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What Works: Words of Wisdom from 6 Top CMOs

April 12, 2017

By Drew Neisser

If it wasn’t the least fun job I ever had, this one was certainly a close second…

While selling encyclopedias door-to-door the summer after my freshman year in college was taxing, it also provided an unlikely foundation for future renegade thinking. Among the most basic of learnings was the math of sales. “Knock on one hundred doors, and you’ll get at least two conversions,” they told me, which, by the way, was not only true but also yielded double the earnings of my previous minimum wage jobs.

Two other lessons proved to be prophetic. First, I discovered that when a prospect was aware of the brand I was pushing (Colliers), closing a sale was significantly easier. So it should be little wonder that Renegade’s “cut through” mantra is all about growing awareness to open hearts and ultimately, purse strings. Second, I figured out that if you asked the right questions you could establish a quick rapport with just about anybody—a strategy that is still on display in the last six episodes of the Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast, teased below for your inspirational pleasure.

Rebranding: Internal Audience Should Be First Priority

When Gina “The Builder” McDuffie grabbed the CMO reins of what was then known as Video Equipment Rental, she found a company beloved by the entertainment industry but woefully behind when it came to modern marketing techniques like CRM. Eager to fix this and then symbolize the transformation with a new company name (VER), McDuffie took an inside-out approach, engaging the internal “influencers” who recognized the need for change and then helped spread the word. It wasn’t that simple or easy, but it was successful, so click the podcast below if you want to hear the important details.

Leadership: Don’t Underestimate the Power of Enthusiasm

Elissa Fink is unusual when it comes to CMOs. First, she’s been with Tableau Software for 10 years (the last 5 as CMO) — a well above-average tenure. During those 10 years, Tableau grew from a 40-person start-up to a 3,200-employee software powerhouse. Second, Fink is beyond enthusiastic when it comes to team building, marketing innovation, and Tableau’s offerings. “I realized over the years that enthusiasm goes a long way toward doing the right thing and getting things done because it produces energy,” she notes. To grab onto Fink’s contagious enthusiasm, hit the “PLAY” button, below:

User-generated Content: A Powerful Weapon (If You Have Happy Customers)

Veteran retail marketer Rich Honiball is Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer for the Navy Exchange, a global 2-billion dollar retail operation exclusively for sailors and their families. Tapping into the goodwill generated by a “sailor-first” attitude, Honiball and his team have found great success with user-generated content. “When you have that kind of community connection, and you honor it in the right way, it just takes on a momentum of its own,” explains Honiball. Sail into this episode here:

Building Loyalty: It Never Hurts to Say “Thank You”

I met Will Dailey at what I thought was an unlikely venue for …read more

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