ORLANDO – In an interview with Beet.TV at the 2019 Global CMO Growth Summit, American Express CMO Elizabeth Rutledge provided insight into the ways that marketing has, and has not, evolved in recent years.
While new breakthroughs in data and technology have brought new capabilities to marketing, including personalized messaging, Rutledge says “the customer has, and will always be, the North Star for American Express.”
Rutledge adds that while media has advanced, the more things change, the more that tried and true practices continue to be effective.
“Some of this is all about that human touch,” says Rutledge. “Those customer relationships one at a time, that human connection, is just as important now as it was 10, 15 years ago.”
This sense of connection is paramount to Rutledge’s role as CMO.
“I really see the CMO as sort of the chief collaborator or the chief connecter,” she says.
Among the list of critical roles that she highlights for the job is maintaining close relationships with the CEO, CTO and CIO, being a change agent for your team, having a focus on agility, both for yourself and in leading other teams, showing expertise in your craft in how it relates to the customer, and having that creative or innovative spark. Marketing teams can’t be siloed from other departments – to be successful, they have to work across them.
All of this, of course, comes with the responsibility of being the glue for the company as a whole.
“[It’s] kind of all wrapped together with being that integrator, that connector.”