It’s been a crazy year, find out what our rocks star CMOs have found to be thankful for and what gifts of advice they would share with us, as we join them in the Green Room.

The Geen Room, where each month we go through the velvet rope to catch-up with the CMO’s we’ve spent time with during our Backstage Q&A series. We hang out, not just because the drinks are free, but to ask a question relevant to our theme.

With this issue sitting between the holidays, we asked two questions, what advice would they give as a gift to us marketers, and what could they find to be thankful in such a difficult and crazy 2020?

Kate Bradley Chernis

Best advice: marketing “the hard way” – the way no one wants to do it, the one-to-one way, the analog way, if you will – always reaps the largest dividends. There is no shortcut to caring about what your customers care about. You can automate everything else. But the actual caring part, that’s gotta be you.

I’m thankful for you and every other lovely human who has selflessly, spontaneously and in many cases, surprisingly lifted my little-engine-that-could up in ways I wouldn’t have imagined. How will I ever hug the entire “village” that it continues to take for their collective kindness?

Kate Bradley Chernis is the Founder & CEO of Lately, which uses Artificial Intelligence to automatically transform blogs, videos and podcasts into dozens of amazing social posts.

Learn more from when we went backstage with Kate and when she joined us on the podcast.

Wendy Bryant Beswick

2020 has been unusual, to put it mildly. For me, I am incredibly thankful for my team and my peers. Without either, we would not have successfully performed this year.

Our marketing team pushed through so much COVID support to our membership throughout the year, and our credit union waived fees and created 0% loans helping consumers and small businesses get the help they needed.

Wendy Bryant-Beswick is an award-winning marketer with 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry. She is currently VP of Marketing at Service Credit Union. 

Find out more about Wendy from when we went backstage with her or listen to her interview on the podcast

Eric Jan van Putten

If 2020 told us anything, it is that you need to be ready for anything or even more importantly, able to change your plans accordingly. Marketing in 2020 was a rollercoaster. Not only did we have to shift to work from home with complete teams, but many also needed to reconfigure the plans and available budget significantly while still producing enough results to feed the sales engine. This surely wasn’t an easy feat for all organizations or industries.

Marketing Technology and, in particular, eCommerce saw enhanced growth due to organizations speeding up their digital transformation with the goal of staying in business. Although technology, and its implementation, has become easier to purchase, integrate, and get to work, data governance is under pressure.

My tip would be to build an organization and marketing department that is digitally savvy, data-driven, and able to respond fast to changing situations. This translates into the right people, processes, and technology. The right combination of this and you will have a team that is able to cope with almost any situation.

Eric Jan van Putten is VP Marketing at Dynamicweb. Eric’s experience over the last 15 years ranges from field marketing to marketing operations to leading marketing in international software vendor companies

You can learn more about Eric when we went backstage with him.

Christine Bailey

What one piece of marketing advice would I give this year?

In the words of that famous song by Scottish indie pop band Orange Juice in 1983…

“Rip it up and start again!”

Ok, maybe a bit drastic, but the world has changed so dramatically this year it’s time to go to that square in the Eisenhower box and think about what is “important, but not urgent”. We need to question all our previous assumptions and analyze our data – the gateway to understanding what makes our customers tick.

Humans are unpredictable creatures. What they say is one thing (how often have you said something because you know it’s what someone wanted to hear?), but what they do is quite another.

Insight is invaluable to us because it tells us about behaviour and why humans act in the way that they do. Never has it been more important to understand our customers and to find ways to build deeper, more emotional connections with them.

What am I thankful for this year?

It’s been a tough year for everyone, that’s for sure! I am thankful that I finally got to tick something on my bucket list – publishing my first book on customer insight strategies. Delayed for several months due to COVID, but I got there in the end. I’m enormously grateful to the 33 marketing practitioners and academics who generously gave up their time to share their expert opinions and case studies, as well as the 9 people who read and reviewed the book. A big thank you to them all!

Dr. Christine Bailey is CMO of Valitor, an international payment solutions company headquartered in Iceland. Forging a career in the tech sector, she’s led European marketing functions for Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems and was recently voted #1 woman in tech by B2B Marketing. Christine is also the author of Customer Insight Strategies.

Learn more about Christine in our backstage Q&A or when she joined us on the podcast.


Not just to our wonderful Rockstar CMO contributors, but to you for reading, liking, and sharing – it’s been a crazy year for sure, thank you!

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