Business Insider has published its ranking of the most innovative CMOs of 2017.
Meet The Connectors: The marketing executives who have mastered how best to use technology, data, and creativity to drive growth not only in marketing, but also heir companies at large.
Scroll down to see which marketers made the cut.
Andrew Sherrard, Chief Commercial Officer at T-Mobile
T-Mobile may not be the biggest wireless company in the US, but it feels like it’s marketing often sets the agenda in the industry. The company has pushed data-free plans back into the conversation, causing rivals to react. And under Sherrard’s guidance, T-Mobile has thrown free Netflix into the mix, likely causing many consumers to turn their heads. And during the recent World Series the company rolled out a campaign promising to donate $US2 to victims of the recent hurricanes in Houston, Puerto Rico and Florida every time they tweeted using the hashtag #HR4HR. No wonder then that Sherrard’s title was recently elevated from Chief Marketing Officer to Chief Commercial Officer.
Alison Lewis, CMO at Johnson & Johnson Consumer
Lewis has served as the global CMO of Johnson & Johnson Consumer since 2013, overseeing marketing for brands including Neutrogena, Johnson’s and Listerine. In addition to global marketing, Lewis drives digital and strategic consumer insights, professional marketing and the innovation pipeline. After focusing on uniting the company’s global marketing team under one branding framework, Lewis turned her attention to reaching consumers with new marketing and media approaches this year. She led the development of the first smart, personal baby sleep coaching system through its Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Sleep App and also helped extend Zyrtec Allergy to living rooms in the form of an Alexa skill.
Scott Meden, CMO at Nordstrom
Like others, Nordstrom too has struggled to stay afloat in an increasingly competitive retail environment, with its attempt to go private going bust and its stock taking a hit. But despite the roadblocks, Nordstrom has continuously tried to remain on the cutting edge of digital under Meden. It has developed robust e-commerce experiences, seamlessly integrated online and offline channels and provided numerous cross-channel capabilities for in-store shoppers. And it has also risen as a brand unafraid to speak its mind. In March, it dropped Ivanka Trump’s line – a move that ultimately won it even more brand love than ever. Another glimmer of hope: the company just recently opened another store in New York City.
Greg Lyons, CMO at PepsiCo North America Beverages
Pepsi may have had one of the biggest marketing gaffes of the year with its tone-deaf Kendall Jenner ad (which came out of its global beverage group), but that didn’t deter the beverage giant from continuing to experiment with its US marketing initiatives, overseen by Lyons. After becoming the first brand to incorporate emojis in its marketing in 2016, 2017 saw Pepsi lead the way with Snapchat marketing. The soda maker plastered millions of soda bottles with Snapcodes, and also became one of the first brands to run a mobile game within Snapchat. Pepsi also managed to double its e-commerce beverage sales this year, with Lyons also leading the launch of Lifewtr, the company’s premium new bottled water. He has also been instrumental in leading several of Pepsi’s joint ventures, including the Starbucks Cold Brew and the Pure Leaf Tea House with Unilever this year.
Suzy Deering, CMO at eBay
eBay has an unusual battle to fight. It’s become too successful at branding itself as the place where people auction stuff online. It wants to be a shopping destination for everybody during a time when Amazon looms everywhere. So under Deering’s guide, eBay has made a point to try everything (like say custom, quirky ads in the very insider digital community Imgur) as well as cheeky TV ads last June during the NBA finals that slightly tweaked Amazon.
Susie Rossick, Assistant VP of Marketing, Honda
Rossick’s robust marketing and creative leadership helped propel Honda to its third consecutive year of record sales in 2016, with the brand being on track for an all-time annual sales mark in 2017. One such campaign was Honda’s 2017 Super Bowl campaign, “Yearbooks,” which yielded more than a 30% increase in brand awareness for Honda and ranked No. 2 in USA Today’s AdMeter. Rossick was responsible for overseeing marketing initiatives for the all-new 2018 Honda Accord, Clarity series, Civic Type R, Civic Hatch, Civic Si, Odyssey and the Honda Fit this year.
Jack Hollis, VP of Marketing at Toyota
Hollis is credited for crystalizing Toyota’s brand identity under Total Toyota (or T2), which seeks to incorporate insights that span all ethnic groups and cultural nuances into the company’s marketing. The model not only took into account the changing customer landscape, but also brought previously separate agencies into a collaborative model, where advertising ideas are shared, and insights are jointly developed. This year, he led the launch of Toyota’s first global campaign, “Start Your Impossible” as well as the U.S.-focused “Sensations” campaign that launched in September and positions the Camry to remain the best-selling car in America, continuing its 15 year-long streak.
