Corinne Sklar is the CMO of Bluewolf, an IBM company. In her thirteen years with Bluewolf, Corinne has developed and implemented marketing strategies that have helped grow the company’s revenue from three million to over a billion.
In part 1 of our interview with Corinne, she talks about how a relentless focus on design helped spur that growth. She also talks about how CMOs can increase their tenure and have a greater impact within their organizations, and how to create a culture that encourages innovation and experimentation.
Corinne's background - (2:20)
- "Winter is a choice." - Lauren Vaccarello
- How studying experimental art at a liberal arts women's college prepared her for a career in marketing.
Corinne's Start at Bluewolf - (4:35)
- Corinne started with an aggressive mindset early on. She never let her age, experience, or gender hold her back or stop her from speaking up.
- Corinne extols the virtue of mentorship, and discusses what values you should look for in the leadership team of a company you are joining.
- It makes an enormous impact when there is sponsorship of marketing at an executive level.
Corinne's Advice for CMOs - (8:00)
- Moving around isn't necessarily bad, but stay when you find a place where you are supported and the leadership team is aligned.
- “What does leadership look like? It's about autonomy, trust, investment, coaching, and accessibility.” - Corinne Sklar
- It is crucial to have a CEO who is a marketer at heart, someone who truly understands sales and marketing.
Why Every Marketer Should Spend Time in Services - (12:10)
- Services marketing is all about thought leadership and great customer service.
- In services, you can't leave when the product is sold. Your job is not over until you have created real change.
- In services, you learn to understand customers at a deeper level. You learn what they truly want and what they truly fear.
Design Mentality - (16:25)
- "Everything is design. Everything." - Corinne Sklar
- In a B2B environment where few people think seriously about design, having a design mindset is a serious competitive advantage.
- Just like a good designer, good marketers need to understand how to take and use feedback and critique. They should know when to listen to it, and when to ignore it and push ahead with their original vision.
Creating Culture - (20:35)
- It's important to push people to have a voice, sometimes. Don't let them sit out a discussion because of fear.
- CMOs need to set an example for the way critique is received and implemented.
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