1. What was your first (or favorite) job you’ve had?
My first job was working for the French subsidiary of the PC manufacturing Compuadd as a sales rep. I exploded all the quotas of the team and discovered my inclination for listening to people.
2. What are the three most important components for your personal and professional success?
Always staying on the cutting-edge of technology, being extremely curious and only working for people I truly care about (as opposed to working for products or markets). In real estate, brokers often tell you to focus on 3 criteria: location, location, location. In business – for me – I believe it’s about people, people, people.
3. Name an “inflection point” experience that prepared you for your current position.
I had a couple of inflection points during my career when I was ‘asked’ to leave because I was a rebel at work – trying to change the organization by implementing new technologies and processes. It took me several trials to finally realize that many people and brands claim they want to transform their organization, but very few have enough strength and courage to go through the pain of changing. My passion is to build exceptional customer experiences and – as everyone now knows – it requires not only technologies but most importantly the alignment of an entire organization in order to be effectively delivered.
4. What characteristics do you value most when hiring new marketing talent for your team?
Passion, curiosity and compassion. Hard skills can be acquired, soft skills determine who we are as people and team members.
5. What technology are you looking forward to using or implementing for your brand in the next six months?
I recently joined a CX Research Company that is originally from the UK and just opened their first US office in NYC. Building the foundation for Marketing, I’m excited to implement Netsuite (CRM), DiscoverOrg (sales intelligence), eCairn (social influencers) and either Act-on or Hubspot (marketing automation).
However, I truly believe that tools are like data – they don’t really matter as much unless you can apply them creatively to your deep understanding of your customers’ pains and desires.
6. Which book would you recommend to your fellow CMO Club members right now?
I have two: “The Business of Beliefs” by Tom Asacker, for organizations to understand how to make people believe in their products, and “I am Keats” from the same business author, for individuals to understand how not to believe in anyone else but themselves.
7. Name one Head of Marketing who impresses you today and tell us why.
I intentionally only follow a select few people on Twitter, but two of them are: Charles Pascalar, VP Global Marketing of Payless Shoes, at @, and Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, at @PaulPolman. I’m inspired by their desires to impact local communities through their organizations.
8. Do you have a personal mantra, words of wisdom or favorite inspirational quote?
“Less is More” – inspired by the new societal movement of Minimalism. I try to apply it to my own life as well as my digital marketing strategies.