Podcast: Top 3 Strategies for Getting a Seat at the Table
CMO and Founder of Artful Thinkers
Jamie Glass is the CMO and Founder of Artful Thinkers. As an experienced senior sales and marketing c-level executive, Jamie has successfully led global marketing services, operations and sales divisions for industry-leading organizations. Today she is a recognized growth advisor, strategy consultant and sales and marketing expert, and has worked with 60+ CEOs across technology, nance, consumer products, retail, learning, business services, media, healthcare industries and more.
Jamie joins Renee Yeager to share her Top 3 Strategies for Getting a Seat at the Table. Their discussion covers how CEOs and other members of the C-suite think about marketing, the importance of marketing as a growth engine, and how marketing leaders can effectively present a C-suite strategy. Renee and Jamie also discuss eliminating sales and marketing silos and using accountability, measurement and processes to show how marketing achieves results.
Listen now to learn more or read the transcript below.
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Renee Yeager: Welcome, Jamie. Welcome to the Top Three for Tech Marketers podcast.
Jamie Glass: Hi, Renee. Thanks for inviting me. I’m excited about this conversation.
Renee: Oh, I am, too. As I mentioned in the intro, Jamie is the CMO and founder at Artful Thinkers. Jamie, could you tell us a little bit about what you guys do?
Jamie: Absolutely. At Artful Thinkers, for about the past 20 years, I’ve been working with a variety of different clients across multiple industries and sectors, and really help them address market challenges and assist in strategy development in ways in which to help them grow or accelerate their growth. It’s been really exciting because I’ve been able to work with so many different CEOs and business leaders in determining the best path forward for the business, and then watching the results roll in.
I think that, through this experience, it’s been really enlightening to me because I could take what I gather from each client’s experience and then apply that to others. As the last 20 years has proven, nothing is stagnant in marketing, and everything’s changing. As I’m learning, I hopefully can share that with my clients so that they can grow, as well.
Renee: I bet one of the unique values that you bring is this outside perspective because, oftentimes, when we’re in the organization, we just get so focused on what we know and the history. It takes some fresh thinking, really, to put a different lens on things. Right?
Jamie: It is so true, and sometimes I feel like I’m Captain Obvious cuz I’m telling people what they already know, [laughter] but it’s things that they can’t address because their heads are down inside the business. Remarkably, I’ve found that the conversations really don’t change much from business to business. We have worked with companies that have developed artificial intelligence solutions and people that are selling automobiles. It’s really the same thing. It’s about knowing your customer. It’s about being aware of how money is made within the business. It’s also knowing how to solve other people’s problems. I just find that it doesn’t really change, company to company and industry to industry. I know that people don’t like to hear that, but I’ve always said, sales is sales, and marketing is marketing.
Jamie: The advantage I’ve had is I’ve run both organizations. I think that that’s the only difference, that I’m kind of a pure single-function consultant, is that I’ve actually had the responsibly to grow sales organizations and produce revenue, and then I’ve also had the, often, responsibility of running marketing for multimillion dollar organizations and being that catalyst for revenue generation.
Renee: I’m super-excited about what we’re gonna talk about today, and given your background and experience, I can’t wait to hear what you have to say [laughter] because our topic today is the top three strategies for getting a seat at the table. Our audience is marketers, and marketers at the highest levels, but, also, marketers looking to reach those highest levels. Your first strategy of your three to get a seat at the table is around perception on how CEOs think about marketing. Can you speak to that a little bit?
Jamie: Absolutely. I think the biggest danger that I often find in CEOs, and this is the conversation I love to have with them, is they view marketing as an expense. You’re the spender, and, therefore, you wouldn’t understand what everybody does in the organization, which is really about generating cash, getting return on assets, and growth. I like to flip that on its head and speak in their language.
One of the things I did many years ago is I read this great book called What the CEO Wants You to Know by Ram Charan. I found that as long as you can use their language, it’s really what marketing does. Marketing does help generate revenue. They help get return on assets within the company, and they empower an organization to grow. That, to me, is not a spender. That’s an enabler. That’s an empowering group within an organization. When you talk in those terms, and you talk about results, and you talk about driving the organization forward, you don’t get into that nitpicky, “How much money now are you spending on that web ad?”
