Hi. I’m Thomas Barta. I study marketing leadership—the art and science of making change happen. Forget the grand corporate plan. In a fast-changing world, firms need brave leaders who dare to act. People who want forgiveness—not permission.

I’m a former partner of McKinsey. My research includes the world’s largest studyinvolving over 68,000 executive profileson what makes an impactful customer leader, in a digital, global world. On most days, I spread the word through keynotes, teaching, and writing. Occasionally I advise blue chip firms.


Subscribe to Thomas’s TryThis.Blog


What I’ve been up to (in a nutshell):

  • Former partner of McKinsey
  • Conducted the world’s largest study, involving over 68,000 assessments, on what makes an impactful customer leader
  • Led brands and major company transformations for over 20 years, in 14 industries, in 45 countries for many of the world’s top organizations, including over two dozen from the Fortune 500
  • Spoke to thousands of leaders at events for organizations such as Amazon, Adobe, Adweek New York, Financial Times, Google, Oracle, SAP
  • Wrote the #1 marketing leadership book The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader with Patrick Barwise
  • Organizational Psychologist
  • Former Dean, McKinsey leadership program
  • Leadership Dean of the global CMO Fellowship (a McKinsey and Marketing Academy JV that prepares CMOs to become CEOs)


‘Inspirational, powerful—simply 5 out of 5!’

– Emma Roborgh, CEO, B2B Marketing Leaders Forum

‘He has a unique ability to draw people in.’

– Catherine Tabaka, President & CEO HC North America, Sodexo

‘Dynamic, inspiring, and thought-provoking.’

– Marta Hasler DeBellis, VP Enterprise Marketing, Adobe

‘By far one of the best audience scores we’ve ever seen.’

— Joyce Joanne Verburg, Google


… on ditching your job description

… on leading marketing

… on leading digital change

… on marketers’ career diseases

Each year I speak at numerous events about change, digital transformation, the power of marketers, sparks, movements, and how to ditch the job description. My passion is to get onstage, make the case for change, and motivate people to act.

Act, to put customers first

Act, to transform the organization

Act, to make change happen

Example Keynotes

  • The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader

    Rethink your marketing role in a totally new way. Doing marketing isn’t the same as leading marketing. Learn how the world’s most successful marketers mobilize the C-suite, their peers, their teams, and themselves. The aim? More growth, more influence, and quite simply, more fun! (Also available as a ½-day or 1-day workshop.)

  • How to be brave

    How do you grow a business in times of rapid change? The “Silo Inc.” model has stopped working. Customers are too impatient, too well informed, and too powerful. Learn how customer heroes help firms crack the code on customer focus. Be your own influencer. Tackle big issues. And get your job description out of the way.

Digital Leader

Everyone knows that technology is crucial for long-term success. But knowing isn’t the same thing as acting. Too many executives struggle to get their companies to embrace digital transformation. Today’s leaders can’t just tell people what to do—not even the CEO can do that. Hear the success stories of effective mobilizers, and beat the barriers to change!

Customer Freak

What does it take to invent the next smartphone, Post-it note, or ice cream flavor that everyone wants? Business growth requires leaders who spark passion and inspire big dreams. People with fire in their eyes. These leaders ignite innovation and action in the people around them. Hear the success stories of today’s most inspirational customer leaders. Be the spark that lights the fire!

