Hulu; Taco Bell; Burger King; Mastercard; Olivia Raeney/Business Insider
- With the $221 billion US ad industry facing disruption on several fronts, the chief marketing officer’s role is more complex than ever.
- CMOs have to navigate fragmented consumer attention, pioneer new ad models, and grapple with competition from direct-to-consumer upstarts.
- Here’s Business Insider’s fourth annual ranking of the CMOs who most stand out in overcoming these challenges.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
With the $221 billion ad industry in the US facing disruption on several fronts, the job of the CMO has gotten greater in scope, scale, and complexity.
Marketing chiefs have to not only capture increasingly fragmented consumer attention but also pioneer new advertising models. They have to navigate sometimes fraught relationships with the digital ad giants and often compete with direct-to-consumer upstarts upending traditional marketing.
With CMOs becoming increasingly important in the C-suite as stewards steering their organizations through such seismic shifts, Business Insider is recognizing those rising to the occasion.
They don’t all necessarily hold the CMO title, but are senior marketing executives at consumer-facing brands who are affecting change in their own companies and the industry at large.
Here’s our fourth annual ranking of the world’s most innovative CMOs. Like last year, we named 25 honorees to the list this year. Scroll on to see the marketers who made the cut.
We relied on a mix of our own reporting, nominations from readers, and the recommendations of an advisory council to narrow down the finalists. We then put the names up to a vote, with the council giving each nominee a rank between 1 and 25. We based the final rankings on the average scores.
Our advisory council was made up of Medialink’s chief transformation officer Dana Anderson, R3 cofounder and principal Greg Paull, Forrester analyst Jay Pattisall, and former 360i chairwoman and comScore president Sarah Hofstetter. The CMOs were ranked based on:
- How effectively they married creativity, science, and technology in their campaigns.
- How they’re wresting more control of their marketing by rethinking traditional advertising models.
- If they mastered the art of storytelling across platforms and pushed the boundaries of creativity.
- How they demonstrated that they can ably respond to disruption.
- How they’re helping to move organizations, spur innovation, drive business growth, and shape cultural narratives.
The other factors we considered were the size of the executive’s brand; how much the brand’s footprint grew in the past year; the extent of their role and responsibilities; their influence in the marketing and advertising industry; and whether their marketing efforts drove their company’s performance.
25. Linda Boff, Chief Marketing Officer, GE
Keeping a brand that’s over 100 years old relevant is no easy feat, but this 16-year veteran has delivered on the task through the years by humanizing GE through real-life applications of its technologies and using cultural moments to promote itself.
For example, Boff recently drove creative executions including sponsoring The New York Times Magazine’s audio "Voyages" issue and partnered with fashion designer Zac Posen to 3D-print a sculptural dress worn by model Jourdan Dunn at the Met Gala.
24. Kristin Lemkau, Chief Marketing Officer, JPMorgan Chase
Lemkau has been at the forefront of the movement to clarify the murky digital advertising landscape, pushing the industry to deal with ad fraud and brand safety.
She slashed the number of sites that JPMorgan Chase advertises on and pushed it to develop an algorithm to protect its brand on YouTube. She also worked on the "End Family Fire" campaign to promote gun safety alongside the AdCouncil and Droga5.
She also launched a multiyear partnership with actor and comedian Kevin Hart to promote financial fitness and tout the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card, and has brought new talent on board, including Leanne Fremar and Andrew Knott as chief brand officer and chief media officer, respectively, to lead the company’s $5 billion ad budget.
23. David Rubin, Chief Marketing Officer, The New York Times
New York Times
With powerful campaigns like "The Truth is Hard" and its sequel, "The Truth is Worth It," The New York Times’ marketing under Rubin has mirrored its hard-hitting editorial coverage, making the case that quality journalism is worth paying for. And The Times has notched one banner subscription year after another, hitting 4.5 million paid subs earlier this year.
This year Rubin’s team has gone on to launch NYT Cooking and Crossword’s first campaigns and teamed with Everlane to raise awareness about climate-change journalism.
- A woman who has reviewed over 50,000 résumés says these are the 7 most annoying mistakes she sees
- Here’s what a 12-course meal at Lima’s Central — one of the best restaurants in the world — looks and tastes like
- Oreo maker Mondelez’s CEO is rejecting ad agencies’ normal pricing and pushing for them to have some skin in the game