CMO Spotlight Interview

CMO Club Spotlight: Trish Mueller of The Home Depot

Trish Mueller, CMO at The Home Depot, on how to stay focused and why keeping humble is essential for CMOs.
Trish Mueller, CMO, The Home Depot
Trish Mueller, CMO, The Home Depot

This week, we’re turning the spotlight onto Trish Mueller, CMO at The Home Depot and Atlanta Chapter member. 

1. What was your first (or favorite) job you’ve had?

The job I have right now – it’s an amazing time to be a CMO, and an honor to work at The Home Depot.

2. What are the three most important components for your personal and professional success?

  • Building a great team
  • Strong communication skills
  • Maintaining balance: Compartmentalize your time and focus on where you are at the moment. For instance, I stay off devices in meetings in order to engage and do the same thing at home.

3.  Name an “inflection point” experience that prepared you for your current (or most recent) position as a CMO or Head of Marketing. 

The time I spent at Sports Authority was very helpful to me. It prepared me for my current role because I learned how to think about marketing complexities, particularly with regard to seasonality and geography, both of which are factors in driving our business at The Home Depot.

4. What characteristics do you value most when hiring new marketing talent for your team? 

Courage, composure, competitiveness, curiosity

5. What technology are you looking forward to using or implementing at your company? 

It hasn’t been invented yet!  A time machine, so I can loop back and improve on what was already done, and add more time to the day.

6. Which book would you recommend to your fellow CMOs right now?  

The Effortless Experience – Conquering the New Battle Ground for Customer Loyalty. The main thought is not revolutionary but challenges our fascination with overshooting the mark on service.  According to the book, “Loyalty is driven by how well a company delivers on its basic promises and solves day-to-day problems, not on how spectacular its service experience might be. Most customers don’t want to be “wowed”; they want an effortless experience. And they are far more likely to punish you for bad service than to reward you for good service.”

7. Name one CMO or Head of Marketing who impresses you today and tell us why. 

I deeply respect Jim Farley because he weathered the downturn at Ford, came out the other side of it wiser and with a stronger brand, he has become a global leader in Europe, and he has continued to grow himself and the brand through innovation and good, old fashioned hard work.

8. Do you have a personal mantra, words of wisdom or favorite inspirational quote? 

I have many retail witticisms (my team delights in documenting them for posterity)! My favorite: “Retail is detail.” My wackiest (so they tell me): “Peacock one day, feather duster the next!” which is code for: stay humble.