WealthEngine’s 10 CMOs to Watch 2015

WealthEngine’s 10 CMOs to Watch 2015

June 16, 2015

At WealthEngine, we know wealth. We also know how important marketing and building relationships are to our clients.

The entire WealthEngine team believes you can never stop learning: whether it’s knowing more about your customers and prospects or understanding what your ideal customers look like.

We also believe there’s a lot we can learn from leaders who are always looking at things a little differently, who are ahead of the curve and who are continually learning and sharing what they learn with others. These 10 Chief Marketing Officers do exactly this for the companies they work for and the marketing community we share.

Trish Mueller

Chief Marketing Officer at The Home Depot

Mueller has a long history of leading marketing at major retailers including Montgomery Ward, ShopNBC and The Sports Authority. Her leadership role at The Home Depot reflects this as she has ownership of marketing, advertising and strategic branding. Notably, she oversees database marketing, consumer analytics, CRM and research insights.

Understanding the mind of the ideal customer is clearly at the top of Mueller’s priority list. Not only does The Home Depot have a cut-out image of two of their ideal customers in every conference room at the company headquarters, but she also shared the following advice with Direct Marketing News:

“You cannot market to people you do not know. If you truly understand the audience, you’ll speak from a position of authority and the efforts you make in your field will be successful—and so will you.”

Mueller is also known for her success in empowering consumers to take action via social media. According to The Home Depot website:

“By taking a data-driven approach, the company has experienced double-digit growth in customer engagement and sales driven by social while also being lauded by the industry as the ‘top social media team in retail.’”

Speaking of social, you can find her tweeting as @mueller_trish and on LinkedIn.

Edward Nevraumont

Chief Marketing Officer at A Place for Mom

Nevraumont oversees integrated marketing for the senior living advisement company. Prior to that, he led Expedia’s loyalty and database marketing, having created both the Expedia Rewards programs along with the VIP and Elite programs. He marries analytics with customer experience, bringing together both quantitative data and qualitative insights. It’s likely his approach was honed  at McKinsey & Company where he led consultant teams as an engagement manager.

Nevraumont is passionate about sharing what he has learned over the years. He’s written a book, Marketing is Easy and teaches an Online Marketing and Analytics class at University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business. He thinks marketing teams should be paying more attention to attribution. He makes the point that when you accurately understand how your customers are finding you, then you can make better decisions on where to spend time and money:

“Before you can understand the value of a channel, you first need to understand the channel of origin of each of your customers. And that problem turns out to be a lot harder than it looks at first glance.”

A graduate of Queen’s University, Nevraumont earned his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s The Wharton School. You can find him tweeting at @Ednever, blogging at Marketing Is Easy and on LinkedIn.

Teri Lucie Thompson

Chief Marketing Officer at University of Arizona

While you won’t find a CMO at a lot of colleges and universities right now, there’s indication that you we’ll continue to see more marketing leaders like Thompson make the transition from corporate to higher education. After leading marketing teams at insurance companies, where she earned the reputation of being a pioneer in segmentation, Thompson was first tapped as CMO for Purdue University before her current role at University of Arizona.

She offers the following advice for anyone considering making the transition, that comes with a culture shock, from corporate marketing to higher ed:

“Schools are getting the message about messaging. What’s that message? That the same marketing principles that fuel other sectors can build and enhance a university’s reputation, keep people informed, and attract the types of students and faculty an institution wants.”

Between leading the marketing organization at University of Arizona and winning awards, including the American Marketing Association’s “Higher Education Marketer of the Year” in 2012, she’s also written a book, Tuning In to Mom: Understanding America’s Most Powerful Consumer.

You follow Thompson on Twitter at @TeriLucie and on LinkedIn.

Katrina Klier

Global Managing Director Digital Marketing & Communications at Accenture

Klier takes a self-describe “audience-first” approach to marketing. She came to Accenture from Microsoft where she led both B2B and B2C marketing and where she spearheaded their influencer programs.

An influencer in her own right, fellow CMOs look to her for insight and advice on digital marketing and developing customer communities to engage audiences across paid, earned and owned media channels.

When it comes to personalization and customization, Klier has this to say:

“Personalization is about seeding possibilities and letting people build their own connected story as a conversation with your brand.”

Brand Innovators named her one of the Top 50 Women in Brand Marketing and her projects at Accenture have earned multiple PRSA Big Apple Awards.

You can follow her on Twitter at @KatrinaKlier  and on LinkedIn where she publishes regularly around digital marketing and marketing leadership. You can also find her asking and answering questions on Quora.

Todd Merry

Chief Marketing Officer at Delaware North

Merry came on board at the hospitality and food service company three years ago. Hired to “guide the company’s customer-centric mission”, he leads sales and marketing “using the company’s customer data and technology to further its business objectives.” 

How has Merry used data and analytics to drive customer customer engagement? One example is through listening to conversations and measuring sentiment analytics around the “Boomstick”, what can only be described as an epic hotdog at the ballparks run by Delaware North. By turning those analytics into insights, Merry was able to shift the ideal audience persona of this food creation from solely men to families, particularly moms, and position the Boomstick as a great value for the money.

Before Delaware North, he led global marketing strategy at Unisys and Member Insights at BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Leading marketing at Delaware North, with operations at sports venues around the world, is a great fit for this sports fan who has an affinity for the Bruins and is a graduate of Middlebury College with an MBA from Boston University. You can find him tweeting about both his personal and professional life at @TMerryCMO and connect with him on LinkedIn.

