The modern CMO must be both right- and left-brained. It’s not
enough to be creative — you have to be analytical, too. Man or
woman—it doesn’t matter: the CMO of the digital world has to be
good at everything. Ground-breaking campaigns only matter if they
yield a positive ROI.
Here are four women who show how a strong CMO fuses the creative
with the analytical to produce exceptional results for their
1. Deloitte Digital, Alicia
Alicia Hatch leads Deloitte Digital’s marketing efforts and
has spearheaded the billion-dollar Halo franchise’s marketing
At Deloitte Digital, however, she’s more than just a creative
thinker—she has positioned Deloitte Digital to disrupt the
advertising world. In Hatch’s words: “We’re making creativity
more important than ever by tying it more closely to the heart of
business strategy and industry insights.”
Hatch has launched numerous initiatives across Deloitte’s
content and commerce systems as well. She was a huge part of John
Hancock’s decision to switch over to Deloitte from Hill Holiday.
When Transamerica came to Deloitte to reinvent their retirement
offerings, Hatch was at the forefront. Her innovative strategy
brought in an eclectic team, ranging from ethnographers to data
scientists, to provide a dynamic and holistic approach.
Alicia gives the following advice for paving the future: “if
you become comfortable with that gray area—the space where you
know you don’t know the answer—you only have a tremendous
opportunity in front of you.”
2. VMware, Robin Matlock
Robin Matlock sits at the marketing helm of VMware. Her vision
is a results-driven one. “We have to facilitate a conversation
that is anchored around business outcomes,” she says.
”Everything we do as marketers … is to help sellers start those
Robin’s strategy for transformation is rooted in data. She is
making a major impact by tracking engagement to improve customer
experience. One of the major insights she gained from this is that
leads that are touched by VMware’s marketing efforts convert at
double the rate as leads only touched by sales.
In addition, she specializes in running a highly data-driven
global marketing team. What does engagement mean for vertical
markets? Who are the target personas? What actions are they
It’s not enough to say if someone from Firm X watched an
educational video, Matlock needs to know how they watched it. Did
they sit through it from start to finish? Did they skip around? Did
they promote it via social media? To really transform a pipeline,
Matlock believes you need to get granular to get accurate.
3. Twitter, Leslie Berland
Leslie Berland is not only the CMO of one of the world’s tech
darlings, but she’s also its first CMO. Hired in 2016, she
pioneered Twitter’s self-awareness campaign, an issue it hadn’t
addressed in its first decade as a business.
She started the famous #SeeEverySide campaign, showcasing the
multitude of ideas and perspectives across the Twitterverse. This
was more than just a promotional effort — it was essential to the
inner-workings at Twitter.
— Erin (Twomey) Turner (@erinleeturner)
August 3, 2017
Berland spoke on this: “That was very anchoring and grounding
for us as a company. And it is where our product strategy is
focused—showing what’s happening, what matters, news and
information as it unfolds.”
Perhaps the most iconic part of this campaign was when they
posted the single word “The” to their page and allowed users to
run with it from there.
Among her many skills, she has an uncanny ability to focus on
both the inner- and outer-facing operations at Twitter—so much so
that she is now the acting head of HR. Her title “CMO and Head of
People” is not only a clever variation on the archaic “human
resources” — it’s part of her strategy to build a better
4. SoFi, Joanne Bradford
It’s tough referring to SoFi as “startup” after 2015 when
it raised a cool billion in funds and recruited veteran marketing
executive Joanne Bradford.
Bradford, who served Microsoft, Yahoo, and Pinterest, among
others, is another of the rare right brain/left-brain CMOs on this
list. For starters, prior to serving as CMO, she was their
COO—which is a testament to her analytical and leadership
Her talents were critical in scaling and growth, where she has
been instrumental in securing new partnerships and growing their
member base. Engagement and leveraging Member Success programs were
her bread and butter in these efforts, and the results are
staggering. In her time with SoFi, the company has exceeded half a
Perhaps the most iconic story about Bradford was locking down
overtime Super Bowl ad ever. Understanding the value of
awareness, she created the ad on a shoestring budget of $10,000 and
filmed it in under a week. Due to her efforts, SoFi’s brand
awareness has grown more than 10-fold in just three years.
A Dynamic Future for Marketing
Competition in the marketing space is fiercer than ever as the
field becomes more sophisticated and analytical. That’s not to
discount creativity, however—it’s as essential as ever before.
But in the 21st century, creativity has to be fueled by data (and
vice versa) in order to create the perfect storm for business
growth and development.
This mantra is well understood by these four women, who are
paving the way for the future of marketing. The smart marketer will
make sure to follow their lead, coupling left- and right-brain
innovation to deliver dynamic, powerful results for their