The modern CMO must be both right- and left-brained. It’s not enough to be creative — you have to be analytical, too. Man or woman—it doesn’t matter: the CMO of the digital world has to be good at everything. Ground-breaking campaigns only matter if they yield a positive ROI.
Here are four women who show how a strong CMO fuses the creative with the analytical to produce exceptional results for their brands.
1. Deloitte Digital, Alicia Hatch
Alicia Hatch leads Deloitte Digital’s marketing efforts and has spearheaded the billion-dollar Halo franchise’s marketing efforts.
At Deloitte Digital, however, she’s more than just a creative thinker—she has positioned Deloitte Digital to disrupt the advertising world. In Hatch’s words: “We’re making creativity more important than ever by tying it more closely to the heart of business strategy and industry insights.”
Hatch has launched numerous initiatives across Deloitte’s content and commerce systems as well. She was a huge part of John Hancock’s decision to switch over to Deloitte from Hill Holiday. When Transamerica came to Deloitte to reinvent their retirement offerings, Hatch was at the forefront. Her innovative strategy brought in an eclectic team, ranging from ethnographers to data scientists, to provide a dynamic and holistic approach.
Alicia gives the following advice for paving the future: “if you become comfortable with that gray area—the space where you know you don’t know the answer—you only have a tremendous opportunity in front of you.”
2. VMware, Robin Matlock
Robin Matlock sits at the marketing helm of VMware. Her vision is a results-driven one. “We have to facilitate a conversation that is anchored around business outcomes,” she says. ”Everything we do as marketers … is to help sellers start those conversations.”
Robin’s strategy for transformation is rooted in data. She is making a major impact by tracking engagement to improve customer experience. One of the major insights she gained from this is that leads that are touched by VMware’s marketing efforts convert at double the rate as leads only touched by sales.
In addition, she specializes in running a highly data-driven global marketing team. What does engagement mean for vertical markets? Who are the target personas? What actions are they taking?
It’s not enough to say if someone from Firm X watched an educational video. Matlock needs to know how they watched it. Did they sit through it from start to finish? Did they skip around? Did they promote it via social media? To really transform a pipeline, Matlock believes you need to get granular to get accurate.
To really transform a pipeline, you need to get granular to get accurate. Click To Tweet
3. Twitter, Leslie Berland
Leslie Berland is not only the CMO of one of the world’s tech darlings, but she’s also its first CMO. Hired in 2016, she pioneered Twitter’s self-awareness campaign, an issue it hadn’t addressed in its first decade as a business.
She started the famous #SeeEverySide campaign, showcasing the multitude of ideas and perspectives across the Twitterverse. This was more than just a promotional effort — it was essential to the inner-workings at Twitter.
Fired up and ready to throw ⛽️?thanks to @leslieberland #SheInspiresMe #BossBabe #SeeEverySide ????? pic.twitter.com/LGV0cepoE3
— Erin (Twomey) Turner (@erinleeturner) August 3, 2017
Berland spoke on this: “That was very anchoring and grounding for us as a company. And it is where our product strategy is focused—showing what’s happening, what matters, news and information as it unfolds.”
Perhaps the most iconic part of this campaign was when they posted the single word “The” to their page and allowed users to run with it from there.
Among her many skills, she has an uncanny ability to focus on both the inner- and outer-facing operations at Twitter—so much so that she is now the acting head of HR. Her title “CMO and Head of People” is not only a clever variation on the archaic “human resources” — it’s part of her strategy to build a better enterprise.
4. SoFi, Joanne Bradford
It’s tough referring to SoFi as “startup” after 2015 when it raised a cool billion in funds and recruited veteran marketing executive Joanne Bradford.
Bradford, who served Microsoft, Yahoo, and Pinterest, among others, is another of the rare right brain/left-brain CMOs on this list. For starters, prior to serving as CMO, she was their COO—which is a testament to her analytical and leadership skills.
Her talents were critical in scaling and growth, where she has been instrumental in securing new partnerships and growing their member base. Engagement and leveraging Member Success programs were her bread and butter in these efforts, and the results are staggering. In her time with SoFi, the company has exceeded half a million members.
Perhaps the most iconic story about Bradford was locking down the first overtime Super Bowl ad ever. Understanding the value of awareness, she created the ad on a shoestring budget of $10,000 and filmed it in under a week. Due to her efforts, SoFi’s brand awareness has grown more than 10-fold in just three years.
A Dynamic Future for Marketing
Competition in the marketing space is fiercer than ever as the field becomes more sophisticated and analytical. That’s not to discount creativity, however—it’s as essential as ever before. But in the 21st century, creativity has to be fueled by data (and vice versa) in order to create the perfect storm for business growth and development.
This mantra is well understood by these four women, who are paving the way for the future of marketing. The smart marketer will make sure to follow their lead, coupling left- and right-brain innovation to deliver dynamic, powerful results for their brands.
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