David Feinberg

Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President at New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Feinberg started his career in consumer products at Procter & Gamble and Clairol before moving into healthcare. He’s responsible for marketing, advertising, digital and patient/visitor communication strategies at the hospital.

Feinberg has taken marketing personalization to a new level with a successful series of advertisements that spoke to different audiences that represent the diversity of the community the hospital serves. Feinberg tells AdAge:

“Consumer response has been so remarkable because these are real people telling real stories in their own words. We have worked very hard to eliminate hype and hyperbole, so their honesty comes through loud and clear. While New York-Presbyterian has always been well known for advanced, sophisticated medicine, this campaign adds a new dimension, a focus on the patient and all aspects of their care.”

This ad series was extended and NYC residents could find them on the sides of buses as well as during the 2015 Super Bowl.

Follow Feinberg on Twitter at @davidafeinberg and LinkedIn.

Paul Alexander

Chief Communications Officer at Liberty Mutual Insurance

Alexander started his career as a Circulation Marketing Manager at Time magazine and then worked his way up through prolific brands such as Procter & Gamble and Campbell Soup Company. At Liberty Mutual, he’s established the Social Media Center of Excellence where they are “leading social listening, moderation and analytics resources to track and improve overall strategy and execution.”

He’s as likely to be found speaking to The Ad Club in Boston about how Liberty Mutual features personal and persuasive content to reach consumers as he is to be rubbing elbows with Olympic athletes on behalf of Liberty Mutual, an official sponsor for Team USA.

A Harvard graduate, he also holds an MBA from the ivy league school, as well. He’s recognized by Business Insider for being a Top 20 Social Media CMO of the Fortune 100 and was tapped as Financial Marketer of the Year by the Financial Communications Society.

You can find Alexander on LinkedIn.

Maria Sebastian

Director of Global Sales and Marketing at Virgin Atlantic Airways

Sebastian leads her international team from company headquarters in London. No stranger to the airline industry, Maria comes to Richard Branson’s company after rising through the marketing ranks at American Airlines in Dallas.

This year, Premier Traveler name Sebastian one of the “Most Compelling Women in Travel”. She was also named as one of the “Power 100”, a list recognizing the top marketers in the UK by Marketing Magazine. This comes as no surprise because Sebastian did, after all, play a part in bringing in designer Vivienne Westwood to outfit Virgin Atlantic’s flight attendants to celebrate the airline’s 30th anniversary.

Her accolades don’t stop there, though. She was also tapped by Marketing Week as one of their Vision 100 this year. She shared with them:

“Having always enjoyed combining the analytical with the creative, it wasn’t until I took on my first marketing role (a decade into my career) that I found a path that allowed me to regularly combine both.”

You can find Maria Sebastian on LinkedIn.

Scott Pearl

Chief Marketing Officer at the National PTA

Pearl was recently hired as Chief Marketing Officer at the National PTA after serving as CMO at AFP (Association for Fundraising Professionals). Along with having an impressive tenure in the non-profit space, he’s also an entrepreneur, having founded and sold a technology company, and very active in the startup world as an advisor.

There’s no question that the work he does with startups, including user experience and having started using segmentation before many were even thinking about it, helps to transform how the National PTA will reach and engage with their members across the country.

He’s been called a “game changer” by people who have worked with him and he’s sought as a speaker at conferences and events.

CEOWorld named Pearl a Top CMO on Twitter and Social Media Marketing Magazine also recognized him as CMO to follow on Twitter, as well.

You can follow him on Twitter at @scottpearlmktg and on LinkedIn. You can also see more about his diverse background at his personal website, ScottPearl.com.

Ryan Bonifacino

Chief Marketing Officer & SVP Digital  at Alex and Ani

Bonifacino is one of the youngest on our list of CMOs to watch having skyrocketed to success since graduating from the University of Delaware in 2005. A Direct Marketing News 40 Under 40 Award Winner in 2014, he indicates his first job really helped set the trajectory:

“My first job was with a think-tank that focused on artificial intelligence and predictive analytics. That was called Quantum Leap Innovations and gave me a foundation for the heavy tech side.”

Based in New York, he’s paying his success forward as a Co-Founder of New York Fashion Tech Lab, a collaboration between Springboard Enterprises and The Partnership Fund for New York City to promote fashion technology innovation and job creation in New York. He has also served as an advisor for University of Rhode Islands Harrington School of Communications and Media (Alex and Ani is headquartered in Rhode Island).

You can find Bonifacino tweeting at @rbonifacino and on LinkedIn.

About this list

Narrowing down this list wasn’t an easy feat. We reviewed the work, backgrounds and points of view of numerous CMOs across B2C and non-profit verticals. We chose our final ten based on their influence in the marketing space and the work they have done to use analytics, listening and/or data to reach their customers and prospects in compelling and inventive ways and who we think others should keep an eye on as we believe we’ll continue to see innovation and inspiration from the CMOs we listed here.

Is there anyone you’d like to see added to the list?

Also, we’re not the the only ones recognizing movers and shakers in the marketing space.

Check out these other lists recognizing CMOs:

Are you a marketer who wants to see, first hand, how you can turn your data into insights for segmentation and personalization. Request a demo now.

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