Spotlite – Key Marketing Priorities for 2021

A bitesized report built out from insights provided by the marketing leaders looking to transform their marketing strategies for 2021.


Challenges to Marketing Strategies in 2021 Include:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Lead Generation
  • Ensuring Business Growth

All solutions that the CMO is expected to resolve.

Here were the round-up inflection points* from global marketing leaders – perfect for the CMO on the move.

*Insights taken from the GDS Group North American CMO Brand insight summits in April and June.

Empathy, Trust, and the CMO Amy Fuller, Chief Marketing Officer, Accenture

A Keynote discussion on the new marketing playbook which stresses compassion and adds empathy.

  • The Importance of Empathy: “Empathy is the breakout star. The new playbook absolutely must be grounded in empathy, It’s not just about understanding the audience, which has always been a key ingredient to marketing, but it’s also understanding more about where they are coming from and what they are experiencing.”
  • Value in Purpose: “Purpose does not equal social impact statement. Purpose needs to be rooted into the value of what you drive day in day out.”
  • Newfound Marketing Agility: “Speed and agility are now the calling cards of marketing, more than they ever have been.”

Leading with Values and Purpose During The PandemicSteve Lesnard, Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Product Creation, The North Face

A Keynote presentation focused on the importance of values and purpose to the modern consumer.

  • The World in 2021: “The world is not fair or equal enough, there is not enough representation. The world is on fire and we have to reset our approach to sustainability. After months being cooped up inside there is a renewed energy to reset your mindset around exploration.”
  • Being Genuine: “If you show up to some of the key cultural moments like Black History Month, International Women’s Day, Pride, do it authentically. Show us you’re helping the community.”
  • Providing Value to the Consumer: “We’re going to come to try to inspire our community to push themselves and do things that they’ve never done before or do things for the thousandth time, but do it differently.”

The Business of Experience: The CMO’s Next ChapterGinny Cartwright Ziegler, Chief Marketing Officer, Accenture, North America

A Keynote on the changing role of the CMO and how they should situate themselves for the future.

  • Changing Consumer: “In times of really intense disruption, the needs and expectations of the customer are changing all the time, they’re truly fluid between product and service categories.”
  • Values: “Brands are under intense pressure to stand for something bigger than what they sell. 8 out of 10 consumers say that a brand’s purpose is just as important as having a great experience.”
  • Exceptional CX: “The foundation of creating exceptional experiences starts with inspiring your people, to not just buy into your brand but to embody it.”

Creativity as a Source of Competitive AdvantageFernando Machado, Chief Marketing Officer, Activision Blizzard. Previously, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Restaurant Brands International

A keynote seminar on using creativity as a competitive advantage for your marketing strategies in 2021.

  • Creativity: “Creativity needs to be embedded in everything you do, it can be a dollar multiplier, it can make people pay attention to what you’re doing and can make you stand out in a sea of clutter and people who aren’t paying attention.”
  • Advertising: “If it looks like an ad, sounds like an ad and smells like an ad, then it probably isn’t a good ad.”
  • Iteration: “When something doesn’t work, just be honest about it, learn from it and do better next time.”

Creating a Branded Culture: Growing your Brand from Within – Dr. Jerome Joseph, Chief Executive Officer for The Brand Theatre Worldwide & Best-Selling Author and Keynote Speaker

A keynote on how CMOs can employ policies and processes to help more effectively develop brand.

  • Consistency: “For consistency to happen, there needs to be reminders, but there’s also a need to have a reach, it’s not confined just to the leadership team, or the sales team, it has to be across all your departments and offices around the world.”
  • Empowering Staff: We live in a changing world and in this day and age, it is so crucial for us to empower our people to go out there and deliver powerful branded content. People buy from people.
  • Understanding: “Ask yourself this question, from my receptionist to my CEO if they do not understand or believe in my brand, how do we expect our customers to?

The Future of Marketing TalentHeather Malenshek, Chief Marketing Officer, Land O’Lakes

A keynote to help guide CMOs on the skills & personalities to look for in the recruitment process.

  • Future Priorities: “It isn’t just about the skillset we need today but the skill set that will really help us to take things into the future.”
  • Shifting Landscape: “The speed of change is going to accelerate, the complexity is going to increase and we’re likely to be in this war on talent with companies fighting it out to get the very best on the team.”
  • Simplicity: “I think these days it’s very important to have people who are able to bring a level of simplicity to complex issues.”

CMO Brand: H1 2021 – In Summary

Bitesized insights from leaders discussing transformational change at one of the most senior marketing networking events in the world.

Read our more extensive marketing report here: ‘6 Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) on Marketing Strategies for 2021’.

GDS Summits are tailored 3-day virtual event conferences that bring together business leaders and solution providers to accelerate sales cycles, industry conversations and outcomes. CMO Brand: 88% of Delegates said their overall experience was Above Average or Excellent and 88% of Sponsors said the quality of their 121 meetings was either Above Average or Excellent.

To learn more about how GDS is helping companies across industries, click here to hear from some of our past attendees.

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