Trish Shortell to lead a CMO Panel Discussion on the Changing Face of the M-suite at the DMA Strategic CMO Summit in October

Trish Banner LongDigital innovations and big data and analytics are challenging all aspects of businesses and changing the face of the M-suite. The role of marketing is in turn evolving: becoming increasingly data and technology-driven and intertwined in business strategy and outcomes. Marketing is no longer just about brand equity and creativity – it is also about using market technologies to deepen customer knowledge and predict behavior, improve the customer experience from start to finish, and show tangible ROI. The M-suite is now a key influencer in overall business success.

Big data and analytics are game changers for the M-suite. A McKinsey analysis found that companies that put data at the center of marketing and sales decisions improve their marketing return on investment (MROI) by 15 – 20 percent. Effectively harnessing data allows marketers to get complete pictures of their customers, target them with personalized pitches, and increase sales. Those that use big data and analytics effectively show productivity rates and profitability that are 5 – 6 percent higher than those of their peers. But the greatest challengChanging Face Icone for CMOs today is figuring out how to effectively utilize this data.

A Boston Consulting Group (BCG) survey found a majority of CMOs to be sorely lacking in digital acumen – they scored an average of 57 out of 100 on the study’s Digital Capabilities Index. This needs to change. Today’s CMO must not only be a competent, creative brand builder, but must also be digitally savvy, commercially minded, analytically astute, visionary, and collaborative.  As the lines between the CMO, CIO, and CTO blur, CMOs must work closely with these departments to implement digital and data strategies and avoid functional silos. Today’s CMO must lead a multidisciplinary team comprised of tech experts, creatives, data analysts, digital and social media experts, sales people, and traditional marketing types.

In this era of digital transformation, leadership at the highest level is in a state of flux as new challenges and opportunities confront the C-suite. When it comes to marketing, the most strategic of leaders are faced with serious questions: Should the CMO take a seat at the table? How does the CMO work with the CIO or the CTO for the benefit of the organization? What characteristics should marketing executives have in this new data-driven, brand-building, emotionally-connected world?

On October 17, Trish Shortell, of the Brand Publishing Faculty and managing director at RSR Partners, will host a panel at DMA’s Strategic Summit to examine these fundamental issues and more. Composed of four highly regarded leaders in the field, the panel – entitled “The Changing Face of the M-suite” – will address marketing’s need to shift into higher gear and identify:

•    The M-suite’s role and how it is becoming more influential to overall business success;
•    The increasing pressure and expectations;
•    The use of data and analytics, their most important challenge; and
•    The new skills set needed for transformation, and how to acquire them.

Our expert panelists include:

•    Alma Derricks, vice president, sales and marketing, Cirque du Soleil;
•    Thoryn Stephens, chief digital officer, American Apparel;
•    Lucy Rainey, senior vice president, consumer marketing, Comcast Cable; and
•    Ivan Wicksteed, former chief marketing officer, Old Navy.


The DMA’s Strategic Summit is an exclusive, invitation-only event for marketing executives attending &THEN and active VPs and above. The summit – which is hosted at the LA Convention Center on October 17 – is a forum for sharing ideas, insights, and actions needed to round out your planning season for 2017.

We look forward to seeing you there!REGISTER OCTOBER 17