component of that was to incorporate diversity into that campaign — and what we call our total market approach, which is how we go to market in a way that resonates with many of our key constituencies. We had a number of executions within that body of work in which we were able to connect emotionally and across the board with many different segments of our customer base.

For a personal win, glad to keep it all together with two careers—mine and my husband’s—two teenagers, and now two dogs. Any time your family is happy, and you’re living life fully, it’s an achievement.

Defining moment:
The most seminal moment for me was when I took a position overseas early in my career, and I went and lived in Singapore. The reason it was such a seminal moment was that I took myself out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know anything about Asia; I didn’t know anything about those markets, and yet I was responsible for marketing to 12 markets in Asia. But it gave me the confidence to know that I can take things on that I hadn’t done before. It gave me the understanding, not just how to navigate in new environments, but also the confidence to do so.

Trend watching: What’s come up a lot is how customers make their decisions, and how they speak out on the kinds of interactions that they want or need to make those decisions. That’s really the intersection of data, digital, and diversity. That customer’s unique background and set of needs is so often translated through digital and then their needs are met through digital in a way that’s going to be relevant and meaningful at that time. So, if you think of one trend, it’s the customer.

Marketing staff must-have: Definitely broad business knowledge; not just industry specific know-how, but business knowledge. Also, just energy and curiosity. The only constant in work—in life—is change. So, being willing to engage in that change is important. It’s great if somebody has the skills, but it’s more important that they have the desire to learn the skills.

Advice to young marketers: Take on new opportunities, even when you’re not sure you can be 100% successful. Just be willing to take risks. And stick with things long enough to make sure that you can master them and achieve the learning. But do something you’re passionate about because that’s when you’re the most successful.

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