Miguel Patricio, CMO at AB InBev
Patricio has been at the helm of AB InBev’s marketing as its global chief marketing officer since 2012. After last year’s acquisition, the company is well on track with SABMiller’s integration, while at the same time expanding more into craft and non-alcoholic beers.
Its marketing has been on point. Budweiser’s “Born The Hard Way” spot at this year’s Super Bowl, for example, chronicled the immigration story of its founder Adolphus Busch and struck a chord, coming as it did just days after President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.
Philip Schiller, SVP of Worldwide Marketing at Apple
You might think that Apple’s marketing had become stale or perhaps cliche. What else is there to say? Then there were the lines and sellouts for the recent iPhone X launch. And under Schiller’s guidance, Apple has even managed to bring the moribund Apple Watch to life featuring ads with real testimonials from consumers who use the divide to monitor health. Apple’s marketing is still the gold standard.
Deborah Yeh, SVP of Marketing and Brand at Sephora
Prestige beauty sales are on the rise. And nothing is more synonymous of prestige beauty than Sephora. The LVMH-owned brand is not only the No. 1 specialty beauty retailer in the world, but the undisputed king of digital, which Yeh oversees among her other responsibilities. Under Yeh, Sephora has come up with everything from a mobile app that lets users virtually try on lipsticks to Colour IQ that lets them scan their faces to find the perfect products to match their skintones. Over the past year, she built the brand further, including helping facilitate the marketing campaign “Let’s Beauty Together,” partnering with music festivals like Coachella and relaunching the Sephora Collection in fall 2016 with pushes including “Swipe It Shop It” and a Tinder profile.
Lorraine Twohill, CMO at Google
Besides serving as the way people find almost everything on an hourly basis, Google keeps weaving its way into more parts of people’s lives through clever marketing, thanks in large part to Twohill. Just look at how YouTube TV has owned the World Series. Or how Google Home is available at Walmart or Best Buy. And then there’s the recent rollout of the Pixel 2, which dared to take subtle digs at the iPhone.
Tony Rogers, SVP and CMO, Walmart US
Rogers is responsible for all aspects of Walmart’s marketing efforts, including customer research, strategy, program development, branding and customer communications. Since assuming his position in 2016, he has helped Walmart rise as a formidable challenger to Amazon while consolidating the retail giant’s siloed marketing and ecommerce teams in Arkansas, California, and New Jersey. This has helped the retailer center itself around one consistent brand voice and maintain a single reporting structure for the creative, media and social teams across its three sites.
Joe Jordan, CMO at Domino’s
If there’s one brand that has truly embraced digital, it is Domino’s. So much so that the the pizza maker is commonly referred to as an e-commerce company rather than a fast food brand. 60% of Domino’s orders in the US are now made through one of its many digital platforms and the company has tried it all: from self-driving delivery bots and drones to letting people order pizza with a mere emoji. Jordan has been at the helm of it all, all the while racking up over 25 consecutive quarters of US sales growth.
Neil Lindsay, VP of Brand Marketing at Amazon
Amazon may be the company that scares just about nearly every company in every industry. But consumer love for Amazon has only grown. Prime-ing something has become a verb for many Americans. And suddenly Amazon is welcome in people’s homes through Echo devices and Fire sticks. With Lindsay’s help, Amazon has become the company others want to emulate. Nobody understands how much marketing has become about data and customer experience as Amazon.
Seth Farbman, CMO at Spotify
In a world where people are only using a handful of apps on their mobile phones on a regular basis, Spotify often makes the cut among its fans. The brand love is strong. Credit the company and Farbman with stewarding innovative opportunities like branded playlists and unique subscription bundle deals for students like the one inked earlier this year with Hulu. As evidence that Spotify gets its artists and fans, when the band The Chainsmokers were on Saturday Night Live earlier this year, Spotify scrambled to help craft a custom ad that ran during the show featuring the group’s mums.
Jon Iwata, chief brand officer at IBM
Under Iwata, IBM has helped bring an understanding of cloud computing to the masses while helping the world envision the possibilities of an Artificial Intelligence-driven future. Plus the enterprise tech giant is at the forefront of producing digital content that people actually want to read and share. Iwata is set to retire next month after 34 years at the company.
Ann Lewnes, CMO at Adobe
Adobe has a complicated story to tell. It offers tools for creative professionals, media and tech companies and marketers. That’s a lot of different constituencies to communicate with. To accomplish all that Lewnes has helped the enterprise software company pump out digital content, data products and live events – that all help serve as distinct marketing vehicles.
One of the brand’s highlights over the past year was a partnership with the band Imagine Dragons. Adobe challenged fans to edit raw footage from the band’s music video shoot using Adobe’s Premiere Pro software to celebrate the product’s 25th anniversary.
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