Jamie: I just think you have to speak in the CEO’s language.
Renee: Yeah, that makes sense. A lot of marketers are given these budgets, and they have to try to figure out what to do with them. It can be challenging sometimes to put metrics behind programs with [unintelligible 00:05:44], but it’s just so critically important if you want to lock down that budget, and then get it approved going forward [laughter] for sure.
Jamie: Exactly, and if you think about it from a CEO’s perspective, they want you to be an innovator. They want you to go out there and find the best, most effective way in which to help the company achieve its goals. Just by labeling it marketing sometimes can be an impediment to the organization in the fact that they feel like you have to stay within a fence or a boundary. I would say, just think like the CEO, and think about how it is that you can utilize the company asset and help deliver, improve on that performance.
Once you start thinking like that, there are less boundaries because the rest are tactics, right? The rest are how you produce that widget or how you get that to market, and how you define things. If you really think about the fact that you’ve been given a pool of money that if you invest it properly, you can get a 2, 3X, 4X return, and that’s gonna contribute to the company’s overall performance, then you have a lot more power to do more.
Renee: Speaking to your comment about the fact that the CEO wants marketing to be innovative, what’s been your experience around using a percentage of budget to test things and setting that expectation with the CEO or the C suite, the fact that we are gonna use some of this money, and we’re not sure how it’s gonna turn out? What have you found works best there?
Jamie: I think that if you think about, especially in today’s environment, that marketing has to be agile, too, and that, yes, success will come from finding profitable and sustainable ways and methods in which to grow things. Your sales and marketing processes are part of that growth engine, but the fact of the matter is you have to always be experimenting. Experimentation opens up opportunity. I sometimes think about it as incubation or an ideal lab, or a way in which you could engage new thoughts in the process and try some of these experiments.
The proposition to a CEO is that you wanna fail fast. You don’t wanna put something in place and do it over and over again, and then wonder, is that really providing optimal results? Because, in the end, it probably is not. [Laughter] There’s too much changing in our environment. Things are moving too fast. We’re an Internet feed. You’ve gotta be innovative all the time.
Somebody told me yesterday there’s this whole new way in which you engage people on LinkedIn through uploaded lists and targeting. In a split second, I could go back and say, if you’re doing the same thing that you’ve always done with LinkedIn advertising to engage your audience, you’re probably wasting money cuz there’s a new way to do it, and if you haven’t heard about it, you better check it out. [Laughter]
Jamie: You have to always be innovating. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind.
Renee: Right. What’s been your experience around sitting in as a CMO for these large organizations? We know that the tenure is low, as far as the C-suite goes, so how do you feel that CMOs can advocate themselves and help the CEO and the rest of the C-suite understand their value and work more as a team?
Jamie: Absolutely, it’s critical to come to the table and know that you will be earning respect. By earning respect, that means you have to use your voice. You have to demonstrate results, and you have to participate in all functions within the business. You never wanna take the corner seat and then have the conversation go around, around the table, and then, “What’s marketing doing?” You want to be actively involved in every single part of the conversation at the table.
For me, I think it’s important, as I’ve seen in the past, to put right upfront when I work with an organization—I’ve done it when I’ve worked internally and as a consultant—and say, “I will be here as long as I make a difference.” When I stop making a difference, then it’s time to find somebody else to take my seat because the important factor for me is that I have the opportunity to engage at a very high level to move the company forward. I’m not shy about it. I push forward. I lean in. I’ve used my experience and my voice to help lead the organization, and when they feel like that’s not taking them in the right direction, then I know it’s time to step aside, so I don’t fear tenure. I fear lack of respect or fear lack of participation, and I just don’t want that to ever happen.
Renee: That’s really interesting. Maybe that speaks to why that tenure is where it’s at because you have a period of influence, and then maybe it’s time to move on, after that period of influence, move on.
