Delivering and Communicating Marketing’s Value to Your Organization.

Christopher Tebbet of Starbucks, on delivering and communicating Marketing’s value to your organization, as part of the CMO Club Seattle Chapter dinner and roundtable event, held on October 23rd, 2018.


 CMO Club Seattle Chapter Dinner and Roundtable, October 23rd, 2018

Key Takeaways

 Christopher Tebben

 VP Category Brand Management at Starbucks.

  • Reorganization. It happens to everyone at one time or another. Sometimes you need to choose employees who can add to their skill set, and sometimes you need to build focused teams, BUT teams that will cooperate and “share the wins.”
  • Connecting People Bonus.  This is one way to get teams to work together. Instead of each team fighting for shelf space, menu panels or “wins” selling into specific verticals, you find a way to incentivize those who will work across siloed departments.
  • “Fail Quickly.” This is one of the harder concepts to institute in a reorganization. In some employees’ minds, this equates to “get fired quickly.” If employees see many of their co-workers let go, they may be very wary of having permission to “fail quickly.” Some might think it is a way for management to rationalize the final nail for their corporate coffin.
  • Implementing Marketing Automation.  It is always easier the second time around. Too often, during the first implementation, we get caught up in everything the platform can do, and try to do everything all at once. Work on implementing “the essentials,” otherwise, you’re trying to train too many people in too many areas. That increases your chance for a disappointing implementation.
  •  The success of any Marketing plan is directly proportional to the enthusiasm of those in the field. Spend time in the field seeing what the front-line people have to go through to learn, train, and execute that new implementation menu item. You HAVE to get buy-in from your Sales team in the planning and roll-out or else it’s “another crazy idea that Marketing is sending to the field from their ivory tower.”
  • I.T.C.E.D. (“It’s The Customer Experience, Dummy!”) New items and programs are great, but more and more, it is all about the customer experience. Eye contact, that smile, calmly listening and empathizing with the customer’s frustration all play into their experience. Even in this digital world, the customer craves personalized attention. You can give it to them EVEN as they are speeding through the drive-thru lane.
  • Who Owns the Customer? From B2C to B2B, from attraction through renewal, more and more, the CMO is becoming “the owner” of the customer and the customer experience. This makes it even more important for marketing to “own” the customer data and the record of all touches.  That is how the Marketing Team will be able to provide the unique, personalized customer experience that your customer knows you can provide to them. If you don’t have the technology to do that, it’s easier to buy then build to meet your needs.
  • Personal Engagement.  In a world of technology, looking at ways to use it to better engage with Millennials and older generations, personal engagement with certain audiences can be your competitive advantage. This works either in tandem with technology or as a replacement for it. Going against the grain to connect with the older audience is an example.


Pictured from left to right: Christopher McKnight, Craig Rowley, Elena Windgate, Jennfier Wong, Chris Tebben, Jennifer Davis, Jay Coblentz, Clint Hughes, Mike Melazzo.

Pictured from left to right:
Christopher McKnight, Craig Rowley, Elena Windgate, Jennfier Wong, Chris Tebben, Jennifer Davis, Jay Coblentz, Clint Hughes, Mike Melazzo.