Thomas Live

Oct 11Festival of MarketingKeynote speakerLondon
Sep 13The CMO FellowshipMasterclass hostLondon
Sep 12The Marketing SocietyKeynote speakerLondon
Jul 04Richmond Marketing ForumKeynote speakerLake Lucerne
Jun 28TechManch ConferenceKeynote speakerMumbai
Jun 27censhare ecosphere days Keynote speakerMunich
Jun 04The Marketing Academy CMO FellowshipMasterclass hostLondon
Jun 03giffgaff, corporate eventKeynote speakerLondon
May 23B2B Marketing Leaders ForumKeynote speakerSydney
May 22Marketo executive eventPanel moderatorSydney
May 22The Marketing AcademyKeynote speakerSydney
May 13Marketing Leadership SeminarMasterclass hostAmsterdam
Apr 30Private Management RetreatKeynote speakerBangkok
Apr 277th Brand Forum SeminarKeynote speakerDhaka
Apr 08The Marketing AcademyMasterclass hostNew York
Apr 06Marketo Executive EventKeynote speakerHong Kong
Apr 30The Marketing Leadership MasterclassMasterclass hostGlobal
Mar 21Advertising WeekKeynote speakerLondon
Mar 20Akzo Nobel Network Summit 2019
Keynote speakerAmsterdam
Mar 12The Marketing SocietyMasterclass hostEdinburgh
Mar 7Marketing Week LiveKeynote speakerLondon
Feb 22Adobe Exec. RoundtablesKeynote speakerNew Delhi
Feb 20Adobe Exec. RoundtablesKeynote speakerHong Kong
Feb 5The CMO FellowshipMasterclass hostKitzbühel
Jan 23Marketo Fearless 50Masterclass hostSFO / live online
* 2018 *
Dec 6Think With GoogleKeynote speakerLisbon
Dec 3Private corporate eventKeynote speakerNorth. Europe
Nov 30Private corporate eventKeynote speakerEurope
Nov 14The Braver ConferenceKeynote speakerLondon
Oct 10Festival Of MarketingKeynote speakerLondon
Oct 4Corporate Marketing ConferenceKeynote speakerSan Francisco
Oct 2Marketo Advisory BoardKeynote speakerNapa Valley
Sep 19B2B Marketing Leaders ForumKeynote speakerSingapore
Sep 14The Marketing AcademyMasterclass hostLondon
Jun 18CMO leadership masterclassMasterclass hostCannes
May 22Private corporate eventMasterclass hostLondon
Mar 19Think With GoogleKeynote speakerStockholm
Mar 8Marketing Week LiveKeynote speakerLondon
Mar 7Think With GoogleKeynote speakerOslo
Feb 22Think With GoogleKeynote speakerBrussels
Feb 21Private corporate eventKeynote speakerVienna
Mar 1 AmazonKeynote speakerLondon
Feb 28Imperial CollegeKeynote speakerLondon
Feb 28The Marketing AcademyMasterclass hostLondon
Feb 1McKinsey/Marketing AcademyMasterclass hostKitzbühel
Jan 12Private corporate eventMasterclass hostZurich
Jan 11Private corporate eventKeynote speakerLondon
Jan 11Capital GroupKeynote speakerLondon
* 2017 *
Dec 19 Private corporate eventKeynote speakerDen Hague
Dec 04 Private corporate eventKeynote speakerHong Kong
Nov 29IBM Watson SummitKeynote speakerCalifornia
Nov 26Atlanta CMO Executive SummitKeynote speakerAtlanta
Oct 4 Internet and Mobile WorldKeynote speakerBuchsrest
Sep 22The Marketing AcademyKeynote speakerLondon
Sep 21Financial Services SummitKeynote speakerLondon
Sep 20The Marketing AcademyMasterclass hostLondon
Aug 24Amplify Marketing FestivalKeynote speakerEdinburgh
Jul 25Adobe Experience ForumKeynote speakerSingapore
Jul 25Adobe Experience ForumMasterclass hostSingapore
Jun 22Adobe Think TankConfernece hostCannes Lions
Jun 21Private corporate eventConfernece hostCannes Lions
Jun 14The Marketing AcademyMasterclass hostLondon
Jun 07LikedIn & Marketing SocietyKeynote speakerNew Delhi
Jun 06Marketing SocietyKeynote speakerNew Delhi
May 31 Think With GoogleKeynote speakerMadrid
May 30 Think With GoogleKeynote speakerMadrid
May 23 Adobe SymposiumKeynote speakerSydney Opera
May 19 Private corporate eventKeynote speakerSydney Opera
May 16 The Marketing AcademyKeynote speakerSydney
May 16 B2B Leaders ForumKeynote speakerSydney
May 04 Adobe SymposiumKeynote speakerMumbai
Apr 21Private corporate eventKeynote speakerBangkok
Apr 11Corporate Financial GroupKeynote speakerNewYork
Apr 09CMO FellowshipKeynote speakerLondon
Apr 08Google Double ClickKeynote speakerSpain
Mar 22 Advertising Week LondonKeynote speakerLondon
