June 20, 2024


Built General Tough

8 Powerhouse CMOs Discuss the Business of Marketing

“Once you get into the CMO job, only 10% of it is actual marketing. 90% is leadership,” stated CMO Moves Host and Adweek Chief Community Officer Nadine Dietz in her opening remarks. Viewers tuned into the jam-packed 2-hour live event to hear the wisdom, knowledge, and advice that only seasoned CMOs can offer based on experience. 

Nadine was joined by eight powerhouse C-Suite marketing leaders across major global brands: 

Alicia Tillman, global CMO of SAP 

Antonio Lucio, former Global CMO of Facebook 

Dara Treseder, Head of Global Marketing & Communications of Peloton 

Linda Boff, CMCO of GE and President of GE Foundation 

Marisa Thalberg, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer of Lowe’s Companies 

Martin Renaud, CMO of Mondelez International 

Raja Rajamannar, CMCO of Mastercard and President Healthcare Division of Mastercard 

Vineet Mehra, Global Chief Marketing and Customer Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance

The key theme woven throughout all eight conversations: The Business of Marketing.  Each speaker touched on the many interdependencies across the C-Suite, such as finance, technology, HR, the CEO perspective and more. With a focus on the different parts of the puzzle, each guest reminisced about career highlights and shared what they have done to rise to the very top in their fields. 

The event kicked off with SAP’s Tillman stating “There is not a function in a company that is not dependent on marketing to support their growth.” Building on how critical it is for the C-Suite to understand how to have clear connectivity across internal and external partners in order to drive growth together, Alicia and Nadine made an exciting announcement–SAP and Adweek will premier a new show together in 2021 called “The Business of Marketing” that dives deep into this intersectionality of Marketing, Finance, Technology, HR, and the Board Room. 

Building your Business Acumen is Not One-Size-Fits-All 

The topic of building your business and financial acumen was a common theme among both speakers and attendees who were able to submit questions throughout the live episode.  

Marisa Thalberg added how critical it is to be in sync with the frontlines of your business. “As someone who’s moved across different industries, I think it helps to make sure you really plug-in… Taking the time to see the those environments in action. Often, your frontlines—the retail associates for example—they take more pride in the brand than anyone,” said Thalberg. 

Recallingthe early days of CMO Moves, Dietz welcomed Lucio, former global CMO of Facebook and now an adviser on Adweek’s Board of Directors to the virtual stage, where he noted, “You earn the seat at the table by your business knowledge. You keep your seat at the table by your deep understanding of your customer. And then you transcend the chair by the magic of your storytelling once you agree on the business strategy and marketing objectives.”  

Developing Talent and Cultivating Unicorns 

Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Vineet Mehra dove into the notion of cultivating unicorns and the importance of balancing specialists and generalist talent across an organization. “Learning and retraining to become ‘a unicorn’ is a mind-set: curiosity, agility. It’s a desire to be open and curious, be humble enough and taking horizontal and down-step moves which will pay out in 10-15 years.” 

Mondelez’s CMO Martin Renaud discussed how he fosters growth and skill development across his team of marketers who serve both global and local brands. “My motto is ‘let’s go from good to great.’ We all need to speak the same language and [we] invested a lot in training our team in one way to market at Mondelez but the work needs to be done locally.”