Jamie: I think it’s kind of fun, actually. You’re working with multiple clients, and it’s energizing to see how many ways in which you can effect change within an organization and really make a difference. When it becomes stale, the organization feels that the energy, the confidence, it all wanes, and so results give you energy and give you an opportunity to continue. If you’re high-performing and you’re delivering, you’ll have a seat. If you’re not paying attention, if you’re distracted, if your voice is being silenced, then you’re right. It’s probably time for you to move on and find something where you feel like you can actually contribute.
Renee: Yeah. Your second strategy for getting a seat at the table is around marketing serving as a growth engine. I just love this because, and to your point earlier, marketing is often seen as a cost center, so how do we change the narrative in terms of marketing’s role?
Jamie: Yeah. I always force the conversation that marketing and sales are not separate. They’re not siloed. I try to define the roles within a marketing department—or an organization, or wherever I’m looking—as field support, customer support, taking ownership and responsibility for revenue, profits. I think that that gives me a better path forward than trying to do it in its own silo. In fact, I know silos don’t work. As soon as you walk into an organization and you say, “Yeah, I work for sales,” people are like, “What?”
Jamie: It’s often strange for them to hear that. I said, “Absolutely. Doesn’t everyone in the company have a role in sales? Doesn’t everyone sell something?” Companies don’t exist until somebody sells something. Unless you’ve got a great investor with really deep pockets, [laughter] you need revenue to progress. If I can help accelerate that by putting my focus on the top of the funnel, by putting my focus on retaining customers for longer value; if I can give a way in which to show that I’m just as math-focused as the sales team, I’m just as driven by quotas and by revenue targets as the sales team; and then I’m just as responsible to show up at customer events and participate in the conversations, just as much responsible for ensuring that I’m going on sales calls with sales to listen to how they talk to customers, and what we’re offering, and does it really need to be in the marketplace, then I really am in sales. I just deploy a different experience, a different tactic, and different activities in order to help them help the organization grow.
Renee: I love that, the whole idea that every employee in an organization represents the brand, and they’re going to interact. They may not interact directly with customers, but they may interact with vendors, and they may interact with others, the fact that that brand perception is out there is very important. I love that whole notion of everyone taking a role in terms of the success of the company, and what part can I play in helping to elevate and positively represent the brand?
Jamie: Absolutely, because the brand is what—we all are providing that brand experience by the conversations that we have with someone on the phone, by listening to the marketplace, by talking about it with our friends and family. I feel like sometimes we think about our role as pleasing the person that signs the paycheck. The fact of the matter is we all have a vested interest in the organization succeeding.
If I come in as a consultant, oftentimes, I’ll be like, “It’s me. It’s us. It’s ours. We own this. I’m now part of this brand experience. I’m part of helping elevate this company to grow. I have as much stake in ownership in that, whether I have a full-time seat, or whether I have a part-time conversation as your outsourced CMO.” It’s about just being present, but also knowing that you have to ensure everyone feels that equal weight of responsibility, no matter what their role is.
Renee: Yeah. Can you talk a little bit about marketing’s role in advancing the customer journey and defining that customer experience? We talk a lot about that kind of stuff on the podcast. We’ve been talking a lot about ABM lately in bringing marketing together, but if you could touch on that.
Jamie: Absolutely. Sometimes I think we work a little too hard to try to generate revenue, when it could be next door. I love to work with people to really build-out those buyer maps and define the customer journey because the fastest way to grow an organization is to build upon what you already have, so really take your existing offering and develop additional market penetration strategies in order to get it to expand.
The next would be to do an offer of development. In other words, take somebody that you already know, that you’re already selling to, and say, “Is there something that I could do as a value-add?” To get additional revenue and resources without putting huge constraints on certain parts of the organization that may take a little longer to develop, such as a technology, or software organization. Then I think about, okay, well, if that’s not there, then maybe I need to spend more time in marketing development.
Then the last strategy would be looking at diversification, meaning, how do I go after something brand new? We know that that’s the most expensive. If you start with who you know, you think about what you have to offer, and then you think about who else in their organization would need that type of service—and/or if I put a little bit of spin, or a little bit of different flavor on that, could I actually take that offering from one division within an organization and open it up to another division? So many times, we think that we have these hard lines that define verticals, and they define industry.
