Courage: Why Any CMO Job Description Is Incomplete Without It

Guest: Kristi Maynor Head of the U.S. CMO Practice, Egon Zehnder

The role of the Chief Marketing Officer in any company is tough simply because it requires a seemingly contradictory set of skills – the foresight and courage of a brand marketer, and the detail and systems approach of a performance marketer. How can anyone be expected to fill THAT kind of job description as a CMO? That’s the question being explored on this episode.

Drew’s guest is Kristi Maynor, Head of the U.S. CMO and Digital Transformation Practice at Egon Zehnder, one of the top recruitment and talent search companies in the world. The resumes of some of the top CMO candidates in business have passed through her hands, so if anyone can describe the kind of skills it takes to be or become a truly effective CMO, Kristi can.

Join us for this wide-ranging and provoking conversation as we dig into why courage and curiosity are some of the most important characteristics for any potential CMO and how you can take steps in your current position that position you for advancement to the prestigious yet challenging role of CMO. (You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.)

You’ll enjoy this conversation so I hope you take the time to listen.

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What You’ll Learn

  • [0:30] Courage: Easy to say but hard to demonstrate
  • [1:23] Kristi Maynor’s role with Egon Zehnder, one of the premier talent search agencies in the world.
  • [4:01] Marketers at Procter and Gamble Kristi worked with who she believes was courageous
  • [8:11] The top characteristic of successful CMOs: Curiosity
  • [12:03] The expanding role of today’s marketer and what should a CMO be responsible for?
  • [15:35] Who does better? A brand marketer or performance marketer?
  • [21:55] The role of the CMO as bridge builder and instigator of more effective integrations within the company
  • [27:43] Advice Kristi gives to those looking to become a CMO in the future
  • [29:54] Why very few CMOs become CEOs

In order to transform a company you have to exhibit courage from the moment you walk in

It’s probably fair to say that most newly-hired CMOs are walking into a situation where their new employer is struggling, at least on some level. They’ve been hired to assess the current state of things, diagnose the problems, and set a new direction that brings the company out of the down season and into a new era of success. Stepping into a situation like that requires courage – both because it’s a step into the unknown and because it will require the development of plans that take the company in an entirely new direction. Find out how Kristi Maynor suggests you cultivate and develop that kind of courage, on this episode of Renegade Thinkers Unite.

The problematic need for a CMO who is brand driven AND performance driven

As Kristi and Drew discussed the common traits Kristi has seen in some of the most effective and sought-after CMOs in the business world, it quickly became apparent that a person with a very unusual gift-mix is needed to fill this vital and company-changing role. The CMO job description demands a person who is visionary and able to communicate where the brand is headed – but at the same time able to spearhead efforts to build systems and procedures that drive the process efficiently. There aren’t many people like that, and Kristi explains what it takes to become that person and succeed, in this episode.

When working toward a CMO role, don’t focus on the title, focus on the impact you’ll be able to have

It’s undoubtedly an ego boost to anyone to be offered the role of CMO in a prestigious company. But the allure of such a high profile position pales in comparison to the potential the role provides. Kristi Maynor has seen many new CMOs step into their role with courage and lead their company to new heights. Her advice? Don’t focus on the title or position you’ve been given, focus on the impact you’ll be able to have. Keeping your eyes on the prize enables you to avoid reading your own press and accomplish the things you were hired to do – and everyone from team members to customers to board members will benefit as a result. This episode shares key insights from a woman who’s seen the impact of effective CMOs first-hand. Don’t miss it.

Connect With Kristi:

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Drew

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Meet the Guest

Kristi, based in Dallas, leads the U.S. Chief Marketing Officer practice with a focus on consumer and technology industries and an emphasis on organizations undergoing digital transformation. Kristi leads executive search for CMO, CIO, digital and e-Commerce leaders and serves as a strategic advisor to her clients, drawing on her diverse experiences working with consumer and technology companies as a marketing executive and agency leader.  In addition to her search work, Kristi also provides assessment, development and cultural integration support for clients.

Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Kristi spent significant time at the intersection of marketing and technology: helping consumer brands grow through digital leadership.  With Procter & Gamble, she developed strategies for increasing trial and loyalty through emerging media solutions.  She led strategic initiatives and client growth at imc2, a leading digital agency.  She also worked at Mary Kay to optimize the global e-Commerce platform for faster close rates, higher retention and overall stronger consumer relationships.

Quotes from Kristi Maynor

  • A good CMO has to be ready to take personal risk.
  • The job that they will have in 18 months will be quite different given the level of disruption that we have across almost every industry, especially in consumer.
  • The most important element of potential especially for a marketer is curiosity, which is the insatiable desire to learn.
  • I think the modern marketer is someone who can balance the brand marketing aspects of a business, as well as, the performance marketing aspects.

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