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Ellyn Raftery didn’t set out to be a marketer. In fact, her strongest desire was to pursue a career in design and fashion. But a conversation with a professor in college changed everything. Today, Ellyn serves as the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for FIS, a company with an emphasis on advancing the way the world pays, banks and invests. Ellyn joined Marketing Trends to discuss a range of topics, including growth marketing, understanding your clients, and why the language you use is key.

Key Takeaways:

  • Adapt your language to the clients. If you’re working in a B2B setting, make sure the jargon you use matches the style of the conversation
  • Growth data needs to be at the forefront for all CMOs. Have an experienced team that can dive into the data that can create opportunities for the organization
  • Think through the lens of the client. Identify their needs, understand their pain points and then work to solve those issues

Key Quotes:

“We run marketing as a business. We’re very financially- and data-driven and really speak to people in business jargon, and not marketing jargon. Marketing jargon is for marketers. But when you’re speaking to executives and speaking across the business, you have to speak in business terms.”

“Every dollar that we put into marketing has to translate into revenue.”

“We sit at the heart of commerce and the financial world, and really our purpose is to help businesses and communities thrive by advancing commerce and the financial world.”

“Growth through data is at the forefront for CMOs who are successful today. You need a team around you that is very experienced in data insights, that loves to get their hands into the data and bring creative opportunities back on how to use the data.”

“We tie brand into everything that we do.”

“Transparency is the best thing. You have to fall on your sword. You have to be very honest and you’ve got to say, ‘Here’s what’s happening. Here’s where we’re heading. Here’s why it’s delayed. In the end, it will result in X for you, let’s go on this journey together.’ Transparency and honesty is the absolute number one thing.”

“Think with the client lens first and the client needs first. It’s pretty simple —clients are interested because they have a need, and you need to help them and you’ve got to get to that story very fast.”

“I’m excited about the opportunity for our talent to grow. They’re quickly pivoting into new things like virtual marketing, where they have the opportunity to grow their talent, to broaden their perspective, to get their hands into new technology, and to learn new technology very quickly.”


Ellyn Raftery is chief marketing and communications officer of FIS. In her role, Raftery is charged with leading the strategic planning and execution of FIS’ Global Marketing and Corporate Communications programs.

Prior to joining FIS in 2012, she was the chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Global Marketing for CA Technologies, a global enterprise information technology software and service company where she drove the development, planning and implementation of the corporate brand and marketing strategy and guided the company’s thought leadership, integrated go-to-market programs and demand generation programs globally. She also led the enterprise-wide global voice-of-the-customer experience initiative to drive competitive improvement and increased customer satisfaction. For nearly a decade prior, Raftery held multiple executive-level positions for Unisys Corporation, including chief marketing and communications officer; vice president, Worldwide Marketing and Communications; and vice president, Worldwide Marketing for Systems Integration and Consulting. While at Unisys, Raftery managed a global staff and was responsible for corporate brand and marketing strategy, market and competitive research, solutions marketing, field marketing, marketing services, analyst relations, social and media relations, and corporate communications.

Highly active in the community, Raftery is chairman of the board of the Northern & Central Florida Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). She is also a frequent contributor to the United Way, Jacksonville’s Cathedral Arts program and the American Red Cross. In addition, she is a new alumni member of Leadership Jacksonville, an organization that works to create community trustees by developing leaders to assume greater responsibility for the Jacksonville area. Her professional affiliations and certifications include the American Marketing Association; Executive Conference Board; Information Technology Services Marketing Association; and Corporate Executive Board’s Marketing and Communications Leadership Councils. Raftery was also honored as one of Jacksonville’s Women of Influence in recognition of her achievements and involvement in the Northeast Florida community, in addition to her numerous awards.

Raftery has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Toledo.

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