The fact of the matter is there are no rules unless you set up a rule. Why not say, if this person in this organization actually could utilize this product, could their next door neighbor also use it? Which may be within that same organization or within their circle of influence, through associations and groups, or through the people that they meet with and talk with on a frequent basis as part of their colleague and peer associations.
I just think, oftentimes, looking at that journey, way beyond just a simple picture of the customer, and this is how they buy, but thinking about everything in the value chain, every opportunity to extend that way beyond the horizon of what you see now. Is there an opportunity to just have one additional conversation, ask for one more referral, ask for one more opportunity to buy something a little bit more that you have in an offering that you hadn’t thought that that particular buyer might have interest in? Just being aware and opening up new conversations, I would say.
Renee: What I love about all that, too, is that speaks to your thought about the company growth engine. Because these different efforts that you mentioned would be something you would do in alignment with sales, you would want their feedback. You would work as a team, or identify these opportunities for the benefit of the company.
Jamie: I think, a lot of times, and this especially happens in really large organizations where you have stratification in services and products, and this person is selling this, and that person’s selling that. I’ve actually been in organizations where you spent more time trying to develop internal cross-sowing relationships than actually just sitting down with the customer and solving their problems. I think if we could take it forward and have marketing participate in those experiences firsthand, sitting on the sales call, listening to how people are processing, looking at the presentations. One of the fastest ways to learn about the business is to edit every RFP that goes out for a month.
Jamie: I guarantee you’ll know more about what everybody does in the organization than ever, aside from some of the heart failures you see about things that don’t get edited before they’re sent. [Laughter] Aside from that, I would say this. Once you have that awareness, you can teach other people about it. You can actually be an active participant with the customer and say, “Hey, by the way, did you know?” Isn’t that what we’re looking for, another touchpoint, another opportunity to engage with them, another way in which we could open up a new conversation? “Did you even know that we offered a similar service for someone in your Finance Department?” Again, because people become really siloed, are thinking about just their customer, what they own, and not about the company.
Jamie: It takes somebody else to listen in and say, “Hey, they said these three things, and I think you have an opportunity to open up a conversation.”
Renee: Yeah, I think, too, the tendency sometimes with sales is to go with what you know, so sell what’s very comfortable and what you’re really confident in.
Renee: Maybe sometimes there’s an opportunity, and it’s a little bit of a stretch. You might not even recognize it because you’ve become myopically focused on what you know how to sell and what you sell well. Right?
Jamie: Absolutely, and we all like to be in our comfort zone, but imagine this. You have just somebody else that is with you listening because a marketer’s role is really sharp at listening, right? I had an interesting conversation with a CEO that had disrupted the market, took a company up to a market value of $1 billion, and was disrupted to a point, within a couple of years, they were out of business. I asked, I said, “How did that happen? What was your experience?” He said, “I didn’t listen to the customer. We just assumed.”
Your stomach hurts. Your heart stops. You’re thinking, don’t we all get in that place of comfort where we’re like, did I stop listening to what they were really saying cuz I was just so focused on the fact that I had what would solve that problem that I heard you talk about months and months ago? Yeah, if somebody else came in who’s an expert at listening that you can go back and then strategize with, I think that’d be a great thing, and that’s what I think marketing needs to be more of.
Renee: Yeah, that voice of the customer. I mean, as marketers, we do the same thing, where we get into our ruts of what we know works, and it’s a lather, rinse, repeat type thing. I’m gonna run this dimension 24:02 program that’s gonna perform this way, until it’s performing that way, [laughter] then—
Jamie: Yeah, how we latch on. We’re gonna make it successful. We really are. Yeah.
Jamie: It’s so true. Yet, the customer could tell you something completely different. It’s just I think that’s that C-suite responsibility. If you want a seat at the table, you’d better know what the customer’s asking for because you could be disrupted right out of a job, [laughter] if you don’t, right?
Renee: When you’ve asked to sit in on those sales calls, have you ever gotten pushback? Do you have any tips on how to manage making that happen?