Geb 10London Business SchoolMasterclass hostLondon
Jan 18CMO FellowshipMasterclass hostKitzbühel
Jan 17SAPKeynote speakerSingapore
* 2016 *
Nov 17The Marketing SocietyKeynote speakerLondon
Nov 17CMO FellowshipMasterclass hostLondon
Nov 15London Business SchoolKeynote speakerLondon
Nov 15Private corporate eventKeynote speakerMunich
Nov 10Inspire Leadership LectureMasterclass hostLondon
Nov 09Private corporate eventKeynote speakerAmsterdam
Nov 08Private corporate eventKeynote speakerParis
Nov 04The Corporate Financial GroupKeynote speakerNew York
Oct 18Private corporate eventKeynote speakerLondon
Oct 13The Marketing SocietyMasterclass hostLondon
Sep 28Advertising Week New YorkKeynote speakerNew York
Sep 21CMO FellowshipMasterclass hostLondon
Sep 16Private corporate eventMasterclass hostUK
Aug 25Private corporate eventKeynote speakerTokyo
Aug 02Private corporate eventMasterclass hostUK
July 28Private corporate eventMasterclass hostUK
July 18Private corporate eventKeynote speakerScotland
July 11Private corporate eventMasterclass hostNew York
July 06Private corporate eventMasterclass hostLondon
Jun 16CMO FellowshipMasterclass hostLondon
May 21Adobe SummitKeynote speakerLondon
May 09Private corporate eventKeynote speakerParis
Apr 20cmo.com executive eventKeynote speakerLondon
Feb 05Private corporate eventMasterclass hostZurich
Jan 27Private corporate eventKeynote speakerAmsterdam
Jan 20CMO FellowshipMasterclass hostKitzbuehel
* 2015 *
Nov 26World Marketing CongressKeynote speakerMumbai
Nov 12Private corporate eventKeynote speakerZurich
Oct 14Data IQ LinkKeynote speakerLondon
Oct 16Pärnu Marketing ConferenceKeynote speakerPärnu
Sep 25Private corporate eventKeynote speakerLondon
Sep 21Private corporate eventKeynote speakerCologne
Sep 15Swiss CRM ForumKeynote speakerZurich
Sep 25Private corporate eventKeynote speakerHeidelberg
Jul 16Private corporate eventKeynote speakerLondon
Jul 10Private corporate eventKeynote speakerLondon
Jul 07ad:tech aseanKeynote speakerSingapore
Jun 30Private corporate eventKeynote speakerHamburg
Jun 05Private corporate eventKeynote speakerHongKong
Jun 02FT Marketing Innovators SummitKeynote speakerLondon
May 14Private corporate eventKeynote speakerLondon
Apr 29Private corporate eventKeynote speakerLondon
Apr 29Adobe Summit 2015Keynote speakerLondon
Apr 08Private corporate eventKeynote speakerSingapore
Mar 19Private corporate eventKeynote speakerLondon
Jan 08Private corporate eventKeynote speakerBangkok
* 2014 *
Dec 08Private corporate eventKeynote speakerPark City
Dec 04 Private corporate eventKeynote speakerLondon
Nov 24Private corporate eventMasterclass hostKitzbühel
Oct 13Private corporate eventMasterclass hostKitzbühel
Oct 01Private corporate eventKeynote speakerLondon
Sep 22Private corporate eventMasterclass hostNew York
Sep 15Private corporate eventMasterclass hostPark City
Aug 15Private corporate eventKeynote speakerSingapore
Jul 01Private corporate eventMasterclass hostLondon
Jun 16Private corporate eventKeynote speakerPark City
May 28Private corporate eventMasterclass hostSingapore
Apr 07Private corporate eventKeynote speakerTokyo
Mar 03Private corporate eventMasterclass hostCharlotte
Mar 18Corporate Financial GroupKeynote speakerNew York
Feb 27CMO Council Advisory BoardKeynote speakerNew York



The Leadership Book for Marketers
by Thomas Barta & Patrick Barwise

“Everything you need to know to be a superior marketing leader!”

– Marshall Goldsmith, The World’s Thinkers50 #1 Leadership Thinker

“A must-read for every present and future CMO who cares about making a difference.”

– Seth Godin, author of All Marketers Are Liars

“The essential leadership playbook for the CMO of the future.”

– Jim Stengel, former Global Marketing Officer, Procter & Gamble

“A masterful dissection of what it really takes to lead marketing.”

– Syl Saller, Global CMO, Diageo

“A persuasive perspective on the opportunities open to marketers to lead for change.” 

– Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever