Top CMOs discuss how to become ‘future facing leaders’

Top marketers from ITV, TK Maxx and Channel 4 share their thoughts on the issues facing marketing in a new Oystercatchers series in collaboration with Rankin Creative.

Top marketers from ITV, TK Maxx and Channel 4 are to offer thoughts on the biggest challenges and opportunities facing CMOs in a new series from Marketing Week sister brand Oystercatchers, in collaboration with Rankin Creative.

The video series ‘Through the Lens’ sees CMOs discuss a wide range of topics such as reaching and engaging customers, and the key to a successful relationship with agencies. It will also explore their own creative motivations and as well as culture and mental health.

The CMOs interviewed include EY’s John Rudaizsky, Natwest Group’s Margaret Jobling, TK Maxx’s Deborah Dolce, ITV’s Jane Stiller,  and Channel 4’s Zaid Al-Qassab.

Another of the contributors to the series, Manchester United’s chief communications officer, Ellie Norman says in her interview one of the things she loves the most about working in marketing and communications is how future focused the industry is.

“We will often be working in the future, we’re imagining the ‘what if’,” she says. “We’re there to give hope and take people on a journey.”

We’re there to give hope and take people on a journey.

Ellie Norman, Manchester United

The relationship between brand and agency is discussed by ITV’s chief marketing officer Jane Stiller. She says that while “historically” the power rested with the client, it’s not “much more of a two-way street”.

She adds that brands should ask: “Why does this agency want to work with me, am I a good client? Have we got the type of organisation where things can get signed off, where brave work gets through and we champion it?”

Ultimately, she says: “You’ve got to be that type of client to attract the best agencies, because if we’re not, we might as well go home because we’re not going to do brilliant work.”

Creativity and consumers


On creative ideas, Channel 4’s CMO Zaid Al-Qassab says: “I always look for ideas that feel different, shocking, surprising, that make you cry or laugh.”

He adds that emotion is “more powerful than reason”.

On the role of marketers in a tough and uncertain environment, senior vice president and group marketing and corporate responsibility at TX Maxx’s parent company, TJX Europe, Deborah Dolce says: “If you’re not thinking about the consumer, you’re not on the money.”

“That’s why marketers are so important in business because it’s not the marketing skills and disciplines alone, it’s bringing that voice in, bringing in the challenge and provocation,” she adds.

Creativity’s role in marketing celebrated in new book

The collaboration with Rankin for the new video series follows on from their  2019 partnership on a book celebrating creativity’s role in marketing, ‘Creative Influence’.

On the new project, Oystercatcher’s managing partner, Gill Huber, says the series offers a “unique insight” into the mind of a modern marketer, “offering access to how marketing leaders are operating within their businesses and with their partners to connect with modern consumers”.

The partnership was launched at last night’s Oystercatcher’s Club evening and will roll out weekly.