This Much I Learned: ITV’s CMO Jane Stiller on the need for ‘diversity of thought’ in marketing

In the latest episode of Marketing Week’s This Much I Learned podcast, ITV’s CMO Jane Stiller talks about what has changed for the better and worse in marketing since she started her career, marketing’s influence in businesses, and the mistakes that have helped shape her career.

ITV is a brand deeply embedded in popular culture, with brand recognition and access to audiences that others can only dream of. As the launch of ITVX a year ago has shown, however, it is not resting on its laurels but instead constantly changing as the market shifts.

Speaking to Marketing Week for the This Much I Learned podcast, CMO Jane Stiller talks about the challenge of launching the streaming service at speed and the role marketing played.

She also reflects on her career journey to date, having started as a graduate at Mars in 2006, before moving into retail at M&S, and most recently to media at ITV. Working in different categories and sectors can offer fresh thinking she says.

“The bit that I’ve looked for has been interesting opportunities… I’m really passionate about diversity of thought. There’s too much ‘more of the same’ thinking.”

Despite many in marketing bemoaning the lack of influence it has, this is not something Stiller accepts is widespread. Indeed, she says throughout her career, and in her experience, she has seen marketing rise in prominence. “Marketing now has got much more of a seat at the table when it comes to the boardroom,” she adds.

She says this is partly down to the “advent of performance marketing”, often derided but something she says has driven more accountability into the marketing function. With that accountability, and when used with brand activity, has offered a greater opportunity to tangibly demonstrate the value of the marketing team to the P&L.

Stiller believes that marketing teams are increasingly the ones driving change within businesses. She says: “My experience is that marketing has transformed the way ITV operates externally and internally. I really see marketing driving a lot of the decision-making.”

One watch out, however, is that many practitioners are becoming more specialist in individual areas of marketing. That, she believes, is having an impact on the talent pipeline as there are fewer “well-rounded” senior marketers. “When we were launching ITVX we recognised we really needed to broaden the skillset of our marketing function to be much more focused on the strategic end rather than the activation end.”

From non-linear paths through the industry to closing the skills gap, you can listen to previous episodes of Marketing Week’s This Much I Learned podcast on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud and Spotify.