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The hidden power of the marketing funnel

Last weekend, my partner and I took a bicycle tour to a small village near our home, called Adendorf. Each year, it hosts an iconic garden exhibition – a sales show with plenty of champagne and canapés. After a few glasses, we passed a large exhibition of roofed...

The CMO Fellowship is back

For the sixth year in a row, The Marketing Academy, McKinsey, Wisdom 8, and I will help 20 blue chip marketers on the way to CEO. This year - for the first time - we'll run a U.S.-based program in addition to the successful European stream. The program is free of...

What makes a CMO successful? Lessons from over 300 Interviews

I thought I'll copy you in on this Forbes interview I recently did with Drew Neisser, author of the book The CMO’s Periodic Table and host of the CMO podcast Renegade Thinkers Unite. Thomas Barta: Drew, you’ve interviewed over three hundred chief marketing officers...

Marketers: Don’t lose sight of the fact your job is to find customers

As a marketer, people are paying you for the firm’s most important job (next to innovation): finding customers – at the lowest possible cost. Finding customers is an art and a craft. The art is your work’s beauty: the creative, the intuitive. The truth is, marketing...

For career success, being relevant trumps being cool

I love the Airbus A380. It’s an engineering masterpiece. The world’s largest airplane. Quiet. Spacious. Loved by passengers. Yet the A380 demonstrates what happens to businesses and careers when ‘cool’ trumps ‘relevant’. The A380 promised a solution to a pressing...

Ask customers for feed-forward, not feedback

Who’s the most powerful person in a firm? The CEO? No. The CFO? No. The head of sales? No. It’s the customer. When a customer complains, the CEO sits up. When a customer wants to leave, the head of sales gets on the case. In a firm, the customer’s voice trumps all...

To instigate change, first build credit

“You can help us build a love brand. I want to hire you,” the CEO said. Nina was thrilled. Her last years in consumer goods had been tough. Tight margins. Aggressive competitors. A firm, in which everyone was a marketer. This telecoms CEO promised something very...

Make the middle manager cool again

Who wants to be a middle manager? Not many people. It’s nice to be the trainee – young and cool; it’s nice to be the CEO – with all the power. But the rest? Stuck in the sandwich’s middle. No longer cool. Not really powerful. If middle managers were brands, they’d be...

Try This >> Have more skin in the game

Everyone in the boardroom turned to me in anger. I spent much of my former career doing two jobs: leading large brands and running major marketing transformation programmes. I loved both. And in both, when it came to success, my head was on the table. In marketing, I...

Try This >> Don’t recruit yourself

We love the familiar, the recognisable, the known. And when it comes to picking a team member, many people are looking for a clone. Men recruit men. Creatives recruit creatives. Number crunchers recruit number crunchers. It’s easier to relate. It’s kind of natural....

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“Everything you need to know to be a superior marketing leader!”
– Marshall Goldsmith, The World's Thinkers50 #1 Leadership Thinker