Global Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Business Development at Siegel+Gale, Margaret Molloy is renowned for bringing sense and sensibility – a potent blend of analytics and creative thinking – to everything she does. Ian Truscott sat down with the Forbes Top 5 Most Influential CMO on Social Media to talk about the power of simplicity, always staying relevant to the customer, and building brands into movements. 

What would be top of your rider for your next marketing gig?

At the top of my rider would be mission. I’m very mission-driven, so it’s essential to work for an entity that has an objective I believe in and buy into. At Siegel+Gale, we believe in helping our clients realize the power of simplicity.

I’ll always aspire to work at an organization where I share the values and where the organization embodies them—they don’t just appear on a poster. I am continually energized by Siegel+Gale’s three core values: smart, nice and unstoppable. We bring them to life in our recruiting and how we reward everyone on the team. 

What or who are your marketing influencers?

I was influenced by Nitin Nohria, the Dean of Harvard Business School. Taking his class, Leadership in Business Development, made me recognize that a CMO’s job is to get action completed through people. At this stage of my career, it’s not about functional expertise. It’s about the ability to understand, motivate and influence people. 

If I was Spotify, what would I play for you first thing Monday morning to get you going?

I would play Abba’s ‘Take a Chance on Me’. It’s important to start the week with high energy and what better way than classic disco. Marketing and business development are fundamentally about inspiring people to choose you, especially at an agency, so it’s a fitting soundtrack.

The curtain pulls back, you step out on the stage of your new marketing gig – what do you open with? 

“Simple is smart.” The enduring lesson that will stay with me from Siegel+Gale is the power of simplicity. Everyone needs a simplifier.

The audience is dancing in the aisles, it loves that track. What keeps the house jumping?

To sustain success, you must stay humble and not become complacent. Sales and marketing are about staying relevant to the customer. Never lose sight that the real rock star isn’t you, it’s the customer; the spotlight should always be on them. 

“Stay humble and don’t become complacent. Marketing is about staying relevant to the customer. Never lose sight that the real rock star isn’t you, it’s the customer; the spotlight should always be on them.”

You’re playing a huge stadium; how do you know the audience can hear your tune?

At Siegel+Gale we measure everything, from top of the funnel through to account extensions. We know our programs are working when we see increased awareness, engagement with our content, being invited to more opportunities, more closes, and ultimately, customer advocacy. 

If there was a billboard chart for marketing trends, what would be your Number 1?

At the top of the chart would be employee engagement. Employees are at the forefront of brands and have become the new influencers. Whether it is in-store or digital, when the customer experiences the brand, they are interacting with the work product of its employees. Dedicating ample time and resources to employee engagement is a necessity.

What would you throw from your hotel window into the Rockstar CMO pool?

The stereotype that marketing is all surface and no substance. It’s not solely about aesthetics or event planning—marketing is a strategic blend of art and science.

What’s got you rocking today?

In branding, the transition from words and images to experiences has been fascinating. Today, CMOs are aspiring to build brands that are movements, not monuments. It’s an exhilarating time to be in marketing. 

If there was a marketing hall of fame, who would you induct?

While not a traditional marketer, I’d induct poet Maya Angelou. Her quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” applies to brands and how they make people feel.

Any final words before you drop the mic? 

Execution is the ultimate differentiation. 

For more on Margaret, follow her on Twitter.

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