Jamie: Yeah, and I think this is a culture thing cuz we really thrive in an organization by assigning accountability. In fact, I think there’s a lot of times businesses fail because they don’t, but accountability doesn’t mean that you own a customer. Accountability is that you deliver what the customer requirements are. I think, a lot of times, people are scared and nervous that they maybe don’t have all the answers, and you get somebody else in the conversation, where there’s not enough trust.
Jamie: You have to start at the culture. When you see marketing actively participating at the table with the other C-suite executives in defining it, and things will go about in combination and in support of helping the company deliver its goals. Then you transfer that accountability down to everybody else, telling everybody in the organization, “You are a salesperson. You are a marketer. Whether you’re coding, whether you’re putting together bolts on an assembly line, you still have that responsibility.” As you said, the brand experience carriers throughout.
Jamie: If people are afraid of that process, it’s gotta start at the top level. I think, in the end, you have to find those breakthrough successes where you say, “We’ve worked together.” You become a PR agent, and you talk about what you’ve done together, and you share those internally. Pretty soon, even if you can get five or ten people doing it, it will create a tidal wave. Then it will become an expectation, but it’s something that has to be in the culture.
Renee: It takes a little time, too, because it’s a mindset.
Jamie: Yeah, and leadership, right? I get it. I’d be nervous for our CEO to attend a sales call. At the same time, what if it helped me close that business faster because it shows that my CEO is engaged the success of taking you on as a customer and becoming your partner to help you achieve your goals. The fact of the matter is, leverage that experience, and leverage those people because keeping it to yourself—like the conversations I have about, people are like, “Well, don’t survey my customer. Don’t ask them.”
Jamie: That’s the biggest mistake I could ever make is not survey your customer, both for you and for me, cuz you’re not gonna retain them. If we don’t listen to them, and we don’t ask them, then the assumption is that they’ll stick with you forever, and they won’t. They’re already out shopping somebody else, believe me, so just help me help you.
Jamie: It’s a confidence issue, and I get it. Like I said, I’ve had that conversation multiple times.
Renee: Your last strategy is around a strategy. [Laughter]
Renee: It’s around presenting a C-suite strategy. I don’t wanna guess what you mean by this, but I’m thinking it’s about elevating the marketing conversation. Is that fair to say?
Jamie: Absolutely, so rise to the top and find the things that the CEO and the other C-suite executives want to hear. Who’s accountable for doing what? What are the clear roles and responsibilities within the organization? How are you going to measure it? Marketers hate that, right? Oh, I have to demonstrate ROI, but the fact of the matter is math is your friend. If you can show how many web visits equate to $10.00 worth of pipeline, a CEO’s gonna love that.
Jamie: They really don’t want to just hear that you created traffic. That doesn’t mean anything to them. That’s noisy, so if you say, “I produced $10.00 worth of pipeline by these three visits,” I’ve flipped that whole metric. I’ve made it now something that I can report on, and the CEO is gonna wanna hear how much pipeline I’m delivering. Every email increases this many—it feeds the sales process by this much. Think about the metrics that you’re gonna own, and how you gonna demonstrate measurement. It’s not just about how much money you’ve spent.
Take that conversation away, and then show the processes. How are you generating these results, and what are you doing that is showing that sustainability, that replication of that growth engine? You want to have a really solid marketing engine that runs with the sales engine, together to produce results as a company. Then you’ve gotta be your own best broadcast medium. You’ve gotta go out there and tell people what you’re doing for them. Otherwise, the assumptions are that you are just marketing, and you’re in the corner, and you’re making stuff look pretty.
Yeah, we do all that. We do that really well, but I want you to realize that what I’m doing is helping elevate the entire organization to go after new markets, to bring new products to our customers by listening to what they’re asking for, and then helping to deliver upon it. You’ve gotta talk about results. I think, if you can think about it that way in your strategy, then you can get down to the tactics of: Here’s what I’m gonna do over the next 30, 60 days to execute on that. Here’s what I’m going to do in order to produce these results and get you a 350X return on a single investment.
You have to speak like a CEO. You have to speak like a CFO. You have to let sales know you’re here to make sure that they achieve their goals. That’s your strategy. Measure that at the top level through accountability metrics and the ways in which you’re gonna achieve that, and then get into the deep weeds of the activities if anybody ever wants to talk about that. Most of the time, if you can satisfy the top conversation, you’ll never get into the weeds cuz they just want the results.
