Chief Marketing Officer

Marketing Leaders Discuss How to Use Technology to Build a Successful Team

Several marketing leaders shared their thoughts on what it takes to use technology to build a successful team during a panel discussion at the 2018 CMO Financial Services Forum: Marketing & Technology Innovation in San Francisco on October 30. The panel discussion, “Building a Team for New & Changing Technology,” included the following participants:


Cynthia Zavala Diaz
Associate Vice President, Digital Marketing
Wells Fargo


Vered Frank
Managing Director, Digital, Product & Content Marketing
Charles Schwab

James Meono
Director, Digital Marketing
MUFG Union Bank

Shaalin Parekh
Product Marketing Manager

Brian Sniegowski
Director, Innovation and Development
Farmers Insurance

The panelists explored a variety of marketing-related topics, including:

  1. Marketing Leadership

Marketing leaders must help their respective teams develop successful campaigns and ensure a brand can stay connected to its target audience. At the same time, marketing leaders must be willing to adapt to an evolving global marketplace – something that may prove to be difficult.

Ultimately, marketing leaders should strive for constant improvement. Rather than relying on traditional processes, systems and procedures, marketing leaders must be willing to step outside of their comfort zone as needed. That way, marketing leaders can challenge themselves to become more productive and efficient than ever before.

“When we talk about teams, we always talk about our teams and how they can be better,” Sniegowski said. “We need to figure out how to challenge ourselves to be uncomfortable, because our teams our uncomfortable, and our methodologies are changing.”

  1. Talent Management

Adding talent often proves to be challenging, particularly for marketers. Today’s marketing teams require talented professionals who can leverage state-of-the-art technologies, as well as provide guidance and support across an organization. Conversely, there is a shortage of marketing talent available globally.

Marketing leaders must search both internally and externally for talent. With this approach, marketing leaders can develop diverse teams that can help their respective organizations thrive both now and in the future.

“Organizations are evolving so quickly right now, and there is the want to find [talent] internally,” Frank stated. “You need to find people who are looking to change and willing to try new things. Because if you just look externally all the time, you’re going to lose some of the organization’s culture.”

Finding marketing talent that is willing to implement new technologies into an organization’s everyday processes is paramount, too.

By hiring marketing talent that is willing to adapt to new technologies, marketing leaders can boost an organization’s chances of achieving its desired results. This talent will have the ability to quickly adapt to new technologies, and as such, can help an organization keep pace with rapidly changing market conditions.

“If you’re looking across your organization and are looking to bring in new technology, you need to find people who will use that technology,” Parekh noted. “If you gloss over people in your organization who are malleable and willing to learn new things, then that’s a big loss.”

  1. Building a Data-Driven Marketing Team

Data and analytics are key tenets for marketing teams worldwide. Yet there are no one-size-fits-all data and analytics solutions for all marketing teams, at all times.

Today’s marketing teams must collect data from myriad sources and find ways to transform this information into meaningful insights. They also must share this information across an organization and ensure they can leverage data in conjunction with an organization’s everyday processes and systems.

“We still have a lot of legacy infrastructure in place, and there are still certain things that have to be done, even with new data in place,” Frank indicated. “So, it’s all about finding the right balance.”

  1. Developing a Successful Culture

Launching a successful culture may be challenging, regardless of a marketing team’s size. However, marketing leaders who devote time and resources to build a successful culture may reap the benefits of their efforts for years to come.

By developing a successful culture, marketing team members will be open with one another. Plus, this culture will promote collaboration and communication, which may help a marketing team uncover innovative ways to contribute to an organization’s success.

“Culture is so important, and I do believe that someone who comes into financial services should have the passion for the industry,” Frank stated. “And you really need to encourage your team to step outside of its comfort zone.”

5. Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and Sales

Although organizations frequently deploy new technologies to support marketing teams, there is sometimes minimal collaboration and communication between marketing and sales departments. Conversely, marketing and sales teams that work together can help an organization get the most out of its technology investments.

Marketing leaders must find ways to collaborate with sales teams. Then, both marketing and sales teams can learn from one another and achieve common goals.

“Sales doesn’t understand marketing technology … so there is an education process to [get sales involved],” Meono pointed out. “You have to find an initiative to get [sales and marketing] talking to each other.”

Visit Argyle Executive Forum's CIO/CMO DINNER: Closing the Gap Between IT and Marketing to Get Superior Actionable Customer Insights- New York in New York, NY on Jan 29, 2020

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