Every month in the Green Room Ian Truscott poses a question to our Rockstar CMOs that’s top of mind for us in the Rockstar CMO penthouse. As this issue drops during the season of goodwill, we’re thinking about gifts. So we wondered, what would this fine and generous band of marketers gift to our marketing community? 

Whatever your tradition, if you like it or loath it, this time of year is arguably defined by marketing. One of the most obvious holiday icons was shaped by our Madison Avenue rockstar forebears, who did a rather fabulous job of claiming and shaping the traditional image of Santa Claus.

So, this month we played Secret Santa, asking our rockstars to don the Coca Cola red suit and put something under the tree, made famous by John D. Rockefeller (I’m kidding, it was Queen Victoria), as a gift to their fellow CMOs and our marketing community.

This month we are joined by Ted Rubin, John Andrews, Jenni Young, Amber Osborne, Christine Bailey and Wendy Bryant-Beswick. I asked them:

“If you were to don the Cocoa Cola red suit – what would you gift to the rest of the Rockstar CMO community?”

Ted Rubin

The gift of being good to people. 

“I have come to form an incredible distaste for the arrogance and hubris of so many executives. The courtesy of replying to an outreach from someone you know is just not that difficult. A simple acknowledgement is not hard, and really shouldn’t be too much of a demand on your ‘incredibly valuable’ time.

Seriously people, #BeGoodToPeople even when you don’t need something from them. #FollowThePath #RonR #H2H… #NoLetUp!

*P.S. I believe mid-level managers are learning from their senior execs, emulating them, and forming the same bad habits. Please remember that your brand is what you do; Your reputation is what people remember AND share! AND it’s what you are passing along to those who look up to you and you mentor, either intentionally or simply via your position.” 

Ted Rubin is a leading social marketing strategist, keynote speaker, Photofy CMO/advisor, MC/host for Brand Innovators Summits, speaker, author, provocateur. Ted is our resident rockstar and tells it straight in his regular column.

Jenni Young

The gift of headspace.

“My answer is headspace. Space to think gives you the chance to come up with great solutions. It’s absolutely no coincidence that some of the most creative and innovative companies have ‘thinking time’ built in to their work schedules and culture.”

Jenni Young is Managing Director at Partnership for Growth & Innovation (LBHF & Imperial College London) and the CMO of Tappit, a cashless payment platform for event organizers.

John Andrews

The gift of insight into real shopper behavior

“’Right message, right place, right time’ has always been a mantra for marketers, shopper-marketers especially. Digital originally promised to turbo-charge marketers’ ability to deliver on this goal, yet how many times has it fallen short, by overwhelming shoppers with needless messages that aren’t relevant at all?

So, actual shopper data, capturing real behavior, would be my gift, enabling marketers’ to get much closer to delivering on this objective.”

John Andrews is the head honcho at Photofy – a content creation app that enables users to transform ordinary photos into slick, professional images that can be easily shared on social platforms. Find out more about Photofy, and follow John on Twitter.

Amber Osborne

The gift of positivity

“For me, it would have to be putting out as much positivity as possible. The world really needs it right now. You don’t have to become a sugary sweet type of person to do this, even saying ‘hello’ to someone that looks like they are going through a rough time, or shooting someone a smile can brighten up one’s day.”

Amber Osborne is CMO at Doghead Simulations – the company behind rumii, a social-virtual reality space that enables collaboration in VR. When we went backstage with Amber, she revealed that mandatory Karaoke is on her Rockstar CMO Rider, which is our favorite request so far. 

Wendy Bryant-Beswick

The gift of a cocktail of creativity, smarts and tech

“In today’s world of marketing, embrace change, keep learning, understand the data and know how you can leverage technology. Businesses are now moving faster than ever, and marketing is a critical piece of the puzzle.

Having that blend of creativity, strong business knowledge and marketing technology will help you move the needle wherever you go.”

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. Go backstage with Wendy.

Christine Bailey

A packed stocking of many Gifts!

“Dinner with your most unhappy customers.  It doesn’t sound like the most obvious source of fun, but your most unhappy customers are probably your greatest source of learning.

I’m a self-confessed bookworm, so my gift list has to have some books on it:

A face to face conversation (oh dear, have we all gone “too digital”?)

If your temperature rises when people write your instead of you’re and add apostrophes for plural’s (see what I did there?), then gift the book “Eats, shoot and leaves” by Lynne Truss.  Trust me, it’s genius!  If you haven’t got the stomach for a whole book on this topic, try a Grammarly subscription instead!

If it’s a marketing book you’re after, I’m currently reading “Smarketing” – a new book out by my friends Tim Hughes and Adam Gray (with a great foreword from Ted Rubin!)

Want something a bit more light-hearted?  Try “how not to be a dick” by Meghan Doherty.

My favourite xmas cracker joke: why is Stormzy so upset this Christmas? Answer: someone criticized his wrapping….

Have you ever watched “Dearth of a salesman” by Steve Coogan? It makes great Christmas viewing with your sales colleagues!  The scene where he warms himself up in the mirror aka “I am a tiger” always has me giggling.

The best Christmas card I received this year (thanks Jane Scandurra!) contained alternative new year’s resolutions.  Instead of “eat healthy, exercise more and lose weight” she proposed:

  • Feed my mind and enhance learning to add more value
  • Drop old habits and beliefs that no longer serve me well
  • Strengthen my personal brand and energize my professional network

And finally, I love a great quote!  If you do too, check out my TEDx Talk ‘unconventional career advice’”

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 for Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems, and writes frequently for Forbes Woman. Read more.

From me, the Editor…

The gift of Steve Jobs on Marketing.

“For many, the tradition at this time of year is to use the holidays as a great excuse to relax in front of an old movie and so I would gift the classic “Steve Jobs on Marketing” speech on Youtube.

Maybe Jobs is a bit of a divisive character, but, like all good Christmas movies, his themes here continue to resonate. From a time when he returned to Apple back in the late 90’s, his speech touches on the same things we’re still talking about in content marketing today:

  • We need a single, authentic story based on core values.
  • This story needs to be clearly told, to cut through the noise and distraction in the market.
  • This story also needs be relevant to the buyer.
  • It’s not about features, but the story around the product, and how that makes the buyer feel.
  • That feeling should be aligned to who your buyer aspires to be.

Like Die Hard, officially now a Christmas movie, it is worth watching again…”

Thank you and happy holidays to all our Rockstar CMO Secret Santas, and to you for reading and sharing this goodwill to all marketing people. 

If you would suggest a gift to our marketing community, what would it be? Join our rockstars and share something in the comments below.

Ready to rock?

Fancy a chat about this? Or maybe we can help with our advisory services or get in touch!


Join hundreds of your peers and get your weekly fix of marketing street knowledge from the Rockstar CMO community.

Share this article