Renee: Let me ask for your opinion about this. As marketers, we do need to be innovators, and we need to experiment. We’re a big fan of testing here, wherever possible. It just helps us get smarter, but in that, oftentimes, you don’t get the results that you had hoped to get.
That can be really hard for marketers because we want to put a plan in place and say, “This is what I’m going to achieve,” or “This is what I’m hoping to achieve,” and I don’t achieve it, and our clients struggle with this. If something doesn’t perform as planned, I think some of it goes around setting expectations upfront about the fact that we’re trying a new strategy, or we’re doing something different, and this is what we hope to achieve, but we may not achieve it. Then, also, looking at the intangibles, so: What was learned in the process? What’s been your experience around that, like trying something new, and it may not perform, and positioning it in the right way? Was there a benefit that came out of it that might not have before, but—
Jamie: Yeah, I think it comes back to marketing is a learning engine, too, because we have to continuously optimize and refine our practices in order to achieve our goals. That means that you have to apply new things and try them out, just like a salesperson does. Yes, you’ll have standard practices, but I think, a lot of times, we try to focus only on the end product, meaning I did X, and it produced this much revenue.
Whereas, I think if a marketer takes the time to try to develop the metrics and accountability around things like engagement, around awareness, things around customer experience, then you can lead those things, independently and collectively, to the bigger conversations about cash generation and return on assets and growth. When you try to leap from one to the other, meaning marketing spent this much money, and it produced this much in revenue, without showing the steps in which that has to happen, then you have no place to fail.
Jamie: Everybody in business is going to be failing multiple times. It’s how fast can you recover from that? If you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and that means accountability isn’t a single metric, and you show how things lead to that—so like I said, so many web visits equals so much in pipeline. Pipeline is not money in the bank. Pipeline is opportunity. Then I define things around how I get that $10.00 worth of opportunity to move faster through the sales cycle in order to get closer to the close.
It can’t be one-dimensional, and you have to have the ability to allow yourself testing ground, some points of failure, and opportunities to recover. Otherwise, everything’s going along a single line, and it will fail. It will fail cuz time is your enemy. Change is your enemy. Market conditions are your enemy. Everything’s working against you, so you might as well put more than one thing on the line at a time. That’s why it’s brilliant, like you said, to utilize AB testing or ABC testing, or trying out different things, as opposed to putting everything in a single strategy or a single activity.
Renee: Yeah. I think every marketer who has a budget has to allocate some of it to testing.
Renee: The really smart CMOs that I’ve talked to are all onboard with that. They get it. They get that the tech landscape is changing. There’s so many new capabilities. Well, and not even that new, but they continue to be refined and enhance the predictives, and what we’re doing with APM now, and AI is coming up. If we don’t test and get smart about these things fast, when our tried and true strategies do fail, which they will, we have nothing to fall back on.
Jamie: That’s exactly right, and with all of that chaining effect, everybody on your team has a particular kind of interest. Are you encouraging them to come forward with ways in which to try things out that are in that testing category? I would challenge marketing owners to ask, to your point, ask the people that you work for, the people that you work with, your tried and true agency, people that you depend on to deliver amazing results to take some of the return on programs and put it towards something new and something innovative cuz you don’t know what you don’t know. The biggest thing I fear is what I don’t know. I live in tumult all the time.
Jamie: All the time, and everybody’s like, “You posted all these articles.” I’m like, “That’s because if I don’t know, I don’t have a seat at the table.”
Renee: Right. [Laughter]
Jamie: I don’t have to know how to—I don’t know how to implement. I need to know that when you start talking about account-based marketing, that I’m not on Google trying to figure out, what does that mean? At least I’ll have a little bit of knowledge base about it, and then I’ll know what experts I can go to, to help execute on it. The fact of the matter is everybody in your team has some sort of passion about what they want to know and what they feel like they’re a little bit of an expert. Well, let ‘em shine.
