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CMO Club Spotlight: Shelia Reed of Aspire Financial Services

The CMO Club
November 11, 2015


This week, we’re turning the spotlight onto Shelia Reed, CMO of Aspire Financial Services and Tampa Chapter President.

Shelia Reed, CMO of Aspire Financial Services and Tampa Chapter President

Shelia Reed, CMO of Aspire Financial Services and Tampa Chapter President

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

I’ve had a significant number of exciting challenges and opportunities during my career, including my current role as CMO at Aspire. But I have to say that hands down my favorite job was Global Director at KPMG Consulting/BearingPoint where I was responsible for the Global Corporate and Brand Management activities, leading the global rebranding program, building worldwide consensus, and introducing a new brand messaging platform. We developed a fully integrated brand architecture and go-to-market strategy in 90 days and delivered it to 16,000 employees and a vast client base in 130 countries all on the same launch day. Simultaneously, announcing the acquisition of Anderson Consulting’s global footprint and transitioning from NASDAQ to NYSE.

I’m pleased that the industry also recognized this initiative. According to the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (TSMA) and industry analyst firms, the BearingPoint rebranding was one of the largest, most recognized integrated rebranding efforts that was managed with a fraction of the cost of other professional services rebranding efforts.

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

  • Tenacity
  • Collaboration
  • Compassion

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

My role as Global Director at KPMG Consulting/BearingPoint was my “inflection point.” The broad-and-deep exposure working with the worldwide executive team, overseeing marketing communications, advertising, global brand management, vertical marketing, sport sponsorships and media relations, including the corporate-wide marketing through the IPO and the transition from the NASDAQ to the NYSE, prepared me for the role of CMO. I value this rigorous and entrepreneurial training ground based on relentless execution, which allows me to bring my strategic marketing skill set to the C-suite table to companies of all sizes.

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

  • Knowledgeable and experienced
  • Strategic
  • Gut-wrenching passion
  • Collaborative
  • Creative

5. What technology are you looking forward to using or implementing for your brand?

From the past – to the present – to future, measuring key performance metrics are crucial. Therefore, continuing to build and refine the team’s scorecard. The technology component is in two parts. One – a marketing project management tool integrated with the company’s adopted CRM application to support the trafficking of an in-house agency workflow and lead generation workflow, Microsoft Dynamics.

6. Which book would you recommend to your fellow Heads of Marketing right now?

Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith. The book encapsulates the transformation of marketing the widget to marketing the total value. Key word ‘total’. This includes fully considering the eco-system involved. The book outlines all levels of consideration to marketing, the intangibles, the non-apparent value and the mindfulness approach to think about the unforeseen elements of influencing decision making.

7. Name one CMO who impresses you today and tell us why.

Beth Comstock, recent Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer at GE (current Vice Chair). Beth brings her own high level of innovation to a company that consistently delivers innovative marketing. She knows how to rethink and reinvent established businesses, disrupts the global industry positively, doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and knows that one of the keys to success is hiring great people.

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

“If you do not go after what you want—you’ll never have it.”

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