Jamie: Bring something new. That idea’s absolutely crazy, buy you know what? It just got that customer so excited about what we were doing because we brought that forward. When we discourage that, then we’ll become operators who can be boring. Then we get replaced.
Renee: Yeah. Let me ask you this. In your CMO roles, has a CEO ever said anything to you that kinda shocked you? Have you ever been surprised by maybe their perception of marketing or perception of a tactic, or anything, really? Anything surprising?
Jamie: Yeah. I’d definitely say that, over the course of my career, which is a few decades now, having been an executive, I no longer let anyone define me. I define what I do, how I do it, and what I’m going to bring to the table. I set expectations for myself and for the CEO because what has happened in the past is that I took the back seat. Then I’m like, well, why is it that they’re not listening to me? Why is it that I have all these great ideas, and I get the, “Oh, that’s marketing. That is marketing”? I have rename myself marketing in order to get respect.
Jamie: I call it out from day one, “Here’s what I’ll do for you. Here’s what I expect to deliver. Here’s how you can measure me, my success, and here’s how we’ll challenge each other and we’ll grow together.” When I say, “grow together,” I mean the entire organization. If you can do that with clarity and confidence, and then you deliver—and it doesn’t have to be exact, but it gives them confidence that you can deliver and execute—then you’ll get more runway, and you’ll actually get more respect. As soon as you lose that, or you’re sitting in the back of the bus, so to speak, I’d say, get on another bus.
Jamie: Try to ask for it upfront. You’ll still—
Renee: I’m sorry, go ahead.
Jamie: Yeah. I was gonna say, you’ll still have to earn it. Nothing’s given to you, and I think that because of our brand perceptions of being in this role of spenders and making things look pretty, that it takes a lot of hard work, but get the acumen. Know what they’re talking about. When they have finance meetings, show up at all these meetings in these different conversations. I love to go into P&L conversations, not cuz I like to know exactly how all of the math works, but I want to know, when it comes down to the bottom line, how I’m gonna affect margin. I didn’t get a finance degree, and I don’t necessarily can produce a full P&L without an error, but I at least can have a conversation about what those numbers mean and how I’m attributing to their success and/or failure [laughter] of reaching that goal.
Renee: I love that you define, “Here’s what I’m gonna do for you, and here’s how you can measure me,” because I would imagine that, working with different companies, you probably bump up against different perceptions of what a CMO should be. Right?
Renee: You’re basically defining it for them. No, this is what it is, and this is the stuff you should care about.
Jamie: Uh huh. That’s why I love this conversation about, “Well, how could I just help you achieve your goals?”
Jamie: I mean, do you wanna grow? How have things been performing for you over the last couple of years? Not great? Great, so you want to change that trajectory. You want to go on a different path. You’re looking to achieve a different goal. What if I help you do that?
Jamie: You can define me as a marketer to do that. You can define me as helping in sales. You can define me as a strategist, but in the end, it’s just about executing and putting programs and methods and tactics, and empowering people within the organization to achieve that goal. I’m kind of an anti-label person anyway, so it probably fits who I am, and is a little bit disruptive to some organizational thinking, but I do feel that if you can just help others achieve their goals, you’ll be successful, no matter what you put on your title, or how you label yourself or the function that you run.
Renee: Yeah. This was such a great conversation, Jamie. You have such a great background and experience to share with everybody, so thank you for your time today. I always ask my guests a bonus question. My bonus question for you is: What do you like most about being a marketer?
Jamie: I love the fact that it is changing all the time, and that I don’t know what I don’t know. I live in that box a lot, but I will find out. If you like to put together puzzles, you like the gamification of it all, if you like being measured by that accomplishment through learning, then I think you’re an exceptional marketer. If you like doing the same thing over and over again, I don’t think marketing’s for you.
Renee: Not anymore anyway. [Laughter]
Jamie: That’s right. That’s right. I think we all outlived that about 20 years ago.
Renee: [Laughter] Change is the name of the game. Well, thank you so much, Jamie, for being on. We really appreciate it. We’d love to have you back another time.
Jamie: Absolutely. Thank you so much, and continued great success in what you’re doing, Renee. Thanks for the conversation.
Renee: Thanks, Jamie.
[End of Interview]